So, we now know what’s coming out of Harley-Davidson for 2021, most of which comes down to reading between the lines coupled with some quick research.
Gone are both XG750 models, and despite showing you a 2021 XL1200N previously, we will not be getting that here – or any Sportster despite the EU extending the end of series limit to the end of 2021. If you want a new Sportster, you’d best get down to your dealer, sharpish.
That means that the smallest, least expensive new Harley-Davidson is now the 107-inch Softail Standard with prices starting at £12,995 – an unexpected rise of £1,500 over the 2020 model – making the new entry level Harley more than twice the price of the Street 750. Luckily it is at least three times the bike.
Gone too is the base Low Rider, Deluxe and FXDR, but I’m not sure there will be too much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the news.
In their place, we have two upgrades to existing models.
The Street Bob 114 is now substantially different to the aforementioned Softail Standard that was launched a year ago, which is a good thing because they were very similar. It has turned the former entry-level bobber into a high status model in terms of paint and graphics, quite apart from treating it to the 114-inch motor. That makes it by far the cheapest 114-inch M8 at £13,995 – a weighty £1,700 more than 2020 but worth it for the motor alone: the improved paint and pillion are the icing on the cake.
And the Fat Boy has swapped its satin chrome for the proper shiny stuff – “Brilliant” – and it looks like the two-tone wheels from the darker schemes is destined to become a footnote in history, which is a shame. Could this be the beginning of the end for Dark Custom?
Maybe, because 2021’s CVO models – a Road Glide, Street Glide, Ultra and Tri-Glide – will still be available in a dark, sinister hue as last year, but chrome has returned with a vengeance! And check out the new laced wheels on the CVO Road Glide while you’re at it: very clever.
What you can’t see is the new audio system, which is said to be the best that Harley has ever fitted –possibly the best one fitted to a motorcycle!
And that’s it … nearly. Well there is obviously more, but we’ll get our heads round this and go into more detail in the magazine
There are teasers about news still to come – beyond the Pan America, which we will learn more about at the end of February – and Harley’s new CEO, Jochen Zeitz told us to expect a model range beyond CVO. I’m holding out hope that will be a resurrection of the Screamin’ Eagle name and a high performance 131 Milwaukee Eight if they can get it through homologation.
Time will tell.
And there was an unidentified console shot in the last section of the video release, which was the first and only sign I’ve seen of a new name: Revival.
Of course, that might be a statement of intent: Harley-Davidson have been going through some issues of their own in recent months, quite separate from the Covid pandemic, and maybe it’s simply saying “we’re back!”.
As far as we’re concerned they never went away, and while you couldn’t call this a stellar year, they’ve managed to make some difficult decisions and the cuts are nowhere near as deep as some doom-mongers have suggested.