In addition to the Livewire, HD has claimed they’re going to be bringing in electric models in different size and power platforms.New HD ModelsWe’ve heard plenty about the Livewire for years but we’ve been now been promised that we’ll see them on dealer floors next year. Do you think they’ll be worth the wait?Not since Harley was involved with the Buell line have they had a machine to compete in the “sportbike” market. This could completely bring a new “younger” demographic HD loyalist and that’s what they’re banking on. The new HD Custom motorcycle looks big and intimidating. This model is coming to market to compete with the likes of the Ducati Diavel and other similar models. If you’re a fan of Harley Davidson motorcycles, your world was turned upside down in ways you never imagined! A motorcycle manufacturer that’s been known for big displacement V-Twin cruisers like the Road King and if you need more spice, speed and power in your life they’ve got the Sportster to tickle your fancy. They’ve never been one to follow trends, but have been the one to set them….. until now. In an attempt to expand their recently stagnant rider base, HD has announced 4 new motorcycle models expected to hit dealer showroom floors come 2019 through 2021.
What seems to be the biggest attention-getter today (at least to us) is the 1250cc Pan America™, Harley Davidson’s first venture into the Adventure Touring motorcycle market. BMW, KTM, Honda, Yamaha and more have all felt the success of their ADV line of motorcycles so HD wanted to get their piece of the pie and hopefully, this 1250cc beast will do just that. Aside from this photo of their prototype, we really don’t know much about this machine but from what we can tell it seems to have dual-disc brakes up front equipped with Brembo calipers, a wide touring seat, water-cooled engine and what looks to be an adjustable windshield. A nicely styled front fairing looks to be housing an LED headlight assembly and two other smaller lights under, Michelin Anakee Wild Dual Sport tires on spoked wheels, high-mount exhaust system, and stout looking belly pan lead us to believe this could be a formidable off-road ADV trail machine. Only time will tell and we can’t wait till the 2020 launch date to see.
Yeah, we know. That’s what everyone does to a Harley right? They customize it. Presently the HD Custom is the bike with no official name but it appears to take styling notes from the red European powerhouse Ducati’s Diavel. It’s low, looks mean and is stuffed with the same 1250cc water-cooled engine that will be powering the Pan America™ so there’s no reason to think it’d be a slouch. Some stylings of the bike seem to come from HD’s Fat Bob (headlight and brakes) but overall we think it just looks mean. It’s a bike that looks like it commands the entire lane when it’s being ridden. Not because it’s big, but because it looks intimidating and will scare away everything that comes near it. For now, you get to see the prototype, but come 2021 you can cruise to your local Harley Davidson Dealer for a closer inspection.
The last time HD dipped its toes into the performance street bike (sportbike) market, it was under the Buell name. Since 2009 they opted to focus on their core consumer base and drift away from a demographic that wasn’t working for their business model. Well, times have changed and there has been an increasing demand for high-performance naked bikes and the 975cc V-twin Streetfighter is going to be Harley Davidson’s answer to the call in 2020. With no specs readily available this is what we can see from the limited image made available to us. This new model features definitive naked sportbike styling with an uprightish rider position, liquid-cooled engine, rearset footpegs, dual-disk Brembo front brakes, single rear shock and one-piece handlebar controls.
Sure this isn’t the Harley that we’ve come to expect, but the company isn’t targeting their same demographic. This is aimed to get some of those younger riders that want something sportier than the traditional Sportster and from what we can tell it will deliver.
Reigniting The Spark
It came, it went away and now it’s back. They say that in 2019 Project Livewire will no longer be a project and will start appearing on dealership floors making it HD’s their first no-clutch “twist-and-go” electric motorcycle. The original model presented back in 2014, the Livewire showed great promise with an acceleration of 0-60 MPH in under 4-seconds, but the limited range of 55 miles made this an unrealistic purchase for electric motorcycle enthusiasts. With the advancement in battery design, we’re guessing that range has substantially increased as have the aesthetics of the new design. The new Livewire looks to have a much sportier look with reworked body pieces, dual-disc Brembo brake system up front and a mono-shock rear end that appears to be modified from the original design.
This will not be HD’s only entry into the electric motorcycle market as they have plans to release additional models through 2022 that will be lighter, smaller and more accessible to a broader audience.
Strengthening The International Market
While HD is hoping that the release of these new models will bring new life and interest into the company, they are also in the process of developing small displacement (200cc-500cc) motorcycles to increase their presence in the markets of Asia and India, both with increasing demand for these smaller bore motorcycles. While these markets are more interested in the affordability of commuter motorcycles, it will be interesting to see what they have in store to meet the demands.
There you have it. New models and a look to the future of HD. Do you think that the new options will bring in a new surge of HD loyalists or are they scrambling to keep the company from going down the drain? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.