Harley to build made-in-India motorcycle

Harley-Davidson and BMW had the worst reliability in Consumer Reports' survey.
While a made-in-India Harley-Davidson sounds interesting, it would have been even cooler if it was a single, instead of a V-twin. Japanese companies have all built small V-twins, and none of them were impressive.

It’s been rumoured for months, but it seems it’s going to become a reality: Harley-Davidson is planning to build a motorcycle in India.

This time, the news is coming from Zigwheels. They’re saying the machine is going to cost around $6,300 CAN, and will be smaller than any of Harley-Davidson’s current offerings, even the 883 Sportster. Supposedly, it’ll be a V-twin between 400 cc – 500 cc V-twin. It should be introduced at New Delhi’s 2014 Auto Expo.

Harley-Davidson expects to sell 2,000 motorcycles in India in 2012; that’s not a huge number by Indian standards, and not a big chunk of Harley’s sales either. But the MoCo has already started building knock-down units in-country, and this news of locally-manufactured cycles is the next logical step. The bikes will still be luxury items in India, but they’ll be much more affordable than Big Twins, or even Sportsters.

This move would also give Harley-Davidson a model that’s much more attractive to buyers in other Asian countries as well, although we doubt any of the machines will make it to North America anytime soon.

No doubt some onlookers will decry this as the last blow towards made-in-North-America products, and say quality will suffer. That’s not necessarily true, though – India has plenty of motorcycle factory workers who know how to make ’em by hand. For an example, look no further than Royal Enfield’s beautiful hand-painted gas tanks. Not that a lack of automation guarantees quality – look no further than Harley-Davidson’s dark days in the AMF era for evidence.


  1. Look not everybody is six feet tall . There is a market even in the US and Canada for these bikes. Shorter people can’t get their feet on the ground with alot of bikes and are forced to ride a low displacement bike or compromize handleing by shortening shocks . Why can’t there be bikes for these shorter riders without people saying anything about bringing down the big bikes ? There’s a A bike for every taste in this market and it’s time to give these a chance here too .
    And my accident was not on a bike thankfully, but my scooters have been parked too long I miss my hobby .
    Drive safe and there’s nothing you can do about others driving habits, so watch out and look ahead .
    It’s all you can do !

  2. “No doubt some onlookers will decry this…. and say quality will suffer”
    Really? Quality will get worse than it is already?

Join the conversation!