Is This Harley-Davidson’s New Urban-Themed Motorcycle?

Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) knows that if it wants to retreat a waves of descending sales, it’s going to need to interest to motorcycling’s ostensible new supplement demographic: young, urban, and increasingly female. And what improved approach than with a motorcycle that evokes a dirty feel of a city?

Because a styling is still going to have to mostly heed to a platforms available, Harley’s going to need a approach for a bike to immediately contend it’s built for that rider. That could really good be because it has submitted applications to a U.S. Patent Trademark Office to heading a name “Bronx” and “Harley-Davidson Bronx.”

The outward of a Bronx, New York, open housing project.The outward of a Bronx, New York, open housing project.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Bronx is up

If there’s an civic sourroundings that still has that visceral, irritable feeling, it’s a Bronx, one of a 5 boroughs of New York City. Brooklyn has left hipster, Manhattan is too upscale, Queens, yet ethnically diverse, is well-bred and artsy, and Staten Island, well, it doesn’t feel like you’re even in a city. While there are a lot of cities Harley-Davidson could have chosen, a Bronx is still tender in many people’s minds and would do good as an evident depiction of what it would be like on a new Harley cruiser.

There are other metropolises, of course, that bleed a identical response. Detroit’s one, yet it’s distant too closely dependent with automobiles to make a jump to motorcycles. Chicago is another, yet maybe a Windy City doesn’t have that same appeal. And Milwaukee was already reserved to Harley’s new engine. Despite being a home of a New York Yankees, a Bronx Zoo, and a New York Botanical Garden, a Bronx arguably doesn’t have a apart identity.

It is different what Harley-Davidson indeed has designed for a name. Industry site seemed to be a one that beheld a focus first, and remarkable that it does contend it’s for “motorcycles and constructional tools therefor,” suggesting it might be a new bike, yet Harley has never before named one of a bikes after a place. Polaris Industries has usually finished it once, with a Springfield model, that it remarkable was a hearth of Indian Motorcycle.

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 parked in front of a section wall.The Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 parked in front of a section wall.

Image source: Harley-Davidson.

A doubt of style

The focus also gives no denote of what a bike might demeanour like, yet it’s easy to suppose a Harley-Davidson Bronx being partial of a Dark Custom line that it introduced several years ago — initial with a Iron 883, afterwards with a Street 500 and Street 750 models. It was those models that were ostensible to interest to a new supplement demo, as a prime masculine receded from shopping a bikes in vast numbers.

And yet a Streets creatively were some of Harley’s large sellers, their interest seems to have waned. In a third quarter, shipments of bikes in a Sportster/Street shred tumbled 14% from a year-ago duration and are down 11% year to date, indicating that a decrease is accelerating.

In further to not meaningful what a Bronx would demeanour like, we also don’t know when it would appear. An applicant has 3 years to use a heading or risk losing it, yet a USPTO has pronounced it won’t even allot an investigator to investigate a focus for about 3 months, so it’s not about to come anytime soon.

One out of 100

Still, Harley-Davidson has committed to building 100 new motorcycles over a subsequent 10 years in a bid to move 2 million new riders to a brand. In 2017 it introduced a Road King Special and a Street Rod, and followed that adult for a 2018 indication year with 8 new bikes that were announced when it pronounced it was folding a renouned Dyna height into a Softail and murdering off a V-Rod. Those bikes enclosed a Fat Boy, Heritage Classic, Low Rider, Softail Slim, Deluxe, Breakout, Fat Bob, and a Street Bob. It’s given reintroduced a Sports Glide as well. And not a state, city, borough, village, or Rural Free Delivery name among them.

It’s clear, though, that Harley-Davidson needs something that resonates with riders. It’s confronting a fourth true year of descending sales, and there’s not most to advise that there’s a turnaround entrance in 2018, a new lineup notwithstanding.

Increased competition, an attention that’s declining, and a portfolio of cost bikes in an sourroundings of discounting doesn’t bode well. If a Harley-Davidson Bronx is a new motorcycle, and not only a line of aftermarket tools and accessories like a Screamin’ Eagle line, or worse — tchotchkes with a Harley trademark slapped on them — it’s one that ought to be confidant adequate to change a energetic for a bike maker. That does sound like something a Bronx could do.

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Rich Duprey has no position in any of a bonds mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Polaris Industries. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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