Every biker in India will have a chance to cruise in style, American style later this week when Harley Davidson hits the roads there on the 27th. Spurred by the successes of Japanese manufacturers Yamaha, Suzuki, and Honda, Harley has finally decided to export its 883cc Roadsters and Fatboys to perhaps the world’s most dynamic automotive market.
High import duties and other barriers have prevented the world’s most famous motorcycle builder from hitting the streets there in the past, but obviously the demand for cruising machines has outweighed any other consideration now. But one question still remains unanswered; “Are Indian bikers bad to the bone, or resigned to hugging their scooters?”
The news comes just before the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers annual convention, to which Harley President Matt Levatich has been invited. It goes without saying that his appearance is virtually guaranteed with a potentially “business changing” opportunity to endear Indian bike enthusiasts with his legendary machines.
Taking on Royal Enfield, the only other cruising bike in India, seems to be a big deal to some writers, but obviously any good ole Indian boy with a TV set has seen Harley under stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marlon Brando, and a hundred other “real men”. For this aspect, I think Enfield is about to take it on the chin as far as the Indian bike market is concerned. As for Honda and the rest, time will only tell if Fat Boys will become the trend there.
If image has anything to do with it, expect India to be rumbling under the wheels of several million Harleys soon. After all, no self respecting biker their would ride anything else would they?
Please take the poll – Is India “Bad to the Bone”, or are scooters and cafe racers in vogue forever?
Harley-Davidson has used many Public Relations companies, including New Jersey based Coyne PR.