No more Harleys for India

Gee, expensive 1200 cc 720 lb bikes didn’t compete well with cheap 125 cc 250 lb bikes in the largest motorcycle market? Who would have guessed THAT?


The largest motorcycle and scooter manufacturer, Hero, doesn’t build a large displacement product. Honda, the second largest and a former long time partner with Hero, does sell the Gold Wing and other big bikes, but also has a large small displacement product line to absorb a lot of the cost of selling larger and more expensive products. HD’s line starts at 750cc and goes to 1200cc from there.

But you can buy a used one. Kinda like California in the near future.

Something else occurred to me . . . something which wasn’t really touched on in the article, in my opinion

There might also be cultural differences and/or reasons why Hogs don’t sell well in India

Hogs and lifted pickups are a very american phenomenon . . . let’s be brutally honest

I don’t believe pickups . . . at least not the ones we’re used to here . . . sell particularly well in in India either, for that matter


To be in the 1% ers of India means you earn at least $77,000 a year. The average wage is $2020 a year.

H-D owners in the US average $90K a year. $90K and above is the top 13% of wage earners.

So yes, American motorcycles and pickup trucks are not going to sell well in India. The money just isn’t there.


Well what a heck of a note. Lonesome Rhodes Limbaugh says that the Mahindra brand tractors that he peddles are the biggest selling tractors in this country. If he starts selling Tatas can he carry their models to the top? And then maybe he can peddle Harleys in New Delhi to prove hands down what a great hustler he is.

But for real folks, how can a multi $billion company be so ignorant to ignore the market so blindly? 80% of India’s population has no running water in their homes. The price of a new Hog could fund a couple of Port-Potties and a shed to keep them in.

They are #1 in the US as well as worldwide. There are 5 Mahindra factories in the US.

Tata already sells cars in the US. They are called Jaguars and Land Rovers.

H-D failed to understand what the Indians were feeding them about economic growth was total hogwash (pun intended)

After watching some of the traffic on Indian highways and seeing the fatality rate there (400 a day roughly) I think a guy would have to be insane to even consider being on 2 wheels.

How about 3 wheels?? The 3 wheeled tuk-tuk’s compete with the scooters and heavy trucks to see how many Indians can die in traffic accidents. Typical developing country. People want personal mobility and scooters and tuk-tuks are the best they can do. 1.3 Billion people have places to go and things to do. Too bad traffic laws seem to be more of a suggestion than a law.

Years ago, my girlfriend, from New Dehli, rode a 50 cc bike to save fuel costs.
Surprised that enough Indians could afford a Harley and fuel toperate ito have Harley Davidsonsold there.

If Harley Davidson would make a 100 cc bike (or in CCs of a meaningful number to Indians - like 1776 to Americans) in HD style, it would probably outsell everyonelse.

Aren’t Royal Ebfields and Triumph made only in India now so there are traditional big bikes with famous names much cheaper than Harleys. My son in law has a 2012 Triumph T100 and the quality is very good. He is in hs 7os and he says that no one should be riding a bike he can’t pick up.

I’m part of rather informal movie discussion group

A few weeks ago, the movie of the week was “A face in the crowd”

Yup, Andy Griffith could have sold ice to eskimos or sand to people living in the sahara desert

But boy did he fall, when that hot mike exposed him for the uncaring sleazo he really was . . .

I think Lonesome Rhodes could have only sold hogs in India to the elite . . . presumably business tycoons, corrupt high level politicians and others with a lot of money

Even if Indians that weren’t high earners could afford a hog, I still kind of doubt that it would fit in culturally. It just doesn’t mesh, in my opinion

No offense intended to anybody reading this

The only way the company could even have a chance of being successful in India is if they water down their product and sell a much cheaper bike . . . much lower displacement, smaller, drastically lower price, and so forth. But then it wouldn’t be a real Harley-Davidson, would it. Seems like a catch-22 . . .

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I agree the culture has something to do with it. It would be the same way in Viet Nam. Millions of motor scooters and no large displacement bikes. At least here in the country’s midsection the roads are comparatively free of traffic and me along with my riding buddies always prefer miles of pretty much nothingness. Less traffic keeps the rider alive a lot longer.

The problem I have with modern era HD riders is that many of them are not riders. Two grand worth of riding leathers and putt-putt on a local toy run at Xmas is often it for them. They’re often referred to amongst real riders as RUBs; or Rich Urban Bikers. Some are serious; most are not and many of those who turn up in Sturgis or Daytona Beach got there by way of an SUV with a trailer and new HD strapped down on it. Unstrap it after putting on the duds and ride 4 blocks to Main Street…
Easy to spot; no sunburn.

Honda’s selling.what the market wants, along side the Indian brands. Harley just couldn’t get more than a tiny corner of the market.

I don’t know if it still planned for Hero Motorcycles to open a US plant. But that just does not seem like a good idea.

They’ve pulled the plug on that venture.

I grew up in Mississippi near Memphis and saw “Face in a Crowd” 55+ years ago and recognized how realistic the situation with Rhodes and the audience was. Back then ‘Sputnick’ Monroe and Billy Wicks were super star wrestlers who packed crowds in at matches who believed the fights were real.

And looking back at Harley’s during my life I would consider the Sprint 250 their most practical model. Now that Orange County Choppers is fading the madly grotesque custom bikes are slowly rusting away in the corner of garages across the country. We are a country of fads.

I had to look up the Harley Davidson Sprint 250

yeah, that type of bike . . . a more modern version, obviously . . . might be more appropriate for the Indian market. But if it was sold under the Harley Davidson brand, it would probably still be far too expensive for that particular market

I’m in full agreement, and I’m sure all of us have been guilty of jumping on one bandwagon or other over the years. I sure have

With a stage name like that, may I assume he played the role of the heel . . . ?!

I’m somewhat of an oldies movie buff. And it’s interesting to look at the various vehicles in those movies. The Harleys depicted in the 1950s and 1960s . . . I’m NOT talking about “Easy Rider” in case anybody’s wondering . . . looked completely different than the ones you typically see today. And I mean everything. The way the riders were dressed, the seat and seating position, the handlebars. I could go on and on. Every single thing was vastly different.

So they discontinued the 500 cc street rod?