The Hundred Years War: New Offerings From Harley And Indian

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Article Photos By: J. Ken Conte

Originally Publishe In The November 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Harley Davidson For 2018 And Beyond

Harley-Davidson 2019 and Beyond By J. Ken Conte There’s been a lot of speculation as to why Harley Davidson announced several new models at once, ranging from a line of Electric Vehicle (EV) to Adventure Bikes. It was a bold move that shows a shift in thinking and strategy at the motor company. The press release and offi cial Harley response from Matt Levatich, Harley president and chief executive offi cer, is “We expect this plan will result in an engaged, expanded Harley-Davidson community with a more diverse rider base, along with industry-leading margins and cash fl ow.” It also supports their “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” initiative through 2022. Here are a few highlights of what you can expect from the motor company over the next few years.

Starting with the 2019 models you’ll see one stand out, the FXDR 114. You can read the entire write-up in this issue about how we put it through the paces. The other new model for 2019 is the much-anticipated Livewire. It won’t be released until August, but we did get to see a pre-production version and it looks very impressive. There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered regarding power, weight, range, and price. We hope to get our hands on one of these in early in 2019 and will be sure to give you the rundown. Other news for 2019 is the release of a new and improved Boom Box GTSInfotainment system for select Harley- Davidson Touring and Trike models. It offers a better touch screen, higher resolution display, Apple Carplay, and hands-free voice recognition. The second piece of technology is the Daymaker Adaptive LED that allows the headlight to adapt depending on the lean angle of the bike. The automotive industry has been using this for years and it’s great to see the technology adapt to motorcycles. We did get to ride the range of new CVO bikes with the 117-inch Milwaukee Eight and you can read about those in upcoming issues. If you are thinking about a bagger with all the bells and whistles, these are the ones for you!

The real surprise for Harley came on June 30th when the company announced bikes that won’t be put into production for several years. This is contrary to what they have done in the past, typically leaving future models as more of a surprise. They introduced a line of EV bikes ranging from E-bikes and scooters to the full-blown EV Streetfi ghter. They also announced a production timeline for the Livewire. This is going to give non-core Harley riders a chance to experience a Harley bike and because of the twist and go experience the EV bikes offer it will give them an entry point to motorcycles in general. Harley also announced several models based on the Revolution 60° modular water-cooled V-twin in new displacements, the 1250cc and 975cc. This is the same type of motor that the Street 750 and 500 use. The Pan America is an adventure touring bike with the 1250cc Revolution motor and is projected to be one of the stars in the new middleweight category. It’s ample clearance and engine guards hearken back to the Buell Ulysses but with its own fl are: knobbys, an adjustable windscreen and handguards. The 1250cc Custom offers a Revolution motor based custom platform that would rival the Scout and any other middleweight custom V-twin based bikes. The 975cc Streetfi ghter is one that is intriguing to a lot of non-Harley riders because of its departure from the core Harley demographic. Harley has previously dipped its toe in the streetfi ghter class without a whole lot of success, but this time it seems as though they are throwing down the gauntlet and going all in and we can’t wait to ride one on the track to see how it handles.

 

Indian 2019 Model Year Updates

Indian Motorcycles had a very good 2018. They had a winning season on the racetrack, sales are up, and their dealer network remains strong. In the midst of all that, they have been busy at headquarters redesigning and reimagining several of their models and virtually all are getting some improvements. New For 2019: The Scouts have ABS standard on every non-black Scout Sixty, Scout and Scout Bobber model. Riders can decide between ABS or non-ABS for the Thunder Black color option. The Scout and Scout Bobber have a convenient USB charging port that allows you to charge a personal device while riding. A USB charging port kit is also available for current Scout owners that would like to update their bike. Three ride modes now come standard on Chiefs, Chieftains, Roadmasters, and Springfi elds; Tour, Standard or Sport – for a customized ride experience to the rider’s style. The throttle map for each ride mode was designed with a specifi c application in mind, resulting in one motorcycle with three distinct personalities. “Tour” mode features a smooth throttle response for relaxed cruising. “Standard” mode features a crisp throttle response and well-balanced power delivery for responsive passing power and predictable, slow-speed handling. And fi nally, “Sport” mode features an instant throttle response and aggressive power delivery.

All Thunder Stroke® 111 models are now equipped with Rear Cylinder Deactivation, which has been standard on Harley- Davidson back to the Twin Cam days. When the engine reaches operating temperature, and the ambient temperature exceeds 59? F, the rear cylinder will automatically deactivate when the bike is at a standstill. This results in less engine heat that will provide improved comfort in slow-moving or stopped traffi c. The rear cylinder instantly reactivates when throttle is applied. The lower fairings on the 2019 Roadmaster have been redesigned to provide more airfl ow to the rider; improving comfort while cruising down the road. The redesigned airfl ow vent is adjustable from all the way open for maximum airfl ow to fully closed for total weather protection. The new lowers can be retrofi tted to bikes from past model years with the addition of new highway bars.

They made several enhancements to Indian Motorcycle’s stock audio system that improve sound quality. First, the tweeters have been separated from the mid-range speakers to optimize sound output and clarity. Second, a dynamic equalizer that’s fully customizable now adjusts specifi c frequencies at different vehicle speeds to provide peak system performance at all speeds. As speed increases, the equalizer automatically adjusts each frequency to the optimal level to compensate for road, wind and engine noise. The new Chieftain is completely restyled with a new fairing and saddlebags that have sharper lines and harder edges. This does give the bike a less unique look from previous models. The Chieftain’s new saddlebags with color-matched fender closeouts also provide harder lines and a less art deco look compared to earlier Chieftains. The new Rogue gunfi ghter seat gives the bike a sleek, low-slung stance. The Chieftain maintains its handling and comfort with more than four inches of rear suspension travel. New badging on the tank and saddlebags and the Indian headdress on the front fender round out the Chieftain offering. Also new for 2019, the Chieftain Dark Horse lineup has expanded new paint options, including White Smoke, Bronze Smoke, and Thunder Black Smoke. The 2019 Chieftain Dark Horse features black ceramic exhaust and gloss black fi nishes on the primary cover, valve covers, push-rod tubes, cam cover, and saddlebag hinges.

 

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