Bigger isn't always better.
Motorcycle manufacturers all over the world have begun adopting a trend which has seen the influx of smaller, low-displacement motorcycles across the board. While performance-focused machines with their bigger, more powerful engines continue to raise the bar in terms of performance, many partnerships between mainstream manufacturers and those from India and China have been forged to create a wider array of options when it comes to smaller bikes.
Last year, Harley-Davidson formed two very interesting partnerships which were geared specifically towards the MoCo's expansion efforts in the Asian market. At this point, it's almost certain that Harley-Davidson will be releasing a 300cc V-twin-powered cruiser as the first fruit from its partnership with Chinese manufacturer QJ Motor. In India, H-D also tied up with local motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp to manage business operations in the country. This included the importation, distribution, sale, and maintenance of all Harley-Davidson vehicles in India.
The latest development in the Harley-Davidson x Hero MotoCorp joint venture reveals that the two companies have plans far greater than mere operational management concerns. As it would turn out, Hero MotoCorp will be developing a new range of low to mid-displacement cruisers for the MoCo, and will subsequently be selling the new bikes under either the Harley-Davidson brand, for premium models; or the Hero MotoCorp brand, for more affordable, budget-friendly options.
Now this comes as big news particularly to the Indian market, as Hero MotoCorp's entry into the middleweight cruiser segment will definitely involve sparking a friendly rivalry between fellow Indian moto giant Royal Enfield. The Chennai-based company, known for bikes like the Meteor 350 and the globally acclaimed 650 Twins, holds a staggering 90-percent market share in the middleweight motorcycle segment consisting of machines with displacements in the 300cc to 700cc range. That said, multiple Indian motoring publications suggest that Hero MotoCorp will be working on a new 500cc platform to be sold under both the Hero and Harley brand names.