We all know that the American brand produce motorcycles that are suited to the wide open roads and long distances between points A and B. Whilst evolution has decidedly taken place over recent years, there is still the feeling that especially in the bagger and touring section, they are now behind the curve when it comes to rider comfort and technology too.
Enter Indian motorcycles who start to nip away at the H-D empire with their offerings of the Chieftain, Challenger and Roadmaster as well as the Springfield too. Widely regarded as having a better starting package with power, engine technology and electronics plus suspension.
Whilst there isn’t much to choose between the two especially when upgrades are made to the Harley-Davidson bikes, not only in performance and price…it still means there is a contender but one that is doing pretty much the same thing.
Enter BMW with their R18 and then the Classic, R18 B which is the faired bagger and Trans Continental which has the full touring package, and you will not that not only is the BMW a contender but it also dwarfs both American brands in terms of styles and tech too.
Simple things like a reverse gear for these big heavy bikes is almost a must rather than a whimsical wish. Whilst the engine technology is as dated as both American brands, it certainly has the performance and pedigree to give them a run for their money, albeit it may suffer in the looks department.
No doubt BMW are doing the hard push here with the R18 and variants thereof. Employing social media influencers to ride, showcase and endorse their bikes is a savvy step. Getting well known customisers to knock out show pony bikes as well as start to produce aftermarket custom parts too is another feather in their caps too.
Where Indian have seen little movement in their models for 2022 apart from some colour changes and infotainment options standardisations, and Harley Davidson still refusing to address the inadequacies of their touring technology, then this leaves the door wide open for the likes of BMW to launch their attack.
Nobody expects the German brand to rule the roost in 2022, however with a product that delivers, a marketing strategy that is working and a price point that is competitive with the rest of the market, you can expect them to be pushing some good numbers this year not only in Europe but more importantly in Harley-Davidson’s own back yard. And let’s not forget…these are not the only touring bikes that BMW make either…