Harley-Davidson may have 're-wired' its business model across the world, and pulled the plug on the made-in-India Street 750 models, but the American motorcycle brand still seems to be betting big on smaller displacement models. Latest images of what seems to be a sub-300 cc Harley-Davidson motorcycle has emerged, and this one seems to be the product of Harley's partnership with China's Qianjiang Group, Benelli's parent company. Harley-Davidson already confirmed working on a 338 cc model with the Chinese partner, but now, it appears that another smaller model may also be in the works.
So, will the Harley-Davidson 338 make it to production, or as the latest leaked images suggest, it could be the one with the 300 cc v-twin engine. Type approval documents suggest the new bike will come with a 296 cc engine, with around 30 bhp peak power. With a kerb weight of 163 kg, it should have decent performance, and power-to-weight ratio.
Qianjiang has also released teaser images recently, calling the bike SRV300. Although the bike is called the QJMotor SRV30, QJMotor being Qianjiang's Chinese brand, the styling is more in line with Harley-Davidson's traditional cruiser offerings. So, the QJMotor SRV300 may eventually become the small displacement Harley, considering the American brand's close association and cooperation with the Chinese brand. Documents also reveal that the bike will come with a 16-inch front wheel and 15-inch rear wheel size. And it comes with a claimed top speed of 129 kmph, and gets standard ABS. Other styling elements like the wheel design also looks similar to bigger Harley-Davidson bikes.
Under CEO Jochen Zeitz's leadership, Harley-Davidson has outlined a new five-year strategic plan, dubbed The Rewire, which saw Harley-Davidson exiting markets that did not seem to matter, and to focus more on traditional markets like the US. Harley-Davidson's India manufacturing has already been curtailed, as are the made-in-India Street 750 and Street Rod motorcycles. While Harley-Davidson will continue operations, under a new business model, in cooperation with Hero MotoCorp in India, local manufacturing has been put on hold, at least for now. The first new model is likely to be the Harley-Davidson Pan America under the business model with Hero. So far, there have been murmurs about small displacement models to be made in India as well, but those are at least a few years away, before a market study, product development and testing cycle begins.
(Source: Cycle World)