The design of the smallest, most affordable Harley-Davidson motorcycle has been finalised and it will most likely come powered by a Benelli (which is a subsidiary of Harley's Chinese partner) parallel-twin engine.
It says that the expected price in India is expected to be no more than 3.5 lakh, which is about $4900, and easily twice what Royal Enfield has been asking for their 350cc bikes, which are considered as premium machines. For comparison, HD Street 750 is priced at about $7500 in India and somewhere around $8K in the US, before dealer fees. Maybe if HD decides to sell this HD 350 cheap enough, it will get some US buyers, but I'm skeptical.
My advice to HD would be to partner with a Chinese E-bike company, and start importing private labeled E-bikes that can be sold to the youth market for a whole lot less money than the Livewire. Exactly what they are doing with bicycles, HD should be doing with motorcycles.
Yeah, I don't see it working for HD at all. In fact it may give them a black eye in the end. If they want to try getting into the entry level bike area, I suggest they do so under another name and leave the Harley name off. Parent company would be better than a full fledged HD branded bike. Pick a new name for a new company and start trying to sell this under that brand, whatever it be.
An in-house private label would be a very good idea. Their dealers could opt in or out, and they could let independents who were not bound pick up the brand. HD's distribution network and financial mass are their biggest assets in pursuing foreign and the domestic youth market. I think the HD name on these little rice burners is actually a liability, at least in the US.
The core HD ridership in the US largely ignored the Street 500 and 750, but I could see this little 338, if it appeared in the US, being actively targeted for abuse. I can practically hear some biker guys I know saying, "It don't DESERVE to wear that!", as they deface the tank of some hipster's parked HD350.
I think 400 cc is a better size. And I think there is a decent market for them. But, any bike needs to compete against the Kawasaki Ninja and the KTM 390, and for me, my XS400. Yamaha also has a nice single 400, but like the RE, down on power compared to the others mentioned.
I have scrapped my KTM plans and will keep running the XS. Now thinking about a 250 dirt bike.
Why not just bring this ICONIC 350 back! I'll take Italian bikes any day over Communist Chinese tin can architecture.
I rode a brand new 350 at Long Beach HD and liked it for what it was, a four stroke, with torque and fast enough for me at the time. I demo rode the 250cc model fitted out as an Enduro and it was a nice bike BUT I had been used to Bultaco Pursangs that were unbeatable at the time.
I'm not into anything Chinese except maybe their food which I like as long as no Puppies or Bats are in the mix.
Or buy a Norton and make them a contender again. They were darn popular at one time.
I don’t care for Chinese garbage but needed a once or twice tool a few months ago so went to Harbor Freight for the first time in over 5 years. I was shocked. Didn’t recognize the store or what they had.
They have really up’ed their game. Tools for the most part look like they are as good as what Sears used offer or better.
That throw away tool I went after will be with me for some time now. So will motorcycles follow and become contenders like the Jap bikes did?
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