The new Ford handled everything, including the washboard gravel roads that took us along the Northern rim of the Badlands about an hour east of Sturgis. Of special note, the truck's quick rack-and-pinion steering was appreciated on several occasions, helping to avoid a biker hood ornament. During the rally, weekend warrior-type bikers ride too long after partying too hard the night before, which translates into sloppy riding. Aside from the rack-and-pinion steering, the sharp handling of the huge Pirelli Scorpion tires alsohelped keep the Ford's hood biker-free.The stock tires measure out like a steamroller: P275/45R22.

Out on the open road, the truck's new suspension was smooth and never jarring. The added stiffness, however, did send some shakes and quivers through the body structure when the right kind of bump was hit. While the F-150 was all-new in 2004, its structure feels like it could be a bit stiffer to keep pace with the new models from General Motors and the imports. This said, the truck never squeaked or rattled, and our ride already had several thousand miles on the odometer.

Also different on this model, Ford modified the exhaust. While it doesn't offer any more power, the baritone rumble sounds much tougher than stock. We had hoped Ford would have made its V-8 exhaust go potato-potato-potato, but Harley-Davidson probably has a copyright on that sound.

Regardless of where we drove, the 5.4L Triton gave us the kick we needed. With 300 horses, this is biggest and most powerful gasoline V-8 that Ford offers. But, after our experiences in the Roush Stage 3 F-150 and drives in the no-longer-produced Lightning, we couldn't help wish for a supercharger and the extra 145 hp that comes with it. Come to think of it, the lowered suspension from Roush wouldn't hurt this truck, either. To finish off the custom look, getting rid of the excessive stock wheelwell clearances is just what this truck needs.

Ford realizes that to sell three quarters of a million trucks, it needs to add some sizzle to help sell the steak. Ford also knows that bikers often own trucks, so this targeted effort makes sense. The company expects to sell approximately 7,000 copies of this model, which is also available in black.

Both Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson began building vehicles in 1903. It was not until 1999 that marketing types thought it was a good idea to team together on limitededition trucks. This cooperative effort has borne six F-150s, plus Super Duty F-250 and F-350 models. Sales of all models since 1999 total nearly 50,000.

If you're looking for a truck to match your Harley-Davidson lifestyle, this is it. If you don't own a hog, the truck is stylish enough to drive based on its own merits. If you don't have plans for this August, head to Sturgis. We guarantee you a good time in the Badlands.

The 411

YEAR/MAKE/MODEL:
'07 Ford Harley-Davidson Edition F-150

BASE PRICE:
$55,000
Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x2: $33,000
Harley-Davidson Option Package: $21,000

EPA FUEL EPA CITY/HIGH WAY):
14 / 19

ENGINE:
5.4L V-8, 300 hp, 365 lb-ft of torque

DRIVE TRAIN:
Four-speed automatic, two-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS (L XWX H):
224x78.9x71.5 in

WHEEL BASE:
138.5 in

CURB WEIGHT:
Approximately 5,300 lb

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:
Front airbags, anti-lock brakes, available traction control

MAJOR STANDARD EQUIPMENT:
Air conditioning with electronic temperature control, rear-window defroster, message center with trip computer, leather-wrapped steering wheel with duplicate controls, power driver seat, AM/FM/CD audio system

WARRANTY:
Three years, 36,000 miles bumper to bumper; five years, 60,000 miles on powertrain components; five years, 60,000 miles roadside assistance