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Hero MotoCorp planning alliance with Harley-Davidson?

Written by Nizam Shaikh

In the last month, we reported that American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson will partner with Benelli’s parent company Qianjiang to develop a 338cc Harley-Davidson motorcycle underpinned by the Benelli 302S. Now, new reports suggest that Hero MotoCorp could be in talks with Harley-Davidson for an alliance in India. Previously, the American brand had suggested that they might partner with an Indian company that would be capable of manufacturing and distributing low powered lightweight motorcycles in the Indian market. 

Hero MotoCorp is open to partnering with manufacturers with expertise in the higher engine capacity segment as the local player wants to now produce products more upmarket than bread and butter models like the Splendor and Passion. With evolving needs of the customers, and the market now opening up to expensive motorcycles, Hero MotoCorp is keen on having a helping hand on board. Hero MotoCorp had ended their partnership with Honda back in 2011.

Hero MotoCorp, a couple of days back revealed the Hero Xtreme 160R and made its re-entry into the 160cc motorcycle segment. The motorcycle was unveiled to the Global Media at the Hero World 2020 event at the brand’s state-of-the-art research and development facility, the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) located in Jaipur, India. Hero MotoCorp also launched two motorcycles in their commuter segment with new chassis and a BS6 emission compliant engine. The brand also launched an off-road Rally Kit for the XPulse 200 motorcycle.

Also on display at the Hero world 2020 was the prototype model of a new adventure motorcycle which could be in the 300cc to 400cc segment. The brand’s experience from the Hero MotoSports Dakar rally team may be used in the development of the new adventure motorcycle which, upon launch, will rival the likes of the KTM 390 Adventure, Royal Enfield Himalayan and the BMW G 310 GS in the adventure sports segment. The showcased prototype model did not have any bodywork and was not a full design concept but details such as a trellis chassis, upside-down front forks, petal discs and spoke wire off-road friendly rims could be seen. Speculations are that the adventure class bike will make nearly 30 – 35 ps of power.

The brand also plans to invest a large sum of money to develop alternate mobility solutions within the next 5 to 7 years, in India. As of now, the reports on any partnership talks are still unconfirmed and if the brands collaborate, we could see a new sub-500cc motorcycle as a result.