It’s riding season downunder but up top it’s snow, hurricanes and bike shows. Harley only took its 2019 lineup to the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany. Perhaps it is saving the newest modular and electric bikes for EICMA in Milan, Italy in November. Indian released its production FTR 1200S, while Ducati and BMW released more 1200cc sized bikes to stamp their intensions to rival anything Harley has in the planning.
In Milwaukee Matt Levatich recently gave his unadulterated Harley insights at the “Scale Up Milwaukee” conference. Watch the youtube video! It will be the best hour you will spend before jumping on your bike and enjoying a ride like he enjoys being the Motor Company’s CEO. Levatich tells us why Harley is “romancing” growth using its core capabilities. More Roads and building more riders, being true to the brand, a positive spin on being a rebel with freedom and liberation while not being constrained, inclusiveness, curious mentality, learning from failures, being close to the edge, asking why five times, and making sure you are clear on your purpose while unifying your people. And, personal freedom is Harley’s core purpose. For me I liked what he said about the LiveWire: “This is the most thrilling, powered vehicle of any kind that I have ever experienced … and that is an emotional feeling that I have … It sounds like the Tie Fighters from Star Wars!”
Released after Levatich’s interview was Harley’s announcement that it will have official mechandise on Amazon. While that may be good for the Motor Company’s bottom line, I will keep giving my business to my local dealer. Like politics, everything is local. Buy Australian. If we don’t have strong local dealers then we will have a long way to ride to get support and even be in a HOG chapter.
The 2019 Harleys are all on your local dealer’s showroom floor. Try seeing or buying them online at Amazon! I was most interested in the up-close and personal reaction to the Softail FXDR 114 “drag racer.” Not to my surprise, of all the 2019s the FXDR was the one that seemed to get the most attention and even positive discussion. I think it hit the bull’s eye as the Wanna Be bike; if only the price was nearer to the Street Bob’s. I believe it is a worthy replacement for the V-Rod…The reviews are in and if you are tough then this street striper is the bike for you.
The elephant in the room is the new Indian FTR 1200 and 1200S street versions of the FTR750 flat track championship winner. At less than half the price of the original show bike FTR1200 Custom, the FTR 1200 will push 120HP with a 12.5:1 compression. These were the American stars at the Intermot show in Cologne.
The Harley Softail Sport Glide comes with a tiny removable windscreen with a slightly taller one from the Parts and Accessories catalogue. I was told by Klock Werks they will soon have a Flare windscreen for the Sport Glide.
The Harley-Davidson 2018 Battle of the Kings was won by Adelaide Harley-Davidson Bike Works against 16 other Harley dealers. Starting with a 2018 Sportster Roadster and modelled after the Harley VR1000 Super Bike, it is track and street ready for its new owner…after it gets back from Europe where it competes with the winners from 20 countries and 250 dealers from Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the Middle East and South America. See it at:
And then there is the updated BMW R 1250 GS to go head to head with the new Harley Pan America. It has a new engine with variable valve timing to meet stricter Euro emission rules, increased power and complexity and at the same time reduces fuel consumption. If that isn’t good enough for you, BMW is testing a riderless R1200.
A Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 clocked 150 mph (241 kph) at the Bonneville Speed Week ridden by Cayla Rivas (pictured above). At 18 years old, she is a 12-time world record holder and has many more records ahead of her!
Here is just one of hundreds of new e-bikes recently released to compete with the MY2020 LiveWire. The Tarform was revealed at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. It has a 145 kms range in the city and 80 kms on the road. It’s all smart phone monitored so what more will a millennium want?
On the opposite end of the spectrum for the true petrol head is the 2019 Harley-Davidson Ford F-150 pickup truck. It was shown at the 115th in Milwaukee. Just put your cash down and order yours from Tuscany Motor Company. Right hand drive is extra.
AMD was won by Russian’s Dmitry Golubchikov’s with a Yamaha SR 400, 2nd place went to Omar Jumiran from Malaysia for his BoneX AJS 350, and 3rd went to Károly Orkonyi from Hungary for his Speedster King. All three were lightweight bikes giving one the idea that Europe isn’t exactly into the heavyweight cruisers or customs.
BITS & PIECES
The biggest improvement that I have made to my 2018 Street Glide Special was not the Screamin’ Eagle Ventilator air cleaner, Klock Flare windscreen, or heated grips for real-world riding but the Legend Suspension REVO-A shocks with long coil springs, adjustable sag, preload and rebound for any rider and load. No more back jarring pot holes, only a velvety plush ride! I got mine from rolliesspeedshop.com and had them expertly installed at:
Dyna, FXR, etc
The US Secret Service has just ordered a new Harley Davidson FLHTPI Police Motorcycle for its sidecars and motorcade presidential support.
A must-have for clearing spandex wearing bicyclists back into their lanes is the Sonic Grips with a 100 decibel electronic siren powered by a long life and easy to replace battery.
Remembering the 115th Celebrations in Milwaukee
Also, and a must-have for clearing spandex-wearing cyclists back into their lanes is the Sonic Grips with a 100 decibel electronic siren powered by a long life and easy to replace battery. Check em out at www.sonicgrip.com
Former Harley-Davidson Senior Vice President and Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer discusses the demographics of the motorcycle industry, the emotional pull of motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, and more. It isn’t all about us versus the millennials.
Then read five reasons millennials aren’t buying motorcycles: 1) have college loan debts (home loans or saving for a deposit), 2) entered life stages latter, 3) didn’t ride dirt bikes, 4) prefer experience rather than things, and 5) they don’t want debt.
On the subject of millennials, read our Motorbike Writer’s comments a year ago about Aussies buying Harleys which I think is still true at …