Harley-Davidson announced that it plans to enter the 250-500 cc motorcycle segment to boost its sales. The new entry-level motorcycle, a part of the company’s “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan, will be designed specifically for developing markets, including India.
Matt Levatich, President & Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, confirmed during a recently held earnings call that the company is just over a year away from launching the first model that will give it access to a lot more customers in emerging markets. Levatich 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, Harley-Davidson’s smallest displacement model is the 500 cc Street 500. The Street 750 is the entry-level product in the company’s Indian portfolio. The new entry-level model will most likely arrive in the 250-300 cc segment in which brands like KTM and BMW Motorrad are already present.
The details about the upcoming entry-level Harley-Davidson motorcycle are scarce, but we expect it to be a quarter-litre cruiser motorcycle with the “Street” badge. IAB’s rendering of the Harley-Davidson Street 250 (name may vary) imagined the bike via a digital illustration.
The entry-level model will be built to a cost, and so, expect conventional telescopic forks at the front and twin-sided springs at the back to perform the shock absorption tasks, a semi-digital instrument and a design inspired by that of the current Street models.
Harley Davidson will most definitely retain the V-twin format for the engine on the entry-level model. We expect to see a 250cc V-Twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine producing somewhere around 25 PS and 30 Nm of torque and linked to a six-speed gearbox.
Stopping power will come from a disc brake on both wheels, while the safety net will include dual-channel ABS to match the competition.
Harley-Davidson will join hands with a local brand to build the new entry-level motorcycle – a strategy that we have seen with Bajaj-KTM and TVS-BMW Motorrad. The American cruiser brand is yet to name this partner, though. Expect to see an INR 2 lakh to INR 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag on the new model.