Harley Davidson has announced a new range of bikes, aimed squarely at attracting more, and younger, riders to the iconic brand. After churning out chrome-clad cruisers for 115 years, the new range will see Milwaukee introduce water-cooling to its mainstream v-twins, and even electric propulsion.
After announcing plans last year for 100 new models and 2million new riders to motorcycling, the “More Roads to Harley Davidson” plan will see them offer its most comprehensive lineup of motorcycles ever. Let’s have a look at what’s on the cards…
More weight in the middle
Harley have realised that there’s more room for them to play in the middle of the sector, with 16 new bikes planned around a modular, water cooled, twin-cam 60 degree v-twin, ranging from 500-1250cc.
Taking a leaf out of their Softail range, Harley’s new middleweights will also use flexible running gear, mixing different frames, wheels and suspension to create the different models.
1250 Pan America
Harley’s new middle-range will be commanded by an adventure bike. Yup, you read that right – Harley is going to build an ADV bike.
The 1250 Pan America will use the new 1250cc v-twin, a raft of electronics and high-end running gear expected on high-end ADV bikes. Just by looking at the Pan Am’, we can see Brembo brakes, tubeless spoked wheels, an adjustable screen and LED lighting. Suspension is from Showa and Milwaukee has sprinkled all the important ADV fare like crash bars, big foot pegs and removable luggage to add credibility.
With over 100 horsepower on the cards, the bike will go head-to-head with other big twin ADV bikes from the likes of Ducati and KTM.
More in-line with Harleys of old, the 1250 Custom is a cruiser but not like you’re used to seeing.
The 1250cc v-twin is securely bolted to an all-new tubular steel frame, which attaches to the engine both in front and behind the twin cam cylinder heads. Also tubular is the new swing arm, which is suspended by a hidden single shock, a la new Softail.
The Custom looks more performance orientated than bikes like Harley’s current Sportster, with big front brakes, low bars and high hung dual exhausts.
The Custom features LED lighting, similar to the firms recently released Fat Bob, and will see ride-by-wire throttle and ABS to bring the brand’s recipe up-to-date.
If you can remember a time when Buell was still around, and using Harley engines, then the 975 Streetfighter will look familiar.
Looking a bit like a Yamaha MT07’s body-building brother, the Streetfighter is the most performance orientated bike to come out of Milwakee since the righteous xr1200 Sportster of the early 2000s.
Packing sticky 17inch rubber, monobloc Brembo brakes with ABS and chunky suspension, the Streetfighter looks set to let Harley riders scrape knee-sliders, not foot boards for the first time.
Harley has been teasing us with its Livewire for a few years, but it’s now planned for production and it’s bringing friends.
The Livewire is expected as soon as next year, with Harley saying it will be the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers. If you listen to their press statement, the Livewire is ‘set to establish the company as the leader in the electrification of motorcycles’.
When will we see them on the roads?
Harley is planning to unleash the Livewire as soon as next year, with the Pan America, Custom and Streetfighter expected in the US from 2020. Don’t expect them the soon in Australia, but we’re excited here at the Kommune to know that Harley is updating, stay relevant and giving us cool bikes in the process.
Read Harley’s full statement on their plans, and new bikes, from their website.