Bike News

30 July 2018

Harley-Davidson has big plans for the future

To foray into all new segments and cover new ground all over the world

Ashok George
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Rarely has there been a manufacturer who has been more stereotyped in the kind of motorcycles they produce than Harley-Davidson. For most, Harleys have always been that quintessential piece of Americana – big capacity V-twins that stay true to their traditional styles. But that was the past. Of late, Harley’s motorcycles have made a mad rush towards the future and the Milwaukee-8 series is a testament to that.

All new chassis' and engines with some of the most edgy styling that has ever come out of that neck of the woods. But what’s impressive is that they managed to do this while keeping their purists happy. So while there have been radical new models like the 2018 Fat-Bob and the Street-Bob, there has also been motorcycles like the Deluxe and the Low Rider that stayed true to the heritage of the brand.

But when compared to what the brand has planned for the future, their new motorcycles will seem normal. Harley-Davidson has just announced their plans for the future and they are nothing short of stunning. Along with a more focused drive to deliver a better customer experience and penetrate markets further, they have also announced their entry to some new segments that, so far, nobody ever expected the American brand to make.

Four new motorcycles drive this change.
First up is the Livewire. The electric Harley has been seen doing rounds all over the world to gauge customer reactions for a few years now. When we last spoke to Harley, the indication was that a production model is still a fair way to go. But today they announced that the first of the electric Harleys will arrive in 2019.

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But what has got us sitting up and paying attention are the three other motorcycles that have been unveiled - the Pan America, the Streetfighter and the Custom. All of which will start arriving starting 2020 and will be sort of Harley’s middleweight portfolio.

The Pan America will be Harley’s first adventure tourer. The bike will be powered by a 1250cc v-twin and will be tuned for both on and off-road use. The pictures show spoke wheels and long travel suspension with a front end that reminds one vaguely of the Road Glide.

The second surprise is the Streetfighter which hints at the old XR1200. Only this time, Harley has gone the whole hog and strapped on all kinds of trick bits on it. Sporty chassis work aside, the styling looks straight out of the Japanese stylebooks. And at first look, it looks all set for performance. This will be powered by a new 975cc motor.

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The final surprise is the new Custom. Of the three, this is the only motorcycle that looks related to the Bobs. Only, it adds on even more muscle and performance. It will use a new 1250cc motor. The Custom looks like a cross between and Scrambler, Cafe Racer and a Bobber. All we know is, it looks mean as hell!

You’d think that this was all. But Harley has also announced that it will slowly expand on its electric portfolio and also create a new line of small capacity motorcycles aimed at the Asian markets especially India. This will happen through a strategic partnership with another manufacturer. And all through this, they will be continuously updating and adding to their existing heavyweight motorcycles.

The move is a step to have something to offer to every kind of motorcyclists. Even the ones who haven’t even considered a motorcycle so far.

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Tags: harley davidson, street bob, fat bob, custom, deluxe, livewire

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