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Harley-Davidson just revealed the most important new motorcycle in its history — and it isn't electric (HOG)
Publisher:  business insider
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

Small Harley

  • Harley-Davidson announced that it's partnering with a Chinese manufacturer to build a small-displacement motorcycle for the Asian market.
  • The bike, at 338cc, would be much smaller than Harley's smallest US product.
  • Harley CEO Matt Levatich has set a goal for international sales to make up half of the company's total.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer, has been generating buzz the past few years with its LiveWire electric bike, slated to launch later in 2019.

Harley's aren't cheap, but the LiveWire is notable for it's expected price tag of nearly $30,000. 

Electric motorcycles are an extremely niche market at this point, but it if anybody is going to rev up buyers, it's Harley.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the company made a far more significant announcement: a small-displacement motorcycle — 338cc — for the China market, to be built with Qianjiang Motorcycle Company Limited, a subsidiary of Geely, which in another capacity owns Volvo.

Read more: Harley-Davidson is betting big on an electric future, but the company could be making a big mistake

Harley needs to court Chinese and Asian buyers in a big way; in the US, motorcycle sales have been declining for years, and although there's no looming catastrophe and Harley still posts large profits on the hulking bikes in does sell, CEO Matt Levatich's strategy hinges on making sales outside the US half of the company's total.

"We're excited about this opportunity to build more Harley riders in China, one of the world's largest motorcycle markets, by creating new pathways to our brand," he said in a statement.

The right bike for the Asian market

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Harley is renowned for its heavy, loud cruisers, but in recent years it's been moving down the displacement ladder. The company now sells a 500cc bike for about $7,000, the Street 500. 

Small displacement makes sense if you're trying to attract new riders who might have learned the ropes on a 250cc Honda Rebel and a motorcycle training course (or simply zipped around on a little dirt bike as a kid). Harley has left that space for the Japanese, for a variety of reasons — mainly because in the US, motorcycles are ridden more in the pursuit of fun than out of necessity, and the company wants to follow the money and sell pricey toys to affluent buyers. 

Harley has also traditionally reasoned that its riders graduate from an entry-level bike to a "real" motorcycle when they take the Harley plunge.

In Asia, however, motorcycles are daily transportation. In that region, small bikes are popular. Harley's logic is to get the brand established at the lower rungs of the market and distinguish Harley quality from a sea of cheap motorcycles, setting buyers up to ascend from small bike to a larger one.

Effectively, Harley's move here is all about branding. That raises the obvious question of whether a sub-500cc motorcycle can be a tue Harley-Davidson.

The little Harley that could

donald trump harley davidson

"Like all Harley-Davidson products, this new model will embody a distinctive look, sound and feel that will spark powerful connections with riders," the company said in a statement, addressing this issue without offering too much in the way of technical details.

"The new Harley-Davidson motorcycle and engine will be produced in a Qianjiang facility in China and adhere to the rigorous quality standards and testing processes followed for all Harley-Davidson products," Harley added.

Harley released a rendering of the new bike, and it's a departure, flying Hog colors and the Harley shield but looking more like a typical upright Japanese bike. It goes without saying that the bike won't have anything like the stonking V-Twin engine under the hood.

The bike goes on sales in 2020, Harley said. The company didn't release pricing, but it's safe to assume that it would be one of the more expensive two-wheelers in it category.

It would be impossible for Harley to build this bike in the US for export, but the decision could draw the ire of President Trump nonetheless. He's attacked Harley-Davidson in the past for it decision to outsource production to markets where it intends to sell new motorcycles.

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NOW WATCH: A professional drifter drives with his feet after losing both of his arms in a motorcycle accident

Harvey Weinstein loses another defense lawyer
Publisher:  AOL
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

Harvey Weinstein has lost another defense lawyer, just three months before he is set to go on trial for rape and sexual assault.


Catfish The TV Show: The story of Kristina and Faith
Publisher:  Monsters and Critics
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

There’s a brand new episode of Catfish: The TV Show on MTV tonight and viewers will follow Nev Schulman and Tallulah Willis as they go on a journey to find answers. Tonight, they will help Kristina who lives outside of Detroit. The story is about Faith, someone who Kristina met […]

Google’s Private Join and Compute gives companies data insights while preserving privacy
Publisher:  VentureBeat
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

Google HQ
Google's Private Join and Compute, which is now available in open source, allows companies to glean insights from data sets without sacrificing privacy.Read More

Elizabeth Hurley Shows Off Sexy Legs In Skimpy Daisy Dukes At 54
Publisher:  inquisitr
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

Eizabeth Hurley attends the 'Rocketman' U.K. premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on May 20.

Elizabeth Hurley has been rather quiet on social media lately. The stunning actress and model hasn’t been seen on Instagram in more than a week, and her absence was noticed by her adoring fans.

The last time that the English beauty went online was last Tuesday when she shared a lovely birthday post all the way from Malibu. As The Inquisitr previously reported, The Royals star turned 54-years-old on June 10. Posing on a sandy beach, with the frothy waves at her back, Elizabeth celebrated the happy occasion with a sun-kissed photo and received a heap of birthday wishes from her sizeable Instagram following.

Fans who have missed her sizzling posts will be glad to know that the gorgeous actress is now back on Instagram with yet another scorching pic. On Wednesday, Elizabeth reached out to her vast base of admirers for the first time since her birthday and was welcomed with a torrent of compliments.

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New Frontier Data And PwC Canada Join Forces
Publisher:  Benzinga
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

New Frontier Data and PwC Canada Join Forces to Bring Data-Analytics and Business Intelligence to the Cannabis Industry

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Wayne Newton tells jury he fired gunshot as burglars fled
Publisher:  New York Post
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:45

"My wife was in hysterics and crying," Newton said.

‘Sports Illustrated’ Bombshell Erin Willerton Spreads Her Legs In Barely-There Bikini
Publisher:  inquisitr
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:44

'Sports Illustrated' model Erin Willerton poses for a selfie in front of a mirror while wearing a red dress and lipstick.

Even though the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue that features her very first spread came out in early May, Erin Willerton hasn’t stopped posing a bikini. The British model often takes to her Instagram page to delight her fans with sizzling snapshots of herself in swimsuits and other sexy ensembles.

That is exactly what the 21-year-old model did on Tuesday when she took to the popular photo-sharing social media site to post a racy photo in which she is striking a revealing pose while rocking a skimpy white bikini. In the snapshot, the Bristol native is donning a two-piece swimsuit that consists of a straight-cut top with thick straps that go over the model’s shoulders that look like belts with holes for the wearer to adjust their length. Its low-cut neckline plunges into the chest, accentuating Willerton’s cleavage.

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Jackson Mabokgwane and Thabo Qalinge headline Orlando Pirates player exodus
Publisher: News - English - America
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:44

The Buccaneers have began their preparations for next season by releasing no less than four senior players

REPORT: Kyrie Irving Has ‘Ghosted’ The Boston Celtics
Publisher:  The Daily Caller
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 09:44

This doesn't sound good

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