Royal Enfield unveils a completely redesigned model targeted at urban and long distance travellers

The high-end bike market in India is getting more exciting. At the opening day of Auto Expo on Thursday, U.S. iconic bikemaker Harley-Davidson announced that two of its bikes would now cost less as they would be assembled in the country, while U.K.-based Triumph made its entry in India with the launch of seven models, priced between Rs.5.50 lakh and Rs.22 lakh.

On the other hand, Royal Enfield unveiled 500cc Thunderbird that would be available later this year.

“The Street Bob and Super Glide Custom, previously offered as completely built-up (CBU) imports, will now be assembled at our Bawal plant in Haryana. While Street Bob will be available at Rs.9.95 lakh as against the earlier Rs.13.95 lakh, Super Glide Custom will retail at Rs.11.50 lakh as against Rs.15.45 lakh. Now bike enthusiasts will be able to lay their hands on a 1,600-cc bike for under Rs.10 lakh,” Harley-Davidson India Managing Director Anoop Prakash told journalists here.

The company has already sold over 1,000 bikes in India since its entry in August, 2009. Giving competition to Harley-Davidson would be British super premium motorcycle manufacturer Triumph that launched its seven models, priced between Rs.5.50 lakh and Rs.22 lakh. “The current year is crucial for Triumph motorcycles globally as we take our first steps into one of the most evolving markets in the world…Our market entry is perfectly timed as Indian riders have been longing to be given the power of choice,” said Triumph Motorcycles India Managing Director Ashish Joshi. Starting with four dealerships in metros, the company will commence sales later this year. It also plans to set up an assembly plant by March.

Similarly, Royal Enfield unveiled Thunderbird 500, a completely redesigned model targeted at urban and long distance travellers. “We will launch this bike by mid-2012,” said Eicher Motors Managing Director and CEO Siddhartha Lal. Stating that sales of their bikes were increasing fast, Mr. Lal said they were selling around 7,000 bikes per month of which 1,000 units are of Thunderbird 350cc. The company has launched its branded accessories like helmets, jackets and boots.