|Image courtesy Harley-Davidson|
Most of the comments I've read elsewhere indicate lots of people believe that Harley is on the right path with these two new machines.
The problem I see is not the bikes at all but that I can't imagine these bikes finding a warm fuzzy spot in a Harley shop. Harley dealership culture is only slightly less rigid than an old hard tail chopper.
The Harley faithful take their brand seriously to the extent that the German engineered motor of the V-Rod has never gotten much love from the True Believers and some Harley people still consider the 883 Sportster to be a chick bike. Mind you, I love the look of the Sportster "48" so I'm not just picking on Sportsters.
|the 30 year old Honda VT500 Ascot|
...and the new Harley copy of the copy of a Honda / Yamaha copy of a Harley.
Image courtesy Harley-Davidson
I'm sure these new bikes will be a hit overseas where big prices and often big import tariffs put big Harleys out of reach, but I predict in the US the bikes will be relegated to dust collectors in the darkest corner of the Harley showroom just like Buell was. They may be rescued by those interested in buying a low buck bit of the authentic Harley "lifestyle" rather than the Yamaha Bolt copy of it.
Again, let me say that I think H-D are on the right track with these bikes, they've milked the past for 30 years now and the future has to come sometime. These new bikes do look nice even if the marketing is in the style of cheesy faux street hipster bad boy. I'll cruise on down to the H-D shop when the opportunity comes to take the 750 for a ride. Maybe I'll even dig out my one Harley t-shirt just for the occasion.