When Harley-Davidson first entered the Indian market, The Motor Company decided to import existing models as complete knockdown kits for final assembly in the burgeoning market. Considering the average motorcycle in India has a displacement smaller than 200cc, it was inevitable Harley-Davidson would eventually have to produce a small-displacement model rather than rely on its existing product line which currently lists the 883cc sportsters as its smallest bikes.
Despite a denial last May by Harley-Davidson India’s Managing Director Anoop Prakash, it now appears Harley-Davidson is set to announce a new small-displacement model to be produced in India at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo next February.
According to a report by IndianCarsBikes, the new made-for-India Harley will be equipped with V-Twin with a displacement close to 500cc and will use locally-sourced components which should keep the price somewhere between 300,000 to 400,000 Indian rupees ($5,500 to $7,300 in U.S. dollars.)
The new model will be destined for the Indian market but it will eventually be exported to other countries, though it’s not clear if it will only be sold in other developing markets or if it will ever come to established markets such as the U.S. and Europe.
At around 500cc, the new Harley-Davidson model will have a similar engine displacement to the largest models in the lineup of India’s Royal Enfield. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 and some versions of the Royal Enfield Classic use a 499cc twin-spark engine, though the powerplant is a single-cylinder engine and not a V-Twin.