Harley Street specialist
The US maker is targeting the young and young-at-heart with a new model
A LEARNER-legal Harley Davidson will hit the road from January 2015. The 500cc Street is a tyres-up newmodel— the first in 14 years for the US bike maker— that Harley hopes will become its top-selling bike in Australia.
If that’s the case, it may well rival Honda for outright road bike sales leadership, having already overt aken Kawasaki for second place.
The bike is aimed at young riders and 40- to 60-year-olds returning to motorcycling, a group dubbed “sleepers” by Harley and estimated to account for about 750,000 potential riders inAustralia.
A bored-out 750cc version will also be sold overseas but for now theAustralian arm has opted to only take theL AMS-approved model. Capacity apart, the two bikes are identical other than in minor cosmetic details such as highlighted cooling fins on the 750.
Pricing hasn’t been finalised butH-D says a $10,000-$12,000 ride-away deal is the target.
“We’re still working on where we will source the bikes from, so we can’t confirm prices this far out,” marketing director Adam Wright says.
The bikes will be built in Kansas and India as US buyers won’t accept a Harley built outside the States but Wright says the build quality fromthe Indian plant is every bit as good as the homegrown versions.
“We don’t see it as an issue if our bikes do end up coming from India. They’re built to the same standards and, like cars, buyers are worried about the quality, not the country itwas made in,” he notes.
The 60-degree-V-twin is new. Wright won’t disclose outputs but says mid-range torque is a highlight, along with the characteristic Harley rumble.
Alow 645 mm seat height will help most plant both feet on the ground when the bike is stationary and the 217 kg weight makes the cafe-racer styled machine the lightest in the Harley inventory.
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