words by Carol King
Italian Harley-Davidson fans got to have a say in the design of a new motorcycle from the American manufacturer.
Lovers of the classic cruise motorbikes were asked for their input via Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page in Italy, which has more than 151,000 fans. The result is the Sportster Iron 883 Special Edition available specifically for the Italian market.
The Italian Special Edition motorbike is recognisable immediately by its logo, which is written in the colours of the Italian flag on the air-filter cover. Other features include upside-down wing mirrors, lowered rear shocks, “old school” drag bar and passenger footrests that have been moved forward to ensure a more stable riding position.
The idea of consulting fans is a smart move by Harley-Davidson Italia, especially at a time when the economic crisis in Italy is hitting sales. It brings the company closer to users and means the new features appeal to many prospective purchasers of the dream motorcycle.
The original edition of the bike was introduced to Italy in 2009 and retails for €9,100; the Italian Special Edition costs €700 more. To encourage prospective buyers in austerity-hit Italy, Harley-Davidson Italia has set up a financing deal with Banca Santander. Called ‘Harley Own Special Sportster’, it allows purchasers to make a down payment of 20% of the cost of the motorcycle then pay the balance in instalments.