The 5 speed Torqshift automatic transmission was smooth and stout, and the tree shifter had clear, precise shifts which locked into each gear with authority, and offers a tow/haul mode that compensates for altitude, grade and load. Although the truck was equipped with 4×4, we didn’t venture to test its offroad prowess. A truck this big with this much power never comes home from an off-road adventure without suffering some kind of body or drivetrain damage (at least in the hands of this author), so we refrained. It’s too easy to get in over your head with so much brawn at your disposal.
However, we did take the F-250 on some washboarded dirt roads, and the ride was horrendous. Studder bumps put the suspension into fits of rage, kicking, bucking and fighting back like a branded bull. Of course, solid front and rear axles with rear leaf springs designed for towing probably didn’t help the situation either. Regardless, this is not a truck you want to hit Baja with before doing some serious suspension work.
On the freeways, the F-250 was surprisingly quiet. The fuel injectors and pump, usually the noisiest culprits in on a diesel, are hidden under aluminum covers to silence the racket. Add in the Ford’s cavernous interior, and it makes for a comfortable, serene highway vehicle which can take you cross-country without an ounce of discomfort – except when you have to stop to fill up the 30 gallon fuel tank.
The Harley Davidson edition of the F-250 Super Duty is totally pimped. Lots of chrome accents everywhere, just like a Harley bike, and on the front of the center console, a massive chrome badge celebrating the company’s 105th anniversary. Other accouterments unique to the Harley edition include quad captain’s chairs complete with Harley badge in the backrest, heated, power front seats, power sliding rear window, telescoping, heated towing mirrors and rubber bed mat and floor mats with the Harley insignia. The F-250 is also equipped with a built in trailer brake output adjustment dial and four auxilary switches, which give the dash an extra touch of big rig, utilitarian style.
As you can imagine, this truck is a bear to maneuver in tight spaces, but with the telescoping side mirrors, sonar warning system on the rear bumper and a backup camera that pops up in the left hand side of the rearview mirror when in reverse, at least there are a few tech features to keep you from running over, oh, I don’t know, a low flying airplane, perhaps?
The center consoles are gargantuan, enough to swallow an infant. For back seat passengers, getting in the truck can prove to be a little tricky, as the B-pillar juts into legroom space, but once inside the truck, legroom opens up, and passengers are treated with a DVD-player system which folds down from the ceiling.
Although Ford’s navigation system isn’t the latest in graphic showiness, it’s functional, easy to use and intuitive. We’re big fans of this navigation system for those three basic reasons. Dual zone climate control and attractive piano black finish dash trim complete the rugged, yet luxurious appointments of the Super Duty interior.
Equally pimped. From the 20-inch Harley insignia rims to the special Harley F-250 badges and orange pinstriping, this Super Duty won’t be confused with your run-of-the-mill F-250. All black bumpers and body trim give it that extra stealthy look and make the chrome badges stand out. Lighted running boards help vertically challenged people get in at night without a stepladder and flashlight.
And nice little touches like the stowable bed extender and tailgate step help make carrying large, heavy loads a little bit less backbreaking. But on a truck this big and well-equipped, there’s one thing missing – those little orange lights above the cab. I guess those only come on the even more manly F-350.
Of course, no evaluation of a diesel Ford pickup can be complete without comparing it to its two biggest rivals, Chevy and Dodge. Regardless of what quality, features and track record each brand delivers, there are always going to be die hard fans of each brand – no matter how many nightmares they’ve had to endure with their trucks. But when you consider this F-250 Super Duty has every option you could ever wish for in a 4×4 truck, plus the fact that it’s a limited edition model, the sticker price of $58,700 is almost justifiable. But I would recommend to prospective buyers to practice due diligence. The Chevy hasn’t won a bunch of awards for nothing.
Regardless, whatever the price, we find that most times buyers of these trucks are highly opinionated based on many factors not limited to a) what every member in the family has been driving since 1936, b) what make their favorite NASCAR driver reps and c) their favorite make of diesel engine.
Who should buy it?
A man much more manly than me who has to tow manly loads and haul manly stuff. It would also help to own at least one Harley. A woman could buy it too -I don’t want to discriminate – but honestly, if she doesn’t drive big rigs for a living, and have forearms like Popeye, she’s gonna struggle with this machine.
At first I scoffed at the ridiculousness of this machine, but unlike the Hummer H2 – which serves absolutely no purpose beyond satisfying the emotional and physical shortcomings of its owner – at least the F-250 has real utilitarian value and serves a purpose. At the end of our week with the F-250, I was actually sad to see it go. So was my wife. It was big, bold, luxurious, powerful, spacious and black – her favorite color. For years I’ve been trying to convince my wife to let me get a tow rig for my rock crawling 4Runner, but she’s always squelched my efforts. But after riding in the ol’ montrous twin turbo diesel Super Duty for a few days, she’s suddenly more agreeable to the prospect. I love America!!!!!!
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