Features Inspired By Harley’s NHRA Team.

Harley-Davidson advances its 100-new-bike agenda in 2019 with the new FXDR 114 that turns the nearly-new Softail into a drag race-inspired stoplight burner. The factory went outside the envelope for design inspiration, with some interesting results that head in an unexpected direction to say the least. A 114 cubic-inch engine delivers the goods to make the FXDR the most powerful production Softail up for grabs so far this year, so you can be assured that it’s by no means an all-show/no-go machine. Plus, an effort was made to shed some weight to improve handling- and ride-quality, and that translates into even better acceleration to make this a rather sporty, non-Sportster ride. Let’s dive into the details.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114.

  • 2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 114
  • Displacement:
    114 cubic inches
  • Price:
    21349
  • Price:

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 Design

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
- image 794729
The FXDR 114 is definitely an odd bird, a Frankenstein creation that starts out normally enough, but all that changes at the tail end.

The FXDR 114 is definitely an odd bird, a Frankenstein creation that starts out normally enough, albeit with a custom look due to the cut-down fender, inverted forks and liberal blackout treatment. A mini speedscreen tops the headlight to serve both as a brow and a trim piece that contains and protects the electronic instrument panel that featuress a 2.14-inch LCD screen and indicator lights to take care of business.

Bar-style whisker lights serve as the front winkers to finish the forward lighting, and that minimalistic approach carries into the hand control area as Harley ditches the full-size handlebar in favor of low-profile clip-ons to keep things tidy up top. I don’t know about you, but I think this bike absolutely screams for bar-end mirrors, probably even in the inverted position.

A 4.4-gallon teardrop fuel tank maintains the low-profile look and leaves plenty of room to tuck in when you really want to get jiggy with it. So far, the factory has more or less colored inside the lines, but all that changes at the tail end. First off let me say, I’m not a fan. I don’t know if the engineers were going for an aircraft cockpit look, or were just looking for some way of terminating the subframe early in order to justify the hugger-style rear fender, but I ain’t feelin’ it. I do like the look of the hugger over that wide rear tire, to be honest, my objection lies entirely with the sheet metal that makes up the tail itself.

More light bars ride on the hugger along with the license plate holder to finish out the gear in the rear in a manner most unusual and progressive for the MoCo that has, for so many years, banked on a retro-heavy design philosophy. Even the two-into-one exhaust adds a modern, almost Euro-tastic flair to the look that makes it clear; H-D is definitely targeting a new type of Harley rider.

At least the model designator seems to have a basis in history. The “FX” part reflects the fact that the bike is built around the narrow frame and front end, and as for the “D,” the FXD was the old Super Glide, but FXR and Dyna frames have been put out to pasture, so it looks like the new Softail line gets to make its own version. As for the “R,” I’m going to guess it’s for race, even if the racing is likely from one stoplight to the next.

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 Chassis

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
- image 794720
There's no doubt that the factory's efforts to drop some heft will register on your heinie-dyno.

A big part of what makes the FXDR look so different, other than the tail-end sheet metal of course, is the swingarm; namely, the fact that it has one in the traditional yoke layout rather than the usual triangular cage that articulates the Softail’s rear wheel. In another major change, the swingarm is made up of lightweight cast aluminum instead of steel to drop a total of 10.2 pounds of unsprung weight and improve suspension response. In short, less weight means the shock has less energy to manage with a concurrent increase in traction and stability, so even though it looks a little odd, it actually increases the performance of a frame that was only recently revamped to increase the overall agility and rideability of the Softail line.

Oh and that funny tail section? It’s aluminum tubing as well, so as a whole, that odd rear end cuts out another seven pounds of steel, and fenders at both ends come made of composite material that is lighter than the usual sheet-metal bits. Make no mistake, it’s still quite a chunk of mass at 668-pounds wet, but there’s no doubt that the factory’s efforts to drop some heft will register on your heinie-dyno.

The wheelbase is stretched out a bit longer than usual for a Softail model, mainly due to the 34-degree rake that pushes the 19-inch front wheel out to put the contact patches 68.4-inches apart with 4.7 inches of trail. Yeah, these numbers clearly point to a ride that is stable in the straights, but the lean angles also indicate a certain amount of litheness in the corners with a claimed 32.6-degrees to the right side, and 32.8-degrees to the left. Elbow-dragging country? Hardly. But, probably more lean angle than most cruiser riders will ever willingly pull.

ABS is standard equipment across the spectrum with dual, four-piston calipers up front to provide the bulk of the stopping power. It isn’t the fancy lean-sensitive ABS like the CVO models are rocking this year, but I imagine it won’t take long for that tech to trickle down. The only adjustment to the suspension is found at the rear shock in the form of a hand-knob that allows for quick spring-preload adjustment without the benefit of tools.

To round out the rolling chassis, the factory opted for a solid-disc, 18-inch rear rim to mount the wide, 240/40 tire opposite the 120/70 that leads the way on a 19-inch rim that runs with five double-spokes.

Frame: Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; MIG welded; high strength aluminum, tubular rear support; forged mounting points; TIG welded
Swingarm: One-piece cast aluminum
Front Forks/Travel: Single cartridge 43 mm inverted with aluminum fork triple clamps; triple rate spring/ 5.1 in. (130 mm)
Rear Shocks/Travel: Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 43 mm stroke; toolless hydraulic preload adjustment/ 3.4 in. (86 mm)
Rake (steering head): 34°
Fork Angle: 34.75°
Trail: 4.7 in. (120 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168) Right/Left: 32.6°/32.8°
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm), 4-piston fixed caliper, black, Split 7-spoke floating rotors
Brakes, Rear: 11.5 in. x .23 in. (292 mm x 5.8 mm), 2-piston floating caliper, black, Split 7-spoke floating rotors
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheel, Front: 19 in. x 3 in. (483 mm x 76 mm) Gloss/Satin Black, Split 5-Spoke, Ace Cast Aluminum with laser etched graphics
Wheel, Rear: 18 in. x 8 in. (457 mm x 203 mm) Gloss/Satin Black, Solid Disc, Ace Cast Aluminum with laser etched graphics
Tires: Michelin® Scorcher® “11”
Tire, Front: 120/70ZR-19 60W
Tire, Rear: 240/40R-18 79V

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 Drivetrain

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
- image 794725
The Milwaukee-Eight 114 has plenty of torque mid-range in the rev band to deliver holeshots and provide low-stress cruising at highway and interstate speeds.

As cool as the rest of the bike is, the beating heart is still the real showpiece here. The Milwaukee-Eight 114 packs in the inches with, you guessed it, 114 cubic-inches (1,868 cc) tucked away within the massive jugs. A pair of four-valve heads cap the 102 mm bores, and as usual, the engine runs an undersquare/longstroke layout with a 114 mm stroke and 10.5-to-1 compression ratio. That’s right, you can forget about running the cheapest pump swill you can find; it’s nothing less than road champagne for this ride.

There is nothing in the way of fandanglery as far as the engine-control system is concerned; like the corner-sensitive ABS, the traction control and backtorque-mitigation systems are still being tested on the trike models and have yet to make it onto any two-wheelers, but I expect it to do so sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, the FXDR has a fairly vanilla engine control system that uses a single throttle body to feed the beast. Since the factory (wisely) decided to return to the single-cam system, the right side of the case and the nosecone area have also returned to historical norms along with the pushrod geometry, so performance considerations aside, it’s a better looking engine than the late Twin-Cam mill.

As for the performance, the factory claims a total of 119 pound-feet of torque that tops out at 3,500 rpm to deliver in the holeshots, and provide low-stress cruising at highway/interstate speeds via the six-speed transmixxer that sends power to the rear wheel by a quiet and low-maintenance, carbon-reinforced belt.

Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 114 cu. in. (1868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Engine Torque (per J1349) (North America): 119 ft. lb. @ 3,500 rpm (162 Nm @ 3,500 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Upswept intake with synthetic media, washable exposed element
Exhaust: 2-into-1; catalyst in header
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 32/66 ratio
Clutch: Mechanical, 10 plate wet, assist & conventional
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 Pricing

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
- image 794724
MSRP puts the FXDR 114 at the top of the Softail range at $21k+.

Your taste in color directly affects the asking price for the FXDR 114. As usual, the Vivid Black model is at the bottom of the totem pole with its $21,349 sticker, but for another four Benjamins you can get it in Black Denim, Industrial Gray Denim, Rawhide Denim (my fave), Bonneville Salt Denim, and Wicked Red Denim. ABS is standard, as is the security system, but California buyers can expect a $200 hit for emissions equipment.

Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors: Vivid Black, Black Denim, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked Red Denim, Bonneville Salt Denim, Rawhide Denim
Price: Vivid Black: $21,349, Color: $21,749
ABS Option: Standard
Security System Option: Standard

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 Competitor

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
- image 794734
2016 - 2018 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S
- image 695104
Ducati comes out on top with electronic wizardry and still beats Harley at the checkout counter.

What to do? Harley has pushed beyond the current design limitations of its main domestic competitor, Indian Motorcycle, so I had to go pretty far afield to find a good-enough match and I think Ducati nails it with its cruise-tastic XDiavel. A bold, raked-out front end leads the way with a bob-tail subframe that peters out to nothing over the rear wheel in much the same way as the FXDR. While it’s true that the XDiavel has some very sportbike-like inclinations, the position of the foot controls fall out in the forward position, and that forces a shift in attitude right along with the adjustment to your riding posture.

Even more than the Softail, Ducati’s entry looks like an engine that happens to have a bike wrapped around it due to the Trellis frame and stressed-engine setup. Still, the looks are liable to appeal to a similar buyer as the FXDR, I reckon. Ducati’s Teststretta engine churns out 93 pound-feet of torque, and that falls well short of the Mil-8 plant in the Harley, but the Italian ride weighs in almost 200-pounds lighter, so the available torque has less mass/inertia to overcome.

Cornering ABS, Riding Modes and Traction Control features push the XDiavel past Harley in the tech department even though the MoCo is developing its own tech along those lines. Price won’t be a big selling point here; the XDiavel rolls for $20,495 so it’s just a skosh under the FXDR 114, but that’s not enough to entice someone that’s straddling the fence.

He Said

“Not sure what I expected, but the FXDR seems to try to deliver a look similar to the ill-fated V-Rod family, and we all know how that worked out. That said, I do appreciate the increased attention to performance along with the newfound courage at the drawing board, and even though I ain’t feelin’ it, I’ll bet there are plenty out there who are.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This bike has features inspired from the Harley NHRA team with the snazzy new intake and forward-sweep exhaust giving it a deep, throaty rumble that is unique among the Softails. The chassis gives hints of the Breakout frame, but only a hint since it’s been worked to really improve handling, especially in turns. It looks like a drag bike and its certainly built with performance in mind. I’m not sure I’m really feeling it at this price point. I wonder, really, how it might stack up against a Yamaha VMAX.”

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 114 cu. in. (1868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Engine Torque (per J1349) (North America): 119 ft. lb. @ 3,500 rpm (162 Nm @ 3,500 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Upswept intake with synthetic media, washable exposed element
Exhaust: 2-into-1; catalyst in header
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 32/66 ratio
Clutch: Mechanical, 10 plate wet, assist & conventional
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall)(US): 1st:9.311, 2nd: 6.454, 3rd: 4.793, 4th: 3.882, 5th: 3.307, 6th: 2.79
Chassis:
Frame: Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions;
MIG welded; high strength aluminum, tubular rear support; forged mounting points; TIG welded
Swingarm: One-piece cast aluminum
Front Forks/Travel: Single cartridge 43 mm inverted with aluminum fork triple clamps; triple rate spring/ 5.1 in. (130 mm)
Rear Shocks/Travel: Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 43 mm stroke; toolless hydraulic preload adjustment/ 3.4 in. (86 mm)
Rake (steering head): 34°
Fork Angle: 34.75°
Trail: 4.7 in. (120 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168) Right/Left: 32.6°/32.8°
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm), 4-piston fixed caliper, black, Split 7-spoke floating rotors
Brakes, Rear: 11.5 in. x .23 in. (292 mm x 5.8 mm), 2-piston floating caliper, black, Split 7-spoke floating rotors
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheel, Front: 19 in. x 3 in. (483 mm x 76 mm) Gloss/Satin Black, Split 5-Spoke, Ace Cast Aluminum with laser etched graphics
Wheel, Rear: 18 in. x 8 in. (457 mm x 203 mm) Gloss/Satin Black, Solid Disc, Ace Cast Aluminum with laser etched graphics
Tires: Michelin® Scorcher® “11”
Tire, Front: 120/70ZR-19 60W
Tire, Rear: 240/40R-18 79V
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 95.1 in. (2,416 mm)
Overall Width: 36.5 in. (929 mm)
Overall Height: 42.6 in. (1,083 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 27.7 in. (704 mm), Unladen: 28.5 in. (723 mm)
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in. (134 mm)
Wheelbase: 68.4 in. (1,738 mm)
Fuel Capacity : 4.4 gal. (16.7 l) (warning light at approximately 1.4 gal.)
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 5 qt. (4.7 l)
Transmission Capacity : 1 qt. (.95 l)
Primary Chain Case Capacity: 1.43 qt. (1.35 l)
Weight As Shipped: 637 lb. (289 kg)
Weight In Running Order: 668 lb. (303 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1,175 lb. (533 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating, Front/Rear: 450 lb. (204 kg) / 760 lb. (345 kg)
Fuel Economy (Estimated City/Hwy): 46 mpg (5.1 l/100 km)
Electricals:
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery, 12V, 17.5Ah, 310 cca at 0°F
Charging: Three-phase, 42 amp system (390W @ 13V, 1000 rpm, 546W max power @ 13V, 2000 rpm)
Starting: 1.6 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation): Headlamp: All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp, Front Signal Lights: Integrated LED, Indicator Lamps: High beam, turn signals, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, cruise, ABS, security system7, low battery voltage, low fuel, Rear Turn Signals: Integrated LED
Gauges: 2.14 inch viewable area LCD display with speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, range and tachometer indication
Details:
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors: Vivid Black, Black Denim, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked Red Denim, Bonneville Salt Denim, Rawhide Denim
Price: Vivid Black: $21,349, Color: $21,749
ABS Option: Standard
Security System Option: Standard

Further Reading

Ducati XDiavel

2016 - 2018 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S
- image 776321

See our review of the Ducati XDiavel.

Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 Harley-Davidson Breakout
- image 729146

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Breakout.

Yamaha VMAX

2016 - 2018 Yamaha VMAX
- image 734837

See our review of the Yamaha VMAX.

50 New Harley-Davidson Models In Five Years?
- image 788828

Read more Harley-Davidson news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: harley-davidson.com, ducatiusa.com, yamaha-motor.com

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