Harley Davidson To Put A Fat Boy Under Every Indian Biker

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?”

arnold bikeThe 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.


  1. Paul says

    1. Scooters are a tiny part of the Indian bike market, Indian quit “clinging” to them many years ago.
    2. The 883 will sell for about 7 times the cost of a Royal Enfield. Only the VERY rich will be able to even consider them.
    3. The Enfield is as iconic in India as HD is in the US. Most people that actually know the Indian market (including HD) think the market in India for HD is about 25-50 units. Bollywood stars will get them and a handful of the very rich. You can buy three cars for the price of one 883. This move is symbolic at best.
    4. The roads in India are not condusive to a Harley or other larger bikes. Take a look at the actual sales figures for the large crotch rockets and you will see that they are tiny.
    5. It is a good idea to get into this market as it is the second largest motorcycle market in the world, but what sells here has no relevance whatsoever to what sells in India.

    • Phil Butler says

      Hi Paul, I hope you know I was half playing with the insinuation. I know the Indian people have a superb sense of humor, and thought they would take it in stride. :)


  2. Bruce says

    Royal Enfield is not an “exporter” to India, it is an Indian company. Most of the bikes it sells in India are 350ccs, the 500ccs are exported. I don’t see this as competition, they will be different markets.

    • Phil Butler says

      Bruce how right you are, I was going on my own knowledge of the world’s oldest manufacturer. I will change it and thanks again.


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