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Harley-Davidson Announces New V-Twin Sportbike:975cc streetfighter is part of The Motor Company’s forward-looking “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth strategy

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By Matthew Miles

Will your next sportbike wear a Harley-Davidson bar-and-shield logo on its gas tank? Maybe. Beginning next year, The Motor Company is expected to launch what it claims will be a wider-ranging model line to compete “in many of the largest- and fastest-growing segments with a full portfolio of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources, displacements, riding styles, and global markets.”

One of those motorcycles is this machine, a streetfighter suggestive of the Buell Lightning series and powered by what appears to be an all-new, liquid-cooled, overhead-cam, narrow-angle V-twin that Harley says displaces 975cc. For reference, the current Sportster has an air-cooled, OHV, 45-degree V-twin displacing either 883 or 1,202cc. The Street line, meanwhile, uses a liquid-cooled, SOHC, 60-degree engine in 494 and 749cc capacities.

 

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The single-shock frame and swingarm for this prototype look like a mix of aluminum castings. An inverted fork carries dual disc brakes with four-piston Brembo calipers. Michelin radials are mounted on 17-inch Y-spoke wheels front and rear. Overall, the photo bike looks nicely finished, production quality even, right down to the turn signals and handlebar-end mirrors. This example won’t be going anywhere soon, however, as the final drive pulley is missing a requisite toothed belt.

Harley-Davidson has been down the sportbike road before but more recently focused its attention on the core cruiser and touring business. Nearly a decade ago, H-D shuttered the Buell Motorcycle Company and sold its interest in MV Agusta. “Our strategy to focus on the Harley-Davidson brand reflects the fact that we believe our investments in that brand are a better utilization of overall company resources,” then-CEO Keith Wandell said at the time.

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Now, Harley-Davidson is expanding again—engines, platforms, market segments, including several proposed electric models with varying missions—and that includes launching what could be the sportiest and possibly best-handling streetbike it has ever produced and powered by a modern liter-class V-twin, the modularity of which, we’re told, will deliver no fewer than four displacement options for use in at least three categories.

Source Cycle World

 
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7 comments

  1. Life goes on and HD must protect its business interest and jobs at its factories. Cant keep clinging to the past.
    Just like the Italians and later the English have shown the Japs they can do better I could never understand why good quality American could not do the same.

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  2. I think it’s great to make a sports bike. I loved the V Rod but it’s no longer in production. The same might happen to this one too but at least Harley is giving people the option. I don’t want to see this company going extinct by not trying to appeal to the next generation. Doubt I’ll buy one. I love my 2018 fatboy!

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  3. I gave up on the motor company years ago. Everything they have produced in the past is ugly and under powered. This is the best looking bike I’ve seen from them since the Buell. If it’s got good handling, proper power out put (no less than 160hp), and proves reliable I might consider walking into a dealership again.

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  4. HD riders tend to be older and more into casual long rides than thrilling short rides. You pay a premium to ride a Harley, a premium on a motorcycle that doesn’t do anything better than it’s jap competition.

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