Racing History: Harley-Davidson’s Top Secret World Superbike & MotoGP Project

Racing History: Harley-Davidson’s Top Secret World Superbike & MotoGP Project

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Featured In the November 2021 issue of Roadracing World: 

        A little more than 20 years ago there was a series of high-level management meetings at Harley-Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee, on the shores of Lake Michigan. During these get-togethers there were two opposing factions. First, the old-school executives who were convinced that the Route 66 cult—around which most of The Motor Company’s models were built—would last for eternity, forever attracting generations of motorcyclists keen to ride chugging cruisers and tourers that evoked the good-ol’-days vibe of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. 

        Then there was the second faction of execs who were concerned that Harley-Davidson’s customer base was aging fast and that the Route 66 dream would eventually die. They were convinced that sportbikes and superbikes were the future… 

            —Harley-Davidson’s Top-Secret World Superbike & MotoGP Project, by Mat Oxley

            Two decades ago, Harley-Davidson decided to transform its image to appeal to a younger, sportier audience. A key part of this plan was building a radical V-Twin for World Superbike and a subsequent move into MotoGP. We reveal this hush-hush project for the first time in the latest issue of Roadracing World!

 

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