V-Twin
I still can’t believe what I am seeing.

Harley-Davidson to build v-twin powered, lattice framed (like the FTR) adventure bikes (named Pan America 1,250cc) in 2020.  Please note that all the photos are ‘prototypes’.  The final design could look very different.

MoCo is calling the frame, ‘Modular Platform’, and many of the non-traditional Harleys will share the core of the frame.

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MoCo will also build naked, Streetfighter style, 975cc motorcycles built on the same modular platform as the Pan America above.

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And the long-awaited electric bike, Livewire, will be launched in August 2019.

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Full video promo below.  The title is misleading.  There is no sports bike being announced on this video.  Maybe there will be, down the track?




After decades of making motorcycles that are similar in appearance and performance, Harley-Davidson has announced that they will change!  Radically change. 😳  I suspect the resurrection of Indian brand played a part.  Together with declining customer base of baby boomers.  I would be naive to think that both HD and Polaris doesn’t have spies.  I am sure, both sides knew what’s on the competitor’s drawing boards years ahead.

I think the 2019 models from both camps will be very interesting, if not exciting.  Harley will announce their new bikes at the end of this month (August).  Polaris will follow a couple of months later.  Let the game begin!

We have already heard the rumour that Polaris will launch a brand new Chieftain.  Perhaps that is in response to Harley launching a brand new touring line of motorcycles with new, mono-shock frames (as HD has done with their new Softail range for 2018)?  Indian also has 116 big bore kit that could be made the next factory engine across the board (once they are revised).  Would Harley just sit back and watch it happen?  I don’t think so.

I can’t wait to see what they bring out for 2019.  What a great time to be riding American motorcycles.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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crash
Hmmm, maybe they should have not canned BUELL.
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
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V-Twin

crash wrote:
Hmmm, maybe they should have not canned BUELL.
That seems to be the case, looking back now with the wisdom of the time.  I know V-Rod was not very popular in the States, but after they were discontinued, many have called it the ‘best Harley’ (always the way.) 😆

I feel like we are about to enter the ‘next phase’ of Indian motorcycles.  Polaris spent a pile of money, researching and developing Indians we have today. Back in 2014, Harley-Davidson probably dismissed Indian as an ‘annoying bug’ flying around their BBQ table.  With Harley sales plummeting and Indian sales slowly increasing, MoCo has to take Indian seriously now - as a genuine competition.

Indian never had the hardcore customer base who demanded the next Indian be an Indian.  Anything water cooled or design that didn’t tie back to Davidson Brothers original creations were labelled, ‘not a real Harley’.  Polaris can make any style of motorcycles, like the FTR1200, and no one will say, ‘that’s not an Indian’.  We are just happy to see the Indian model range expand.  I think this forced Harley to go against their long time, hardcore followers and expand their range as well.  Gutsy move in my opinion.  When you are bleeding cash, spending more on R&D is a brave move.

If there is one feedback I can offer to both American legends is this.  Build quality motorcycles.  Harley’s Milwaukee Eight engines still suffer from fluid migration and slumping issues (although affecting a small number of owners).  Indian’s clacking issues affected greater percentage of Thunder Stroke owners.  Recently released 116 Big Bore kit was taken off the market with catastrophic failures in a handful of bikes.  

How a brand deals with failures and substandard quality will make or break the relationship with their customers.  If brands hope to build loyal, long-term customers, both companies have to build better quality motorcycles.  If not, they will push customers to Japanese, German and even British brands.  Rethink the practice of excessive cost cutting to appease your shareholders.  What looks like a short term gain will come back and bite you in the long term.

Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Robbo
I think Harley have always dabbled in other bike styles. Crash mentioned Buell and they have had various minibikes, offroad bikes and Road trails over the years. Harley bought Aermacchi in the 60's and built a scrambler range for years.
These models will pick up peripheral sales from the non cruiser fraternity but I think it is a reasonable bet that the cruiser will remain as the centre piece of the Harley range for a long time to come. 
2017 Dark Horse  - Stage 2, Rush Pipes

Location - Perth, Western Australia
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V-Twin
Robbo wrote:
I think Harley have always dabbled in other bike styles. Crash mentioned Buell and they have had various minibikes, offroad bikes and Road trails over the years. Harley bought Aermacchi in the 60's and built a scrambler range for years.
I didn’t know HD made anything other than Buell.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
CHF10 wrote:
Now, there is a colossal market shift in motorbikes, like the rise of the SUV and death of the station wagon in cars, and it's been building for a while. Harley Davidson are just going where the market is going in order to try to stay relevant.
That’s a good analogy CHF. I agree with you entirely.

CHF10 wrote:
Just look at the reaction to the 2018 Fat Bob. It was an instant hit with a LOT of people...
I agree with you here also (😧🙈 What’s happening to me??? 😆🤣).  I think the Fat Bob was a test bed to see if Harley riders were interested in performance.  I thought it was odd that Fat Bob was the only Softail to come out of the factory with twin disc brakes.  Maybe, HD was sussing out the market?

Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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rusty
If Buell was still around I certainly would of had a look at them .  I like most bikes , nothing against Harleys , guess  just wasn,t inspired by them .
   Indian was the one for me .

Russell
No one makes it out alive .
Brisbane Qld
Red Bobber only two in Brisbane hope it stays that way .ha

 

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V-Twin
UPDATE: 1 AUGUST 2018

The modular platform used in the new Pan America and the naked Harleys are likely to be shared with the brand new Sportsters, likely to be announced at the end of the year in San Diego (Harley Dealer Announcement).

Both the 975cc and 1,250cc engines are liquid cooled, 60 degree v-twin with DOHC.  Meaning similar to V-Rod engine.

Nine models of the Streetfighter style bikes will be available in 2020... starting from 500cc for countries like India.

Another model utilising the modular platform and the above engine is, Harley-Davidson Custom (cruiser style) and they may be the replacement for the Sportster range in 2021. There will be 5 model variations.  Is it just me, or does it share some similarities with Scout Bobber?

In all, Harley is quoting 16 new motorcycles based on the modular platform and DOHC v-twin engines with capacities between 500cc to 1,250cc.  There bikes are referred to as ‘middleweight’ models by MoCo.  It is speculated that these models will be released over several years, starting from 2020.

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The surprise does not end there.  Harley-Davidson has announced that they will build electric-assist bicycles and possibly scooters as well.  Essentially, Harley seem to be expanding into every form of two-wheel vehicles.

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In a nutshell, Harley is taking a huge step forward.  I suspect, they will get into broad range of vehicles and re-examine in 5 years or so and decide what to keep and what to scrap.





Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
Another video.



It just goes to show, this news of Harley-Davidson’s portfolio re-balancing is a HUGE news.  No doubt, there are some late night meetings held in Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Probably too late for 2019 model announcement, but maybe by 2020, Polaris should be able to show us what they are planning for the Indian brand?

It is also interesting to note that, Indian is rumoured NOT to be holding a dealer show in Las Vegas this year.  Instead, they are announcing new models at the Sturgis!  If this is true, Sturgis 2018 starts on 4 August (it will be 5th August our time).  Have to wait and see.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
And one more.

Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Jollster
That HD adventure bike is THE Ugliest bike ive ever seen. Performance and ride might be fine, but it doesn’t matter, that bike is hideous. The light and windshield, the tank, all garbage.

The streetfighter, now...... that’s a different story. Good lookin bike.
2017 Thunder Black Scout.
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V-Twin
Jollster wrote:
That HD adventure bike is THE Ugliest bike ive ever seen.
I think what Harley is doing is gauging public interest.  In every photo, they say “prototype”... meaning, the final product could be very different but I agree 100%, it is the bike only its mother could love. 🤣

I actually like the look of their custom.  It looks a lot like our Bobber.  I wonder how big (overall length) it is?  Bobber is too small for me.  I think I’m passed buying a bike without bags.  I cannot see myself running around with a backpack so...
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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stevenlb21
Have to agree the Adventure Bike (Pan America) is down right butt ugly and the name is not much better for that matter.

But hats of to Harley Davidson for looking at the bigger picture and trying to expand into other riding markets.

I believe they are looking at a new range of 250-500çc bikes for the huge Indian market (country) and the huge european market as well, being that is the main reason for building facilities overseas.

Just maybe Polaris should take a good hard look at itself and stop read the Henry Ford book on expansion of models (wasn't any till Eddy finally stood up to daddy).
Cheers......Steve
Penrith, NSW

2015 Indian Chieftain (Indian Motorcycle Red)
"TECUMSEH"
IMRG Membership No.  AU101486

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Tonto disguised as a door gets his knob shot off !!!.

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V-Twin
stevenlb21 wrote:
Just maybe Polaris should take a good hard look at itself and stop read the Henry Ford book on expansion of models
From the snippets I’ve heard, we are going to see much more than ‘new paint colours’ from Indian this year.  New design Chieftain being one of them.  Stay tuned for the official announcement.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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1854cc
Now I couldn't give a rats as.s what Harley is doing, never had one and probably never will.  BUT they are actually going to build an adventure bike.  I still can't believe it BUT the more interesting question to us is:

What is PI going to do !!   Will they do one as well and should they ?
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V-Twin
1854cc wrote:
What is PI going to do !!   Will they do one as well and should they ?
I guess Indian saying they are going to build FTR1200 is an indication to me that they are planning to build more than just the cruiser/touring bikes.  I understand adventure bikes in Europe has been huge for many years so it is aiming at that market, I speculate.

I hope I am not disappointed, but there is a real buzz about what is going to be released from Indian later this year for MY2019.

And even if you don't plan to ever buy a Harley, the competition is driving innovation so we, the riders, benefit from choices.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
CHF10 wrote:
Where is the buzz? I have been searching since you mentioned the new Chieftain and can't find anything in the mainstream.
All the chatters are rumours until the official announcement.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
CHF10 wrote:
I get that, but where are all the chatters? The buzz? The discussion?
Not a public chatter.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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stevenlb21
V-Twin appears to have secret sources in which he is not prepared to tell.
But in doing that he has wet peoples appetites, boo V boo
Cheers......Steve
Penrith, NSW

2015 Indian Chieftain (Indian Motorcycle Red)
"TECUMSEH"
IMRG Membership No.  AU101486

Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Tonto disguised as a door gets his knob shot off !!!.

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