03 April 2023

Harley-Davidson 2023 Line-Up for Wayfarer Magazine

The venerable Harley-Davidson, one of the world’s most trusted brands, celebrates 120 years of continuous production.

Words: Roderick Eime. Images: Harley-Davidson

When we cast our eyes over the headlines in the finance pages, we see the prominent tech monsters: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter et al. Enormous corporations who produce, well, nothing except optimistic profit projections.

At the very beginning of last century, making it big had a whole other meaning. It meant sprawling, noisy factories and a workforce who rolled their sleeves up, got their hands dirty  and made things. Beautiful things. 

The story of Harley-Davidson motorcycles is a true American legend and this year the Motor Company celebrates 120 years of continuous production, the longest of any motorcycle brand. There are other brands with their own claims, but all have suffered interruptions and various cycles of demise and resurrection. Not so the Motor Company. It has weathered world wars, recessions, depressions, corporate bashes and stock market crashes.

The preferred brand of Hollywood A-listers, the global glitterati and captains of industry alike, any way you look at it, a Harley makes a statement.

The brand’s diehards will tell you the iconic Motor Company’s impeccable heritage and continuity are key to the attraction. The large frame machines and their signature 45-degree V-Twin engines producing that distinctive exhaust note are the mainstay of production, but the 21st century has brought new challenges. 

“At some point in time, Harley-Davidson will be all-electric,” said CEO Jochen Zeitz, in a recent interview “But that’s a long-term transition that needs to happen. It’s not something you do overnight.”

Nevertheless, Harley-Davidson will go down in history as the first major manufartuer to reveal a full-size electric motorcycle, the LiveWire in 2014. That introduction may not have been a seemless process, but you can be sure the other major manufacturers have electric bikes on the drawing board too.

The 2023 model line-up is the result of some recent shakeups. The mid-level and learner-approved Street 500 is gone and the venerable Sportster with its 883 and 1200 Revolution engines has been replaced by a new Sportster S with a 1275 Revolution Max (RevMax) watercooled, DOHC engine. Purists have been heard to argue that the smaller 975cc Nightster is more faithful to the original Sportster that ran with minimal alteration from 1957 than the brutish newcomer.

Harley-Davidson continues to persist with the PanAmerica adventure bike, which has been a resounding hit with the critics but has been slow to gain traction in the Australian market.

Also making a welcome return to the MY23 lineup is Breakout in new muscular 117ci trim with stunning Baja Orange paint as an option. 

For full details on the 2023 Harley-Davidson range, visit your local dealer or see www.harley-davidson.com

Harley-Davidson 2023 Line-Up Highlights

The Breakout® returns in 2023, flexing more muscle and flashing bright new styling over its long-and-lean chopper profile. The muscle is provided by the Milwaukee-Eight® 117 V-Twin engine, the pinnacle of torque and displacement in a factory-installed, regular-production Harley-Davidson® powertrain that gives the Breakout rider instant bragging rights on the street.  New for 2023, the bike has a 19 litre fuel tank topped with a low-profile chrome console shaped to lengthen the motorcycle profile and extend riding range. Also, a new handlebar riser and polished stainless steel handlebar is 19mm taller for improved rider reach to controls.

Nightster Special. This new middleweight contender amplifies the Nightster motorcycle riding experience with a host of style, convenience and technology upgrades. Exhilarating performance is delivered by the Revolution® Max 975T liquid-cooled V-Twin engine, tuned to make tremendous torque at low RPM. To minimize overall motorcycle weight the engine is integrated into the vehicle as the central member of the chassis.

Fat Boy® Anniversary. Proof that more is better. The original wide ride on two wheels with steamroller stance takes on a whole new look in celebration of Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary.

The Pan America™ motorcycle is Harley-Davidson’s explore-it-all machine for riders who see touring as detouring – on road and off. This rugged, powerful, technologically advanced multi-purpose vehicle is designed from the ground up to be capable, confidence inspiring, and fun wherever the road may take you. The Pan America 1250 Special model is a premium adventure touring motorcycle loaded with exclusive features. Some of those options include electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension and an industry-first innovation, Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), a suspension system that automatically transitions between a low stopped position and optimal ride height when the motorcycle is in motion.

Originally published in Wayfarer Travel Magazine Issue 5.

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