Just last month, Harley-Davidson was busy at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We know this because the Bar & Shield brand registered the name “Bareknuckle” with the USPTO, for use on motorcycles and structural parts.
While it is hard to say what Harley-Davidson plans to do with the “Bareknuckle” name, we do have a pretty good guess since the American company plans on debuting a streetfighter motorcycle in the next model year.
By our account, “Bareknuckle” is a pretty good name for a streetfighter model…at least, it would seem to be if you work in Milwaukee and have never really dabbled in areas beyond extreme machismo.
While it seems possible that Harley-Davidson could be using the “Bareknuckle” name for something other than a new motorcycle name (the trademark’s exact usage says “motorcycles and structural parts therefor”), the idea that it is for their new streetfighter seems pretty on the nose to us.
Of course, the “Bareknuckle” name is pretty on the nose itself. While Harley-Davidson’s new strategy to get fresh riders and enter new market segments is a big step forward for the brand (and a correct one from our perspective), it is not surprising to see some growing pains from Milwaukee.
Harley-Davidson needs to learn a new language – one that isn’t based in the star spangled awesomeness of classic Americana, and into one that the rest of the motorcycle industry has been speaking fluently for the past few decades.
The name “Bareknuckle” sounds like something that came from the old camp, rather than the new. But, I suppose we can reserve final judgment when we see all the facts in front of us. For now, a name is just a name. Stay tuned.