Harley-Davidson, triumphant in first gear, challenges Royal Enfield.learn more


Harley-Davidson and Triumph, two iconic motorcycle manufacturers from both sides of the Atlantic, are in first gear to challenge their mutual Indian rival Royal Enfield. Indian motorcycle makers, which have dominated the 350-650 cc motorcycle market in India for more than half a century, are facing serious challenges as American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson and British firm Triumph, along with their Indian partners Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto, have launched their respective aggressively priced models in India.

go through: HT car desk
| Written by: Minak Das
| Updated on: July 24, 2023 at 09:58

Harley X440 and Triumph Speed ​​400, as the world’s cheapest products of two foreign brands, directly challenge the Royal Enfield series of 350cc motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson and Triumph surprised the motorcycle market this month by introducing their cheapest models in the world.Harley-Davidson unveils X440 motorcycle, priced from $2.29 lakh (ex-showroom), while Triumph has launched the Speed ​​400 at an introductory price of Rs 2.29 lakh $2.23 Lakhs (ex-showroom), now increased to $233,000 (ex-showroom).

WATCH: Harley-Davidson X440 review: Could it pose a royal challenge to Enfield?

With its X440, Harley-Davidson is trying to break into a market that has a growing need for high-performance premium models, but doesn’t want to shell out bigger bucks in their pockets. To this end, the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer joined forces with Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer and India’s number one two-wheeler brand. With their collaboration, the X440 was conceptualized, designed, developed and manufactured in India to avoid tax traps, otherwise the motorcycle could not be priced so cheaply. With this strategy, the X440 became the cheapest Harley in its history. The model challenged the likes of the Royal Enfield Classic 350, Meteor 350 and Honda H’ness CB350.

Watch: Triumph Speed ​​400 Review: Is It Worth the Hype?

The Triumph Speed ​​400, on the other hand, was launched in partnership with Bajaj Auto of India. This motorcycle is the cheapest offering of the British brand in India. The cheapest pricing is achieved through local manufacturing and avoiding import duties. In the case of Harley-Davidson and Triumph, one thing is common. The two motorcycle giants have long struggled to gain ground in the Indian motorcycle industry as import duties made their motorcycles expensive for buyers and both companies teamed up with domestic partners to manufacture motorcycles locally to avoid tax traps.

The near-simultaneous move by two of the biggest names in the industry is one of the biggest challenges facing Royal Enfield’s virtual monopoly in premium motorcycles at a time when India is witnessing growing spending in various premium segments such as mobile phones and cars, Reuters said in a report. Complicating matters for Royal Enfield is the strategy of Harley-Davidson and Triumph to bring in a large number of showrooms, which will compete with Royal Enfield’s vast dealer network, strong aftermarket network and entrenched fan base. While Royal Enfield may not feel immediately challenged by the two overseas rivals, the pressure is sure to mount over time.

The successive launches of Harley-Davidson and Triumph even caused the share price of Royal Enfield parent company Eicher Motors to fall by 12.5%. Although Harley-Davidson and Triumph sales are currently dwarfed by Royal Enfield, these two coveted brands have achieved previously impossible price points for buyers, and this may just be the beginning for them. The report also states that the pricing and brand image of the Harley-Davidson X440 and Triumph Speed ​​400 could cut Royal Enfield’s share of the 350 cc+ motorcycle market in India from over 90% to 75%.

First published date: Jul 24, 2023 at 09:58 AM EST


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