In the world of V-twins, bigger is usually better.
Harley's 110 ci engine has previously been available only in Harley's premium (and very expensive) CVO models, or as a $1,995 standalone upgrade.
American Iron magazine posted an article that has since been taken down that spilled the beans about an interesting tidbit. Based on California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents, the magazine reported that the MoCo is slated to offer at least a couple new bikes, the Fat Boy S and the Slim S. Both are, presumably, variants of their parent bikes, both in the Softail family.
Then, on top of that, Harley sent out an e-mail promising a live, online announcement tomorrow at 10 p.m. Eastern.
This is making me salivate some. Around this time of year, I start getting antsy to see what the Mothership is going to offer for sale.
Interestingly, the horsepower figures on the new bikes that were submitted to the governing bodies indicate that the new version of the 110 cranks out an additional four horsepower. Harley lumps the sales of its Dyna and Softail lines together, so it's hard to parse out the sales data for each family. I can tell you this much, though: Harley does not reduce the price of its bikes to move units off of dealer floors. (Lance touches on this in his article examining H-D and BMW sales.)
Since this is an industry gossip piece, I will give you my take on what this means: I think the Softail has been in a slump, and the folks in Milwaukee want to fix it. The Dyna is the cheapest door into the land of the Big Twin, and the Sporty and Touring categories have been hot as of late, but I bet H-D's been wondering what to do with the "Softsales" (clever, right?). As anecdotal evidence, I don't see many new Softails showing up in the garages of my friends and colleagues. I think H-D is attempting to boost the line's sales by making these two models more desirable by packing them with the biggest, hottest engine they've ever made. How come? That article was up for less than a day. Someone was watching...
In closing, I kind of want to ride one. Like, a lot.