It was strange to be driving this F-150 just after reading in the business pages about the shrunken market for big pickups. The consensus among those in the industry was that the casual-use buyer had largely abandoned the market and wasn't likely to come back. That certainly doesn't portend well for the F-150 Harley-Davidson, a shiny black $50,000 showpiece whose owner would sooner laser off his tattoos than throw a bunch of lumber or gravel into the truck bed. Even as a show pony, this latest version of the Harley-Davidson F-series also seemed to me to be less successful than some of this truck's previous iterations. The 5.4-liter engine's 320 hp holds no performance advantage over lesser F-150s, and the swoosh side graphics look like they were lifted from an RV. At least the power-retractable running boards clean up the aesthetics and function well. And the black-and-red two-tone leather, accented with gloss black trim, is suitably flashy.
Given plenty of space, this mammoth beast is pleasant enough to drive, but the whole concept just feels so last century.
Joe Lorio, Senior Editor