We are now in the cold grips of winter and I have personally already read through my stockpile of motorcycle magazines, blown through the drive of motorcycle movies I’ve saved, even mapped out a few trips and rides for the upcoming riding season. It’s already been a long winter. So I decided to do something a little different and take all the news and information I’ve gathered throughout 2017 and put together a prediction post. Now I’m no “Carnac the magnificent” but I figured I’d give it a shot.
The return of the mid-size cruisers
In 2017 both Harley-Davidson and Indian MC made a push to appeal to the mid-size cruiser market by styling up their current offerings. HD rolled out the 2018 Street Bob and Indian MC came out with the Scout Bobber. Both bikes are geared toward the urban rider that may want to do a little-extended riding on the weekend, and I see that trend continuing. I don’t think full dressers are going away anytime soon but both companies recognize that their clientele is changing. Now, all we need to see is a reasonable price point for both bikes like say 10K and I think they would be a hit.
The rise of HUD
In 2016 Skully ceased operations due to a number of reasons that you can easily Google. With its demise, a lot of people saw that as the end of Heads-Up-Displays for motorcycles, but that was no the case. Where Skully sank, others have risen. The likes of Nuviz and Kickstarter campaigns such as CrossHelmet have given the helmet market a shot in the arm and I only see that growing this year. Also, you have companies like Samsung developing a prototype HUD windshield. This is a trend that won’t be stopping.
Rally attendance will rise sharply
This prediction is based on 2016 vs 2017 attendance numbers for Sturgis with attendance rising a by only 10,000 from 366,00 in 2016 to 376,000 in 2017 you might think “this dude is off his rocker” but hear me out.
With gas prices at the lowest point in years, the economy doing better and the number of RV/trailers/Toy Hauler purchases increasing, all these things point towards a rise in attendance. Also, add in the fact that we are having a brutal winter through most of the country and that both American v-twin companies are trying to push out new bikes to bring in new riders, one of the ways to do that is to promote rally attendance. I might be off on this one but we will check back at the end of August when the Sturgis rally numbers come out.
Harley-Davidsons will release 10 new models but most will be part bin and paint upgrades
This one is more based on past than seeing into the future. Harley-Davison announced in early 2017 that it would release 100 new motorcycles between 2017 and 2027. That seems aggressive since that would mean retooling and a major investment financially. Typically what we see as a “new” model are a paint refresh and a wheel, seat, or handlebar change. I don’t see that being much different in 2018. The 2018 model line refresh was amazing and was a huge step toward the future but it’s hard to see that happening on that scale again this year.
Indian Motorcycle will release a stock 116 ci touring motorcycle
I have no inside information or really any facts to back this prediction up but just to say with the release of the 116 stage 2 kit and Harley-Davidson releasing a 114ci and a 117ci on the Milwaukee-Eight platform, Indian MC won’t be sitting on their hands for long. If I had to guess I would say we will see something either just before Daytona or Sturgis.
2018 will see a new American made electric motorcycle
This is less a prediction and more news. Curtiss motorcycles are teasing that it will launch an all-electric motorcycle this spring. If you don’t know the name Curtiss, you might know it under its former name Confederate Motors, is rebranding this year and will be releasing a new product line along with the rebrand.
Those are my predictions, let me know your thoughts. If I am way off-base, or do you think I’m spot on? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Ride or Die,