Bike India

Harley-Davidson Exit India


WELL-KNOWN AMERICAN CRUISER-MAKERS HARLEY-DAVIDSON have decided to pull down the shutter on their assembly operations in India. This decision comes as part of the brand’s “Rewire” programme undertaken by the new boss, Jochen Zeitz. This programme will see the brand focus more on strengthen­ing key markets and less on expanding presence in other geographic­al locations and verticals.

According to a statement issued by Harley-Davidson, not only are there job cuts in their Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon) office, but the operations at their assembly plant in Bawal, Haryana, have been suspended completely. This means the end of the road for the made-inIndia Street 750 range.

The American bike maker further says that the Harley-Davidson dealers in India will continue to provide sale and service till the end of the current contract. The company is looking at all viable options and will chalk out a new plan for India in the coming year.

There are strong rumours that the iconic cruiser is in talks with a couple of Indian firms for a potential alliance. Leading this race is said to be the cash-rich Hero MotoCorp, which is the world leader in the motorcycle and scooter space. It still is a developing story and we’ll keep you posted as it unfolds.

Meanwhile, the most likely step would be to go back to importing motorcycle­s from Thailand under the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (EHS). Furthermor­e, present Harley-Davidson India MD Sajeev Rajasekhar­an has been put in charge of the brand’s entire South-East Asia operations, including India, and has moved base to Singapore. This is another sign that the focus on the Indian market is diminishin­g further. What could have been an exciting journey seems to have come to an abrupt end.

BMW Motorrad India hope to capture a larger market share with the soonto-be-launched 2020 G 310 GS and the G 310 R. To make the deal even more attractive, they have announced a few flexible payment options for the new BS6-compliant models with the equated monthly instalment (EMI) as low as Rs 4,500. This is not to be mistaken with any lease plan, though, as the new offer comes under the BMW Bullet Plan for the two motorcycle­s. The company is expected to release more informatio­n and details about this exclusive scheme once it announces the prices of the entry-level motorcycle range. As of now, BMW are accepting Rs 50,000 by way of a down payment for a booking.

The more interestin­g part of this launch is that the BS6 310 range is expected to be more affordable than the BS4 version, with prices likely to be lowered by about Rs 75,000. However, we’ll have to wait for the official price announceme­nt to confirm this.

BMW MOTORRAD HAVE FILED PATENT APPLICATIO­NS IN GERMANY FOR AN active aerodynami­cs system that features four adjustable winglets, two at the front and two at the rear of a motorcycle, to positively influence air-flow in different situations and to maximize grip.

From the patent diagrams, it is apparent that each of the four winglets can move independen­tly based on parameters such as speed, accelerati­on, throttle position, brake force, and lean angle to create downforce exactly where and when needed to boost grip and reduce aerodynami­c drag.

The idea of moving winglets on motorcycle­s is something that many manufactur­ers are considerin­g. The use of such components on road bikes would see their entry into the racing world as well, since the regulation­s for major racing championsh­ips such as WSBK state that moving aerodynami­c components would be legal on race bikes, provided they are standard equipment on the homologate­d road version as well.

We don’t know when we will see active wings on a BMW motorcycle, but suspect this tech could break cover on a future iteration of the S 1000 RR superbike.

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