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Harley-Davidson

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The changes continue in Milwaukee, as Harley-Davidson will make a dedicated electric motorcycle brand under the LiveWire name (similar to what the American brand has done with its “Serial 1” brand of e-bikes).

Seeming forgetting about the original Harley-Davidson Livewire motorcycle, the Bar & Shield brand says that the first LiveWire motorcycle will debut on July 8th, 2021 and show at the International Motorcycle Show a day later.

Episode 61 of the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast is out with another “weekly” episode, for your two-wheeled listening pleasure. Apologies for the delay on this one – I am pretty sure it was edited with a mild concussion, which will be explained in Episode 62.

The show is worth the wait though, as we talk about riding the new Aprilia RSV4 superbike at Laguna Seca. Spoiler alert: it’s awesome.

We now take a break from our usual doom and gloom when it comes to Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales, to report that the Bar & Shield brand has reported a stellar first quarter to 2021.

What we expect will the first of many motorcycle manufacturers to see strong growth in the new year, Harley-Davidson saw a 9% increase in motorcycles sold in the first three months of this year. Boom goes the dynamite.

After a long run-up, it is now really happening: Harley-Davidson is launching an all-road motorcycle with the Pan America 1250. No, not a soft adventure or crossover, but a real all-road, which will enter the category where the BMW R1250GS ruled for years.

As they say within the American brand full throttle marketing campaign: “this changes everything” – even if that’s just the case for themselves. 

The Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 is perhaps the most-anticipated motorcycle for the 2021 model year, as the bike is set to define the future of the Bar & Shield brand.

If the bike is a success on the sale floor, the future bodes well for this iconic American institution. If the bike is another failure, like the V-Rod (and Livewire), then well…Harley-Davidson has a tough road ahead of it.

With the European press launch of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 coming ahead of the bike’s debut in the USA (weird, right?), we couldn’t wait when came to evaluating this important machine.

Harley-Davidson is recalling 31,346 motorcycles for a faulty headlight bulb, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The recall affects mostly bikes from the Sportster family of bikes, but the headlight assembly (with the faulty bulbs inside) were also sold as replacement headlights (roughly 800 unites) for bikes in the Softail, Dyna, and V-Rod families.

That Harley-Davidson has an age problem is no secret in the motorcycle community. The Bar & Shield brand is suffering heavily from the decline of baby boomers in the two-wheeled lifestyle, and now it must reinvent itself for a new generation of rider.

In that effort, no stone has been left unturned. Harley-Davidson was the first major motorcycle manufacturer to create a full-sized electric motorcycle, and it is about to debut its first true adventure bike (don’t believe the marketing hype to contrary).

Harley-Davidson has even made an effort to engage with millennials and younger generations in meaningful ways, which has meant deviating from more traditional market-outreach efforts.

Today’s news pounds that point home further, as the Bar & Shield brand has launched a presence on the OnlyFans social media platform.

Hidden by talk of the Harley-Davidson “Hardwire” business plan, which seems like more business speak than actual business substance, we also have the American brand’s Q4 results from last year, as well as the yearly sales results from 2020.

If you need a two-word summary of those sales results, we will provide you with a “not good” response.

Harley-Davidson finished the year down 17.4% compared to the sales numbers of 2019, with Q4 2020 showing a 14% drop over the same time period last year.

As we get closer to the debut of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 for the 2021 model year, information about this adventure bike is making its way into Harley-Davidson’s various channels, which means it’s making its way into the ears of our Bothan spies.

First reported on the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast, our initial news is that the Pan America will debut at a fairly affordable price for the category, starting around the $17,000 mark.

With all the bells and whistles installed, the bike is still expected to be a sub-$20,000 machine, which makes it one of the more affordable luxury ADV bikes on the market.