Harley-Davidson’s hooligan bike might still break cover

​When we first caught sight of the Harley-Davidson Bronx naked sportbike a couple of years ago via it’s 2019 EICMA debut alongside the Pan America, as well as the incredible LiveWire we got to ride in Daytona for a day, we knew the Motor Company was on a new path, and stirring a few pots at the same time. We loved their forward thinking with those offerings, diving into the wildly popular ADV segment with the now runaway best-seller Pan Am, expanding into the growing EV world with the LiveWire, and making a big splash in the naked sportbike class with the Bronx.

Alas, it was not all to be. Hard economic and pandemic times called for hard decisions, and H-D dropped the Bronx, much to the chagrin of many hoping to see and ride this groundbreaking motorcycle, ourselves included.

Now we’ve caught wind that the Bronx project might not actually be dead in the water, but may have only been on suspension. Several clues from sources we’ve read indicate we might still see a Bronx naked sport in the not-too-distant future. Here’s hoping!

We were shocked and saddened to learn of the Bronx’s demise. Maybe a resurrection is coming?

First, a report in Top Speed states that Harley had renewed the Bronx name with the U.S. Trademark Office, “which it has to do within three years of the original filing or potentially losing the rights to the name,” their story states. Of course, that’s not necessarily confirmation that their project is moving forward, but at least it throws us a bone to chew on.

Second, at the 2019 EICMA show in Milan, the Bronx demo bike Harley presented looked remarkably production-ready. Top Speed went on to speculate, “Would Harley really go to those lengths – and expense – to simply abandon the project, especially when the resulting model would likely be a big hit in Europe and elsewhere?” And by “elsewhere”, we believe it would be a winner here stateside too, as long as it’s priced competitively.

A Harley hooligan bike, with that Revolution Max 975 or 1250 powerplant? Dude.

Third, and maybe we’re presuming too much here, was Zeitz’s comment back in ‘20 that the Bronx would not be in the lineup “next year (2021).” We’re thinking that, just because the project was pulled for 2021, might mean we could conceivably still see it in the foreseeable future? Speculation at best, we know, but if there’s a possibility,…

Under Jochen‘s leadership, the Motor Company has shown both a willingness to take dramatic chances for the future, while retaining their core demographic of cruiser and tourer riders. They’ve jumped into the deep end of the moto pool with the Pan America in the ADV segment and the EV segment with the now independent LiveWire line, as well as beginning to rethink their iconic Sportster bikes, so who’s to say they still won’t toss the Bronx into the popular “hooligan” naked sportbike category at some point?

We’re certainly hoping so.

Rob

Hey, let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you and chat about it. Drop us a comment below!

*Info sourced from Top Speed and WebBikeWorld. Photos by Harley-Davidson.

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2 Comments

  1. Lance Oliver

    As much as I might want to believe it, I see two problems with this hopeful line of thinking. The Bronx concept shown in 2019 was developed under former CEO Levatich. Zeitz didn’t become acting CEO until 2020. He adopted the Pan America and LiveWire (though that’s now been spun off) but he’s never shown enthusiasm for the Bronx, and what Zeitz doesn’t like doesn’t happen at H-D.

    Second problem: You can get a 1200cc Indian FTR for $13,000. H-D can’t build the Bronx with the smaller 975cc engine and sell it for $13,000, much less the lower price it would have to have to compete with other naked sporty bikes. H-D even wants more than $13,000 for a Nightster. Zeitz wants to sell expensive motorcycles with premium markups and I suspect he knows he can’t do that with the Bronx. I suspect we may see a sportier variant of the Sportster next, but I doubt it will be the Bronx.

    Reply
    • Rob Brooks

      Good points, all. But the Motor Company has surprised us before, so I’m still holding out hope, even if it’s only a “fools hope”.

      Reply

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