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Yamaha MT-25 launched, MT-15 previewed

By | General Posts

from https://www.thesundaily.my

YAMAHA’s first “hyper naked” (Ed: That sounds a bit naughty!) motorcycle, the MT-09 took the Asian market by a storm when it was launched, just as the naked bike category popularity grew.

Here in Malaysia, there has been a significant increase of interest in the street naked category and on Saturday, Hong Leong Yamaha Motor announces its fulfillment of this void with the launching of the Yamaha MT-25.

Introduced with the usual Yamaha fanfare at the Sofitel Hotel and Resort in Kuala Lumpur, the new model promises to be another hot item in the Yamaha model range.

“The Yamaha MT-25 packs aggressive styling and notable performance and is indeed a cutting-edge new addition to Yamaha’s class-defining naked bike segment,” said the company.

“With high torque performance, high handle bar and upright riding position, the MT-25 will be a comfortable ride in the city. It has all the original Yamaha MT-Series DNA built in with a multitude of innovative features.”

Powered by the tested and proven performance-driven with features ranging from liquid-cooled 249cc,four4-stroke, in-line two-cylinder, DOHC, eight-valve, fuel-injected power plant capable of producing 35.5hp at 12,000rpm of power and a torque of 23.6Nm at 10,000rpm, the MT-25 is “a force to be reckoned with in its class”.

The new “Master of Torque” uses inverted front forks that not only provides sure cornering performance but also supports an agile and comfortable riding style while it’s predator-type dual slant LED position lights plus a central mounted LED headlight, full digital LCD meter panel with shift timing light, sleek LED signal indicators with hazard light functionality makes it an impressive looking bike.

In addition to this, the MT-25 is equipped with the dual channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) for both front and rear wheels, a sought-after feature most Malaysian riders have been waiting for.

Priced at an affordable RM21,500 excluding insurance & registration fees, the Yamaha MT-25 comes in two distinctive MT Series colours – Ice Fluo and Yamaha Blue and will be available at all Yamaha Big Bike dealers from Sept 18 onwards.

Hong Leong Yamaha Motor will so be giving away an exclusive First Edition MT Series pewter key chain for every purchase of the new MT-25.

Crafted by Royal Selangor, the world-renowned pewter craft smiths, the sleek arrow-shaped keychain design symbolises speed, dynamism and movement. In addition to this, every new owner of the MT-25 will receive a safety disc lock with their purchase.

With the constant evolving of the Yamaha Hyper Naked segment, specifically in terms of styling, high tech engine, and electronics, guests at the launch event were also given a sneak preview of another Master of Torque masterpiece, the MT-15.

The single-cylinder, 150cc MT-15 will only be made available in the market in November 2020, when the price will also be announced.

BMW Reveals New F Series Models, Changes Limited to Visual and Equipment Upgrade

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Since a little over a decade now, the motorcycle family over at BMW Motorrad included the so-called F Series. The models in this family are some of the most preferred choices of riders looking for bikes equally good for everyday use, but also packing touring capabilities.

This week, the German bike maker announced a series of upgrades for three of the F Series bikes. As such, the F 750 GS, F 850 GS and F 850 GS Adventure get updated with new color schemes, new standard equipment, and more choices when it comes to optional equipment.

From this point onward, all three models come equipped as standard with visual upgrades like LED flashing turn indicators, a USB charging device at the front right of the cockpit, but also mechanical ones, including ABS Pro and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).

The engine remains unchanged. The same powerplant breathes life in all three models, namely a 853cc liquid-cooled 4-valve, 2-cylinder, tied to a six-speed gearbox. Despite being the same on all bikes, the engine has different outputs depending on the model it is used for: 77 hp on the F 750 GS, and 95 on the two variants of the F 850 GS.

Visually, there are new colors on the table as well. The 750 can now be wrapped in Light White with tank center cover painted in vehicle color, and black matt painted rims, black handlebars and seat bench in red/black.

The 850 gets Racing Red with the tank centre cover painted in the vehicle color, and black-coated fixed fork tubes, black rims and seat bench in black/grey. For the Adventure, BMW introduces Ice Grey.

You can have a detailed look at all the changes BMW has in mind for the F Series in the press release section below. At the time of this writing, pricing and availability for the models are not known.

Harley-Davidson’s New “Exclusivity” Angle Misses the Point

By | General Posts

by James Brumley from https://www.fool.com

The iconic motorcycle maker is paring back production, rather than pricing, in an effort to foster an image of exclusivity.

If you’re one of the shrinking number of consumers planning to shop for a Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) at some point this year, don’t be surprised to see limited inventory once you can finally step foot in a dealership again. The company says restarted production facilities aren’t racing back to their full capacity. Around 70% of Harley dealers aren’t expected to receive any more new motorcycles this year. That’s alright by Harley, however, as the scarcity should ultimately improve the brand’s image of exclusivity.

That’s the theory anyway. The reality is the plan may ultimately backfire. Harley-Davidson doesn’t need more admiration from consumers. It needs to sell more motorcycles. The typical high price for your average “hog” makes the company’s bikes too exclusive as it is.

What they said

Harley-Davidson’s relatively new CEO Jochen Zeitz has been alluding to the idea since he took over as the interim chief in March. Most notably, during the company’s April earnings call, Zeitz explained the company will “prioritize the markets that matter.” He added, “We’ll narrow our focus, time, and energy in the most critical countries and market segments that can move the needle for us today.”

It was difficult to ferret out at the time, but in just the past several weeks, investors have watched Harley-Davidson scale back a bit on previous CEO Matt Levatich’s plan to launch smaller and lower-cost bikes, particularly overseas. His long-term goal was to drive international sales to half of the company’s revenue by 2027, but Zeitz may or may not be on board with his predecessor’s global ambition.

It was a memo from Harley’s director of product sales Beth Truett that cemented the paradigm shift in place. In her message to dealers intended to keep them informed of what lies ahead, she flatly explained: “Our strategy to limit motorcycle product in the showroom is purposefully designed to drive exclusivity.”

Translation: Harley-Davidson is looking to shrink its way to success.

Exclusivity doesn’t make them more affordable

It’s not a terrible strategy … but only for a name like Apple, which has had little trouble driving sales of smartphones that can cost over $1,000 apiece. For a company like Harley though, more exclusiveness misses the point. It doesn’t need to support bike prices with an air of exclusivity. Dealers get what they get for a new Harley motorcycle. They’re just selling fewer of them. The company has seen revenue dwindle every year since peaking in 2014. If anything, its present situation calls for more inclusivity rooted in greater affordability.

The numbers can be jaw-dropping. A high-end Harley can retail for as much as $30,000 (and sometimes more), yet a new, lower-cost Harley-Davidson motorcycle still sells for just a little under $10,000. Around that price point, riders are increasingly settling for similar but still-cheaper machines from names like Indian or Triumph, or Harley look-alikes from more familiar makers such as Honda or Kawasaki … or even a car.

Harley’s highly practical all-electric LiveWire couldn’t draw a decent crowd of buyers either, despite its distinctive non-Harley look. The culprit could be its $30,000 sticker price as well.

Millenials (have to) see things differently

The other headwind Harley-Davidson increasingly ignores by doubling down on its exclusivity strategy? The baby boomers who fell in love with the look of its motorcycles are aging out of their riding years, while the millennials who should be replacing them aren’t as interested in motorcycles from any manufacturer.

That premise is hotly debated but is supported by plenty of people who have their finger on the pulse of the marketplace. UBS analyst Robin Farley is one of those people. Of the UBS research on the matter published last year, CNBC quotes her as saying, “Unless there is a generational shift among younger riders to see motorcycling as a hobby vs. means of transportation, the outlook for the heavyweight industry could continue to be more dependent on an aging demographic.”

Underscoring the growing disinterest in bikes is waning sales of them. MotorCycles data reports that as of 2019, sales of motorbikes in the U.S. slumped for a fourth straight year, jibing with Harley-Davidson’s revenue contraction. The 2015 peak following the economic meltdown of 2008 never even came close to 2005’s cyclical peak in U.S. motorcycle sales, where Harley has to do well. More than half of its revenue comes from the U.S. alone.

It could all be an indication that today’s younger adults who have never seen a time without regular economic chaos simply can’t justify the financial risk of any expensive toys even if they can currently afford one.

In that vein, Bernstein analyst David Beckel pointed out back in 2018 that the “20 million [U.S.] millennials with student debt, the difference between $15,000 and $26,000 of student debt is $130/month, which is equivalent to a monthly loan payment on a ~$8,000 bike.”

Bottom line

It remains to be seen just how far Zeitz and Truett intend to press the exclusivity idea in an effort to support motorcycle prices that don’t actually need supporting. While the company may be ready to focus “time and energy in the most critical countries and market segments,” that doesn’t necessarily mean smaller and more affordable bikes are going to altogether go away. It also doesn’t inherently mean Harley-Davidson will completely abandon all but the most promising markets.

It’s concerning nonetheless, though. Most other consumer-discretionary names seem to be exploring ways of offering greater affordability in what could be a period of modest economic strength. Harley-Davidson could be pricing itself right out of the market.

Harley-Davidson to offer US dealers smaller selection of motorcycles

By | General Posts

by Reuters from https://nypost.com/

Harley-Davidson is reopening its factories this week at lower production rates and sending dealers a narrower range of motorcycles, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The US motorcycle maker, which closed its US plants in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, may not ship any additional new motorcycles this year to about 70 percent of its 698 dealers in the country, the report said.

The company did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Harley would reopen its plants in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and accelerate production in phases that would be limited to bestselling models and palette of colors and without customizable features for the rest of the year, the report said.

The company has failed for years to increase sales in the US, its top market, which accounts for more than half its motorcycles sold.

As its tattooed, baby-boomer consumer base ages, the Milwaukee-based company has found it tough to attract new customers. To make matters worse, the pandemic has further dented demand as Americans stay at home.

In April, then-acting Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz, who has since taken a permanent role at Harley, told investors about plans to cut costs and “de-emphasize” some of its unprofitable international regions.

Jochen and team have been working on a new five-year strategic plan here to revive sales, which the company plans to reveal in the second-quarter earnings update.

Harley has also moved the launch timing of new models to the early part of the first quarter from August to better align with the start of the riding season. That provided some boost to its US retail sales in the first quarter.

Harley’s annual dealer meet, usually held in August, will now take place early next year.

Harley to sell fewer models, simplify factories

by Bob Tita from https://www.marketwatch.com/

Harley-Davidson Inc. is reopening its factories this week at lower production rates and sending dealers a narrower range of motorcycles, steering away from more expansive plans to stop a yearslong sales slide.

Milwaukee-based Harley’s U.S. assembly plants and most of its dealers closed in March as part of a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. As many of the company’s 698 U.S. dealers were making plans to reopen, Harley’s director of product sales, Beth Truett, told them in a memo earlier this month that about 70% of them likely wouldn’t receive any additional new motorcycles this year.

“We are using this time to course correct and rewire the company in pursuit of making Harley-Davidson one of the most desirable brands in the world,” Ms. Truett said in the memo, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Harley’s strategy reversal shows how some companies are pivoting amid the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, reviewing operations or products that may not work amid an uncertain recovery.

Former Chief Executive Matt Levatich had planned to offset declining sales of the big, expensive bikes favored by Harley’s core baby boomer customers with dozens of new models by 2027, many of them smaller, cheaper and aimed at foreign markets. Mr. Levatich stepped down in February under pressure from shareholders threatening to initiate a proxy contest for board seats after Harley closed its fifth consecutive year of falling U.S. sales.

He has been replaced by Jochen Zeitz, a longtime Harley board member, former CEO of German athletic-apparel company Puma SE and founder of a new contemporary art museum in Cape Town, South Africa.

On an earnings call last month, Mr. Zeitz said expanding the motorcycle lineup and chasing new markets diverted attention from Harley’s more profitable models and made factories too complex. He said the production revamp is warranted by deteriorating demand for motorcycles. New models that would have made their debut this summer will roll out early next year instead, he said, on a new schedule of releases before the peak spring buying season begins.

By having fewer motorcycles in the market, Harley said it is trying to appeal to customers of premium-priced brands with limited availability. That approach is common among makers of sports cars and some luxury products that keep manufacturing volumes well below demand for them.

“Our strategy to limit motorcycle product in the showroom is purposefully designed to drive exclusivity,” Ms. Truett said in her memo.

Harley is reopening its plants in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania this week and said it would accelerate production in phases. The motorcycles that Harley will start making again this month will be limited to bestselling models in a limited palette of colors and without customizable features for the remainder of the year, Ms. Truett wrote.

Some U.S. dealers said the production cuts will sap further sales at dealerships that were closed for nearly two months. “You’re not going to catch up,” said Zoli Dudevsky, owner of a Harley dealership near Cleveland.

Some dealers said they have enough new motorcycles to cover a month or two of sales, but that those stocks would be depleted sooner if demand rises. Several said customer traffic at their reopened showrooms has been better than they expected, in part because motorcycle riding is an alternative to other types of recreation discouraged under social-distancing rules.

“We’ve noticed a lot of people getting bikes out of storage that haven’t been running in years,” said John Lyon, a dealer in Vermont.

George Gatto, owner of two dealerships in the Pittsburgh area, said he isn’t expecting any new motorcycles from Harley until August, when the company plans to deliver two motorcycles to one of his dealerships. The company is urging dealers to sell more used motorcycles, a market that Harley executives in the past regarded as detracting from sales of new models.

“If Harley is taking all the new bikes away from me, I’ll have to make that up with used,” Mr. Gatto said.

Mr. Gatto said he is trying to acquire more used motorcycles, but so are other dealers. Prices for used Harleys purchased at auctions have risen by about 20% in recent weeks, he said. Dealers who need new bikes to fill orders say they will have to buy them from other dealers, in some cases at a premium.

Harley projects that dealers’ stocks of new motorcycles will fall by 65% by year’s end, Ms. Truett’s memo to the dealers said. “Dealers should plan for an extremely tight year from an inventory perspective,” she wrote.

Twisted Cycles Has Select Pre-Owned Harley Davidson Anniversary Models Currently Available

By | General Posts

from https://www.sfgate.com

Twisted Cycles has three pre-owned Harley Davidson Anniversary models available for purchase at its Texas locations in Dallas and Lubbock. These models include a 2013 Harley Davidson CVO™ Ultra Classic Electra Glide, a 2008 Ultra Classic Electra Glide and a 2008 Road Glide.

The most recent of the three motorcycles available is a gray 2013 Harley Davidson CVO™ Ultra Classic Electra Glide 110th Anniversary model. Its mileage sits at 17,888 miles and is priced at $17,995 with a potential $500 dealer discount. Customers can find the model at the dealer’s Lubbock location.

Another anniversary model available is a black 2008 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide. The model was built for the company’s 105th anniversary and receives up to 92 ft.-lbs. of torque. It can be found at the dealer with just 8,166 miles on it for a price of $12,995.

The last anniversary model the dealer currently has is an orange 2008 Harley Davidson Road Glide Anniversary, which was also built for the company’s 105th year in existence. The motorcycle has 61,037 miles on it and is currently listed at $11,995. Those interested in giving it a test drive can find it at the dealer’s Lubbock location.

Those interested in any unique model can find them at either Twisted Cycles locations. The Lubbock lot can be found at 2401 South Loop 289 or contacted by phone at (806) 687-7300. Meanwhile, the Dallas location can be reached by phone at (214) 937-5959 or at their location at 7700 S Interstate 35E. To schedule a test drive, customers can also find the dealer online at https://www.twisted-cycles.com/.

2020 KTM 390 Adventure Arriving at U.S. Dealers in May, Priced from $6,199

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Austrian motorcycle KTM is one of the leaders of the adventure motorcycle segment. For years the group has been making a wide range of two-wheeled machines, and the offering is about to get even more convincing.

As it eyes an increase of the customer base in key markets, KTM will introduce a new version of its entry-level bike for adventure riders, targeted at the ones who are new to this type of motoring. Called 390 Adventure, it should become available at dealers across the U.S. starting May.

The Adventure is based on the 390 Duke, and according to KTM has been built using lessons learned with the 790 Adventure and the bikes it usually fields in the famous Dakar Rally – at the core of the new bike sits a four-stroke 373.2 cc engine linked to an oversized radiator and a 6-speed sequential gearbox.

The movement of the bike over even or uneven terrain is handled by WP APEX suspension that comes with 170 mm of travel at the front and 177 mm at the rear. Bosch software runs the two-channel ABS system (for on-road and off-road use) fitted on the bike, and is backed by lean-angle-sensitive traction control.

“As an introduction to the world of light offroading and wider adventure touring, this motorcycle is a pure class-leader, combining the most powerful single in the segment with unmatched technology,” said KTM in a statement.

“A light, agile and confidence-inspiring entry model for riders looking to discover the world of adventure riding, this motorcycle offers added versatility for touring and light offroading.”

As said, the motorcycle will arrive at dealers across the U.S. starting next month. Prices start at $6,199, and the bikes matches all the A2 driver´s license requirements.

The entire list of features available the 390 Adventure can be found in the press release section below or at this link.

Harley-Davidson might have two all-new bikes coming, leaked documents suggest

By | General Posts

by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com/

These bikes would likely share powerplants with the Pan America and Bronx.

When you’ve been in business for as long as Harley-Davidson has, it’s really easy to let things get a bit stale and boring. We’ve seen that from H-D for a while, but over the past year or so, it’s been working to shake things up with bikes like the Livewire and the Pan-America, as well as the middleweight Bronx.

It would seem, based on some leaked documents from an investor presentation, that it’s not entirely done shaking yet. Specifically, this document suggests that there are at least two more motorcycles in the works — non-traditional Harleys, all — and I couldn’t be more excited.

The first (and the one for which I’m most excited) appears to be a reimagining of the XR1200 flat-track racer homage that H-D released in the mid-aughts. The would seem to be an answer to Indian’s excellent FTR1200, and if we can get some of that competitive spirit to move from the flat track to the showroom, then I’m all for it.

The second bike is a more 1980s sport-bike-meets-cafe-racer thing, but it’s not especially original or exciting looking, at least compared to the Pan America or the Bronx. That said, unoriginal doesn’t mean bad. It’s packaged well, with the big Revolution Max V-Twin engine sporting a cool bronze hue. It’s like Harley went back to the Buell days and then stripped off all the weird stuff so non-nerds would buy them.

Seeing as these are just leaked mentions of bikes, we don’t have a ton of information about them. Based on the images, we see that they will share the Revolution Max engine with the Pan America and Bronx, though in what displacements, we don’t know.

We also don’t know when we’d expect to see these bruisers make their official debuts, let alone be released for sale, though with the current state of global affairs, we’d bet it’s at least a year or two off, if ever.

Harley-Davidson declined to comment on future product.

Indian Army canteens to sell Harley-Davidson bikes

By | General Posts

The Indian armed forces can now buy a Harley-Davidson Street at Army Canteen at special prices.

Harley-Davidson has announced that it will retail its Street range through the Indian Army canteen. Indian armed force personnel, ex-servicemen and their dependents in India will be able to purchase both motorcycles at special prices through the Canteen Store Departments (CSD) across the country. Harley-Davidson India stated that through the Initiative, the brand hopes that it will make their models more accessible to servicemen who have long dreamed of owning a Harley.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director – Asia Emerging Markets and India, Harley-Davidson, said, “Harley-Davidson shares a long-term alliance with the armed forces across the globe. With both Street motorcycles being included in the inventory at CSD in India, we look forward to providing more access to members of the armed forces and seeing more members of the forces fulfil their desire to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

The two Harley-Davidson models that will be retailed through the Indian Army CSD will be the Street 750 and Street Rod models. Both models are powered by BS6 compliant 750cc, liquid-cooled, Revolution X V-Twin engine that develops 60Nm of torque. The Street 750 is offered in five colour options and has a seat height of 720mm with a weight of 223kgs. The Street Rod on the other hand is slightly different. The Street Rod is 6kgs heavier, has a seat height of 765mm and offered in four colour options. The Street 750 has a street value of Rs 5.34 lakh while the Street Rod is priced at Rs 6.55 lakh. Now, the members of the Indian Army will be able to purchase the two models at special prices. These are Rs 4,60,332 for the Street 750 and Rs 5,65,606 for the Street Rod (ex-showroom – applicable as per CSD).

Harley-Davidson completed 10 years of operations in India recently, to become the first premium motorcycle manufacturer to do so. Since 2009, Harley-Davidson has sold more than 25,000 units with the Street 750 being the most popular model for the brand. Harley-Davidson has always had special relationship with the armed forces. In India, the American motorcycle manufacturer launched its special Armed Forces H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) that is dedicated to the Indian armed forces. this H.O.G. includes serving and veteran members from all departments of the forces.

Harley-Davidson’s 2020 Mid-Year Model Lineup

By | General Posts

by Jason Marker from https://www.rideapart.com

I hate Florida. Hate it. I hate it with the furious passion of a million burning suns. Years ago I swore that I would never step foot in the Sunshine State again, a promise that I’ve kept religiously. Florida: Not Even Once. That said, when Harley-Davidson calls you up and personally invites you to Daytona Beach to ride brand new bikes and you haven’t touched a bike in three months because Michigan winters suck, well, if you’re me you find that even your most rigidly held beliefs are negotiable.

The Friday before Daytona Bike Week dawned cool and cloudy. I’d rolled in from Orlando International the previous evening around 20:00. After a lovely dinner with the Harley team and my colleagues—among whom was legendary MoJo and RA alum Peter Jones—and a good night’s sleep, I was ready to ride some bikes. We convened for breakfast and the tech briefing, and after a fair amount of drinking coffee and dicking around, we piled into the hotel shuttle and off we went to pick up our bikes.

Now, this wasn’t going to be a typical press ride. We weren’t all going to be riding the same bike all day. Not today. No, we were riding three different bikes—the new Softail Standard (which I can’t stop calling the FX Softail), the 30th Anniversary Fat Boy, and the hi-po CVO Road Glide. The plan was for the four of us to trade bikes on and off all day so that we got seat time on each model. Kind of unorthodox, but I was into it. I mean, I hadn’t touched a bike in three months due to winter and moving to a new house, so I was down for anything.

After an impromptu tour of the greater Daytona Beach metropolitan area thanks to our timid, easily confused driver, we arrived at Daytona International Speedway. The bikes were lined up all gassed up and ready inside Harley’s demo fleet paddock. We got a quick overview of the bikes, took a few minutes for the requisite social media stuff, and finally hit the road.

We spent the next few hours really putting the bikes through their paces. Now, Florida isn’t known for its stunning, technically challenging riding roads, but he Harley team did its best to find a route that wasn’t all straight lines and swamplands. They were the kinds of roads Harleys thrive on—primarily straights with a few sweeping turns and the occasional corner just to keep us on our toes. Overall a really nice ride in pretty weather and not once were we menaced by an alligator or accosted by Florida Man.

Since this was a ride in which I rode three different bikes, I’m going to break up the reviews into three sections—one for each bike. At the end, I’ll sum up my thoughts on all three as a group and give you all my final impressions which, I’m sure, is what you’re all here for anyway. So, without further ado, let’s talk about these sweet new Harleys.

2020 CVO Road Glide

The Road Glide is, hands down, my favorite Harley. It’s my fave despite my general dislike for touring bikes and other big, bulky things that can’t get out of their own way. I love its weird fairing, its close-set dual headlights, and its lines that, while clearly still based on an FL touring frame, seem longer and sleeker to me than their Electraglide siblings.

The monster, hi-po CVO is the Road Glide’s apotheosis. It isn’t just sleek and stylish, it’s also big. From its over-large front wheel to its massive Milwaukee 8 lump to the big sound of the BOOM! sound system, it has all the presence and charisma of Shaquille O’Neil in a $10,000 suit—i.e. a lot.

At the CVO Road Glide’s heart is a 117 cubic inch version of Harley’s stout Milwaukee 8 mill mated to a six-speed transmission. This big stonking engine is the largest installed by Harley in a production bike and comes equipped with an upgraded performance cam and a big old Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather (god I love that name) high-performance intake to let this monster breathe. The exhaust is a handsome two-into-two setup with a satin finish and black tips. We’re talking some big iron here.

Out front is a huge 21-inch cast wheel with a skinny tire, a nod to the current, totally bonkers big wheel custom style (which I absolutely love). The wheel is finished in gloss black with smoked satin accents and looks pretty great in that classic FL front end. Aft is a matching, more traditional 18-inch wheels wrapped, like the front, in classic Harley Dunlop rubber. Braking is provided by four-piston calipers fore and aft, backed up by a slew of electronic rider aids like Harley’s Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), ABS, traction control, etc.

The CVO’s infotainment package is the top of the line BOOM! Box GTS system. Controlled by a bright, easy to read, 6.5-inch touchscreen, it comes with everything Harley has to offer. There’s the four-speaker—two in the fairing and two in the leading edges of the saddlebag lids—600 watt stereo, integrated navigation, and Apple CarPlay (with Android Auto coming down the pipe soon). It also features the new Harley-Davidson app, its very own cellular relay, and a slew of customization options. To top it all off, Harley throws in a BOOM! Audio 30K Bluetooth helmet comms system—a reskinned Sena 30K—with every purchase.

Looks-wise, the bike comes in a fantastic color that Harley calls Premium Sand Dune. It’s a kind of bone-white color with a satin pearl finish on it. Depending on the light it looks white, beige, or haze gray and it looks deep and rich in the sun. The color is offset by satin black and red accents, including very nice CVO logos on the saddlebags. The classic Road Glide shark-nose fairing is enhanced by “Fang” lowers which look rad and keep more wind off the rider. It’s an extremely good looking bike.

On the road, the CVO Road Glide is stately, king-like. It has gravitas. It also has an acceleration best described as glacial and a hilariously low, 5,500 rpm redline. I was constantly bouncing off the rev limited in first gear under heavy acceleration, which honestly is mostly my fault since I’m used to high-strung, 40-year-old, Japanese triples and inline-fours. That said, once you lug the CVO up to speed it moves. The big M8 117 pushes the bike along at a very respectable clip and provides the rider with short bursts of blinding straight-line speed which belie the bike’s bulk. Much like a gator or, since we’re talking about him, like Shaq.

The engine does its best work in 4th gear, loping along at around 2,200 RPM at 60 miles per hour. there’s a seemingly bottomless well of torque to draw from, too. The engine is rated at 125 foot-pounds and it pulls like a tractor in every gear. It’s honestly kind of impressive.

My biggest complaint about the CVO Road Glide is its size. It’s a handful, especially at low speeds. Despite the bike’s front suspension being specially set up for it, that big 21-inch wheel I like so much does the handling no favors. I found it kind of numb in traffic, and thanks to its sheer bulk, maneuvering the bike through tight spaces was hair-raising, to say the least. The CVO Road Glide is a lot. Almost too much, if you ask me.

To be fair, high-po, limited edition, $40K touring bikes aren’t exactly my cup of tea. If such a machine is your cup of tea, though, I think you’ll dig the CVO Road Glide. The combination of power, comfort, and looks is a potent one. It’s an excellent addition to Harley’s CVO collection. If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one up.

2020 Softail Standard

Slid into the Softail lineup as a basic, blank-slate model perfect for customization, the Softail Standard is an extremely good looking bike. Offered only in black with a subtle throwback logo on the tank in dark gray, it’s a stripped-down, no-nonsense, short-ranged cruiser.

As befits a base model bike, all the fat has been trimmed off the Softail Standard. Harley pared away the bits, bobs, and superfluous systems. What’s left behind is simply a motorcycle—nothing more, nothing less—and probably the purest Harley experience currently available in the MoCo’s lineup. From its laced wheels and mini-apes to the basic 107ci Milwaukee 8 and mid-controls to the solo saddle, short rear fender, and simple two-into-two shotgun exhaust, the Softail Standard is just a good, solid bike.

The Softail Standard’s biggest selling point, according to Harley, is that the bike is a blank canvas for customization. To that end, Harley launched four complete custom bolt-on packages that new Softail Standard owners can have bolted on at their dealership. First, there’s the “Day Tripper” package that adds passenger accommodations, forward controls, and a small swingarm bag. Second, a “Coastal Custom” package that adds a quarter fairing, two-up seat, and new bars, risers, and footpegs. There’s a “Touring Custom” package that adds small saddlebags, a more comfortable two-up seat, a windshield, and assorted accouterment to improve comfort and turn the bike into a respectable touring machine. Finally, there’s the “Performance Custom” package that upgrades the engine with a Screamin’ Eagle Stage II kit and a host of intake, exhaust, and tuning upgrades.

I gotta admit, I really like this modular custom package idea. Harley touts them as a starting point, a way for new owners to see various ways in which their new bikes can be customized. They’re a pretty good deal, too, and run between around $1,100 (Day Tripper) to $1,700 (Touring Custom) Yankee Dollars. It’s a nice way to bundle popular accessories for riders who want a touch of customization but don’t want to go hog wild with it, as it were.

Now the bad(ish) news. Out of the three bikes we rode during the press ride, the Softail Standard was my least favorite. Sure, it looks phenomenal as you walk up to it and I really like its clean lines, but as soon as you throw a leg over it you discover something disconcerting in a Harley—it’s small.

Thanks to the weird ergos—mid controls, low-slung solo saddle, mini-ape handlebars—the Softail Standard feels cramped and tiny, especially if you’re a, uh, rider of size like I am. At 6’1 and 240 pounds with a 34-inch inseam, I was incredibly uncomfortable while riding this thing. The whole time I was aboard I was sitting right on my tailbone and had to keep shifting my weight around to relieve the pain in my lower back. I also could never find a good place for my feet on those pegs, especially since there’s no heel rest anywhere to be found.

Combine that with a vague-feeling shifter, weird spacing between the rear brake pedal and the footpeg (it’s both too close and too far away, if you get my drift), and a wicked crosswind during our ride and I never felt like I was in complete control of the bike. I mean, I was, but every time I was in the saddle I kept worrying that I might not be able to handle a road emergency if one came up. That kind of thing doesn’t really inspire rider confidence.

To be absolutely clear, I’m not saying that the Softail Standard is a bad bike. Far from it, in fact. Like I said earlier, I really dig its lines, its attitude, and those modular customization packages. Thing is, at its heart the Softail Standard is a short-range bike, built to bounce between stops close to home, not eat up the miles on the superslab. I’m sure it’s great at that, but I was on this thing for an hour at a time and, no sir, I didn’t like it.

My problems with the bike aren’t primarily due to how it’s built, they’re due to how I’m built. Someone smaller and/or lighter probably won’t have the same I did while in the saddle. If you are built like I am, well, caveat emptor big man. You might want to spring for some forward controls and more sensible handlebars (and a more comfortable saddle) if you’re looking to pick one of these up.

2020 Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Edition

Thirty years ago, Willie G. Davidson stood in front of a jet black tractor-trailer with a new bike and changed motorcycling. That bike, the questionably named Fat Boy, was a burly, low-slung brute with a huge FL front end, fat tires, solid disc wheels, and about fifteen miles of Harley-Davidson attitude. Since then, the Fat Boy has been the go-to ride for legions of Harlista bar pirates, killer cyborgs from the future, and my dad. Now, after three decades at the top of the heap, Harley has released a limited edition 30th Anniversary Fat Boy.

I’ve had a soft spot for the Fat Boy ever since it came out, mostly due to Terminator 2 and the fact that my dad rolls a ’96 model that’s seen so many paint jobs, engine upgrades, and mods that it’s essentially the Bike of Theseus at this point. There’s just something about it, an undeniable presence that is, much like the Softail Standard, quintessentially Harley.

Look, I’m not going to lie to you all here. There’s not a lot of blue sky between the 30th Anniversary Edition and a run of the mill 2020 Fat Boy 114. There’s the paint job, which is, admittedly, phenomenal. It’s Harley’s vivid black color offset with copper-colored accents and a slightly redesigned OG Fat Boy logo on the tank. The paint, combined with the blacked-out M8, handlebars, and other brightwork, lend an air of menace to the already looming Fat Boy. It’s just a paint job, though. Aside from the limited run, though—just 2,500 units—that’s it. That’s everything special about the 30th Anniversary edition.

Honestly, I was hoping for something more. Performance upgrades, maybe, or some one-off grips and floorboards to really set the 30th apart from its mass-market stablemates. That said, just because I felt that the 30th Anniversary Edition wasn’t quite special enough doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. On the contrary, I loved it. It was my favorite of the three bikes I rode during the press ride. It’s comfortable, confident, surprisingly nimble, and respectably fast thanks to the big boy 114 engine. All that is, of course, chalked up to the huge overhaul the Softail line got in 2018, but still. The Fat Boy rules, and the 30th Anniversary Edition is like the cherry on top of an already delicious, and powerful, sundae.

Sorry about the length of this one, friends. After riding three different bikes over the course of just a few hours, I had a jumble of thoughts and impressions to work out, so thanks for sticking around this long. So, my final thoughts? At the end of the day, after thrashing each bike up and down Florida’s Atlantic coast, I felt a little like Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ house. Despite my love for it, the CVO Road Glide was too much—much too much—for me. The Softail Standard was too little, and its fantastic lines didn’t make up for the cramped confines and sore lower back. The 30th Anniversary Fat Boy, though, was just right. It had everything I could have wanted in a single, good looking package.

All three bikes are fantastic Harleys, though. They do exactly what they’re meant to and I reckon the MoCo’s marketing team will land solid hits with each bike’s target demo. I’m clearly not in any of those three target markets, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t. If you’re a CVO buyer, a new rider looking to get into Harleys, or a long-term Fat Boy stan, these bikes are just what you’re looking for.

Here Are the Three Stunning Harley-Davidson Pickup Trucks Available Right Now

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

At the turn of the millennium, Ford introduced a special version of the F-150 dedicated to another American icon, Harley-Davidson. Called Harley-Davidson Edition, the run of special pickup trucks lasted from 2000 to 2011, and most of them are still around today, selling for big bucks at auctions across the U.S.

But there’s another breed of Harley-Davidson flavored trucks presently on the market, much newer and even more hardcore than what Ford itself made before. And they all come from a company called Tuscany Motor.

The American customizer has been around since the end of the 1980s, and has grown since in a behemoth specialty vehicle manufacturer with a soft spot for making GM and Ford trucks really stand out from the crowd.

Tuscany’s Harley-Davidson line now includes three trucks, two from the Blue Oval and one from rival GMC. And all three of them are like nothing you can see on the road today.

Tuscany says all “were created to give motorcycle enthusiasts the opportunity to once again enjoy classic Harley-Davidson design cues in the top-selling vehicles in America.” To meet that goal, a lot of modifications had to be made, mostly visual, for both the exterior and the interior.

Usually, the exterior elements on the trucks that are inspired by the American bike builder are the special front grille, the wheels (that come on all models as Fat Boy-style milled aluminum pieces), the exhaust, the fender vents, and the tailgate applique. In all cases, orange is used throughout the builds, but the most impressive piece of visual tuning is the huge Harley-Davidson logo and shield imprinted on the tonneau cover.

On the interior, the presence of the bike maker can be seen on the leather seat covers, the gauges, the pedals, the floor mats, and the door entry sills.

As said, there are presently three pickup trucks with H-D DNA: the Ford F-150, Ford F-250, and the GMC Sierra 1500. All will be build in limited numbers, and can be ordered from this link.