Hot on the heels of Harley-Davidson's fully revamped Softail line last year, The Motor Company announced today that it will be releasing an all-new "custom" motorcycle in 2020. Long and low, this "roadster"-styled machine is powered by a newly developed water-cooled 1,250cc V-twin. Is this the machine that will replace Harley's venerable air-cooled Sportster platform?

Details are few and far between at this prototype stage but it appears the engine uses a 60-degree vee configuration. The cylinder heads are large, and appear to feature a dual-overhead-cam valve train. The cylinders are devoid of fins and rely on a water-to-air radiator to keep the engine running at its correct temperature. Huge shotgun-styled pipes stretch to the tail of the bike expending spent gasses.

Visually this new engine configuration appears identical to the engine that will power Harley’s new Streetfighter (an upright sportbike) and The Motor Company's Pan America adventure-bike model; albeit in different displacements, says Harley.

Watching Harley-Davidson’s quick promotional video shows the engine in action, inside Harley’s acoustics laboratory. The footage suggests this new engine has a fast-revving nature and a Ducati-esque exhaust note.

The engine is hung inside a blacked-out tubular steel frame, which attaches to the engine at multiple points both in front and behind the cylinder heads. A stretched V-shaped tubular swingarm connects the big-sidewall-equipped 16-inch Pirelli tire. It’s unclear what type of rear suspension the new roadster uses, but up front it has a inverted fork and a larger 17-inch front rim. A pair of hydraulic disc brakes keep speed in check.

Forward-mount foot controls and a tracker-style handlebar give this custom an aggressive stance that appears to mix performance and comfort. Other aesthetic takeaways include the use of a cable-actuated clutch, Fat Bob-stye LED headlight, and drop mirrors positioned beneath the bars.

Technical specifications, pricing, and US availability are not available—and won't be for some time—but Harley has confirmed it plans to introduce this motorcycle as a production model in 2020 alongside the Pan America and Streetfighter. Additional models using the same engine architecture will flesh out this new product line into 2022. More information as it unfolds…