Harley-Davidson’s made-in-India Street 750 has emerged as a successful model for the company as it has sold as many as 3,029 units of this model in the last fiscal year (April 2014-March 2015) in the domestic market.
This not only highlights the brand pull that the Harley-Davidson brand commands but it also underlines the burgeoning midsized motorcycle segment, which is roughly understood to be defined by motorcycles with engine displacements in the range of 250cc-850cc.
Launched at the 12th edition of the Auto Expo held last year in Greater Noida for Rs 410,000 (February 2014 ex-showroom, Delhi), the Street 750 had become the most affordable Harley-Davidson motorcycle in India and made the brand more accessible to a much wider base of motorcycle enthusiasts. The company, later, began bookings and deliveries of this model in March and April 2014 respectively.
The Street 750, which is powered by the liquid-cooled, V-twin 749cc ‘Revolution X’ engine mated to a six-speed transmission, is manufactured at the company’s Bawal (Haryana) facility. The Street 750 now comes with a starting price tag of Rs 432,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Despite price hikes over the past 14 months, the model has continued to do well through the financial year (see detailed monthly sales statistics below).
In comparison, Royal Enfield’s Continental GT, its biggest in terms of engine displacement and most expensive model yet, has seen domestic sales of only 2,799 units between April 2014 and March 2015, as revealed in the FY2014-15 SIAM vehicle sales data.
The 29bhp Continental GT, which propagates a café racer culture, is powered by a single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke, 535cc powerplant, and is termed as the lightest, fastest and most powerful Royal Enfield in production. The model costs a little over Rs 200,000 on-road in Delhi.
While the Street 750 saw its highest monthly sales of 458 units in July 2014, the Continental GT's best month in the last fiscal was April 2014 when it sold 388 units.
Comparing the popularity of the two motorcycles, an industry expert associated with the Indian two-wheeler industry, who did not wish to be named, told Autocar Professional that “While both are extremely popular models in the midsized motorcycle segment, Harley-Davidson clearly has a much powerful brand pull as compared to Royal Enfield as far as the domestic market is concerned. This also highlights a mindset of the young urban Indians who do not want to spend beyond a point on an Indian motorcycle brand unless they are opting for individual customisation on an RE platform. Further, Harley-Davidson bikes surely have an upper hand when it comes to technology, performance, and aspirational values for the brand. It would be interesting to see how the space would grow when Harley-Davidson’s Street 500 model will be introduced in the local market.”