Harley-Davidson up their game with new flat track and café concepts
Filings from the European patent office have confirmed that Harley-Davidson are moving forward with two bikes powered by their new water-cooled engine that follow classic flat track and café racer styles.
Photographs of the prototype machines first emerged towards the end of last year in an investors document, however they didn’t appear on the new model timeline so it wasn’t clear when, or if, they would ever appear. Now Harley-Davidson have gone to the trouble of protecting the intricacies of the design it all but confirms the models are on their way.
Both bikes use the new engine that we have previously seen in the Pan America adventure bike. Dubbed the 'Revolution', the motor is a 60 degree liquid cooled V-twin, which promises a huge step forward in performance for the American brand.
Both the Tracker and the Café Racer appear to be powered by the 1250cc motor from the Pan America. Although modular it’s highly unlikely they will use a smaller displacement engine as the natural rivals to both models (Indian’s FTR1200 and Triumph’s Thruxton) both use 1200cc engines.
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Away from the engine both bikes make use of Harley’s new modular design principle, appearing to share the same steel trellis frame using the engine as a stressed member. They also share some running gear such as suspension, while the swingarm on the flat tracker looks to be straight off the Future Custom model slated for release next year.
After that they begin to separate – the Café Racer is clearly based on the short-lived Willie G. Davidson designed XLCR from the 1970s, right down to the bar and shield logo on the tank. There are further nods with the square swingarm, twin-shock suspension and single seat unit although the famous 2-1-2 exhaust has been chucked.
The Tracker meanwhile is a clear riff on the long lived XR750 and XG750R that Harley-Davidson have long campaigned in professional flat track racing. This has chunky sidemounted highpipes, as well as 19” flat track wheels and a Knight-style tail unit.
Given that neither model appear on Harley’s future planning document suggests we might not see these machines until 2021 at the earliest, with models likely not in dealers until 2022.