Harley Davidson are back in a big way with their new Icons Collection. These new bikes are reimagined classics and new designs that are both celebrations of Davidson’s history and exhibitions of what the future will hold for Harley Davidson. The Icon Collection will only make one to two motorcycles per year with a limited release.
Harley Davidson became a counterculture icon in the 20th century due to their involvement in both World Wars and their appearances in films like Easy Rider (1969). Harley Davidson were cool. Cool enough that, today, their logo branded t-shirts are almost more popular than their motorcycles are.
To celebrate their long heritage, Harley Davidson have unveiled the Icons Collection. The first bike in the collection is the 2021 Electra Glide Revival. This bike is based on the 1969 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra Glide. This was the first motorcycle to have the batwing fairing. This fairing has often been imitated but never replicated.
Harley Davidson have managed to perfect the nostalgic look they’re going for. Chrome steel laced wheels with whitewall tyres, chrome front fender rails and saddlebag rails, fork covers, and front fender skirt. The blue and off-white colour scheme is a nice touch that really makes the bike feel right out of the 60s, in the best way possible.
The new bike is powered by a Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine that both delivers great performance whilst retaining that classic Harley sound.
Each of the bikes in the Icons Collection will be a one-time build and the Electra Glide Revival will have only 1,500 produced. Each are serialised and will have a price of $AUD 40,495 ($USD 29,199).
Chairman, president and CEO Jochen Zeitz said,
“With the Hardwire, we made a commitment to introduce a series of motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley Davidson. With that in mind, I am proud to introduce our new limited production Icons Collection, a series of extraordinary adaptations of production motorcycles which look to our storied past and bright future.”
What Zeitz has said makes a lot of sense given that Harley Davidson have been having a very hard time in recent years. In 2020, after publishing their profit forecast, H-D had to temporarily lay off most of its global production employees and they also cut the salaries of its leadership, all in an attempt to lower their costs.
Harley Davidson have been struggling to bring in a new generation of riders as its older fanbase are beginning to become simply too old to ride motorcycles. They tried to get younger riders in with electric and nimbler bikes, but that hasn’t been working as well as they would’ve liked.
However, with Zeitz as the new CEO, it looks like they’re trying a new strategy. Nostalgia. It’s clever really, as older generations are no longer buying new bikes, why not produce new bikes that look old, make them collectors’ items to generate consumer interest? If their market isn’t growing, then may as well try and sell to the customers they already have by not offering them a replacement for their current motorcycle but something to collect. Given that Zeitz managed to turn around Puma when they were near bankruptcy, it’s possible he might be onto something here.
Harley Davidson’s stock price has also continued to grow since a terrible 2020. In comparison, 27 April 2020, saw Harley Davidson’s priced at 20.39 while on 27 April 2021, Harley Davidson has been priced at 49.21. So, it looks like the iconic motorcycle company has recovered either due to the pandemic’s impact being limited or through new products and marketing. Regardless, Harley Davidson look like they’re in a comfortable enough position that we will continue to see bikes released in the Icons Collection.