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Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

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2012 Ford F-150

Normally, I steer clear of pickup trucks. I mean, what am I supposed to do with such a vehicle if I don’t have any lumber to haul or renovation jobs to clean up?

But then I saw the fancy white Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson edition, just gleaming in the sun, with its silver flame decal and chrome grille sparkling in the afternoon sunlight. I just had to drive it. When a pickup is dressed up like this one, it strays well away from its work truck roots. Sure, it would look fine towing a racecar trailer (with matching flames) to the track or with a bike strapped down in the bed, but really, this just seems like a big, badass toy.

2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150. Click image to enlarge

Its toy credentials: big-bore 6.2L V8 making 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque, routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. Sure it’s no 500-hp Ram SRT10, but those days of gratuitous excess are gone, at least from the pickup truck market (sedans and coupes are still playing the horsepower wars, if the Mustang and Camaro or M5, E 63 AMG, and CTS-V are anything to go by).

As mentioned, it still has towing credentials up to 3,400 kg (7,500 lb) and a payload of 640 kg (1,410 lb), but more importantly, an unloaded F-150 H-D will tear up the drag strip at 6.3 seconds to 96 km/h (60 mph) and finish the quarter mile in 15.1 seconds, according to Car and Driver testing. Even in the couple days I drove it, it was clear that this truck was not shy about putting down power and moving along in a hurry.

Keep it in 2H (2WD high), and you’ve got a recipe for mayhem. However, there are also three 4WD modes, 4A (4WD auto), 4H (4-high) and 4L (4-low), though I doubt the White Platinum metallic tri-coat paint job would appreciate you beating up on this truck off-road. Speaking of that paint job, this is the first time that white has been offered on an F-150 Harley-Davidson.

2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150. Click image to enlarge

Of course, it handled like a truck, and with nothing in the bed, it skipped around on rough surfaces, especially in any corners, but was whisper smooth out on the highway, with the exception of a slight roar as the engine moseyed along. Fuel consumption was atrocious for me despite a couple highway stints, reading 18.2 L/100 km, but then again, I was treating almost every light like a drag strip… the neighbours were thrilled about that. Official NRCan estimates put it at 18.5 L/100 km city and 12.7 L/100 km highway.

The Harley-Davidson is only offered in crew cab and short box configuration, but this model was also equipped with a bed extender ($350) that, well, extends the bed for slightly longer items, and a tailgate step ($300) for easier access. This truck also had the power-extendable running boards that my five-foot wife considers essential for ease of entry, and the nifty capless fuel filler. The crew cab is spacious and roomy, as you’d expect from a full-size pickup truck, with wide, comfortable front seats and plenty of room for three passengers in the back seat, but it’s the Harley trimmings that make it special.

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