Harley-Davidson is in a period of massive upheaval right now, executing a plan to expand the brand beyond the company’s traditional image. The plan is to take the H-D brand into new markets, and expanding existing markets with a proposed influx of new products. The Milwaukee company announced last year that it wanted to work on developing small-displacement bikes for the motorcycle-crazy Indian market, and it’s following through on that plan.
The Wisconsin bike-maker already has a manufacturing facility in India, opened in 2011. It is in this facility that Harley currently turns out Dynas, and Softtails, as well as the entry level Street 750 and Street 500 models. Harley has said that a new model is coming with a smaller engine and a lower price, and may be produced at that same Bawal, Haryana facility. Harley was looking for an Indian OEM to partner with on this project, as BMW has with TVS Motors and KTM has with Bajaj. Having not yet found that partner, Harley seems to be going forward with the plan solo.
The local Indian media seems to think that the new baby Harley could be priced at around $4,000. In order to compete in the market climate, that price would be about right. To make that price point, it’s possible Harley could offer a decontented bike without LED lighting or digital instruments, making it a simple small bike with little more than ABS on its spec sheet, similar to Royal Enfield’s Interceptor 650. That sounds exactly like the kind of bike I would be interested in buying.
India’s Zigwheels seems to think the bike will make a public appearance at EICMA in November ahead of a production debut in 2020. Hopefully we’ll get an idea of what it’s supposed to look like in leaks and teasers before then.
When this bike does make its way to the world of the real, it could have larger implications outside of the Indian subcontinent. If Harley wants to reach younger buyers across Asia, Europe, and North America, a lower price point is one of the first things it will need to focus on. Adventure tourer bikes are incredibly popular in India right now, perhaps it’s one of those. That would be cool.