The Harley-Davidson Street Fighter idea does not resemble a typical motorcycle since it was not created with one in mind. Instead of using a car template, the motorbike concept’s body has a more square-ish cross-section, defined edge lines, and a fully faired bulky-yet aerodynamic shape that is typically associated with automobile design. You have to admit, it looks interesting… but more significantly, it opens up a new design direction for motorcycles in general.
The Street Fighter’s sleek design begins with its headlamp, which follows a continuous arc right into the fuel tank in a TRON Light Cycle or Dodge Tomahawk-inspired direction. This contributes significantly to the Street Fighter’s powerful silhouette, making it instantly recognized. In addition to being odd but identifiable, the design has a minimalist version of the Harley-Davidson insignia on the side. Everything about Street Fighter challenges assumptions while remaining true to tradition.
The Harley-Davidson idea employs a hybrid engine approach, potentially making it the first hybrid Harley. It has a regular petrol tank, but it also has a battery underneath it. Although this is merely a theory, the idea of a combustible battery directly beneath the fuel tank bothers me. In fact, it’s probably the only thing I’d change about this bike right away.
The riding position is more similar to that of a racing bike, allowing riders to ride more freely on the race track or on mountain routes. While Harley-Davidsons are known for being suburbia or highway machines, the Street Fighter, as the name implies, prefers any type of road — even a racetrack.
The remainder of the bike is a hybrid of old and new vehicle design concepts. The curved tire covers and the very traditional-looking leather seat add to the old-world elegance, but the rest of the bike is unmistakably modern and out-of-the-box. The fuel tank features sculpted details that feel very’car-like,’ as does the bike’s full-fairing body, and the dashboard, which comes straight out of the bike’s continuous upper curve, is refreshingly minimalist.
The Harley-Davidson Street Fighter was created by Taiwanese designer Yan-Xuan Lai, who describes his invention as “beautiful and aggressive.” Lai’s main goal was to create a radical new look by combining “elements of the traditional streamlined vehicle shape with the strong vision of sports street bikes.” Personally, I think it works only on an aesthetic level, yet aerodynamic considerations must be incorporated if Lai intends for this concept to be a race bike.
That being said, an electric Harley isn’t out of the question. The LiveWire, the company’s first electric venture, was announced in 2014. The LiveWire series was spun off into a different company in 2021, therefore while Harley-motorcycle Davidson’s designs are quite traditional, their sister company could potentially produce a hybrid beast like the Street Fighter!