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A Disturbance in the Force

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Men… Middle-aged, bearded, tattooed, leather-clad, bandana loving, chrome-licking, insecure, overcompensating men. Harley Davidson’s target demographic in a nutshell, according to my upbringing. Hence, I have never taken them too seriously. Strangely though, I find myself becoming more and more attracted to them. The brand, that is, not the men.

You see, the social circle I grew up in never cared much for the American bikes. Nobody seemed to ever pay them any mind. After all, riding a Harley was not real riding, was it? Horse riding would come closer to riding a ‘real’ motorcycle than riding a Harley would. At least, that is what I had been lead to believe.

Have you felt it?

There is a disturbance in the force though. Have you felt it? A couple of years ago the Milwaukeeans put down their Miller Lites, had a think, and came up with the LiveWire. An electric motorcycle for the future, created by the company that had otherwise been firmly stuck in the distant past. Harley fanatics all over the world gasped and clutched their bandanas. This thing did not go ploppity plop plop, this was madness!

The 2018 HD LiveWire

Attacking the EV motorcycle market was a bold strategy, but in my mind it paid off. It showed the world that Harley and the Davidsons were capable of thinking outside of the box. The LiveWire was not particularly pretty to me, but is was certainly an interesting machine. As of today, the LiveWire still comes out on top of most EV motorcycle tests. Harley must have been serious about the project then.

Then came the Pan America. A big, full-blown adventure bike carrying the all new Revolution engine. As many other brands had already produced big V-twins that were smooth, powerful and could rev, there really wasn’t much of a revolution. To see that Harley could produce an engine that actually belonged in this century, now that was a revelation.

Read about our thoughts on the HD Pan America HERE

A New Hope

The looks of the Pan America have proved to be divisive, but I love that thing. As do I love the looks of the all new Sportster S, which also carries the Revolution engine. It looks like a big fun brawler with its fat tyres and LED bar headlight. It also comes well equipped, with Bluetooth from this millennium and Brembo’s that could actually stop the thing. So what exactly is going on? Is Harley Davidson, the motorcycle world’s awkward uncle, suddenly one of the cool kids?

2021 HD Sportster S

To answer that question, have a good look at their latest bike. The LiveWire Del Mar just launched as their second attempt at an electric motorcycle and I just need one. Though LiveWire is marketed as a stand-alone brand nowadays, we are not fooled. The Del Mar is styled to resemble an old school dirt track bike and it looks utterly delicious.

This latest addition takes the score to a total of four out of four new HD bikes that I think are deeply cool. Maybe I will have to become a Harley Davidson guy one day. Maybe pigs will fly one day, who knows…

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