Recent trademark application points to major update of the Sportster range.
Like a government trying to sneak out its bad news on a Friday, Harley-Davidson conveniently trademarked three new model names in the run up to Christmas. Between December 7 and 21, Harley-Davidson trademarked the names Bronx, 48X and Pan America for use on motorcycles but what are they?
The 48X is instantly recognisable as the Forty-Eight is an existing model in Harley’s current Sportster range. Assuming Harley are following their standard naming convention (as seen on the FXDX and the XR1200X), the 48X is probably a Forty-Eight with upgraded brakes and suspension. Not only is this likely, it’s also a good move as the Forty-Eight is seeing increased competition from the new Indian Scout Bobber and the Triumph Bobber Black. Euro 5 is on the horizon too (January 2020), so Harley will have to update the engine in the Forty-Eight. We imagine a switch to four valve heads (as seen on the recent Milwaukee-Eight) will be the order of the day. It’s possible this may also coincidence with a range refresh, which is where the Bronx and Pan America likely come in.
While the Touring range and Softail range have had big changes in the last two years, the Sportster range is looking a little stagnant. A whole range update spearheaded by three new models wouldn’t be surprising. The Bronx is likely to be a bike with an urban focus, so it’s possible it will complement (or perhaps even replace) the Iron 883. We also imagine the Pan America could be a Sportster based tourer to replace the 1200T but with a more modern aesthetic like the new Sport Glide.
Trademark applications in the US have a 36-month ‘use it or lose it’ clause and with that 2020 deadline looming, we expect to see these new bikes (along with any further updates) around August 2019. We contacted Harley-Davison about the trademark applications and they said that they do not comment on future models.