Harley-Davidson has announced that its most affordable motorcycle will have an engine displacement of 338cc. For this, the American bike maker has joined hands with a Chinese brand called Qianjang Motorcycle. Under the new alliance, Harley-Davidson will be manufacturing its most affordable 338cc motorcycle in China and it will be exported to other markets across the globe. The brand has also released a picture of the prototype. Ditching the typical Harley-Davidson cruiser philosophy, the upcoming 338cc looks more of a modern naked streetfighter.
The motorcycle will sit on a trellis frame and is expected to get premium bits like an all LED headlamp, fully digital instrument cluster, ABS-equipped disc brakes at both ends and more. Moreover, you can also see upside down forks up front along with a rear monoshock. The motorcycle is expected to come with a trimmed exhaust set up that should sound throatier. Harley-Davidson’s new 338cc will be first launched in China by the end of 2020 followed by its launch in other Asian markets. India debut of the most affordable Harley might take place sometime in the year 2021.
Harley-Davidson said it picked Qianjiang as a partner as the company has an extensive experience developing premium small displacement motorcycles, supply base and the knowledge of emerging markets. Qianjiang is majority-controlled by Geely, a Chinese company that owns the Volvo brand of cars. The 116-year-old Harley-Davidson, known for its heavy touring motorcycles, is trying to boost overseas sales and scrambling to revamp operations as its mainstay customer base ages.
The company said in 2018 that it plans to launch lightweight motorcycles in Asia and electric bikes globally, trying to revive demand as it faces falling sales in the United States and the threat of trade tariffs weigh on its costs. The motorcycle will primarily compete with the likes of Royal Enfield and it will be interesting to see if the entry-level Harley manages to register some impressive sales and spell trouble for the iconic Bullet maker.
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