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20 Jul

To maximize the benefit, Harley made the preload adjustment capable of spanning a 240-lb.range in passenger/cargo weights (which, in some cases, more than doubled the rated load the bike could carry).

For example, a rubber-mounted engine will move around inside the frame it is mounted in, requiring more space to swing its elbows without bumping into things. “The way the motor is framed within the frame is really important,” Richards explained.

The new frame features 50% fewer parts and a 22% reduction in welds, making it easier to manufacture.

The rear suspension loads are transferred from the single shock directly up the backbone of the carbon steel tubular frame, which eliminates any twisting or bending forces that would have required more complex (and heavier) gusseting.

For example, when the engineers designed the floorboard support brackets, they had strict foot placement and cornering clearance planes relative to the engine and chassis and required that the bracket supporting the floorboard fit within the wedge of space created by those three fixed planes. The dance between the designers and the engineers yielded organic-looking mounts that met their strength requirements by utilizing forged aluminum which also delivered a nice weight savings, too.

However, the changes to cornering clearance didn’t stop with the easiest places, like the pegs and floorboards.