2021 Harley Davidson Custom 1250
Custom 1250 is a naked Sportster with a stance of a cruiser whereas Pan America is an adventure tourer
Harley Davidson is going through a rough period where sales and their finances in major markets is concernced. Recently, the iconic American brand had to quit operations in India after an ordinary performance for over a decade. In other markets as well it has been struggling to rack up sales.
Still, the bikemaker has quite a cult following across the globe. In India, operations like sales and manufacturing of Harley Davidson bikes will be carried out by Hero MotoCorp. Despite these difficult times, Harley Davidson continues to plan its future with new products.
Harley Davidson had revealed Custom 1250 sometime back. But there were uncertainties about the motorcycle entering production anytime soon. Now, the brand has confirmed its launch by listing the Sportster on the Future Vehicles section of its official website.
The model was first showcased in July 2018 along with Bronx Streetfighter and Pan America ADV-tourer. It was earlier slated to enter production in 2022, however, it seems the company wants it out in markets a little earlier in order to rack up some sales.
2021 Harley Davidson Custom 1250
Harley Davidson Pan American and Custom 1250 were announced for production at EICMA 2019 in Italy. Both motorcycles share a lot in common, even though they are completely different bikes. They are powered by Harley Davidson’s new 1250cc Revolution Max liquid-cooled V-twin motor which pushes out 150 bhp and 122 Nm of peak torque.
Hardware on the bikes is likely to consist of fully-adjustable Showa suspension and Brembo brake callipers. As far as its weight is concerned, it is expected to tip the weighing scales over 240 kg.
Custom 1250 Design
Coming to its design, Custom 1250 prototype shares many of its styling elements with Fat Bob. For example, its sleek headlamp and high-mounted shotgun dual exhaust. The motorcycle features a wide handlebar, single-piece saddle, side swingarm, a teardrop-shaped fuel tank and chunky tyres with compact fenders.
Even though it received a stripped-down styling which is sportier than most other Harleys, its overall silhouette is still long and low like a cruiser. Interestingly despite its hefty design it still gets a single disc brake at the front.
2021 Harley Davidson Pan America
Pan America Design
Along with Custom 1250, Harley is also expected to come out with the production-spec Pan America which is an adventure tourer. It features a futuristic design tenet which is highlighted by a sleek rectangular headlamp that is surrounded by an inverted U-shaped fairing. It gets typical ADV elements such as a wide handlebar, engine crash guard, knuckle protectors, minimal side panels, wire-spoke rims with knobby tyres, adjustable windscreen and high ground clearance.
Both motorcycles upon their launch will directly rival their counterparts – Custom 1250 rivalling Honda Rebel 1100 and Pan America rivalling Africa Twin. More details about these models are expected to be furnished in the next few months as their launch nears. More
Hero will keep the premium Harley Davidson dream alive in India beginning at dealership level
Harley-Davidson saw a steady dip in demand in the country. Dismal performance could be blamed on its high pricing along with wrong product portfolio and marketing strategy. Harley-Davidson paid higher attention to the more expensive cruiser bikes in the country while its competitors also offered more affordable and technologically advanced lineup in varying categories.
This resulted in rival brand offerings appealing to a wider and more diverse segment of buyers in the country – and thus higher sales. For Harley, this resulted in the end of the road of their India operations.
A few weeks after shutting down the only factory in India citing poor sales and mounting losses, and part of a move to restructure, Harley Davidson announced its association with Hero MotoCorp. The two bike manufacturers have signed a non-equity partnership through which Hero MotoCorp will sell the premium range of motorcycles under the Harley Davidson banner.
This is not the first of its kind of such two wheeler tie-up. There is the BMW Motorrad-TVS partnership forged in 2013 to make mid engine premium bikes. Triumph of UK has partnered with Bajaj Auto to introduce mid-size motorcycle for India and global markets. There is also the KTM Husquvarna –Bajaj association wherein Bajaj Auto owns about 48% stake in KTM. Jawa, BSA, Yezdi and Mahindra are some of the oldest brands which are being brought to India by Classic Legends in partnership with Mahindra.
Hero – Harley Deal
Getting back to the Hero MotoCorp partnership with Harley-Davidson, the Indian giant, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters in terms of volumes, will hold the boat steady here. Hero MotoCorp conducts its production operations via 8 manufacturing units out of which 6 are located in India while there are one each in Columbia and Bangladesh.
Only last month it was announced how transition will progress. This included the announcement of a clear future path for current Harley-Davidson India dealers by year-end. All changes comes into effect from January 1, 2021.
Since Harley’s departure in September 2020, dealers have discussed compensation packages on offer. Existing contracts expire at the end of 2020. Harley-Davidson Dealers Association is steadfast in its demand for fair-compensation for all dealers, representing all 33 Harley-Davidson outlets in India. Collectively, the brand bastions have been on a Blackfoot since Harley-Davidson announced withdrawal of independent operations in India, and announce its partnership with Hero MotoCorp.
Considering the time-bound, take it or leave it situation on offer, 10 of 33 dealer partners have accepted terms to be a part of Hero MotoCorp’s dealership network. Meanwhile, dealers continue to wait to hear from Harley-Davidson on matters pertaining to adequate compensation. The on offer new dealership contracts being held off for 23 of the 33 dealers is indicative of how the situation isn’t beneficial to anyone.
Harley Dealers Unhappy
Hero MotoCorp is absorbing only 33 percent of dealers. The remainder are treading with uncertainty in regard to dealer partner investments and future business outlook. This includes the 10 who ‘will be coerced to act without receiving any benefit’. The plight of the 23 dealers who are not being approached by Hero MotoCorp to be a part of its dealership network is unknown. The association feels ‘that providing us with a fair deal is Harley-Davidson’s undeniable responsibility towards us’. More
Harley Davidson Motorcycles India
Existing Harley Davidson India dealer network will remain active till 31st Dec
Harley-Davidson India customers have received communication from the company to assure them of what 2021 and beyond will look like. For starters, the company is working closely with Hero Motocorp to ensure a continued and hassle-free customer experience starting next year.
For now, all aspects of owning a Harley-Davidson are continuing just as they have until now. This includes accessories, gear, HOG activities, warranty, and service. All such, inclusions that are currently active will continue seamlessly from January 2021 in a renewed setup.
Current Harley Davidson dealers will operate until December 31, 2020. The updated dealership and service network that will be operational in the new year will be commented before the end of 2020.
Harley Davidson customer outreach
The company remains engaged with Hero MotoCorp to ensure the Harley-Davidson experience isn’t affected. All concerns related to transitioning are a foremost thought at the company, and as updates are available, the same will be communicated with customers. Harley Davidson will continue to bring new motorcycles to the country. Such details will be communicated closer to launch date.
Hero will take care of Harley Motorcycle Sales and Service in India
Parts and accessories requirements will be available to order at dealers, and can be checked at the nearest dealer. The Financial Services Team will continue with customer Planned Maintenance Programme, and Extended Warranty.
The association between both manufacturers and for long been one of a guessing game. Prior to the confirmation a few weeks earlier, Harley Davidson’s expected association meant all major names in the country were up for discussion. Despite rumours no formal announcements were forthcoming.
It’s only in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic that Harley’s Davidson’s Indian business arm has been laid bare and geared the brunt of rapid and extreme sales contraction. Limitations that led to the situation had long been burying its claws deep into Harley Davidson’s ability to have a sustainable business plan in India.
Harley Davidson India business model
When exiting its sales and manufacturing operations in India, the company said this is part of a company-wide 5-year restructuring plan to rewire, focus on high-priority markets, and streamline its product lineup. It’s Bawal assembly plant has been responsible for assembling the few 1,000 units the manufacturer sold each other. Being a ‘complete knock-down’ (CBU) assembly plant means parts and components were shipped from US, and assembled here for India.
The allure and premise of Harley Davidson in India has always been an expensive one, and its business model didn’t help in achieving a more price efficient system. Even though the company did go on to make smaller engine bikes for the lock market, that too found few takers and wasn’t transformative in terms of converting buyers as the company had hoped. More
Harley Davidson dealers in India have hired a law firm and are looking at legal options
While the Harley Davidson & Hero MotoCorp deal is a positive development for customers and motorcycle enthusiasts, many Harley dealerships are facing an uncertain future.
Harley dealers are even more worried now because there’s a growing possibility that the total number of dealerships may be reduced to just 13-15 dealerships. This will be a major setback to Harley dealers who may be asked to shut shop.
Demand for higher compensation
One of the primary complaints of Harley dealers is that the compensation package is not enough to cover their losses. The compensation offered by Harley-Davidson management includes two components, one of which is Rs 1,500 per sq. ft., after adjusting for 10% annual value depreciation. The second component is reimbursement of sales margins for a period of 6 months.
Harley dealers claim that this compensation is significantly lower than their collective investments over the last decade, which amounts to around Rs 300 crore. Moreover, since the lockdown was lifted in August, the dealers have been incurring huge losses of around Rs 30-40 lakh every month.
Harley Davidson India Dealer
In the domestic market, Harley’s bestselling product was Street 750 mid-sized motorcycle. It contributed around 70-80% of the company’s sales in the country.
Earlier, dealers used to sell around 20-25 Harleys every month, but the numbers are down to single digits. As new Harley products may take some time to be launched via Hero MotoCorp partnership, dealers are demanding higher compensation for their investment and losses.
Law firm appointed
With the possibility that on-going talks may not lead to favourable developments, the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association has appointed a law firm AZB & Partners. The plan is to explore legal options to safeguard their investment and probably get higher compensation to recover their losses. However, this is a preliminary move to assess potential options. The dealers have not filed any case against either Harley or Hero MotoCorp.
Harley Davidson dealers are hopeful that things will be resolved in a favourable manner for all stakeholders. They are currently waiting for a formal announcement to be made by either Harley or Hero MotoCorp. The dealers say that they need to be clearly told about the next steps, so that they can make adjustments accordingly.
As per the deal between the two companies, Hero MotoCorp will be taking over the sales and service operations of Harley. This will be done via the existing Harley outlets.
Hero will also be retailing original parts, accessories, riding gear, apparel and general merchandise. Hero also gets the license to develop and sell premium motorcycles with Harley Davidson brand name. The first of these products could be a 350cc – 500cc motorcycle that will challenge the supremacy of Royal Enfield. More
Harley Davidson XR338 Street Tracker. Images – BikeExif
The XR338 is a concept Harley Davidson 338R; which could influence the its street tracker version
With global sales getting affected due to pandemic and closure of business operations in emerging markets such as India, the American manufacturer has not had a pleasant 2020. However, the brand has a very rich legacy over many years and it is confident about its resurgence in future.
A couple of months ago the 338R from Harley was the talk of the town as several spied images and patent sketches had leaked on the internet giving us an idea of what the company’s future could look like. Termed as the ‘baby Harley’, this bike looked nothing like a typical Harley Davidson.
Atypical because neither does the bike belong to a cruiser segment nor does it feature a big displacement powertrain. The motorcycle adopts a flat-track racer body style. Even though flat trackers aren’t quite the big thing these days, an Italian industrial design house has seen potential in this segment and therefore created its own concept prototype. Just like teased patent images of 338R, the XR338 too is based on Benelli 302S.
Brief about Engines Engineering
Founded by Alberto Strazzari in 1979, Engines Engineering (EE) specializes in motorcycle design and development and have worked previously with OEMs like Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, Benelli, Suzuki and many more.
It has also provided its services for designing purposes for local Italian manufacturers. However, this is the first time it has attempted something like this on an existing model and turned it into something completely different.
Design of XR338
Dubbed as XR338, this naked street tracker is aimed primarily at the younger consumers of the US market. Design-wise, EE has admitted that the XR338 draws major inspirations from Harley-Davidson XR750. The iconic flat tracker is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. EE claims that the prototype is fully functional and 70 percent ready for production.
Although most of Benelli’s components are intact, it gets its own modified frame with the stock 302S trellis structure making way for a more flowing affair. EE has also added its own body, fuel system, LED lighting, instrumentation and a new pair of 18-inch custom wheels. Suspension has also been tweaked slightly in accordance with the new wheels and bike’s revised mass. It also receives a new exhaust muffler and ECU unit.
EE has designed the XR338 keeping in mind the latest emission norms including Euro 5 standards, US DOT, and even CARB requirements thus removing most hurdles before production. EE claims to have built this prototype in 120 days and it would take another six months to complete the last 30 percent remaining for it to be production ready.
Benelli 302S is powered by a 300 cc twin-cylinder which pushes out 37.5 bhp and 25.6 Nm of peak torque. Even though XR338 will share its underpinnings with Qianjiang QJ350 and Benelli 302S, it is said to carry its own American heart and soul. Speculations are rife that the 338R will be powered by a 338cc parallel-twin engine which will produce 43 bhp. It is expected to be paired with a 6-speed transmission unit.
Whether the XR338 draws some inspiration for folks at Harley Davidson is yet to be seen but its design is definitely a head-turner. Also, the future of 338R in India hangs in balance since Harley Davidson relinquishing its duties in the country and handing it over to Hero MotoCorp.
Harley Davidson last week entered into a distribution and licensing agreement with Hero MotoCorp as a part of its Rewire strategy.
Harley Davidson’s partnership with Indian two-wheeler giant Hero MotoCorp was on the expected lines since the American brand quit its India operations a couple of months ago. As per this deal, Hero MotoCorp will now develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley Davidson brand name.
However, this partnership has put the fate of Harley India’s existing 33 dealerships across the country in doubt. These dealers are spread across metros and smaller towns across India and have no idea what future holds for them. As per last update, Harley Davidson was still in process of communicating this transition to its existing dealers.
Current status of Harley Davidson Dealer in India
Dealers still awaiting clarity from Harley or Hero MotoCorp; expect the network to be shrunk to 13-15 dealerships from the current 33. Dealers have confessed that mid-sized motorcycle Street 750 accounted for 70-80 percent sales in the country and has been out of production for more than a month.
A Harley Davidson dealer on condition of anonymity admitted that in its good days, the dealers sold around 20-25 units of Harley each month which has come down to single-digit figures. With Street 750 most likely not to return and the launch of a mid-size motorcycle from the Hero-Harley combination still a few years away, dealers feel they should be compensated for the investments made by them or should increase the profit margins to sustain operations.
Hero will take care of Harley Motorcycle Sales and Service in India
Future of these dealers
The report states that Hero Moto will not only sell and service existing Harley bikes in India but also “sell parts and accessories and general merchandise riding gear and apparel through a network of brand-exclusive Harley-Davidson dealers network in India”.
Another Harley Davidson dealer said that in 2013, the American motorcycle brand was solely dependent on CBUs and there were only 9-10 dealerships at that time. The company is heading towards the same direction now.
The most affected dealers are going to be those in the smaller markets of the country and those who had recently refurbished their showrooms and invested a sizeable chunk. A clearer picture is expected later this week when an official communication from Harley Davidson is sent out to dealers which will throw some light on increased margins or compensation for the dealers.
Harley Davidson officially announced its tie-up Hero MotoCorp. This is not a first in two wheeler industry. We have already seen the likes of Bajaj-KTM, BMW-TVS and Jawa-Classic Legends. The first product of this joint venture is likely to be a mid-size motorcycle in the 350-500cc segment. This made-in-India Harley motorcycle is also expected to be exported by Hero to overseas markets.
Hero will take care of Harley Motorcycle Sales and Service in India
Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell Harley Davidson branded premium motorcycles
Harley Davidson withdrew its official presence in India last month only to kickstart an all-new innings, this time in partnership with Hero Motocorp. News about the American cruiser specialist scouting for a suitable partner in India has been circulating for a while now with Hero Motocorp and Classic Legends (Jawa’s parent company) touted as front runners. Now, it is official.
Harley Davidson partners with Hero MotoCorp
Harley Davidson has announced that it has entered into distribution and licensing agreement with Hero MotoCorp as a part of its Rewire strategy. As a part of the distribution agreement, Hero MotoCorp will be responsible for selling and service Harley Davidson motorcycles through the American marque’s existing network of outlets.
Hero’s well established dealership network would also be used to expand Harley’s market coverage. In addition to motorcycles, the Indian partner will also take care of retailing HD parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gears and apparels.
Hero to develop Harley motorcycles
The most interesting aspect of the partnership is the licensing agreement according to which Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley Davidson brand name. No further details about this arrangement have been revealed as of now.
Harley servicing will also be done by Hero dealers.
Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two wheeler maker in terms of volume, has been aspiring to establish a strong presence in the medium displacement motorcycle segment. The company’s expertise lies in highly fuel efficient small displacement commuter motorcycles and scooters.
Hero’s premium motorcycle ambitions did not progress beyond a handful of design concepts. The acquisition of American sportsbike brand EBR turned out to be unfruitful for both the entities.
Harley Davidson’s backing would come as a huge boost for Hero’s aspirations. In turn, the cruiser brand will benefit massively from Hero’s unparalleled cost structure and distribution network in India.
The made-in-India medium displacement Harley Davidson’s are expected to be pitted directly against the Royal Enfield range which has been enjoying near monopoly in the segment. Hero is also likely to export the entry-level Harley Davidson motorcycles to several markets.
It is a bit too early to talk about the product segments and timelines as of now. If we were to take a guess, the first product to born from the Hero-Harley partnership would be a motorcycle with a displacement between 350 to 500 cc.
The Harley Davidson – Hero MotoCorp partnership is a great news for the Indian motorcycle enthusiasts. Owners of existing Harley Davidson motorcycles will be able to get service as well as spares at Harley Davidson dealerships as well as at Hero dealerships. More
The Harley Davidson 338R will have Asia and Europe as its primary markets but it remains to be seen what the company has in store for its future in India
Ever since Jochen Zeitz took over as Harley Davidson’s CEO in July 2020, there have been sea of changes, most of which involved rolling back on the aggressive market and product expansion plans his predecessor announced. Under “The Rewire” strategy, the American cruiser brand has decided to trim its product portfolio by 30% and this also affects the ones that are in the pipeline.
Harley Davidson 338R
The Harley Davidson 338R, widely referred by the international media as the “baby Harley“, has been in the news for quite a while now but the brand’s course correction put its prospects into uncertainty. However, the recent spyshots and leaked patent sketches strongly indicate that the most affordable Harley has managed to escape the restructuring process and is on its way to the production line.
The 338R is an atypical Harley Davidson because it is neither a cruiser nor does it feature a big displacement engine. Developed in association with China’s Qianjiang Group, the 338R shares its platform with Qianjiang QJ350 and Benelli 302S. The motorcycle adopts flat-track racer body style. Salient features include a slender fuel tank, heavily contoured seat, a exposed trellis frame and alloy wheels.
The Harley Davidson 338R will be powered by a 338 cc parallel-twin engine (final confirmation of the displacement is awaited) which is reported to generate 43 hp (5 hp more than the 300 cc engine of Benelli 302S). Transmission is a 6-speed unit.
The motorcycle sits on inverted telescopic front forks and monoshock rear suspension. Wheels, braking system, swing arm etc come from the Benelli 302S and QJ350.
As a part of its new strategy, Harley Davidson has decided to focus only on around 50 highly profitable markets across the world. This meant withdrawing from several low-volume markets including India. However, Asia will be the primary market for the entry-level Harley Davidson motorcycle. The company has hinted that it is working on a new business model for India. This could mean, entering into a partnership with a local entity to manufacture and retail its 338R but things are too early to speculate on this front.
The Harley Davidson 338R will emerge as an important volume generator for the brand, not only in Asia, but also in Europe where medium displacement motorcycles cater to budding riders with A2 license.