Harley-Davidsons Roar Into India

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 9:20 AM CDT
In this Oct. 16, 2008 file photo, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are seen at the Dillon Brothers Harley-Davidson dealership, in Omaha, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)
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(Newser) – Twenty-five Harley-Davidsons roared into the center of New Delhi yesterday, loudly proclaiming that the US brand is ready to take on India, the Washington Post reports. The motorcycle’s long-awaited arrival consummates the 2007 mangoes-for-motorcycles trade pact between the US and India, in which the US agreed to allow Indian mangoes to be imported, if India would open its highways to Harleys.

Though its densely-packed roads aren’t always bike-friendly, India is the world’s second-largest motorcycle market, and Harley thinks upcoming government highway initiatives will improve the driving situation. But most riders own small utility bikes that cost $1,200, a far cry from the $14,000 models Harley intends to sell there. The company is looking for dealerships, and hopes its bikes will hit the market early next year. Each Harley will still be built entirely in the US.