PICS: The story of Harley Davidson in India
The American motorbike major is making its presence felt in the Indian markets. Read on to find out how.
Motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson popularly known as H-D or simply Harley is a Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker, whose history goes back to over a century.
Harleys stand out for being in a class of their own with unique styling for their heavy weight motorcycles that sweep the roads in their wake.
The company was founded by William Harley and Davidson Brothers way back in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA).
These veteran motorcycle manufacturers survived the Great Depression, the Second World War and stiff competition from the Japanese manufacturers.
Their effort to manufacture lightweight motorcycles have been however, greeted with a lukewarm success.
Harley Davidson, like many other famous companies, experienced bitter experiences for some period of time charged for infamous practices and became synonymous with gang bike films during the 1950s which had tainted the image of the company to a large extent resulting in a huge plunge in sales and quality causing a near-bankruptcy situation.
However, the company underwent major changes around the 1980s for good, which lead to the rejuvenated Harley Davidson becoming the sales leader in 1990.
Harley Davidson Macho models
Harley Davison motorbikes are known for their authentic style and easy-to-handle technique that leaves you with an astounding, overwhelming experience in the truest sense, which only the bike lovers can understand.
These are two of major breakthroughs marked in the calendar this year: the first ever assembled, 'chosen one', H-D Sportster and the new celebrity bike Fat Boy have been re-launched very recently. This has kept the anticipators hot for any upgrades.
The Harley Davidson Sportster is a called an H-D revolutionary bike, by a few. This is accurate to the certain extent as it is the most economical bike of Harley Davidson standards, with a peanut price of Rs 3.5 lakhs, of course considering the usual H-D price range.
The Fat Boy, a synonym for the American luxury motorbike, the reason behind the revival of the Harley Davidson following the major crisis had been re-launched in India quite recently at a price tag of Rs 19.70 lakh.
The company had mentioned that the new Harley Davidson Fat Boy version would be available in India, which is imported as a completely built unit.
Harley Davidson is likely to be available across all the dealerships in India.
Harley and India
A very attractive set of changes is known to have been made in the new version that includes 6-speed cruise drive transmission and electronic sequential port fuel injection producing a peak torque of 125 nm at 3500 RPM.
Harley Davidson had announced its intention to set up its assembly plant in India at Balwal, Haryana towards the end of 2010 and hoped to be functional by mid-2011.
It had been highly speculated that the four-month-old assembly plant was going to be converted into a full-blown factory, which the H-D had however denied.
The assembly plant usually manufactures the complete motorbike from its knocked down kits that are imported.
There is a major difference between the import tariffs in importing a completely built unit and knocked down unit, which are 110 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.
The Indian assembly plant is only the second plant for the H-D outside the US after Brazil, which was operational since 1999.
India currently offers 14 iconic bikes that would make the upcoming Harley Davidson Fat Boy, the 15th of the Indian H-D product portfolio.
The lowest price offered for a Harley Davidson bike is Rs 3.5 lakh, which is likely to be the cheapest bike of H-D yet.
The bike christened as 'Harley Davidson Sportster' will be assembled at the Balwal Plant through the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route, and hence the cut in the otherwise highly priced Harley Davidson bikes.
Three dealerships have already opened in India, very recently in a single week of August, this year with Capital Harley Davidson in New Delhi, Himalayan Harley Davidson in Chandigarh and Banjara Harley Davidson in Hyderabad.
Two more dealerships are lined-up in Mumbai and Bangalore, which means the Harley Davidson is all set to bring about a whole new experience in India.