These images images and technical drawings surfaced today, the technical drawings apparently sourced from the EUIPO, the European Intellectual Property Office. We checked the site and found some of the images quite easily. The photo doesn't appear to be on EUIPO, so we're guessing that's an official 'leak' to allow Harley-Davidson to gauge buzz and opinion on social media.
From what we can gather, and some educated guesses from 24 years in the business, this is an mid-to-late stage mock-up to present to the Milwaukee decision makers for sign-off. WHy else would trademark images be sent to the EUIPO? There is no immediate hint of a release, because the Pan America adventure tourer and Bronx streetfighter are both further ahead in development terms, both having been shown at EICMA in November 2019 and been trailed subsequently.
Both this street tracker and a muscular cafe racer (with more than a hint of XLCR) have been leaked, but we'll concentrate on the street tracker. In a word, dense. I've written endlessly about the reasons factory bikes can't emulate the best custom street trackers, but this seems a step beyond even that. The bike is built around the Revolution Max engine, Milwaukee's next gen, liquid-cooled V-twin. The engine is being developed in 975cc and 1250cc configurations, obviously no word on what will power this street tracker, except that the Indian in this segment is a 1200.
This styling model's high-level pipes are so lagged with heatguards they're invisible, giving the bike in the photo an almost toy-like appearance, especially with the smooth barrels and heads of the l/c V-twin, but that may be because it actually is still plastic at this stage, a 3D-printed visual representation.
Harley-Davidson say this about the 1250cc Revolution Max motor - 'Minimising weight and maximising performance, the Revolution Max provides a narrow powertrain profile that is integrated into the motorcycle as the central member of the frame to enhance mass centralisation and handling. The lightweight powertrain has an internal balancer that cancels primary engine vibration to enhance rider comfort and improve vehicle durability. Its design is bold and contoured, classic and contemporary, strong and svelte – a representation of Harley-Davidson’s next great marriage of performance with style.
Revolution Max 1250 Engine Performance Targets
More than 145 horsepower.
More than 90ft.lbs. peak torque.
We've heard rumours of magnesium covers (though Honda Dominators and late-1980s GSX-Rs had magnesium cover so...) and variable valve timing. The later is more likely to get around emissions regs than for outright performance. However, 145bhp... Has anyone been asking for a 145bhp street tracker, when most Harley hooligans are making what? Less than 60 and still go like shit off a shiny shovel on the oval.
Styling-wise, the seat and tank echo those of the legendary XR750 (celebrating its 50th year this year, no coincidence), but the dropped seat, with its base line lower than that of the tank is somewhat visually jarring. Get the tank the right proportions and the and the seat's too high. Bring the bottom of the tank down, in relation to the top, and the side view of the tank grows too much and no longer looks like a race bike (this one one of the XR1200's styling issues). This is the problem of trying to sell to the largest percentile of populace, you have to make a bike that 5'2" riders can straddle. The women's market is important to Harley, and a low stand-over height helps reach more of that market. Still, in the line drawing the tank and seat look trick.
It's not ugly, but it does appear dense and that's never a word I'd use to describe my favourite street trackers. Muscle bikes can be dense, not street trackers. The line drawing of the side view looks better, but it's a line drawing, what can look lighter than a line? I'm not sure what the big undertray is, especially as it's not hiding a catalytic converter. Perhaps a whole load of electronics and stuff down there. The radiator looks enormous, as do the mufflers, adding weight to the front and back of the bike. Forks, wheels and brakes look chunky and high-spec. The tubular swingarm looks neat. The drawings seem to show a monoshock, while the photographed 'dummy' appears to be twin shock. The rear wheel looks smaller than the front (a street tracker styling no-no in my opinion).
I like the oblong headlight, as first seen on the Fat Bob, and very much like the screen that reminds me of those made by ForkCo. The small front mudguard gets a thumbs up. The bike is crying out for an aftermarket pipe and a tail tidy with incorporated light, to loose the EU-mandated mid-level light.
We'll see how this develops, but with the drawings already at the trademark office, don't expect a huge redesign.