AMD 259 February 2021 American Motorcycle Dealer 259 Feb 2021

FEB 2021




Harley MY21 - Playing it Safe with Chrome , Paint , Audio , Accessories ; Some Models Dropped , Nothing New at This Stage

FEB 2021

ISSUE # 259

In what is a massive outbreak of playing it so safe it is taking a huge risk , Harley-Davidson ' s 2021 Global New Model Year announcement event was heavy on hyperbole and light on initiative - despite what one assumes was its best efforts , inspirational , motivational and aspirational it wasn ' t . Recycling 1980s style corporate promo video values and techniques , the presentation was entirely devoid of the kind of authenticity that new generations of consumers live for . The ' Grand Unveil ' was basically just a 60 minute promo video that was clearly thrown together in November and December last year - not the kind of interactive live experience that contemporary marketing techniques require . Which was probably just as well , because the Harley site serving the film had crashed , coming to life on a classic ' Just in Time Inventory ' basis . Carefully trying to annotate the number of times chrome , paint and audio were mentioned , it was simply

impossible to keep up with the diet of lightweight , superficial cliches - in fact it is unclear if the word ' engineering ' actually got used at all . If it did , then it was only a handful of times at best , and in connection with design , sound and finish , not in connection with actual , you know , making metal things . The use of the English language

devoid of authenticity

deployed was grammatically poor in several places , with employees who look scared to death reading from scripts that had come straight out of the school of writing by people who have no idea what they are writing about - not the kind of scripts that one would expect from an institution with nearly 120 years of motorcycle industry institutional knowledge and empathy . The highlights of the announcement ( if they can be called that ) centered on
the " new " Softail Street Bob 114 , though actually the only thing that does appear to be really new about it is the upgrade from the 107 " M-8 it should never have been on before . In fact , the Street Bob aside , the elevation up the engine capacity ladder is virtually non-existent - and Harley still appears to think that leaving the burgeoning middleweight market unserved is still a smart play . Okay , the new 1250 cc engine that will be in the Pan America will debut towards the end of February , and it is known that there are 750 and 950 versions of it ' in-play ' at various stages of gestation , but the Sportster line-up is down one model ( the 1200 cc Roadster ), leaving the Forty Eight and 883 and 1200 cc iterations of the Iron - and by all reports these may only survive for one more year and have already been dropped in Europe - Harley has not been prepared to invest in making the existing XL engines Euro 5 ( or BS6 / India ) compliant . The other so-called big news is the audio upgrade with Rockford Fosgate
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Predatory Presence - this Tommy & Sons Bagger is one of the projects that had been planned as a competitor in the AMD 2020 World Championship that never was ... see pages 32 & 33 .