Harley just sent us an invitation to be prepared for new launches on October 30. On the invitation graphic are two motorcycles. We've identified them and here's what they look like.
CVO or Custom Vehicle Operations is the division at Harley-Davidson that produces some of the most opulent, detailed customised, heightened models. Their current range (2015 models) is of four motorcycles - the Softail Deluxe, Road Glide Ultra, Street Glide and this, the CVO Limited. The CVOs are always expensive, the Limited lists for just under US$40,000 in the USA, which is the equivalent of Rs 24.5 lakh. Expect Harley to launch the motorcycle here as a CBU model that will shipped after you place the order with your nearest Harley showroom. The CVOs should all be available on order, not just the Limited and you can easily expect prices in the Rs 50 lakh or higher price bracket. These are after all, the closest you can get to a custom motorcycle built by Harley-Davidson for you.
The 2015 CVO Limited claims all the cool bits that arrived with Project Rushmore, including the linked ABS Brembo brakes, LED headlamps and a new steering head with stiffer 49mm forks. The engine is the new Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 1,800cc engine - that's the new one with liquid-cooled exhaust valves. This gives the Limited 155Nm of torque at 3,750rpm - progress should be effortless and brisk. Since this is a CVO, a lot of chrome and special parts come from Harley's Airflow Collection to create a chrome-laden, luxurious tourer look.
We have always had a soft spot for Harley's Softails. Only the Dynas tempt us more. Harley is set to expand their Indian Softail line-up by adding the Breakout. Within the current assembled range, Harley already assembles the Fat-Boy in India and we expect the Breakout to join the fun. CKD kits will come to Harley's Bawal factory and local assembly will allow Harley to price the motorcycle well. How well? Given that the Fat-Boy is listed at Rs 15 lakh ex-showroom, the Breakout should be higher by Rs 1-1.15 lakh which should make about Rs 16.5 lakh, the same price as the Heritage Softail.
Under the skin, the Breakout has a Twin Cam 96 engine, which is a 1690cc v-twin that produces 129Nm at 3,000rpm. It features styling derived from drag motorcycles, including fat forks, chopped shorty fenders, a thin tank console and flat bars. ABS is standard and you get a two-piece seat so that the pillion seat can be removed if you like the solo look.
Harley-Davidson had indicated that it would launch not two, but three new models in India before the year is out. We believe the third model is from the Harley-Davidson Touring line. And it's hidden in plain sight in the invitation. Expect to be able to buy the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited shortly at a price around Rs 30 lakh ex-showroom. This, of course, when assumed that the motorcycle will come via the CBU route. If Harley are feeling really brave - and there
is no reason to suspect they are not - then the Ultra Limited could be the first of the Touring line to go into CKD assembly which should drop the price by around Rs 10 lakh - which would be a coup of sorts for the kind of full-fledged touring motorcycle the Ultra Limited is.
In features and engine spec, the CVO Limited and the Ultra Limited aren't that different. The Ultra Limited has all of those Project Rushmore features. The engine is smaller, though. The Ultra Limited get the Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 103, the 1690cc v-twin which makes 143Nm of peak torque at 3,750rpm. It will also have regular production bits rather than the cool custom bits from the Airflow Collection in the Harley-Davidson parts catalogue.
We also expect Harley-Davidson India to unveil new dealership at Surat and also open their second dealership in Bangalore taking their current dealership strength to 15. Harley-Davidson has been doing extremely well in India in sales and expanding their reach is critical to keeping that momentum going. You can be sure that more dealers are coming after these two new ones.