Quite a few un-Harley incidents have taken place in the last few weeks. While H-D has generally been quick to shrug away calls for better technology citing the reason of maintaining the age-old charm, last week they did unveil some bits and pieces of technology not seen before on any of their bikes.
In the face of stricter emission norms as well as in the quest for better performance, Harley-Davidson auspicated its “Twin Cooled” Liquid Precision-Cooling Engine technology under the so called Project Rushmore.
However, Harley-Davidson doesn’t seem to be short of ammunition. The dropping of shockers continue unabated, with the most astonishing of them coming from the 110th Anniversary Celebrations of Harley-Davidson at Milwaukee. Speaking on that occasion, COO Matthew Levatich stated that the company is producing a new 500cc model tailormade for the Indian market. Not only that, he even spoke about the chances of fans and foes alike to get to see an electric Harley-Davidson in the future.
The India-specific Harley-Davidson has been in the talks for some time. Currently, Harley-Davidson’s smallest models are its 883 cc sportsters. There exists a yawning chasm between this capacity and the general capacity that we are used to. No doubt on the fact that we Indians are slowly, steadily charting a northward route in terms of displacement. However, we still aren’t there where Harley-Davidson’s writ runs large.
Hence, a smaller capacity Harley-Davidson does seem to fall into the missing slot of the jigsaw puzzle. It will help H-D to expand its clout across Indian customers. A 500 cc bike will also help the niche American manufacturer to breathe down the necks of Royal Enfield, which kind of has a monopoly over mid-capacity bikes in India. The 500 cc bike will be powered by a V-Twin engine, and will make use of extensive localization to keep down prices in these murky waters of India. An earlier estimate had kept the speculated price of this 500 cc H-D in the range of 3-4 Lakhs INR.
This is what COO Matthew Levatich spoke about the yet-unnamed bike :
It is nimble, light weight, has a low seat height and supple throttle and braking. I’ve ridden it – it looks great, sounds great, it’s a Harley, and it’s priced right.
Harley-Davidson is definitely moving out of its self-imposed “No Technology” cocoon. We aren’t sure if Indian Motorcycles’ resurgence was the necessary cue for the breakaway, but things seem interesting at the moment. A 500 cc Harley-Davidson will be quite the right choice for us choice-starved Indians, who have been subject to the whims and fancies of a couple of lackadaisical companies.
And this brings us to the two unidentified cruisers that were spied near the outskirts of New Delhi a few weeks back (pictured here). Quite a few people claimed that those were definitely the small-capacity Harley-Davidson test mules. And today, we feel they were correct!
We are really excited by this development! A small Harley specially for Indians.. Bring It ON…!