Harley-Davidson has shoehorned the 110 Screaming Eagle engine into the 2016 Fat Boy and Softail Slim, and upgraded the suspension and some other features on the Sportsters for the 2016 line-up.
The company made the announcement just now on a new social media app, called Periscope, so we don’t have any photos of the bikes just yet.
The broadcast was beamed live from Portland Oregon and went on a “virtual ride” of 26,000 miles (40,000km) across 24 time zones around the world over the 26-minute broadcast.
Harley designer Ben McGinley introduced the new models which also includes the Street 750 for the American market. In Australia, we only get the Street 500.
The new Sportster features new paint schemes, new air cleaner, slotted graphics and “premium” upgraded suspension.
In the 25th anniversary year of the Fat Boy, the company has injected it with some serious muscle and a dark colours scheme.
It’s the first time the 110 (1800cc) Screamin’ Eagle has been used in any standard bike, rather than the CVO models.
They are also adding the bigger engine to the Softail Slim.
The Harley website is still being updated with the new models and as soon as they are available, we will bring you more model details.
We also wanted to get some comment from Harley-Davidson Australia media guru Adam Wright, but he said it would need to be a little later this afternoon as I’m in the city doing this piece with Periscope and on a bike”.
He was featured in the second instalment of the Periscope broadcast before passing over to Tokyo, then Barcelona, Toronto, Mexico City, Las Vegas and back to Portland. The broadcast quality was a little sketchy but it’s cutting-edge stuff.
The video of the ride around there world was clever if a little disappointing as you didn’t get to see much of the bikes.
The social media teaser began last week when Harley-Davidson sent a tantalising email saying “Something big is coming” with a countdown clock that ended at 7pm Pacific Standard Time or noon (AEST).
We then spent the weekend wondering and speculating about what could possibly be announced.
Harley-Davidson is very social-media savvy, so it comes as no surprise that they chose a new smartphone app to make their announcement.
The app, available for iPhone and android, allows users to broadcast whatever they’re doing. It’s owned by Twitter and is fairly similar.
To follow Harley on Periscope, you need to like @harleydavidson.