The design community has always swarmed around the iconic Harley-Davidson cruisers. We plucked these two proposals just to see what your reaction would be to being able to buy bikes like these? The concepts are from two different designers from around the world, that have injected some modern elements into the possibility of a future Harley product.
“Street Fighter” is the first Harley-Davidson concept
The first one is from design student Yan-Xuan Lai, called “Street Fighter.” There’s a heavy feel to the concept, mostly due to the headlight being tied to the gas tank. If there is any downside to the design it rests with the fairing around the handlebars.
Those slim reliefs allowing the handlebars to stick out look like they could amputate a finger or hand in an accident. That area of the design would need to be opened up to allow more room so that in an accident, anything between the handlebar and fairing isn’t pinched off between the two.
The Harley-Davidson design could use a bit of slimming down
And possibly slimming down the bulky headlight/tank dimensions would visually lighten up the design. But we like the sweeping lines surrounding both the top and bottom of the V-Twin. Keeping the engine exposed helps to visually lighten up things, and it is a traditional element of all Harleys.
The relationship between the seat, tank, and handlebars suggests more of a racing bike proportion rather than a traditional cruiser or chopper. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Especially these days, breaking from the mold gives more choices, which is never bad.
Lai envisions the Street Fighter as a hybrid bike. Maybe this could bridge the gap between the LiveWire and V-Twin Harleys.
This Harley-Davidson concept is an electric bike
The second design is by Tanner Van de Veer and is intended to appeal to young consumers. It’s all-electric, yet it takes on the proportions of an old board track racer from the 1920s. It still retains the brand’s identity but offers up a modern aesthetic.
There’s nary a curved line on the entire motorcycle. Yet, it doesn’t project Brutalism or the Giugiaro knife-edge designs of the 1970s, like the original VW Rabbit. The body is thin which, along with the exposed frame, keeps the design light and airy. And while the whole design seems low to the ground, there is actually plenty of ground clearance.
There’s another part to this concept
Van de Veer also envisions Harley-Davidson battery centers. Here, you can swap out your almost-spent battery for a fully recharged one. You do ‘t own any of the batteries. They’re rented to you or you can subscribe for the service. This way, there are no concerns about batteries, and this also allows for a lower purchase price for the bike.
Harley’s future is fraught with uncertainty. It could use some fresh thinking like this. This type of battery drop-off station idea is gaining favor in places like China. For vehicles with smaller batteries, it is a simple and quick remove and replace procedure and you’re back on the road. Enjoying the open air and wind in your face.