I’m just splitting hair here but I believe the Harley-Davidson Rushmore project was announced at the end of 2013 and came out in 2014. I think the Rushmore project was in response to Indian brand resurrection. In the last decade or so, Victory really didn’t threaten Harley bike sales... not like the Indians anyway.
...the challenge posed by Victory was taken seriously by HD. They had to lift their game with the Rushmore models etc..
I think the competition between Indian and Harley is great for all American motorcycle lovers. Harley was running 103ci engines when Indian was resurrected. Their CVO was running 110ci. So what did Indian do, launch the Thunder Stroke 111ci. 😆 MoCo took notice of the 2014 Indian Chieftain with features like the superior mono-shock frame and the adjustable windshield. Chieftain offered remote lockable handbags and tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) - these features are only available on HD’s $50K CVO models. This is why I believe Harley launched the Rushmore bikes, which was a whole lot of small refinements but collectively was a big leap - one touch unlocking saddlebags so the rider can pop stuff in while stopped at the lights... now who else offers that sort of handbags??? (You can tell Harley didn’t have a real competition for several decades). Harley wasn’t going to cop it sweet. They worked hard and launched the 107 Milwaukee Eight engines in the model year (MY) 2017 (Milwaukee Eight 114ci was for the CVO range only). By design, it is a superior engine to our Thunder Stroke 111. The funny part about this is that, Polaris had the know-how to build a more sophisticated engines like the quad valve engines (ie. Victory Freedom engines) but the Indians were ‘dumb down’ to gain acceptance amongst the Harley crowd who were use to Twin Cam engines (remember how Hoggies thought the water cooled engines were ‘not a real Harley’?). 😆 For the MY 2018, Harley launched a brand new mono-shock frames on their Softail range. 👍😀 At the same time, they overhauled the bike's styling. LED lights were added, all around from the factory. Harley started fitting the 114ci engines to their regular models and introduced the 117ci for the CVO. Harley dealers were ordering 90% 114ci engines and 10% 107ci engines in their Softail orders (so the 107ci engines were more-or-less superseded in 1 year). Why did CVO increased the capacity only a year after the launch? Indian announced the 116ci big bore kit in late 2017. Harley is famous for launching big bore kits and a few years later, turn them into the factory engine. So it was a clear message for Harley that Indian will one day ride the 116ci across the board. 👍😎 For the MY 2019, Harley upgraded the GPS and offered 114ci in their touring bikes. In response, Indian launched the redesigned, mid-model face lifted, Street Glide-like Chieftain. The ‘fight’ is on! Many are speculating that Harley will update their touring line of motorcycles (Street Glide, Road Glide and the Road King) with a new mono-shock frame like their Softail range. No point fitting the existing (old) fairings on a new frame. So, that would be a perfect time to update the design of the aging fairings. So, Harley is expected to release brand new touring bikes. Only the engines and gearboxes will be carried over. IF Harley is listening to their customers, they will fit the adjustment windshield on their new touring bikes (like most of the touring bikes on the market). If they persist with fixed windshield, they are not listening and continue to lose sales to Indian, Honda and BMW. We should know by August 2019. If the new Harley Glides are announced, I think Indian will respond with the factory 116ci engines, possibly the following year. I am loving the competition!! 😎
Let's be kind to one another. Melbourne, Victoria