I asked my large scale BMW dealer buddy about the “Harley replica” (my words). He smiled in reply and said it’s not appealing to his customers and isn’t selling well. My theory is that after achieving such success over 30 years with the GS series, pretty much by luck, BMW’s motorcycle product development strategy is to try lots of stuff without a lot of forethought, see what happens, and hope for a winner again. I don’t think there’s much BMW ‘DNA’ any more except in the fine details of how they build a product of any concept. The end result ends up being a bit clunky in operation with solid looking detail design, no matter what else it is. The GSs meanwhile continue to do their thing, sell in enough volume, and bring in the money.
The cars they do differently, pretty much designing the same concept over and over again, with little innovation and tiny incremental improvements. They’ve got the German market trained, Europe as a whole under control and they don’t want anything to change.
Either way doesn’t reflect a lot of vision or creativity of the type I tend to buy, it’s just a business supplying a midrange consumer product and paying a significant number of German salaries.