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Grace Jones & Adam Ant once made ads for Honda and they’re MAGNIFICENT!

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When was the last time you saw a bike advertisement this bonkers on TV?

You can’t think can you and do you know why? Because here in the UK (and across most of the ‘western world’) motorcycle sales are rubbish and nobody seems to know how to market a two -wheeled machine anymore.

There was a time however when that wasn’t the case. And that time was the 1980s.

Now, before we get all starry-eyed over the decade, it’s worth noting that the world was about as bleak then with its nuclear war threat and insular politics as it is now, but there was one difference; the pop acts of the time were full of excess, artistic wealth and utterly off-the-charts inspirational craziness.

So if you were an advertising executive at Honda, why wouldn’t you choose the woman who wrote one of the filthiest songs of all time to sell your new Honda Scooters!

Answer: there is no reason NOT TO! Especially when you can bring in renowned dandy highwayman Adam Ant for double the fun…

And once the world saw that, what do you think they did? They naturally got Grace Jones to do an entire spot on her own of course…

Nope, we have no idea either. But you can’t deny it’s effective… Because you’re already considering going out to your local Honda dealer aren’t you? Sure, it’s because you’re worried that Grace will visit you in your dreams this evening if you don’t, but a sale is a sale!

In fact, Grace and Adam (we’re on first name terms) weren’t the only music stars to get in on the Honda action either. Just look at how enigmatic this end-of-the-world Max Mad vision’esque advert featuring Miles Davis is.

Even pop-synth legends Devo got in on the act:

Now look at this 2013 YouTube video for the NSS300 Forza. Where did we all start going wrong? Nobody wants to be the asinine couple sharing a quiet ride on a trip to the beach… We want to be the physically empowering Grace Jones stalking her little, British popstar prey with all of the elegance and threat of a Tiger dancing around a Pigeon.

Maybe we’ll see some entirely new creative thinking coming during this year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next week, but unless Honda bring Kanye West on stage popping a wheelie whilst sat backwards an all-electric Fireblade, we’re going to be disappointed now that we’ve seen what was happening nearly forty years ago.

Note: The Scooter that’s being sold by Honda in the ’80s adverts is the four-stroke Honda Elite. Why doesn’t anyone make pop-up lights anymore?

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Harley-Davidson release two new, old Sportsters

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New Harley Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special come with new graphics, chrome and high bars.

There are a lot of new motorcycles coming out of the Harley-Davidson stable – at least one hundred by 2027 in fact, so we can expect a frequent flow of model revisions and changes to be revealed over the coming months and years.

The two new bikes announced today by Harley aren’t hugely new or exciting – but the new graphics are pretty sweet and ape-hanger bars are always worth clinging onto.

‘Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders’ -Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson V.P. of Styling & Design.

The Harley Sportster was introduced in 1957 and has now hit somewhere in the region of 30 varying production models. Along that time owners have got pretty used to stripping their bikes down and customising/re-inventing them. It’s this fact that Harley say they’ve used as inspiration for their two, new machines.

The Forty-Eight Special comes with a tiny 10 litre tank, new, steamroller front-end and 8 inch high Tallboy handlebars. Compared to the regular Forty-Eight, there’s also a lot more chrome.

The Iron 1200 features a ‘fast-back’ café seat, mini-ape black handlebars and a glossy black fly screen. It’s also got more range with a 15 litre tank and fancy colour paint/graphics. There’s also a lot less chrome and a lot more black.

So that’s two more of the 100 bikes out of the way.  And a new electric just around the corner

 

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Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle will be a ‘Revelation’ (according to trademark filings)

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Harley-Davidson trademark casts revelatory eye into future of their electric motorcycle plans.

If you were to have said a year or so ago that arguably the world’s most famous motorcycle brand would be frequently linked with falling sales and financial woe then most people would have said that you were barking mad.

However, with recent stories of millennial woe and mounting board concern the immediate future of the famours Bar and Shield brand is far from certain.

With a commitment to releasing 100 new motorcycles over the next ten years however, the folks at Harley-Davidson motorcycles do at least seem to have a plan to tackle their problem, and – along with Indian Motorcycle – they are preparing to take that battle to uncharted territory.

Last month the news broke that Harley were looking to get their electric motorcycle out and onto the streets by the end of 2019 and now it would seem that we know a little more about what form that new electric technology might take. Or the name of it at least.

According to a recent trademark application filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office then name that Harley Davidson will use to refer to their new electric drive-train technology will be ‘Revelation’.

The interpretation by our (genuine) friends over at Asphalt & Rubber is that this will not be the name of the final motorcycle however, but rather the name used to refer to the technology/motor itself.

We’re not sure if the final name of the electrified Harley will be that of the Livewire moniker attributed to its pre-production/concept that was produced as a test vehicle back in 2014, but the choice of ‘Revelation’ for the motor technology is an interesting one to say the least.

The company already uses similar sounding names for it’s Evolution’ and ‘Revolution X’ V-Twin engines, so ‘Revelation’ isn’t too far of a stretch for the imagination, but it’s certainly an interesting one…

The Book of Revelation in Christian faith is effectively an apocalyptic prophecy.

The notion that it will be the old, warhorse Harley-Davidson to be the first major manufacturer on course to release a production electric motorcycle could well be considered an event of almost biblical proportions.

Source: USPTO via Asphalt & Rubber

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