Lack of Local partner: If you can’t beat them join them. For India, KTM and Triumph found local partner with Bajaj Auto. BMW found a friend in TVS. However, Harley remained in glorious isolation.
India is not a market for big bikes: 17 million two-wheelers sold last fiscal year, yet it is not a market for big burly and noisy bikes. India is for bikes that cost less, easy to maintain and offer good mileage. Harley is none of those. Harley’s delay in bringing the India specific smaller displacements in affordable segment is a question to be raised!
Poor Service Backup: Customers have complained about engine overheating, worn-out brake pads and clutch plates burning out too soon. On the top of it, long wait for spare parts wasn’t helping the brand image. Customers expect no hassle ownership after buying such a high cost bike. Instead they realized it to be high maintenance White Elephant.
Royal Enfield: In the field of aspirational and lifestyle biking, Royal Enfield (RE) has unshakeable presence. RE has a huge fan base all across India, with around 3.5 million motorcycles on the road. Its bikes costs less than Harley and very easy to maintain. Yet it offers the same lifestyle quotient to the riders.