Small displacement Harley coming?

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k1dude
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Small displacement Harley coming?

Post by k1dude »

Harley has been working with a partner in India to release a small displacement (250 to 400) model. This concept was recently leaked.

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Post by wheelbender6 »

Resembles the Vitpilen (or is it the Svartpilen?)
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Post by sc00ter »

Harley did the Blast, a 500cc. Great bike that can be picked up for peanuts and customized on the cheap. I dont think Harley will bring another small displacement bike to the states again.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

I think the biggest obstacle to selling a small Harley in the US is price. There are so many inexpensive bikes available under 500cc. The small Harley would have to pack very impressive performance to compete with small Ninjas and Beemers.
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Post by k1dude »

Supposedly the small displacement Harley will be for Asian markets. But if it's a huge success, I could see it migrating across the Pacific.

Evidently they're also coming out with a small displacement adventure bike, street fighter, and cruiser.
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Post by babblefish »

In case any of you have forgotten, Harley did sell small displacement bikes in the 60's and 70's. They were called the Sprint and were available in 250cc and 350cc. Made in Italy by Aermacchi. Harley owned 50% of Aermacchi at the time. The engines were quite good and the bikes where used for various off-road racing and road racing.

Your typical Harley rider at the time didn't like them because there was no where to put their feet near the front wheel and the handlebars were about two to three feet too low.:)
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1971 Harley Sprint SX350
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Post by wheelbender6 »

I think Harley's venture with Aeromacchi was a good move at the time. Dual sport motorcycles were selling like hotcakes during that period. Motocross tracks were opening all over the place.
I will always consider that period to be the pre-plastic golden age of dual sport bikes, though they were crude by today's standards.
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Post by Dooglas »

Harley makes the Street 500 and Street 750 bikes now. They don't sell well.
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Post by Stanza »

babblefish wrote:In case any of you have forgotten, Harley did sell small displacement bikes in the 60's and 70's. They were called the Sprint and were available in 250cc and 350cc. Made in Italy by Aermacchi. Harley owned 50% of Aermacchi at the time. The engines were quite good and the bikes where used for various off-road racing and road racing.

Your typical Harley rider at the time didn't like them because there was no where to put their feet near the front wheel and the handlebars were about two to three feet too low.:)
And let's not forget everyone's favorite, the Harley Davidson M-65!
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Post by k1dude »

Stanza wrote:And let's not forget everyone's favorite, the Harley Davidson M-65!
I saw one of those in person. I think it was on display in the Taoyuan airport a few years ago.
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Post by fried okra »

Yep, I remember the Harley Sprint. Always thought they were kinda neat.

Anyone else remember the Harley Topper scooter? I was riding a Cushman Eagle then though :)

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Post by babblefish »

Dooglas wrote:Harley makes the Street 500 and Street 750 bikes now. They don't sell well.
I like the looks of that but apparently Harley hasn't quite figured out that a lot (most?) riders don't like riding with their feet so far forward. I personally can't because 1) it's uncomfortable, 2) I can't get up off the seat when I can't avoid riding over a pot hole, and 3) makes maneuvering around sharp corners or going fast around turns more difficult and less safe. Too bad because those small Harleys are affordable.
I rode a friends Harley once where my legs were stretched out in front of me and it was one of the worst riding experiences I've ever had. I think I may have left about two pounds of chrome and bits of the bike on the ground trying to go around corners the way I normally do.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

"And let's not forget everyone's favorite, the Harley Davidson M-65!"

I saw one on display at a convenience store in Scottsdale. I have never seen one running.
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Post by JettaKnight »

Harvey Danielson's brand identity is a double edged sword.

On one hand, there's really no substitution. On the other hand, anything that doesn't fit that mold will be looked upon with disdain.


People buy HD to fit in into a crowd, (it sure ain't for the design or quality) and buying a "mini-Harley" ain't gonna get you in the cool kids gang.



The cost of a HD bike is not so bad - but then you have the buy the HD helmet (don't actually wear it unless req. by law), the vest, the jacket, the T shirt, the HD boots, jeans, underwear, decals, shot glasses, pickup truck accessory package, the HD sunglasses, stainless steel travel straw...

It's all the required accoutrements that kills you.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

"Harvey Danielson's brand identity is a double edged sword. "

True. Us old guys love the traditional lopey, pushrod engines.

We don't really know what the next generation wants. Today's young people are not as homogeneous as young baby boomers were.
-While the current crop of Sportsters are very versatile, Harley will need to make the new sub-500cc models even more versatile and customizable to appeal to younger riders.
-Harley will need to just keep trying new stuff until they discover what the new generation wants. I think they can do it.
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Post by New2Scoots »

babblefish wrote:
Dooglas wrote:Harley makes the Street 500 and Street 750 bikes now. They don't sell well.
I like the looks of that but apparently Harley hasn't quite figured out that a lot (most?) riders don't like riding with their feet so far forward. I personally can't because 1) it's uncomfortable, 2) I can't get up off the seat when I can't avoid riding over a pot hole, and 3) makes maneuvering around sharp corners or going fast around turns more difficult and less safe. Too bad because those small Harleys are affordable.
I rode a friends Harley once where my legs were stretched out in front of me and it was one of the worst riding experiences I've ever had. I think I may have left about two pounds of chrome and bits of the bike on the ground trying to go around corners the way I normally do.
Exactly my experience. I tried a budget cruiser (Suzuki S40) & it felt ok in the showroom but riding it felt awkward & uncomfortable. Cornering was weird. Back hurt, butt hurt & legs hurt. 4,000 miles later I still wasn't used to it & sold it. I like my feet right under me. I ride my buddy feet on the passenger rests.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

A lot of scooters spoil us when it comes to riding position. The floor boards allow me to place my feet under me when negotiating sand and mud and allows me to stretch the legs out forward on smooth surfaces.
-That makes it tough to decide where we prefer to have the pegs on a motorcycle. We do not want be limited to one riding position.
-Maybe Harley needs to add riding position adjustments, Similar to recent Kawasaki Vulcans.
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Post by JettaKnight »

wheelbender6 wrote:A lot of scooters spoil us when it comes to riding position. The floor boards allow me to place my feet under me when negotiating sand and mud and allows me to stretch the legs out forward on smooth surfaces.

Except when you want to raise your butt off the seat to shift the your weight. Without your feet on pegs underneath you, it's damn hard.
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Post by fried okra »

I've had three Harley Sportster's now. I liked the torquey feel to their engines.

But with the knee high riding posture my legs got cramped up every 50 miles or so and it was tough to stand up after dismounting at that point.

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Post by wheelbender6 »

On another note, Harley has released drawings of their new middle weight engine. The 60 degree, OHC water cooled engine looks really tall.
https://www.motorcycle.com/mini-feature ... lings.html
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Post by Dooglas »

wheelbender6 wrote:Harley has released drawings of their new middle weight engine. The 60 degree, OHC water cooled engine looks really tall.
https://www.motorcycle.com/mini-feature ... lings.html
The article indicates this is for a range of possible new engines from 500cc to 1250 cc. The Custom 1250 cruiser, for instance, is presumably a 1250. In other words, a redesigned engine, but not displacements below those that are currently available from Harley.
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Post by k1dude »

I think those engines are for US production only. They're liquid cooled between 500cc and 1250cc. I'm not sure the ones made in India would use the same engine. Especially since the bikes made in India are supposed to be between 250cc and 400cc.
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Post by JettaKnight »

I wonder if the Harvey Danielson design center is laid out at 60º. Like the whole building and all the cubes are acute angles.
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Post by kmrcstintn »

the Street models don't sell well in the US because Harley's marketing & face-to-face sales interactions don't help to promote the Street lineup; you have grizzled folks who are traditional Harley model purists and hold biases against their bastardized cousins (anything that is liquid cooled/common sump lubrication based)
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