It's big, black, and supercharged. Harley-Davidson is emblazoned on the sides of the bed in bright fashion, special logos adorn the fenders and tailgates, and along the bottom is a gorgeous copper stripe that contrasts nicely with the black above it. Throw in all the bells and whistles that can be offered on this behemoth, as well as some kicking 22-inch rims, and we almost overlooked the fact that this '08 Harley-Davidson F-150 sitting in the MM&FF parking lot was equipped with the Saleen blower package. Almost.
After a week's worth of cruising around in the H-D, we definitely give it our seal of approval. As stated, the truck was equipped with pretty much everything Ford could throw at it on the assembly line, starting with the supercharger. Sitting on top of the 5.4L Two-Valve powerplant is a Saleen blower that pumps in a registered 5.5-6 psi of boost. While it takes a ton of power to move this heavy of a truck--after all, it was a Super Crew with the 139-inch wheelbase--the giddy-up from the blower is certainly noticeable, especially with the 3.73 gears in the rearend. Fuel mileage was as advertised, as we recorded a 12.9-mpg reading on one stretch. With gas prices as high as they are, the $104.25 it took to tank it up definitely hurt our wallets, but it wasn't unexpected, and the automatic transmission with Overdrive was nice to have in traffic.
As for creature comforts, this truck had it all. Between the radio, the six-CD changer, and the Sirius satellite radio, we had more than enough driving music to get us to and fro without hearing the same song twice. The navigation unit made sure we didn't get lost, and the optional backup alarm and camera system made parking and backing up a dream. The camera itself was pretty wild, as it shows up in the rearview mirror on the left-hand side. As for the rest of the interior appointments, the truck was equipped with the captain's chairs, which were more than comfortable. The interior was accented with the Vintage Copper option, which basically meant copper leather was put into each of the seat covers, the center console lid, the shifter, and on the steering wheel. While some in the office weren't thrilled with that option, everyone I talked with fell in love with it. Throw in the power moon roof and power sliding rear window, and I have to admit, I spent more time with the windows down than up.
The exterior of the truck was also stunning. Unlike the H-D truck we had two years ago, this one has the Harley-Davidson name in block letters running along the upper sides of the bed. On the previous-edition truck, this was where the scallop stripe was, with the H-D name in script in the stripe. The scallop stripe is gone, replaced with the Copper stripe that runs along the bottom of the truck starting from the body line down. Special 105th H-D Anniversary badges adorn not only the center console and seat backs in the cabin, but the fenders and the tailgate as well. The blacked-out grille gives the truck attitude, and the 22-inch rims wrapped in 274/45/22 shoes are the perfect finish to the truck's overall appeal. Giving the truck even more function is the bed extender, which we found easy to operate.
Overall, the truck drove extremely well. It took a bit of time to get used to at first, but that was because I'm used to driving a Taurus every day. Stepping from that into the H-D was like going from a go-kart to a Sherman tank. But the H-D's ride was exceptional, especially for a truck, as the bumps and road blemishes could hardly be felt.
For me, this vehicle's steering and handling were different from anything I'd driven in the past six months, but that's probably due to the fact that I was in a truck, not a Mustang. For what it was, the handling was great.
The bed extender definitely helped when we had to bring parts and pieces to the storage area, and the truck got loads of looks from many people, one of whom was on a H-D motorcycle (see photos).
So how much does this bad boy cost? The base sticker is $36,500, and with all of the options this truck is equipped with--including the blower, which is priced at a stout $6,575--the total MSRP comes to $50,110. For the price of the truck and what you get with it, you definitely get your bang for the buck. If it was up to me, though, I'd get the same truck loaded the way it was, sans the blower, and slap on a huffer with a bit more to it. Evidently, my genes scream, "Forget about gas mileage and the rear tires."
To sum it all up, I have to quote my wonderful wife, who, when I brought the truck home one night, asked, "Can we keep it?"
Special thanks to Mike Young, who graciously allowed us to photograph the new '08 Harley-Davidson F-150 with his motorcycle, a loud and stylish '99 FXSTC, better known as a Softail Custom.