Could traction control be coming to the 2017 Harley-Davidson fleet?
The clue comes in the invitation to the world’s media to attend the launch of the 2017 Harley-Davidson motorcycle range in Seattle suggesting traction control could be introduced.
The words “more control” are accompanied by “more power” and “better handling” to indicate the updates to the 2017 fleet, most likely the Touring models.
We already know that Harley will introduce a 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee Eight engine with four valves per cylinder, but it’s interesting they use the words “more power” rather than “more torque”.
Harley rarely talks about power and doesn’t even quote power figures in their tech specs, so maybe it’s a liquid-cooled engine!
“Better handling” is an obvious indication they are uprating the suspension.
However, with the expected bump in power and torque from the Milwaukee Eight engine and European muscle cruisers now coming with traction control, could “more control” be an indication Harley will follow suit?
While old Harley fans love the traditional basics, the company has been adding modern hi-tech features over the past few years to much of their fleet. They include fly-by-wire throttle, cruise control, smart keys and ABS. So why not traction control?
This year, Italian manufacturers Ducati and Moto Guzzi invaded Harley’s domain at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with their XDiavel and MGX-21 Flying Fortress cruisers, both of which feature some very fact hi-tech rider aids including traction control with several levels of control.
Harley surely has to address that sort of competition right in their back yard!
Motorbike Writer will know the answers to these burning questions as we will be attending the worldwide launch in Seattle in the first few days of September.
We will be riding the 2017 models more than 600km (400 miles) from Tacoma, Washington, along the sinuous Route 101 to Port Angeles and back.
By the looks of the roads in the top photo on this page, more power and torque needs to be accompanied by better traction and handling!
In fact, the location in one of the wettest parts of the USA is probably another clue that they are introducing traction control.
The media invitation advises us to bring wet weather riding gear and the organisers may be praying it pours!