Harley-Davidson is one of the oldest bike manufacturers in the world after Royal Enfield. However, both the brands offer a similar theme of motorcycles. Classic looks with modern engineering is the idea behind both the motorcycle brands. However, until now, Royal Enfield operated in the affordable segment of the market while Harley-Davidson only offered twin-cylinder powered bikes that remained much more expensive than the Royal Enfield products. Recently, Royal Enfield launched the parallel-twin engine powered Continental GT and Interceptor, which is a step towards the Harley Davidson line-up.
Harley-Davidson is also almost ready with their all-new range of affordable motorcycles that will be launched in the market to take on the Royal Enfield products. As a part of their “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” strategy that will cause many new, affordable motorcycles to come from the brand for the developing countries like India.
Matt Levatich, President & Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, said,
More Roads progress in Q1 included steps towards a partnership for a premium small displacement offering in Asia, to expand our reach in that region. We are just over a year away from launching our first model that will help provide access to millions of customers in emerging markets in the region.
Currently in India, the entry-level Harley-Davidson bike is of 750cc; however, in the international markets, Harley-Davidson also sells the Street 500, which is a 500cc version of the bike. The new bike will be developed with the local manufacturer will be produced in collaboration. It will be a similar venture like the BMW-TVS and Bajaj-KTM. As of now, we are not sure which manufacturer will join hands with Harley-Davidson.
The exact details of the upcoming Harley-Davidson motorcycle are not known. However, it is expected to get the same “Street” branding as the current entry-level bikes from the brand. Since it will be an entry-level bike, we can expect quite a cost-cutting including the use of regular twin shock absorbers in the rear, a conventional instrument cluster, regular headlamps and such features. However, Harley-Davidson will not drop the legacy of powering their products with the V-Twin engines.
The all-new bike is expected to get a small displacement engine of around 250cc to 350cc with a maximum power output of about 25 Bhp. Other features like 6-speed slipper clutch transmission, dual disc brakes with ABS are expected to be standard in the upcoming bike.
Currently, the Royal Enfield 650 twins are the most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycles in the Indian market. Harley-Davidson may not take them directly but may price their entry-level product close to the Rs 2.5 lakh price tag of the Royal Enfield Interceptor. There are still no spy shots of the upcoming Harley-Davidson bike, but we do hope that the market gets to see the new product next year.