Harley-Davidson has continued to evolve its presence in the Indian motorcycle market since 2010. After specializing in the Motor Company’s Street 500 and 750 lineup, Harley’s factory in Haryana closed in August, 2020. That didn’t mean that Harley abandoned the Indian market though. Only months after closing its Bawal plant, the Motor Company announced a new distribution deal with Indian two-wheeler giant Hero MotoCorp in October, 2020.
While we eagerly await the Harley/Hero-developed range developed for global markets, Hero is wasting no time with testing the Bar and Shield’s latest crop of modern motorcycles. For its latest test, the Hero team took to the firm's Global Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) private track, putting the new Sportster S through its paces with a 24-hour endurance run.
Gallery: Hero MotoCorp Harley-Davidson Sportster S 24-Hour Endurance Test
Led by Hero’s Head of Chassis Functional Development & National Racing Program David Lopez Cordoba and Head of Vehicle Validation Alex Busquets, the test called for a five-rider team that could push the Sportster S to its limits throughout the 24-hour period. With Indian national racers Anushriya Gulati and Vijay Singh, Vlogger Shubhabrata Marmar, and Hero’s own Malo Le Masson and Vijay Thomas at the helm, the riders maximized the new Sporty’s potential.
Each rider completed six 100-kilometer (62-mile) runs at an average speed of 130.9 km/hr (81 mph). After a full day on the 1.74-kilometer (1.08-mile) track, the Sportster S covered 3,141 kilometers (1,951.8 miles), a record-breaking distance in India. During that period, the team executed 31 pit stops. Each stop included a fuel refill and rider change and while tire swaps occurred every 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
“We recently took the Harley-Davidson® Pan America to the highest unpaved motorable road in the world and that inspired us to do something uniquely different with the new Harley-Davidson Sportster S,” revealed Hero Motor Corp Head of Harley-Davidson Business Ravi Avalur. “The team at CIT and Hero MotoSports Team Rally stepped in with all their experience and helped us complete this extremely challenging attempt. It is a strong testament to the quality of this H-D motorcycle to have successfully endured the test and gone further than any other motorcycle in the country in 24 hours.”
The Sporster S clearly proved its mettle with the 24-hour endurance test, but we hope the Hero team can infuse that same durability and reliability into its upcoming Harley-branded models.