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Is This The Harley Davidson Softail Of The Future?

Check Out This Futuristic Harley Davidson Softail Concept

Updated August 13, 2018

Here’s an interesting take on the future of Harley Davidson: digital designer Ion Turcan’s futuristic and simplistic concept for the 2012 Harley Davidson Softail might not float everyone’s boat, but it definitely has some interesting design language. It reminds us of a design exercise performed by Yamaha a few years back, when Yamaha swapped their research and development designers over from their musical instrument and motorcycle departments. They then challenged them to redesign instruments and bikes accordingly, and this offering from Ion Turcan shares a few of Yamaha’s music division’s design ideals.

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 1

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 2

But enough about that. What we see here is a chopped bobber (kind of?) creation, fitted with streamlined and simplistic bodywork, wrapped around the Harley Davidson Softail 1690cc twin-cam engine. The design itself was entered into a competition that allowed designers to infuse classic Harley Davidson models with their own artistic flare. It’s no surprise that Ion’s design rolled into second place.

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 3

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 4

While this is by no means an officially endorsed concept, we like the direction. Harley have definitely been taking significant steps to drag their design language into the 21st century with things like the up and coming LiveWire project, but this one is probably a little too 31st century to go into production. It might be outlandish, but that doesn’t mean it’s impractical.

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 5

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 6

When it comes to motorcycles, the key ingredients have always been simplicity and functionality, and this has equal measures of both. The overall design could not be simpler: featuring a minimalist frame, an aerodynamic and beautifully engineered gas tank and seat unit, and practical exhaust placement too. Naturally, the bike requires some serious air flow, and Ion designed a neat air vent that nestles underneath the headlight unit, which also links up to the Softail’s exhausts.

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 7

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 8

In terms of functionality, it looks pretty rideable, and Ion’s design comes complete with some smart instrumentation and rider aids. The digital display on the bike’s fuel tank gives the rider access to all of the usual instrumentation and gauges, such as the speedo, odometer and rev counter, and there’s room for an integrated sat nav too – which is a nice touch. “From the headlights to the tank and then to the seating, the bike is one. It just flows, naturally,” says Romanian designer Ion Turcon.

Harley Davidson Softail Concept 9

Is this the Harley Davidson Softail of the future? We doubt it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dream. And besides, some enterprising sole might take a look at these designs and recreate one of his very own – which we would love to see.

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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