I am not trying to be tooooo snarky, but, no one will buy a Harley without CHROME. LOL You gotta give props to TKC. Their meats make any bike look badazz.
On a more general note, is H-D simply too late to the party? The Pan-America looks like the H-D executives told their existing design staff, "make me a GS." That Carducci bike looks completely awesome, but in 2018, it's like the H-D execs said, "make me a Ducati Desert Sled." BMW, KTM, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki--basically everybody--has already been in this market for years, and it's well-covered with great bikes at every price point.
H-D has been trying to attract younger riders for years, with zero success. They also tried a separate marque (Buell) with little success. Riders under 50 just don't want H-D. To adapt the dying ads of Oldsmobile, "this isn't your father's Harley-Davidson. [Instead it's a lazy copy of what BMW did 20 years ago.]"
Am I being too hard on them? Is there anything H-D can do to appeal to younger generations?
Maybe if it comes witha GoPro facing backwards instantly streaming selfies to Instagram. hahahaha
LOL. I totally agree, the psychology of young people, and what can make them attracted to become riders is what they should be focusing on understanding. A while back I had a conversation with a young store clerk, where I often park my ride on the curb when shopping.
He has been showing interest in motorcycles, but I was shocked that all he was thinking about was a sport bike, the faster, the better, and that the sole apparent challenge for him was having enough $$ to buy it! I tried explaining that it's best to start learning on slow/smaller engine, and perhaps practice on a dirt bike as he'd mentioned having relatives living on a farm, riding dirt bikes. He kind of registered my words but I could tell it didn't sound glamorous at all to him.
I remember fondly being first introduced to riding, on my first bike, a 50 cc two stroke, with proper 4 speed and a whopping 4 hp on a good day. Loved every single moment of it, including falling and getting up, numerous times. Later I felt was truly upgrading when I was able to buy (with allot of hard earned money) a 1978 MZ 150 that was basically a parts bin which took a whole winter and making connections with various machinists to help make missing parts. It felt glorious when I was able to roll it out of my first floor studio onto the street and kick start it to fire it up under the intrigued eyes of neighbors watching from the balconies of the 10 story building I lived in. In few minutes, the electrics caught fire due to a wire which I'd routed near a sharp metal edge! I was able to save and fix it and was my pride and joy for quite a while until graduating to a monstrously powerful and modern Jawa 350.
So I guess, if any of this makes any sense in the context, my point is, how do you help build passion for something for a generation that has everything readily available?
IMHO, motorcycle manufacturing hit a plateau about 15+ years ago. Bombardia's Can-Am seems to be the most desperate attempt to capture the market that you described. Anyone that really wants to ride, can appreciate that running a 250cc in Vietnam is equally thrilling to running a Busa on the US interstate. As a marketing guy, the only way to do that with todays millen's is with hawt 20 year old instragram chicks that actually know how to ride. I occassionally might listen to rap music but when I see a classic redneck white boy driving this super-size 4x4 with lift kits and the windows are down and he is blasting Master P, I suspect all of his choices up to this point are in hopes that hawt chick will like him.
Here's a bigger image of the Pan America. Is it just me or is the front fairing and tank combo kindof clunky-looking and the rest of the bike pretty dull?
I wouldn't be too hard on non-riders considering their first bike, they're always going to "go to the specs" because they don't know any better. It's just like megapixels in cameras. Not knowing any better, a squid-to-be is going to use CC's or HP or whatever to judge a bike.
I'm lucky that I had a couple experienced rider friends to guide me, and wound up with a used F650GS as my first bike. It doesn't win any spec wars but damn it was a good bike. I wound up riding it for 8 years!
Wait, they also announced an electric, LiveWire? They say it's clutchless, just twist and go. What else do we know about it?
Incredibly dull indeed. Their design team is definitely in a rut, and like I said earlier, it just feels like a lazy copy of the BMW GS. There's other directions they could have gone--more Desert Sled style like that Carducci bike Dracula linked, or Rally style like nobody at all is making. (I mean seriously, why is nobody making a Rally bike?)
I heard about the electric, but again, the styling is all old-school H-D, and it looks heavy as a... well... hog. So much opportunity wasted. I want an electric that looks like I stole it from the set of a Tron movie.
I wonder what they have under the fake gas tank? It looks uncomfortable - like trying to reach the bars over a huge tank bag.
This looks as concepty as can be, slated for something like 2022:
Kinda looks like the powerhead of a vintage Mercury outboard to me..... Electric bikes will be very fast and exciting to ride.
I get that the absence of a rear fender is supposed to look cool; until you ride it in the rain the first time.
Why is it folks riding in movies never wear helmets either??
It would have looked much better with a classic single or even dual round headlight. I really don't know what they were thinking (or not, perhaps).
Front end looks like Bender.
I'll be honest, I like the styling way more than hd's normal styling. And it's nice to see them trying to adapt to a market that's not entirely enamored with the whole low riding hog image and full dress functionality. Remember when they were so freaked out about damaging image that they started an entirely new company to house their innovations... Buell . They actually came up with some really cool engineering under Buell I could nit picka few points. But all in all I like the mix of heritage and modern tweaks.
It looks nothing like a GS.
The orange concept drawing...looks like someone had shrunk the top proportions for a midget, and kept the bottom for regular human proportions. That one will stay in the realm of comic books.
"nothing like a GS"
lol, might be time for a new prescription glasses.
Seems HD is grasping at anything and everything, Kansas city plant reduced work force again in recent days with plans to close the whole place.
I like the scrambler look, but the with as much "culture" that comes with a HD I will pass.
Looks like they took some design notes from the Yamaha mt range as well.
A GS? No. That is not anything like Paris/Dakar tank. The heads aren't sticking out like two fire hydrants from the sides of the engine. And where's the "raised eyebrow"? Where's the beak? :D
I'll tell ya what it does remind me of though...
I gotta say, I'm actually pretty excited about HD's new line, and I think I'm their target audience.
I love the styling of their Streetfighter and Custom concepts, and I'm quite excited to see what happens with their electric bikes, because as far as I know, they're the only huge motorcycle manufacturer that actually has an EV bike scheduled to be released. I'd be reluctant to buy an electric bike from a company that wasn't well established, but I'm much more likely to buy it coming from a company as big as Harley, who I can be reasonably sure won't be going out of business in the next few years (as would be totally possible with a company like Zero).
What I'm not sure about, though, is if they're going to release these new bikes at a competitive price point...from what I've seen, Harleys are far more expensive then comparable bikes from other brands, and I think young people are unlikely to want to/be able to spend $20k on a bike when they can spend $5k.
I have ridden that one. Harley had an 18-wheeler touring the country (and world?) a few years ago, giving demo rides as part of a lottery. I got chosen, and made my way to Petaluma HD for a ride.
It was reasonably fast, and nimble. I really liked it, except for the 50 mile range of the lightweight battery they had installed for these rides. The touch screen even worked with my gloves on. I wasn't fond of the mirrors they had below the grip (it appears they've fixed them), and the seat pocket seemed a little small for my American sized butt (I'm 215 lbs). I think it would be perfect for my daily commute. I could make it to and from work on a single charge, or plug in at work for a longer ride home.
I thought it was production ready 3-4 years ago, so I'm surprised it took this long to get it into the showrooms.
I like the Pan American. I would like to see the headlight replaced by a dual light unit like they have on the Road Glide, then it would be reasonably good looking.
I could self buying one of those to make into a side car rig. I've seen side cars with similar grilles I think would match it well.
as a former motorcycle builder/ motorcycle shop ower, for around two decades, and having worked for Harley as well, I have yet to meet a person that was ever asked a question by their market reseach dept.
They never seem to hit the nail squarely on the head and the potential buyers would help them with that...case in point their new 'adventure bike'.
I would build around 100 one off bikes a year simply because of the above so people could have a bike that they felt Harley should have built.
Jim Carducci's build from a fifteen year old sportser is very basic and simple with a bunch of catalog parts, and a wet weight of around 500lbs is something most riders could do in a weekend in their garage...but who wants an aircooled top heavy bike