In a téte-a-téte with MotorBeam, Harley-Davidson India’s MD Anoop Prakash has provided an insight into the company’s future plans for the Indian market. Mr. Prakash is a biking enthusiast himself, and was a former Intelligence Officer in the USMC. He has led the journey of H-D in India with aplomb, and has set even higher sights.
Harley-Davidson has been trudging in the Indian waters for about 4 years now. Currently, its Indian lineup includes the Sportster range, and other ones like the Fat Boy, Fat Bob and Heritage. Mr. Prakash stated that the future launches of Harley-Davidson include the unveiling of the Street 750 at the India Bike Week 2014. The Street 500, however, will come at a later date in 2015.
Mr. Prakash made it clear that there will be no bikes from the stables of Harley-Davidson with engine capacities lower than that of 500cc which quells speculations about the possibility of a 250-300 cc bike that made way a few days back. He also quashed the possibilities of the XR1200 bike making it to the Indian roads, dismissing the recent spying of the bike as a one-off incident of personal customisation by a motorcycle rider.
Harley Davidson Street
The talking point is indeed the Street range of motorcycles. The project began in 2008, when Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles came under the pressure of urbanisation. It’s once-favoured bulky, retro-technology bikes started to lose patrons slowly but steadily. Heavy research and customer surveys were conducted in numerous countries, and an all-new platform with a new powertrain, new components and a new chassis was developed duly.
The Street range of motorcycles is aimed at young riders who wouldn’t like to sacrifice comfort and riding ease just for the sake of owning a heritage brand. The motorcycles will have two manufacturing locations; Kansas City in the USA and Bawal in Haryana. Additionally, the motorcycles manufactured in Bawal will be exported to Asia and Europe from India.
The Street 750 will be priced under INR 5 lakhs on-road as has been officially announced by Harley. The bike will be launched on the 5th of February, and bookings will commence on the same date. Deliveries of the motorcycles will begin from the month of June. The Street 750 will also possess a whole range of customisation accessories, and these will be showcased too.
The Street 500, on the other hand, will be launched in 2015. According to Anoop, Indian market has shown more enthusiasm for the Street 750 as compared to the Street 500.
Harley-Davidson has even gone further to ensure a low cost of ownership for the Street 750. The parts and accessories of the bike will be priced cheaper than the regular H-D motorcycles, and hence the overall cost of ownership will be lower. This is important to ensure higher sales and better penetration into the still-developing Indian market. Sadly, we Indians won’t be able to avail the services of HDFS (Harley Davidson Financial Services) as the company doesn’t command the required sales volume and the regulatory framework is also quite circuitous in India.
Harley-Davidson is quite upbeat about the prospects of its Street range of motorcycles. They aren’t even worried about English-bikemaker Triumph, which recently strutted over into India with its line-up.
So, how many of you are really interested in buying the Street 750 in India? Raise your hands!