Expected to be available in showrooms by March 2024, the first Hero-Harley bike will challenge Royal Enfield in 350cc segment
Harley-Davidson’s decision to exit Indian market has turned out to be an opportunity for Hero MotoCorp. As per their collaboration, Hero is taking care of sales and service of Harley-Davidson bikes across the country. Hero is also managing network expansion of Harley dealerships.
Hero-Harley partnership also entails development of entirely new motorcycles. The first of these new products has now been confirmed by Niranjan Gupta, CFO at Hero MotoCorp. Along with mass-market products, Hero-Harley will also be targeting the premium segment. An entirely new platform is also being developed in collaboration with Harley.
First Hero Harley Motorcycle – new 350cc bike
Hero-Harley new 350cc bike is currently in advanced stage of development. The new product has to be really good, as it has been almost impossible to dent the cult-like following and popularity of Royal Enfield bikes. Harley nameplate could be an advantageous factor, but it is too early to make predictions about how consumers will react to Hero-Harley 350cc bike.
Not many details are available about Hero-Harley 350cc bike at this point of time. It is expected to have a retro profile and Harley’s signature design aesthetics. To ensure it does not get branded as a cheap rip-off of Harley, the new bike will be sold via Harley dealer network. The new 350cc bike will create history, as it will mark Harley’s re-entry into the middleweight motorcycle segment. As may be recalled, Harley had discontinued Street 750 and the Street Rod 750 in 2021.
Just a few years back, the options available in 350cc segment were largely limited to Royal Enfield bikes. This space has become a lot more competitive with new product launches from Honda, Jawa, Yezdi, Keeway and most recently QJ Motor. It’s another matter that Royal Enfield continues to dominate with market share of more than 80%. In future, OEMs like Triumph and Bajaj are also expected to launch their respective products in 350cc segment.
Hero upcoming bikes
Apart from the new 350cc bike, Hero is also working to expand its own portfolio. Among the most awaited are Xpulse 400 and Xtreme 400S, which were spotted on road tests earlier this year. These new bikes could be equipped with a 421cc motor that generates around 40 bhp of max power.
While the faired version will target rivals like TVS Apache RR310 and BMW G310RR, the ADV will lock horns with KTM 390 Adventure, Yezdi Adventure, Royal Enfield Himalayan and BMW G310GS. Launch is expected sometime next year.
Hero is also stepping up focus in EV space. Its first electric scooter Vida is available for sale in Delhi, Bengaluru and Jaipur. More cities will be covered in a phased manner. Hero is also developing an electric motorcycle in collaboration with California (USA)-based Zero Motorcycles. Hero will be investing up to US$60 million in Zero Motorcycles, which will be used for the development of electric motorcycles. Hero has similar collaborations with Ather Energy and Gogoro as well.