Harley Davidson forays into entry-level 250-500cc class motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Expanded Electric Range

Harley-Davidson Expanded Electric Range

FBN's Susan Li on Harley-Davidson unveiling its electric bike "Livewire" for release in 2019.

The new adventure-touring and streetfighter/standard models are a recognition of the strong demand these segments have in Europe, and will be a key element of Harley-Davidson's plans to grow overseas. Not great for a long haul or anything substantial, but it does look cool. Notably, the move wasn't in response to President Donald Trump's recent attacks on the brand.

Harley-Davidson has just announced its product plan for the next few years.

Speaking with CNBC, Levatich said that riding the LiveWire "is a different feeling".

"Our preference is to make motorcycles in the United States for the world market", he said. Levatich has emphasised that Harley will produce lightweight urban bikes specifically for young consumers living in "dense urban spaces". During that time, the company wants to gain 2 million new riders to reverse declining sales.

Second, growth in motorcycles is going to happen outside the U.S., mostly in Asia, where two-wheelers are cheaper and more practical transportation in congested cities, where populations are affluent enough to afford cars. Harley also is developing a smaller displacement 250cc to 500cc bike for emerging markets in Asia through a partnership with a manufacturer in the region.

The planned alliance in Asia will "leverage on world-class partner's manufacturing scale and retail footprint", the company said without disclosing further details. The new product and broader distribution is meant to fuel Harley's customer access and growth in India, one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world, and other markets in Asia.

Hamilton gives up on German victory after catastrophe
Vettel cannot undo his error, but he can take confidence from the fact he had the race won until that stage. We don't need to analyse what happened.

The small stuff won't stop there.

In a bid to attract customers globally, the company is also revamping stores, partnering with online retailers and launching a 1250cc custom model, Pan America, and a middleweight 975cc Streetfighter model in 2020.

The much-anticipated all-electric Harley, the LiveWire, was announced in third place. The Motorcycle Industry Council says the median age of USA motorcycle owners increased from 32 to 47 since 1990. "The plan centres on bold new product introductions and is largely geared to expanding Harley's appeal in faster-growth worldwide markets", William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia said.

Harley isn't raising a white flag of surrender when it comes to its stalwart, massive V-twin-engined cruisers.

USA sales slid 6.4 per cent in the most recent quarter, and they're down 8.7 per cent at the halfway point of the year.

Harley's smallest bike in its India line-up has an engine of 750cc and costs Rs 5.25 lakh (ex-showroom).

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