H-D and Hero Motocorp of India are planning to build upon the early success of the newly released X440, by bringing out more models in the coming months.
Harley Davidson & Hero Motocorp Future Motorcycles
H-D and Hero from India have successfully launched a brand new small but regarded as premium motorcycle for the Indian market.
H-D and Hero Partnership
Both companies entered partnership a few years ago after the American brand pulled out of India during the REWIRE phase.
This cutting back from Harley Davidson saw the culling of the Street Cub bikes that were being manufactured in India. But the bikes largely a flop and they were expensive for the Indian market.
However soon after the tactical withdrawal, H-D formed a partnership with Hero Motocorp. The largest unit sales manufacturer in India. They were supposed to be agents for the American brand and provide sales and support for the Indian market.
This relationship soon blossomed into designing and producing small displacement engine motorcycles more suited for the Indian fanatical bikers rather than for western markets.
H-D and Hero X440
The X440 was designed and realised in India under the supervision and license from Harley Davidson. It was released for pre orders in early July 2023 and within the first few weeks it had already amassed over 25K pre orders.
This led to Hero temporarily closing down order and raising prices which was not free from criticism either. However the order book continues to be strong but it may struggle to keep up with the Triumph and Bajaj partnership. They also launched their 400cc bikes at the same time.
However the main focus of attention is Royal Enfield who have the market share for classic and premium priced motorcycles. The Indians absolutely love the brand, which has also proven to be very successful in Europe and USA. This is mainly due to the popularity of the Himalayan.
H-D and Hero Collaboration
When Harley Davidson and Hero entered this collaborative process, both parties knew it would not be for the short term. In fact early memo leaks from Hero suggested that there would be up to ten new motorcycles from this marriage.
H-D and Hero First Deliveries
India is expecting first deliveries of the X440 in late September but most likely October 2023. Thereafter the companies can take stock of the situation to manage their source supplies and delivery lines.
It is reported in India that early as 1st quarter 2024 and thereafter, there will be a new model released. Hero have unashamedly hinted that they will be releasing more premium bikes very soon. This will be to capture the local enthusiasm to pay extra hard earned money for the right kind of motorcycle…and brand name too.
Whilst Royal Enfield are already on the march with new bikes coming out shortly. A new range of Bullets will be announced on 1st September 2023 with prices too. In November they are planning the official launch of the 450cc liquid cooled Himalayan as well as a 450cc Hunter.
Also the Indian brand is ready to launch new motorcycles over the next few months and bringing out new tech for 2024. They are reportedly working on EV bikes and alternative fuels for future models. As well bikes that will run on 100% bio fuels too.
With this in mind, H-D and Hero will have a lot of work to break the backs of the Indian giant. However the customer feedback from early X440 deliveries will no doubt help the companies gauge their path forward.
But for now, the plan is still for more motorcycles to come from H-D and Hero Motocorp. What they will be is not known as this stage, However gauging by the direction of their competitors it is likely to feature a wider model range. And within that range a mixture of air cooled and liquid cooled bikes.