When Harley-Davidson sent a press release announcing a few returning models to its 2024 lineup, we yawned slightly. New color options don’t raise the excitement levels around here.
Undoubtedly more interesting will be what gets revealed later this month. Harley is teasing its big announcement on Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. Central Time, which surely will be far more newsworthy.
The teaser image shows three motorcycles riding toward the camera just after sunset. As a teaser, very few details are revealed, but we can clearly see the outlines of fairings that are similar, if not identical, to those on the CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide that we tested last summer.
If the Glides shown in the photo were simply returning CVOs, there would be no need to disguise them with dim lighting, so we must assume that H-D is following its typical progression of filtering down CVO components to its non-CVO lineup, referred to as its “OE” line. We’ll make another assumption and predict a version of the CVO’s stunning TFT instrument panel to make its way to OE fitment.
As for the CVO’s new VVT 121ci engine, we’re unsure if it’ll make its way into the OE line. The powerful mill features variable valve timing, able to produce greater low-end torque while also enabling it to rev out more freely at the top end. It uses the same bore size as the 117ci Milwaukee-Eight but gets additional stroke to add up to 121ci (1,977cc). Perhaps it’ll find its way into Harley’s “ST” line of hot-rod variants.
The text on the teaser image is headlined “American Dreamin’,” which sounds like a natural call-out to H-D’s Grand American Touring lineup. “The Dawn Of A New Era” that follows sounds a bit too hyperbolic for the relatively simple progression of CVO items to the OE line, even if it repeats almost verbatim from my CVO story (“It’s the dawn of a new era for the Glides”), which leads us to the third bike barely seen in the photo.
Although we can’t see much, the bike is clearly not a Glide of any kind, appearing shorter and skinnier and sportier. Could it be the rumored 975cc Pan America? Curiously, the Harley-Davidson website has only the Pan America 1250 Special in its 2024 lineup, no longer the base version, and it has a new “1250” badge on it that didn’t exist in 2023. So we’ll venture a guess that a Pan America 975 will be part of H-D’s 2024 lineup.
But the silhouette of the third bike doesn’t appear to be a tall adventure bike, so we’ll speculate that it might also be a sportier version of the Sportster S or Nightster 975. It was more than four years ago when Harley revealed a sporty roadster called the Bronx, which was powered by the high-tech Revolution Max engine later employed in the Pan America, Sportster S, and Nightster.
“This (V-Twin) lineage continues into the middleweight performance space with the Revolution Max engine,” H-D said when unveiling the Bronx prototype in late 2019. At that time, Harley claimed more than 115 horsepower from the 975cc streetfighter-style machine. Perhaps the Bronx will finally make its way into production, delayed from its intended 2021 launch.
The returning models announced in this press release don’t offer much news value, encompassing mostly new colors for the MoCo’s touring, cruiser, trike, sport, and adventure-touring markets. Just three models are listed in the touring lineup, opening the door for the updated Glides referenced earlier.
More significant news will surely arrive on Jan. 24, and we’ll be testing some sort of new Harley-Davidson a few days later. We’re anxious to find out more!