Hogs of The Future Have Arrived

July 30, 2018 | By Mike Seate

With North American streetbike sales lingering in the toilet, manufacturers are growing increasingly clever when it comes to increasing sales and broadening the market. It’s taken years for the OEMs to realize that simply cranking out big-bore machines has limited appeal beyond the Baby Boomers who’ve long desired heavyweight motorcycles. Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson, for example, have just announced their long-range plans for drawing in a new generation of potential riders and at first blush, the new Hogs look like winners. In the next couple of years, the Bar and Shield plan to unleash a trio of all-new machined that appear aimed at the future instead of the past. In addition to a series of smaller-displacement bikes in the 250cc to 500cc range, there’s been an announcement of a revolutionary, water-cooled, 1,250cc V-Twin engine that will be utilized to power a new line of factory customs. Our favorite among the three is the eye-popping Streetfighter, a funky, stripped-down machine that should shoulder its way into the very popular performance naked bike market alongside such perennial top-sellers as Triumph’s Street Triple and Speed Triple, BMW’s wicked-fast S1000R and Kawasaki’s Z900. The Harley Streetfighter has cutting-edge looks and ticks all the boxes you’d want ticked when looking for a modern performance bike, from upside-down forks to radial brakes, and what promises to be a real stump-puller of an engine. Announced alongside a new adventure bike, a low-slung, futuristic roadster and an electric ride, this is truly a big time for H-D. Yes, we’ve already asked for a test ride, so look for it in the pages of Cafe Racer sometime late next year.