The ongoing global pandemic has been brutal for everyone and the automotive industry too, isn’t spared from it. What was once one of the most desirable motorcycle brands in the world, Harley-Davidson isn’t as popular these days as it was. As motorcycling genres evolved and expanded, Harley-Davidson’s tramlined range offered a limited choice to enthusiasts, while other brands kept on dishing out newer and varied experiences. Things did look a bit promising when H-D unveiled the concepts of Pan America ADV tourer and the Bronx naked streetfighter.
Is the Bronx dead?
After unveiling the concepts, they also claimed that these weren’t just mere concepts and will enter the production line in 2021. Seems like the pandemic has cursed Harley-Davidson in this department too because as reports suggest, we might not see the Bronx naked streetfighter spawning into reality.
The ‘Haywire’ strategies
Harley-Davidson is experiencing some financial problems and had an upper-level management change sometime back where Matt Levatich was replaced by Zeitz. In an official statement, he said: “We are not willing to sacrifice the strength of our legacy in a quest for pure volume growth going forward.” Harley-Davidson’s new CEO Joechen Zeitz unveiled a strategy called ‘The Rewire’, which will help the manufacturer work lean and focus on core markets, where the brand can foresee revival. For the uninitiated, Harley-Davidson posted a $92 million net loss in the second quarter of this year and sales have been dismal even in the much-important home market.
Beyond the current ‘Rewire’ plan, another 5-year-long ‘Hardwire’ restructuring plan is said to be in the printer. While the highly anticipated Pan America made the Rewire cut with an expected launch date pushed back to early 2021, all traces of the Bronx have now virtually disappeared. It looks like the streetfighter could be a casualty of Zeitz’s new roadmap. The Bronx streetfighter was also pulled off from the company’s official website. Under the tagline ‘Here’s a taste of what’s to come’, the company has removed the Bronx altogether while the Pan America still appears on the website.
What was the Bronx exactly?
The Bronx streetfighter could have been highly successful for Harley in some popular markets where middleweight naked streetfighters are all the rage now. It could have also introduced the much-needed diversification in Harley-Davidson’s portfolio. It got everything going for it, whether it be performance, looks or equipment on offer. It utilized a new 975cc 60-degree V-twin liquid-cooled engine which could churn out 116PS and 95Nm of peak torque. The Bronx used the engine as a stressed member and had good cycle parts as well. Harley had developed model-specific monoblock calipers from Brembo and tyres from Michelin. It also sported a separate function USD fork and adjustable monoshock suspension. Not only this, it also had features such as a TFT screen, cruise control, heated grips and smartphone connectivity. The muscular styling was captivating too.
Seems like Bronx is not going to be the only motorcycle to face the brunt of the new strategy. Sometime back, we reported that the HD350 is going to be based on the upcoming Benelli TNT 300 and recently, the updated version of the same was unveiled in China. But according to the recent statements made by the iconic American brand, it looks like that plan too, could be put on hold for a while or shelved altogether.