This just in – the 2016 Harleys are going to have more guts in them. Harley just announced that the Fat Boy, Slim, and Softail models will get the new HO Twin 103 – that’s the best piece of news I’ve read since my divorce was finalized.
The Softails will all get an upgrade to the High Output Twin Cam 103 engines, previously available only in Harley’s larger touring bikes, as will all the Dyna models except the Street Bob. The new engines will give a noticeable horsepower and torque boost, and H-D also announced that the new Fatboy S and Softail Slim S will get the Twin Cam 110 engine from the CVO line. That ought to bring a smile to your face.
Now, if I weren’t so cynical, I would have to say that Mother Davidson is feeling a little nervous about how Indian and some of the smaller builders are nibbling sales away from them. I’ll be the first to say that with these bigger engines, H-D could really ice down a victory – pardon the pun – if they would lose that silly 2 piece crankshaft, 100 year-old connecting rod technology, and make the chain bulletproof.
“People have been asking for more power,” said Harley’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer. He continued by saying that the 2015 introduction of the Street 500 and 750 machines had helped the company continue to dominate the U.S. motorcycle market, and to increase the brand’s popularity among consumers who are new to it — particularly to a younger, more urban consumer than has been attracted to Harley in the past.
Harley, Richer added, is now the No. 1 seller, in terms of new motorcycle registrations, to young adults, women, African Americans and Latinos — groups that Harley includes in its “outreach” program to target new riders.
“We’re reaching new consumers and building relevance with them,” Richer said. “We’re seeing a lot of first-time Harley riders coming through the door.”
Now, the really good news, for you guys and gals out there who have been saving your nickels and dimes and Home Equity Lines-of-Credit is that these new bikes are for sale as of now, so your dealership is going to be able to get them when you are ready.