No Dinosaurs Here…HD to Build 500cc and 750cc Motorcycles

If you’re like me, you may have been a little surprised to learn that Harley-Davidson® will manufacture 500 and 750cc bikes starting in 2014. I mean it’s been 35+ years since the Motor Company sold a HD branded small displacement bike and even then it was from Italian subsidiary, Aermacchi. So why the revival now?  In a word -- DEMOGRAPHICS.

Middle-aged men like me are only getting older and let’s face it, one day we won’t be able to ride those big touring bikes we’ve grown to love.  What about the Motor Company then?  Visions of dinosaurs come to mind, and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs…they became extinct.  In order for the Motor Company to survive and thrive, they need to expand the brand appeal to a much more diverse demographic.  Over the past few years, they’ve worked hard to do just that and I applaud them for it. The Motor Company’s focus on the IronElite, the Harlistas, and women riders has already increased the size and diversity of the Harley-Davidson® family. However, there’s still more work to do in bringing in the next generation of Harley enthusiasts. The new HD Speed 500 and 750 should help by appealing to younger riders.

As a member of both the National and Gruene Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG), I’m hoping these bikes will bring new and younger riders into our ranks. If we’re lucky, the launch of the Speed™ 500 and 750 will give us a tool to ignite the passion for riding and love of all things Harley in a new generation of riders.  I believe this will be good for the riding community and will help ensure Harley-Davidson’s next 110 years are as rich with mystique and heritage as the last 110 years. No dinosaurs allowed!

Check out the specs and pass the info along to a new/young rider…let’s welcome the new demographic these bikes will bring into the Harley-Davidson® family with open arms.

        Speed 500  (494 CC Liquid Cooled Engine) – priced at $6,700
·       Speed™ 750  (794 CC Liquid Cooled Engine) – priced at $7,500
  •      6 Speed Transmission
  •      Belt Dive
  •      2 Into 1 Exhaust
  •      Mid-Mount Controls
  •      Single Caliper Disc Brakes
  •      Specially Tuned Suspension
  •      2 Up Seat w/ Passenger Pegs
  •      LED Tail Lights and Bullet Signals
  •      V Twin 60° 4 Valves per Head
  •      Wheel Size: 17” Front, 15” Rear
  •      Wheelbase: 59.5”
  •      Weight: 480 lbs (Wet)
Learn more about the bikes at http://street.harley-davidson.com/en_US

To stay informed on whats going on in the biker community check out Biker News Online,  it was one of the first blogs to report on the unveiling of the new bikes in Milan, Italy on Monday.


  1. Chris,

    I didn't see any mention of the growing numbers of female riders emerging on the motorcycling scene. In 2003 less than 9% of motorcycle owners were women, but recent statistics show approximately 18% of are chicks! Woo hoo!

    So maybe HD is considering appealing to the fairer sex. . .

    We do most of the spending, ya know. Women account for 80% of all purchases in the U.S. every year. I would have to think HD knows that though.



    1. Oh Shit! I wrote Chris, not Curt because I was just watching something about Chris Carter on TV. I'm so flipping sorry!!!

      **removing foot from mouth**

      Sorry Curt!

    2. No harm, no foul. Thanks, Tina! ~Curt

  2. I think the US-version of the Street 500/750 will largely be the introduction bike for women who have to have a Harley. As it is now, the female-intro cruiser bike is largely a Honda Shadow 750 or a Yamaha V-Star 650, which are similarly priced as these new Harleys. The Sportster 883, which many chicks often start out with as well, is still another $1,000 to $1,500 more than the Honda & Yamaha.

  3. I'm in my mid 40's and have been riding for more than 28 years. In all that time I have never seen an older rider step "down" to a smaller, easier to handle bike. In fact most go for more power so they can haul a tent trailer and stop sleeping on the ground. They will also go to the classic "geezer glide" of a trike so stability is no longer a concern.

    The general public has been screaming for an entry level V-Twin for years from both Harley and Victory. For Victory the customer base simply isn't there yet to financially support the cost of building say an 800cc Vegas or 8 Ball. Harley did it right though. They introduced the V-Rod, let that support itself for a number of years and prove itself among Harley owners then introduced the 500 - 750 series, based on the same design as it's bigger brother.

    Great starter bike for new riders. Also great for the lady rider who doesn't like the seat height of the Sportster or the weight of a Dyna. Then to get people a little more interested, there was a couple of them riding around in the Fast & Furious 6. Good marketing. I feel they will be a good seller but once the new rider has some miles in the saddle, they will step up to a larger bike. So don't hurry and run out to get one now, lots of used ones may be on the market after a couple of years.