2020 H-D Bronx

6th November 2019


Revolution Max | Streetfighter | 975cc | V-twin


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Harley-Davidson Bronx 975cc riding


Harley-Davidson has finally, but only partly, taken the wraps off a totally new motorcycle platform that it (desperately?) hopes will power the Milwaukee firm into a new age of biking. Consequently, it's appropriate enough that the new engine powering what the firm refers to as a "streetfighter" is called the Revolution Max (not to be confused with the current Revolution X engines).


This new 975cc 60-degree liquid-cooled V-twin boasts "more than 115 horsepower" and churns out "more than 70lbs-ft of torque". That's exactly how the Harley-Davidson marketing people phrased it. Quote, unquote. And aside from telling us that the firm has partnered with Brembo (to develop a new radial monobloc four-piston caliper), and Michelin (to develop co-branded tyres), there's little more information beyond all the usual overblown hype and rhetoric. You'll simply have to study the images and make whatever intelligent guesses you can.


Harley-Davidson Bronx 975cc engine


So why this bike? And why now?


Well Harley-Davidson is in trouble. Not terminally we hope, but things have been getting worse for a while, notably with falling domestic sales and issues relating to currency exchange and financing. But beyond that, traditional buyers are dying in droves and are not being replenished with a new generation.


Harley-Davidson has already tried to address this latter problem by seeking new sales in developing markets, particularly in India and China and elsewhere in the South East Asian markets.


Harley-Davidson Bronx 975cc instruments


The 500cc and 750cc Street range was developed largely to bait the more affluent buyers in these emerging economies. But clearly the factory felt that something a little more hardcore was needed, both in the urban street sector and in the adventure market—the latter of which is still buoyant and is uncharted territory of which H-D wants/needs a piece.

Harley-Davidson Bronx 975cc


Buell, which was bought outright by Harley-Davidson in 2003, and was summarily scrapped in 2009, would have comfortably filled a few pages in the firm's catalogue, notably in the urban street and sports bike sector. But the official line is that Milwaukee wanted to re-focus on the H-D brand, and so the Buell was scrapped. No doubt Erik Buell would have liked to have it back. But H-D nixed that idea, and we are where we now are.


As we write, the new Bronx is being unveiled at the EICMA show. More details will follow over the course of the next few days. And where necessary we'll update this feature.



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