Back in the day, motorcycles with big engines were all the rage. Seen as a symbol of status and machismo, bigger was always better. These days, however, this isn’t always the case anymore. Motorcycle manufacturers from all over the world have begun releasing smaller and smaller motorcycles, particularly to cater to a younger generation which, unfortunately, seems to have a dwindling interest in the two-wheeled lifestyle.
The influx of new, small to mid-displacement machines hopes to change that, however. With new manufacturers bringing small and mid-sized bikes to the market, consumers are spoilt for choice, especially with manufacturers like Benelli and CFMOTO making their presence felt, particularly in the local market. That being said, we could soon see a renaissance from one of the world’s most iconic motorcycle makers.
Last year, Harley-Davidson forged two notable partnerships with two Asian motorcycle giants. The first one was with Chinese motorcycle manufacturer QJ Motor, who is also the parent company of Chinese-owned Italian bike maker Benelli. The second partnership was with Hero MotoCorp, one of the biggest motorcycle companies in India. The initial setup was for Hero to handle H-D’s operations in India. This meant that it would take charge of importing, distributing, selling, and maintaining all of Harley’s bikes inthe country.
As it would turn out, recent developments in the partnership between Harley-Davidson and Hero MotoCorp suggest that the two companies will be working together to roll out a new lineup of mid-capacity cruisers for the Asian market. In particular, the Harley-Davidson and Hero MotorCorp are said to be co-developing an all-new 500cc platform which will eventually be sold in India under the Hero brand name, but subsequently enter the global market as a Harley-Davidson-branded machine.
With this latest development from the MoCo, we could soon see an unlikely competitor against Royal Enfield, which has been enjoying its reign of popularity in recent years. We can’t wait to see what Harley-Davidson has in store in the near future, and if the new bikes being co-developed with Hero MotoCorp in India and QJ Motor in China will be worthy players in the middleweight cruiser segment.