You now have another reason to get serious about saving up for your next big bike as there could be a price drop in effect soon. According to a Bloomberg report, India has agreed to cut import duties for Harley-Davidson motorcycles by creating a separate tariff classification for them. The proposal is a part of the ongoing trade talks with the US. Currently, the import duty on such completely built-up (CBU) units is 50 percent which was previously brought down from 100 percent and is now expected to be further lowered significantly which would bring about a dramatic price drop in high-displacement CBU motorcycles.
If the proposal comes into effect, high-displacement CBU motorcycles from other manufacturers like Honda and Indian Motorcycle falling under the specified tariff classification would also benefit from it. The government could later consider lowering import duty on smaller displacement CBU bikes which would benefit the middle-weight class as well.
The Bloomberg report further states that even as talks are on between the two nations to have some sort of a deal on the table ahead of Trump’s state visit on 24-25 February, there is no clarity yet on when a final agreement will be ready. Work is still underway on the finer details, which aim to resolve long-pending issues on both sides.
In related news, Harley-Davidson working on a smaller 350cc engine that would help it enter the market currently dominated by the likes of Royal Enfield in India. Internally called HD338, the motorcycle will debut in China in June this year followed by a launch in India and other South Asian countries by end-2020 or early next year.
The HD338 is being built under the collaboration of Harley-Davidson and its Chinese partner Qianjiang. It is expected to get a parallel-twin engine and frame from Benelli which is a subsidiary of Qianjiang in China.
Expect a Harley-Davidson roadster with a hint of Benelli in the design. The specific timeline has yet to be confirmed for but following its launch in China, H-D India could launch it here by late 2020 or early 2021. Currently, the most affordable Harley in India is the Street 750 which retails at Rs 5.34 lakh (ex-showroom). The new HD350 will be more affordable considerably at about Rs 3-3.5 lakh.
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