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Posts Tagged ‘Royal Enfield’

In the early part of the 20th century, long before family values became a slogan there was the Harley-Davidson sidecar motorcycle.  A unique classic for hauling around the family or being able to transport cargo.

Harley has been offering sidecars since 1914.

The company announced last week it will end motorcycle sidecar production upon completion of remaining 2011 model year orders. Effective immediately, no new sidecar orders will be taken.  They will continued to support the sidecar through its dealer network and customer support for sidecar owners and will support current customers by continuing to honor warranty repairs and supply service parts and technical support.

There are a number of reports on the internet citing a company press release, but I couldn’t find any link to the company’s announcement.  However, below is a quote from Autoblog.com:

As a result of the decline in retail demand for Harley-Davidson sidecars, which accelerated following the introduction of the Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide family of trikes, Harley-Davidson has made the decision to exit the sidecar business. The Company will end sidecar production upon completion of remaining 2011 model year orders. Effective immediately, no new sidecar orders will be taken.

Harley-Davidson is committed to continued support of its dealer network and customer support for sidecar owners and will support current customers by continuing to honor warranty repairs and supply service parts and technical support. The sidecar was first made available to Harley-Davidson customers in 1914 and will remain a proud part of the Company’s history.

The folks at Ural and Royal Enfield are ready to serve your affection for offbeat sidecar motorcycles.

Photos taken at and courtesy of HD Museum.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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2-Day_LaunchIn two days the Indian “Alphonso” mangoes will hit the U.S. supermarket shelves for the first time in 18 years!

I’m reminded of that Jimmy Buffett song “Last Mango in…”

I went down to Captain Tony’s to get out of the heat

When I hear a voice call out to me, “Son, come have a seat”

The “seat” in this case is attached to a Harley-Davidson.  In exchange for importing mangoes, H-D will be allowed to launch its 883 Sportster and Fatboy in the “land of a billion people” (a.k.a. India) on August 27th as long they comply with Euro-III emission norms. In a country that snaps up more than 6 million new motorcycles a year, H-D is a bit late to the party, but they have to be optimistic given the successes of Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Ducati “superbikes” (anything over 800cc are referred to superbike in India).  The bikes will be shipped to India and available as a CBUs (Completely Built Units).  Previously the Indian government had not specified emission standards for motorcycles over 500cc which effectively prohibited the import of H-D motorcycles who could not meet the standards set for scooters.

Speaking of standards…  I’m talking about a country that after more than six decades of independence, over 55% of the population (~660Million) defecate in the open! Given these statistics it’s no surprise the government was slow to specify emission standards on 500cc motorcycles when they clearly are busy with sanitation issues.

New Deli Traffic

New Deli Traffic

Until this week Royal Enfield (owned by Eicher Group) was the only motorcycle maker to offer cruisers in India.  Consistently large orders from the Indian government led to establishing a factory back in 1955 in the town of Chennai, India.  Even after production stopped in England they continued in Chennai.  Here is a 5 min video of them building a motorcycle.  There seems to be a fondness of following the old British tradition and use of a mallet to assist in the precision parts fitting!

Anyone who has visited India knows that the large cities of New Deli, Bangalore, Hyderabad, or Mumbai have traffic that defies amazing.  It’s extremely densely packed roads with stop-n-go vehicles and engines idling most all of the time.  Then there are the rickshaws (phat-phatis), bicycles, jay-walkers, street-car peddlers, cows, donkey carts and at any given time each traffic lane supporting triple the number of vehicles that it should so, what you end up with is pure chaos.  Even with astronomically high traffic-death rates, scooters and motorcycles are the more practical method of getting around on these packed roads.

Matt Levatich, President and COO of Harley-Davison reportedly will be on hand at the launch and annual Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to welcome back H-D to India for the first time since World War II.  At that time thousands of motorcycles were shipped to the eastern Assam state of India with the intention of transporting men and deliver mail.

India is a prime target given the sheer market size and I want to wish them success as they work to diversify their revenue base.

Photo courtesy of H-D India and Flickr.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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