Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler

08/02/2010 @ 9:39 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Centered around capturing a younger demographic, the Brawler is the latest concept from Travis Clark. Hoping to engage younger riders with an actually sporty Sportster, Clark’s Brawler, in its finest trim, combines the high-powered Porsche designed motor in an attractive package that speaks more to a younger generation than anything that’s come out of Milwaukee…and it looks good too.

While Harley-Davidson has certainly been gaining some traction in younger markets with its different Sportster offerings, like the new Forty-Eight, the company still needs a major youth infusion. Clark thinks that his Brawler is the the ticket with its more modern design and performance-centered operation. Designed to come with two different suspension packages, the base Brawler features inverted forks and an 88ci air-cooled HD power plant, while the high-end brawler comes with the V-Rod motor and leading link front suspension.

There are some cues to the original VRSC, but Clark’s Brawler also has hints from other designs. For instance, the high-mounted scrambler-styled exhaust is a welcomed change from the down and low pipes we’re accustomed to seeing from the custom crowd. With other manufacturers interested in the performance cruiser segment, it will be interesting to see if Harley-Davidson picks up designs like the Brawler.

Source: Coroflot via The Kneeslider

  • RGR

    Very cool. The first Hardley I’d actually consider buying. I love that they used the Speed Triple as a mule for the seating position since that’s the bike I currently own. It would take a lot to pry the Speed Triple out of my hands but if the Brawler had more power, similar (or not much more) weight, and had excellent handling capability I’d certainly consider it. If any of those marks were missed, they’d lose me. I’d just wait for Triumph to come up with a “Super” Speed Triple.

    This would have made a very cool Buell… :-(

  • joe

    Why shitcan buell if your gonna make this?

  • Ecosse

    i like it. but why hide the leading fork with the ugly plastic? it’s a technology showpiece.

    hd will never build it.

  • Isaac

    This is an H-D I’d actually buy. I’m a little skeptical of such a huge rear brake rotor. All-in-all, this is what they need to appeal to guy like me in thier early to mid-30’s.

    This is like a sportier modernized version of the XR-1200. I can definitely see some club racing done with this bike. Maybe with some vintage looking oval number plates on the side.

    I’d still prefer a water cooled twin vice the ACT they have now.

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  • Doctor Jelly


    Sporty? Buell did what he could with their poor old motors but they just aren’t on par with today’s engine designs… The Revolution engine is exponentially better, but is still weak in comparison to competitors. As far as I know HD retains the Helicon design, and if they haven’t destroyed or sold off the tooling they could get the Buell Barracuda back on track (under the HD logo of course). It was a much more conventional sportbike look and had it’s power beefed up a bit over the original 1125 (or perhaps they could stick the 1190 in?). Either way, this is not the direction their ‘young crowd’ bikes need to head (doubtful that Wandell is going to let it happen within the next few years anyway)…

  • irksome

    A curse upon HD for killing Buell. And why oh why would anyone even consider an air-cooled V-Twin?

    I suppose it’s good they based the ergonomics on my Speed Triple. Remind me again why I’d ever trade it for this thing.

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  • doug

    Great concept, but that’s about as far as it goes for me.. I will never buy a H-D as long as it is offered with ancient engine/transmission design. If you can stand the noise roll down your window while sitting at a stop light and listen to the rider engage the transmission… It will make you cringe and then peek under the bike for gears falling out of the cases.

    Design a modern, smaller, lighter, more powerful V-twin with a modern smoother transmission and H-D will attract a whole new crowd. Maybe they should create an off-spring and model it after Bimota. Buy proven power plants and put them in H-D designs like the Brawler.. Or they can continue making the current offering and die a slow death….again.

  • Matt

    It isn’t like HD would allow this to be affordable enough to gain any traction in that desirable younger demographic anyway. There is more at work here other than just how “cool” it is to market a bike like this successfully.

  • dave

    meh. I’m in my early 30’s and I’d buy a sportser 48 or nightster (and bob it) over that any day. if i wanted a futuristic bike, there’s plenty to choose from.. this isn’t something i’d expect from HD.

  • It’s an updated Buell S1W. :-|

  • BTB

    What the hee-haw youth market are they after. Looks like a V-rod crossed with a Confederate and something from the old Sic-Fi Tron movie. How about building a performance style standard or cafe style. HD marketing is way out of touch with any any demographic except the baby-boomers.

  • Michael

    What “youth” market? How are the Generation x/y/whatever going to be attracted by a bike with an engine and transmission design that is older than their grand parents? The Youth of today hardly has use for a 6 month old smart phone, much less a 80 year old engine design! News Flash! This is a old hog in a new sack! How much is it going to cost, 15-20K? H-D could not sell Buell, how do they hope to do better with this thing? H-D is NOT about Sport Bikes or Winning Races (except where allowed by AMA rules) You tell me how a kid with a GSXR, CBR or other sport bike is going to be attracted to this so called “sport bike”. How is this going to attract younger riders who have ridden REAL sport bikes that REALLY perform? This is akin to asking a champion jockey to ride a mule in the Kentucky Derby! Looks like more Jesse James/Orange County Choppers to me! Looking at the concept drawings I can see about 100 things wrong when it comes to bringing the concept to reality! It is one thing to draw up a bunch of “Cool” pictures and totally something else to ENGINEER a really great motorcycle that really performs! Hint to H-D, Leave the sport bikes to those who know how to build them!

  • BikePilot

    I like the general idea of a naked big bore v-twin, but fear it’ll end up poorly suspended and way over weight. If they can get the weight down to something even sort-of close to the Ducati Streetfighter and put on quality, adjustable suspension and enough fuel to actually be useful I’d consider buying one.

  • I think they should maybe try a cafe racer first.

    They seem to be allergic to sport, first with Buell and now selling MV Agusta.

  • Neil

    The main problem with Harley is who passed me the other day on a backroad, big group of Harley riders, no safety gear, tattoos, mean looks on their faces, half helmets, minimal sunglasses, no response to my wave, despite me riding my very cool Suzuki TU250 retro single. The dealerships are the same way. The 60’s are over. Come into the 21st century. This bike would be a start, but, they have to get some normal human beings to ride it. If everyone looks like they are pissed off at the world, then young people, who are optimistic, will not come into the dealerships. – The other thing is where Harley is located in the MidWest. People on the coasts are more modern and more with it. They ride all manner of modern technology bikes. A friend in FL just bought a horizontal engined Husaberg. Forward thinking. I like this Brawler design though and I know the Porshe engine is nice as well, having ridden a V Rod.

  • frizzanz

    SCREW HD!! I’m a proud Buell owner, and HD is as f*cked up as it gets concerning its aging and irresponsible management. Both Buell and Augusta suffered for it, and NOW what are they doing?? Harley needs to completely restructure itself and get the old out, and bring the ‘young’ in. HELLO ROTAX!!