Harley 2015 model range evolution

It is interesting to look into more detail in the model range evolution of Harley-Davidson. It seems there is a strong strategy behind this, with a clear differentiation between markets and models.

What happened in 2015? Lets forget about the return of the Road Glide, that was expected is is good news, but the real changes happen at the borders of the range: the small Streets and the 3 wheeler.

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Europe does not get the Freewheeler in 2015. Will they ever? Hard to say, but the US is trike country, not Europe, and to promote their acceptance here, they are build and registered to be drivable (you drive them, don’t ride them) with a car license. To achieve this within the strict EU regulations, Harley-davidson had to disable the mean headlight, as “cars” are not allowed to have a central light. As usual, bureaucratic rules doe not contribute to the balance and beauty of anything, not even a trike.

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The central piece is a distorting mirror of chrome, while the left and right passing lights are proper headlights.

Looking at the beautiful less bulky new Freewheeler, you quickly see the problem:

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With its Fat Boy style front lights, there is no way to get a homologation in Europe to drive it with a car licence. It will be interesting to see how Harley-Davidson will solve this.

Now, is the model range 2015 the start of the death of the Sportster?

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Maybe, though the so much loved Sportster 883R was already missing from the US range in 2014. But the Streets are clearly coming, and that is maybe good news. While their launch in Europe is gradual, first Street 750 only in continental Europe, then hopefully soon the UK), I fear the days of some Sportster models are counted. So get the best commuter Harley-Davidson now – the 883 Roadster may soon be gone…

The 883R was displayed at the Nashville dealers meeting, photo by Garry Knowles

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