India remains one of the world's largest markets for motorcycles, and word has it Harley-Davidson may be preparing to take on the onslaught of low-cost, low-displacement machines popular with buyers there. The Indian automotive site Zigwheels reports the Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer plans to develop and produce a new model in India for the country's buyers. The article says Harley-Davidson executives have already met with Indian vendors and dealers in early talks about establishing a dealer network, and word has it the new bike will debut at the 2014 New Delhi Motorcycle Show.

Details are somewhat scarce, but the report suggests the India-market motorcycle will boast a 400- to 500-cc V-twin engine and carry an MSRP of around $6,300. Of course, that sounds like plenty of fun to us, but a foreign-built, small-displacement bike runs against the grain of the company's US operations. Currently, the smallest bike on the company's showroom is the 883cc Sportster. That said, Harley-Davidson needs to grow and change if it plans to continue to be relevant moving forward, and a machine targeted at the motorcycle-hungry Indian market would be a great first step in that direction.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Sam100
      • 2 Years Ago
      At stated price one can buy a entry car in India. Avg buyers in India drive motorcycles because it is a cheaper , fuel efficient alternative. I am sure there would be few buyers but HD would have difficulty selling these in big numbers. If HD is able to build product locally with new technology and safety features at 4000 USD , could be a great starting point......
      flynnhadskeath
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since a basic 883 Sporster is only $7,999, I'm suprise that $6,300 is cheap enough for a smaller machine with half the displacement.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @flynnhadskeath
        I agree, for most countries and most riders that would still be really expensive. That would indicate to me that the H-D will still be sold as a special/novelty machine, not at all competitive with commuter/work bikes. I guess that's fine -- certainly it should make their new bike accessible to many more people than their current bikes. I'd like to see one here in the US with that displacement though it really doesn't go along with their image here.
      Krishna K
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well - Thats indeed an eye opening for Harley knowing the pulse and demand in the Indian market looking at Indian road conditions and average Indian business mindset. Why not Harley introduce this in 2013 ?
      Gary
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know what would be great? If Harley offered reasonably priced, light-weight, sporty motorcycles that focused on performance instead of 'style'. . . . oh wait. They had that with Buell and killed it. I guess the next best thing would be to make a resonably sporty variation of their current bikes. . . . oh wait. They had the XR1200 and killed that. I'm convinced Harley management is completely clueless. If you want a real American motorcycle, don't hold your breath waiting for Harley to get their heads out of their asses and make it. Get an EBR.
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gary
        Another opinion post by another informed blogger. Management is cluless with about 50% market share in the United States alone? Yeah buddy really clueless when every other bike sold is a Harley. Performance is over rated. We all do not want or need a bike to be popping wheelies or trying to pass the 175 mph. I ride a VRod myself and has the best of both worlds. All bikes are equal to me, but posting stupid opinions is really dumb. Congrats Harley for expanding your market share. FYI Harley resale values are much better than their counter-parts.
          protovici
          • 2 Years Ago
          @protovici
          Short term analysis does not prove anything with 110 year history. Management is doing something as this article suggest as well as developing new engines and the like. read thorugh the SEC fillings and it will give a clearer picture on their long term goals.
          Gary
          • 2 Years Ago
          @protovici
          In the first three quarters of 2011, Harley sold 182,000 motorcycles. In the first three quarters of 2012, Harley sold 200,000 motorcycles. Pretty good, huh? Not so fast. In the first three quarters of 2011, Victory/Indian sold 111,000 motorcycles. In the first three quarters of 2012, Victory/Indian sold 192,000 motorcycles - and Indian has their first real motorcycle coming soon. By 2013, it's a good bet that Harley will no longer be able to claim they are the largest US motorcycle manufacturer. They've got problems. You can admit that and tell management to get better or you can blindly support them. Makes not difference to me.
        samagon0
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gary
        Hd didn't kill beull. They were overpriced and overweight, that made them unpopular and because they choose not to address this I guess it can be said they killed buell.
        Max Wagner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gary
        It is true that HD needs to quit f*cking around and make some sportier bikes for a change, but please don't over-generalize. As a person who owns a Ducati 848 as well as a HD Vrod (as well as a Brammo Empulse electric sportbike) , I can tell you that the VRod is a huge improvement over the regular Harleys. As protovici said below, the VRod truly is the best of both worlds, and makes for a very sporty cruiser.
      Vinuuz
      • 2 Years Ago
      While the automotive world is going ahead with Global product portfolio, HD is making products for each country. Could be short term success, long term? not sure..
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nothing about this story sounds legit. HD would be better off going with a smaller bike here in the US than in a foreign market. What the hell do they know about 400 CC engines? If they aimed a bike for the US, they could do a 600 CC engine which is much closer to their 883 CC that they have in the Sportster. Also $6300 does not sound particularly cheap for a country where the per capita income in less than $2000/year. This story makes so little sense it is kind of like if Bentley decided to get into the econo-box market... and not even the econo-box in the US or Europe, but rather the ultra-low margin econo-box market of Asia. None of it makes sense from a business perspective.
        ImHere
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Hazdaz
        "What the hell do they know about 400 CC engines?" Really? You lost me there.. I'm sure they'll have to hire a few rocket scientists to execute that successfully!
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      As an American of Indian/Pakistani descent, I've been to India a couple of times, and it seems that motorcycles are much more popular than cars. That's why they made the Tata Nano in the first place, because many people would pay a little bit extra for a no-nonsense, basic car rather than a motorcycle. They have a similar bike (air cooled) called a Royal Enfield, and it seems to be really popular. I think Harley Davidson would do well in the Indian market, thy just need to remember to keep their prices down, because, ya know, India is a devoping country.
      Jon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe HD could bring this bike to the US. I doubt it would take away from their current market share, it would just simply add to it. Just a thought. $6300 is still a pretty good chunk of change here in the states. I buy my Harley's used or as project bikes but I am guessing $6300 is still a pretty good price point. That being said, I doubt this would ever happen....just a thought though.
      whofan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don`t own a motorcycle but I love the machine. Harley Davidson needs to change and build a modern bike along with their vintage styled bikes. .I though Harley was doing that when they had the Buell line. I think they were crazy for dropping Buell. I love Harley because they`re American but I would hate if them they weren`t, that is the problem with Harley. The loud rumbling bikes That Harley make sound cool but they are annoying as well. Thats the part most Harley fans like is that vintage Loud rumble. There`s nothing more beautiful than a Harley Davidsons when is comes down to looks. That said, I`d have to purchase a nice quite Honda or Yamaha that have the sound of refinement, even though I like Harley. Harley Davidson needs to have that modern Bike that has the perception of refinement. The VROD was an attempt. I often wonder how long they can go on with nostalgia. So far it has worked.
        whofan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @whofan
        I will say the Vrod is great but Harley needs a smaller manistream bike like the Vrod. A every mans bike.