This as-yet unnamed Harley-Davidson concept bike seems somewhere between a dirtbike and a motorized mountain bike in function and weight. Australian Jackson “Jacko” strong, X-Games motocross medalist is no stranger to dirtbikes, and takes the new Harley on a quick spin while in Aspen for the 2019 games.
The bike, sporting what seem to be studded knobby bicycle tires, looks as at home in the snow as the rider.Shenanigans ensue, as you’d expect of a young guy who does this sort of thing for a living, and who has been handed someone else’s bike to ride.
While it’s a Harley-branded (and funded) commercial at its root, in the video Strong seems genuinely impressed with the bike’s handling, weight, instant torque availability and the lack of a clutch. He seemed to have a ton of fun with it.
The noise the bike makes is remarkable in its own right: not a combustion engine but the howl of an electric motor. This makes for an interesting dichotomy, especially when paired with the introductory blast in the video showing the bar-and-shield Harley logo coupled with “ELECTRIC IS THE FUTURE.”
How will the faithful react to this? Has Harley fully committed to their electric future? Will they fully support their new line of electric bikes exactly like they didn't support Buell? One thing is for sure: "adapt or die" isn't some idle threat, and Harley needs to appeal to a younger market segment pronto. The Harley website makes a bold statement: "The ... new concepts are proof positive of our More Roads vision and our commitment to a full lineup of electric two-wheelers designed to establish the company as the leader in electrification of mobility over the next several years and inspire new riders with new ways to ride." The livewire might not do it, but if this concept comes to market and the pricing is right, it might help to resurrect and reinvent the brand, even without any potatoes involved.