News of “smaller-displacement” Harley-Davidson motorcycles has been percolating for quite some time now, especially after the Bar & Shield brand began taking emerging markets more seriously.
With countries like India viewing 500cc bikes as “big” and Harley-Davidson’s smallest offering tipping the scales at 883cc, something had to give in the company’s strategy, and it looks like it just did.
Announcing two new bikes, the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Harley-Davidson Street 750, the Milwaukee brand is finally ready to go abroad, and its launching its intent to do so this week in Milan, at the EICMA show.
At the core of the Street 500 and Street 750 is the new liquid-cooled Revolution X engine, and both bikes features what Harley-Davidson calls its “dark custom” styling. The first truly “new” motorcycle platform from Harley-Davidson in 13 years, we can see that the brand hasn’t strayed to far from its roots spiritually, even if it plans to do so geographically.
“These are the newest motorcycles to join our Dark Custom lineup, which helped make us the number-one selling brand to young adults in the U.S. for the past five years,” said Matt Levatich, President and COO of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
“Both the Street 750 and Street 500 were designed with thousands of hours of input from young adults in cities around the world. This input guided both the attitude and capabilities of these motorcycles. They are proof that being customer-led continues to be a core driver of our product development process.”
We could explain all the technical details of the 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 750, but the fact of the matter is that the real announcement here is that Harley-Davidson is finally going to make its brand available to customers in developing countries who aren’t members of the uber-elite.
That’s how you enter a market Harley. Welcome to India.