Harley-Davidson ‘hogs’ ride into India

Harley-Davidson is revving up to go full throttle on India’s famously potholed roads. Harley-Davidson has opened its first three dealerships and is planning to launch two more this year in the country of 1.2 billion people where motorcycles are far and away the most popular transport.

“We see this incredible motorcycling culture here that is waiting for this new category of heavyweight motorcycles,” Anoop Prakash, managing director of Harley-Davidson India, who fell in love with the bikes when he was a US marine.

Harley-Davidson also plans to set up Harley Owners Groups — famed in the United States for members riding and partying together while swapping biking tales.

Harley-Davidson’s competition on Indian roads in the cult bike stakes is the Royal Enfield Bullet — known as the Thumper for its signature thud-thud four-stroke engine that has been cruising Indian roads for over half a century.

But the bulky bikes — known as hogs to loyal fans — won’t come cheap. The range of 12 two-wheelers start at 695,000 rupees (15,000 dollars) for the least expensive model and range up to 3.5 million.