Bad news from San Francisco today, as we learn that Alta Motors has ceased business operations, effective immediately, sending the company’s staff home as the electric motorcycle manufacturer looks for future funding.
Talking to an anonymous source, Asphalt & Rubber has been told that Alta Motors is in the midst of a strategic wind down, as it looks for an outside acquisition or investment.
It’s that time of the year again, where Christmas comes early to the motorcycle industry, and we get to see all the new motorcycles that will be coming for the next model year, and beyond.
For the 2019 model year, we expect to see new models debuting at the INTERMOT, AIMExpo, and EICMA trade shows, which are in Cologne, Las Vegas, and Milan.
With things kicking off in Germany next week, we thought we would put together a guide for all the new motorcycles that we expect to see in the coming weeks. There are a bevy of new models that we know will be released at these three trade shows, and there are more than a few rumors of new bikes as well, which may surprise us.
Without wasting anymore time, let’s get down to it. We have broken down the new models and rumors by each manufacturer. Enjoy!
When we broke the news that Harley-Davidson and Alta Motors were parting ways, we teased the idea that the Bar & Shield brand might go it alone with its electric future. Since that breakup, there have been murmurings that Harley-Davidson was going to build its own EV design and research center, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, and today those rumors became true.
Announcing the plans during the company’s 115th birthday celebration, Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich described the plan as an extension of Harley-Davidson’s commitment to make electric vehicles, and the move is an obvious grab at some of the top electric vehicle talent that resides in Northern California.
It was just six months ago that we broke the news about Harley-Davidson investing in electric motorcycle maker Alta Motors, and now in that short timeframe that story has seemingly made a 180° turn.
Our sources tell us that Harley-Davidson has all but removed itself from its joint motorcycle project with Alta, and backed out of its involvement in the San Francisco startup.
For Alta, this means losing the backing of a strategic investor, as well as the resources that Harley-Davidson wields in the motorcycle industry when it comes to purchasing power and vehicle development.
For the Bar & Shield brand, this raises interesting questions about Harley-Davidson’s electric roadmap, which the company revealed just one month ago – not so subtly with a concept sketch that clearly showed the use of an Alta Motors battery pack.
Hoping to pressure Harley-Davidson into keeping its production in the United States, President Trump this weekend tweeted words of encouragement to riders who planned to boycott the American motorcycle brand.
This shouldn’t be too surprising, considering that Harley-Davidson has increasingly found itself at odds with the White House, primarily over President Trump’s trade negotiations and agreements.
The tension started with the United States withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and reached a boiling point when President Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel.
Now with Harley-Davidson signaling its plans to move into new segments and create a new business plan for the 21st century, the Trump Administration is increasing the pressure for Harley-Davidson to maintain the status quo.
Episode 83 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we talk mostly about Harley-Davidson’s big fat new bike road map announcement.
Before we get to that though, we talk some news: Triumph North America losing its COO, MV Agusta’s new Moto2 race bike, Aprilia’s rumored parallel-twin sport bike, and emission concerns in Europe & Japan, as well as California.
The conversation then turns to news from World Ducati Week 2018, as well as a recap from the Suzuka 8-Hours endurance race in Japan.
From there, we talk about Harley-Davidson – its ADV bike, its streetfighter, its custom model, and its electric lineup. We also talk about the company’s business plan going forward, and what we see in Harley-Davidson’s future.
There is a lot of ground to cover in this show, but thankfully we had plenty of caffeine to help us through it. Enjoy!
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
We hope you will join the conversation, and leave us some audio comments at our new email address: email@example.com.
The biggest announcement from Harley-Davidson today wasn’t its adventure-touring motorcycle (though it looks interesting), and it wasn’t its new Streetfighter or Custom models either (one of these I like, the other not so much).
The big news wasn’t the Livewire getting closer to production, though that is close to the mark, and where this story is ultimately headed.
All of these announcement would have been worthy of their own day in the press cycle, but the real news from the Bar & Shield brand is a look at Harley-Davidson’s upcoming electric lineup, which is coming across as very robust, and shows a decisive plan for the future.
In case you missed the new, Harley-Davidson dropped a number of new model concepts on us today, all which are to go into production by the 2022 model year. We have already shown you the ADV concept, as well as the Streetfighter concept.
There are a bevy of electric bikes to see as well, along with an e-bike program, but right now we want to focus your attention on the Harley-Davidson Custom, a modern take on the Sportster platform. It might be the first cruiser that we have actually lusted over.
For the loyal Asphalt & Rubber readers on this page, that statement should certainly say something about how much we are digging this potent v-twin concept.
Harley-Davidson has ambitious plans for the 2020 model year, releasing a number of concept teasers today for new motorcycles. These plans include an adventure-touring model, some electric models including e-bikes, a new roadster “custom”, and perhaps our favorite, a streetfighter model.
Based around the same modular engine design, which will have a variety of displacements (500cc to 1,250cc), the Harley-Davidson Streetfighter will get the 975cc version of the liquid-cooled v-twin engine.
Perhaps the most lithe machine we have seen from the Bar & Shield brand, the Harley-Davidson Streetfighter looks the part, albeit in a very Harley-Davidson way.
For as long as Asphalt & Rubber has been in business, we have never seen Harley-Davidson debut an actual new motorcycle.
Rehashing the same design ethos over and over again, Harley-Davidson’s “new” bikes each year fail to stray very far from their predecessors. This notion changes today, however.
Releasing a number of concepts for future machines, the Bar & Shield brand is showing signs of life. The concepts include electric motorcycles, e-bikes, a new roadster, a streetfighter, and even an adventure-tourer.
We will take a look at these machines in turn, but first up, let’s look at Harley-Davidson’s biggest surprise to us, its ADV bike, which is called the Harley-Davidson Pan America.