In 2019, Harley-Davidson made its intentions clear that it wanted to attract younger riders to the brand. H-D’s image, fronted by low-slung cruisers, was undoubtedly getting a bit old. Naturally, a surefire way to attract the younger generation was to get into the sportier side of things. As we now know with the Sportster S, Harley’s definition of “sport” is, well, different from what the industry defines it to be.
When Harley-Davidson debuted the Bronx concept in 2019, it was clear that this bike was something else. Designed as a full-on naked street fighter, the Bronx featured an almost sportbike-like chassis, premium suspension, and a then-new engine called the Revolution Max. Of course, the Revolution Max engine would later on become a reality with the Pan America and Sportster S, and now, even a smaller iteration of the engine can be found in the recently released Nightster. That said, the Bronx seemed to have faded into obscurity, with little to no mention of the bike.
The fate of the Bronx was ultimately decided when the new Harley boss Jochen Zeitz announced that several models would be cut. Unfortunately, the Bronx was indeed one of these models, as it was delisted on Harley’s website. Instead of attracting younger, sportier riders, Harley-Davidson went on to attract a different segment of riders, although not necessarily younger than its existing fanbase: adventure riders. The Pan America continues to be an impressive contender in the ADV game, and was undeniably a bold move on the MoCo’s part, as it was the brand’s first motorcycle that wasn’t a retro-style cruiser.
Following the launch of the Pan America, it was expected that H-D would launch a new sporty machine. Fans of the Bronx, myself included, hoped that it would be the bike they were looking for, but alas, the Sportster S wasn’t the sporty bike we thought it to be. I mean, it’s a great bike—powerful, a head-turner, and a truly sleek machine, but it still very much followed the dated Harley cruiser platform. The recently unveiled Nightster dialed things back even more, and is even more of a traditional cruiser than the Sportster S.
Is it safe to assume that Harley’s plans of releasing yet another departure from the cruiser platform have ended with the Pan America? Well, maybe not. You see, in April 2022, Harley-Davidson, through its holding company H-D, U.S.A., LLC, filed a patent in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the Bronx name. Could this mean that the Bronx is officially back from the dead? At present, Harley has yet to make any announcements. However, it’s also worth mentioning that there’s a possibility Harley renewed the trademark simply in compliance with the American trademark law which states that all trademarks not used by December 31, 2021 had to be re-registered.