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OEM Update: 2017 Snapshot


A Glimpse at What Has Been Released in the Market Thus Far

Still just a few months into 2017, numerous OEMs have been announcing new models to the market, and some have even hinted at what’s in store for 2018 models.

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Some OEMs such as Excelsior-Henderson are using 2017 to try and make a comeback. Agent Aaron, Bell International is seeking a strategic relationship for the reintroduction of the Excelsior-Henderson brand, according to a recent press release.

“The convergence of several market factors has created a unique opportunity to reignite the heritage-rich Excelsior-Henderson brand,” according to Ralph Bellizzi, founder and president of Aaron, Bell International. “Recent motorsports industry reconfiguration, with Polaris Industries ending production of Victory motorcycles, and Arctic Cat’s sale to Textron, combined with the strength of American motorcycle manufacturing and sales worldwide, make the market ripe for the reemergence of the ‘E-H’ marque,” the release said.


Excelsior-Henderson was one of the original “Big 3” OEMs, and its history is what A-B believes makes the opportunity worthwhile for an investor. Despite discontinuing production in late 1999, the business opportunity remains relatively turn-key due to its intellectual property and loyal, active customer base.

Speaking of one of the “Big 3” OEMs, Harley-Davidson recently announced its Road King Special for 2017. With the muscular Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine and more black than chrome, the new Road King Special motorcycle pushes Harley-Davidson’s touring line in a new styling direction.

A dark front end topped by a massive gloss-black headlamp nacelle is the signature styling element of the Road King Special. A new 9-inch-tall, 1.25-inch-diameter mini-ape handlebar puts the rider in an aggressive posture on the bike that’s also comfortable for long rides.


Chrome was retained only on some key engine components. The lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet blocks are finished with chrome to emphasize the V-twin shape of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine.

The Road King Special’s engine guard, handlebar and hand controls, mirrors, turn signals, engine covers, air cleaner cover, mufflers and exhaust shields all feature black surfaces. At the rear, stretched saddlebags flow over the mufflers to provide a slammed-to-the-ground appearance without reducing suspension travel.

The Road King Special is offered in four color options: Vivid Black, Charcoal Denim, Hot Rod Red Flake Hard Candy Custom, and Olive Gold.


Suzuki surprised the motorcycling world by announcing several new models for the 2017 selling season, including the 2017 GSX-R1000R and the 2018 V-Strom 1000XT. Many enthusiasts asked the same questions: When can I get one, what colors will be available, and how much will it cost? Suzuki answered.

Suzuki engineers took everything that made the standard 2017 GSX-R1000 the “King of the Sportbikes” and ramped it up for the R-version by adding advanced rider aids such as the IMU-influenced Motion Track Anti-Lock Brake System, clutchless up-and-down quick shifting, and a launch control system that gets the rider out front fast.


The 2017 GSX-R1000R will be available in May in Metallic Triton Blue MotoGP motif and a Glass Sparkle Black finish that features Suzuki racing heritage striping and color-coordinated suspension components with an MSRP of $16,999.

The 2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT come with sharper styling and a bevy of new features. The electronics on the V-Strom 1000 got a big upgrade for 2018 with the addition of a 3-axis, 5-direction IMU that works with Suzuki’s Motion Track Anti-Lock Combined Brake System that not only delivers superb braking performance but aids chassis stability when braking while cornering.


This system, the first in the V-Strom 1000’s class, combines with the 3-position Traction Control System and torque-rich 998cc 90° V-twin engine to aid rider confidence when road conditions change.

The 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 will be delivered to dealers in April and available in Pearl Glacier White, with an MSRP of $12,699. The 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT will be available in May in Champion Yellow No. 2 and Glass Sparkle Black, with an MSRP of $12,999.

In addition to those bikes being announced, Suzuki also released a 2018 GSX250R, 2018 GSX-S750 and GSX-S750Z, 2017 GSX-R1000, 2017 V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT. These bikes will be released in March, April and May.


Indian Motorcycles
Indian Motorcycle also got in on announcing new models for 2017 with its all-new Roadmaster Classic. Paying homage to the iconic styling cues of past Indian motorcycles, the Indian Roadmaster Classic features valanced fenders, chrome details, and stunning two-tone paint options.

The bike’s eye-catching vintage style combines cutting-edge technology to ensure rider and passenger travel in comfort. A keyless ignition with proximity fob, throttle-by-wire cruise control, heated grips and seats, Pathfinder LED headlamps, power adjustable windscreen, adjustable passenger floorboards, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), anti-lock brakes (ABS), 100 watt premium audio system, and Indian Motorcycle’s much-lauded 7-inch Ride Command infotainment system all come standard in 2017.

Indian also announced its premier 750cc V-Twin Flat Track race bike will be available to racers for $49,900. This is the same bike currently being run by Indian’s new “Wrecking Crew” in the American Flat Track series.
The FTR750 features an unique, ultra-light steel frame, large centrally located airbox and sleek lightweight carbon fiber body.


What else will be in store from OEMs in 2017?

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