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Old 10th February 2014, 03:07   #1
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Default Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

I ponder this question a lot
What is considered to be a super bike in this forum or anywhere else?

Agreed, not so long ago Harley Davidson used to be bring in their cycles as CBU and the price tag was not within the reach of ordinary citizens of India..
Then came the superlow which was assembled in IND and then came the dyna, followed by softy's...
All is left in their line up, is to do the glide's and trikes and VRSC's in IND.,given the rate of growth of Harleys I think it is a definite possibility in the near future..

Harley-Davidson is here to stay and they want the major chunk of low end segment too...and the proof to it, is the recently launched 750...It's their new VRSC engine platform with detuned for lower cc's and bhp's

@4.10lks I believe now a Harley is within reach to many folks than ever before (which is a good news for the company as well as folks who always dreamt of riding one)...so this makes me to ask the question is Harley Davidson a super bike anymore?

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Old 10th February 2014, 10:32   #2
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Harley Davidson never had a super bike in their stable.
They realized this and thus came out with VRSC = V-ROD (with Revolution engine) few years back.

If you really look deeply the new Street is styled very similar to the VROD, and the Revolution X is in the same family as V-ROD's Revolution.
Water cooled, 60 deg Cylinder.
High revving.
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Old 10th February 2014, 12:04   #3
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrini78 View Post
I ponder this question a lot
What is considered to be a super bike in this forum or anywhere else?

Agreed, not so long ago HD used to be bring in their cycles as CBU and the price tag was not within the reach of ordinary citizens of India..
Then came the superlow which was assembled in IND and then came the dyna, followed by softy's...
All is left in their line up, is to do the glide's and trikes and VRSC's in IND.,given the rate of growth of HD's I think it is a definite possibility in the near future..

H-D is here to stay and they want the major chunk of low end segment too...and the proof to it, is the recently launched 750...It's their new VRSC engine platform with detuned for lower cc's and bhp's

@4.10lks I believe now a HD is within reach to many folks than ever before (which is a good news for the company as well as folks who always dreamt of riding a HD)...so this makes me to ask the question is HD a super bike anymore?


Technically speaking Harleys were never superbikes.
They were cruisers.

However I do recognise the fact that you were not talking about SBKs in the true sense, but in the Indian sense.

And the answer to your question is, yes. Its still a superbike.

Lets look at what a Harley can get you into.

You can get a GODS/COPS/whatever your city superbike club membership.
It gets you into HOGs.

And as for the exclusivity part, well, how many Hyosung GT 650s/Ninja 650s/Superlows/Iron 883s do you see on the road despite the relatively low price tag.
Heck, how many ninja 250/300 do you see on the road?


A superbike is an emotion. Logically there is no sense of it in our country. But then you buy them because they strike at your heart.

So yes, it is still a "superbike"
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Old 10th February 2014, 14:40   #4
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

I have a different question on this topic.

Both Bajaj and Hero showcased some upcoming machinery at the Auto Expo this year.

This includes the 400cc Pulsars and the 600+ cc naked from Hero.

Now, are these machines also to be endowed with a superbike tag (in Indian context ofcourse) ??
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Old 10th February 2014, 15:00   #5
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narula123 View Post
Now, are these machines also to be endowed with a superbike tag (in Indian context ofcourse) ??
A rather simple way to look at the definition of a Superbike ( Indian context, ofcourse ) is a bike renowned for its vintage, cult nature, global fan following and for being a lifestyle statement.

Engine size wise I think it just needs to be 600cc and above.

Hero/Bajaj except the engine size dont fit into other parameters at all.
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Old 10th February 2014, 15:13   #6
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
A rather simple way to look at the definition of a Superbike ( Indian context, ofcourse ) is a bike renowned for its vintage, cult nature, global fan following and for being a lifestyle statement.

Engine size wise I think it just needs to be 600cc and above.

Hero/Bajaj except the engine size dont fit into other parameters at all.
This to an extent answers the thread originator's question. So its not just the product but the overall Brand perception.

In case of Bajaj and Hero if the products did not carry the company's name or the umbrella branding (incase of Pulsars) then the Indian junta would have possibly called them a SBK considering how they look. Take off the Pulsar stickers from the 400SS and the Hero moniker from the Hastur and test this out. People will look and go bug-eyed. So machines capable of becoming an Indian -termed SBK will not do so because they carry the burden of their commuter family names.

A different question now - Would it make sense to remove Hero's name from the Hastur when it is launched (maybe keep a tiny logo here and there)?

Something similar for the Pulsars?

Agreed that the sales figures will probably suffer as "Pulsar" and "Hero" give a comfort factor to a new purchase but then what about perceived product value?

Last edited by narula123 : 10th February 2014 at 15:14.
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Old 10th February 2014, 16:50   #7
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narula123 View Post
A different question now - Would it make sense to remove Hero's name from the Hastur when it is launched (maybe keep a tiny logo here and there)
It wont make any difference. Even a brand like Hyosung isnt popular in India compared to the more renowned names

When I mentioned global in my previous post. It meant in true sense.

Do you agree that a brand like Yamaha, Honda & Suzuki is known by an average motorcycle enthusiast in each/majority countries of this globe?

Do you think Hero/Bajaj enjoy the same popularity? I dont' think so. They are going global but, are at a nascent stage. Maybe 10-15 years down the line they will become a global brand like Honda, Suzuki etc.
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Old 10th February 2014, 16:58   #8
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Default re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

I think there is a pretty universal mental threshold of 150 bhp and beyond which is the bare requirement for any bike to claim superbike status.

Anything less than that but more than 100+ bhp is a supersport.

Anything under 100 bhp can be a lot of things, but will never be "super". This is no hard and fast formalized definition, just what I believe.
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Old 10th February 2014, 17:15   #9
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Default Re: Is H-D a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narula123 View Post

This includes the 400cc Pulsars and the 600+ cc naked from Hero.

Now, are these machines also to be endowed with a superbike tag (in Indian context ofcourse) ??
The Hero will be classified a SBK in the Indian context, the pulsar will not. The pulsar is just a faired KTM Duke 390, which is not a superbike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
A rather simple way to look at the definition of a Superbike ( Indian context, ofcourse ) is a bike renowned for its vintage, cult nature, global fan following and for being a lifestyle statement.
I dont agree with any of these of these parameters.
A hyosung 650 is a superbike. So is a Hastur.

Look to counter you all I would like to ask you is wheter you think Marussia to be a supercar or not? Or the Mastretta?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narula123 View Post
This to an extent answers the thread originator's question. So its not just the product but the overall Brand perception.

A different question now - Would it make sense to remove Hero's name from the Hastur when it is launched (maybe keep a tiny logo here and there)?
IMO, yes it would. They will be able to charge a huge premium if they call it EBR Hastur or Buell Hastur. EBR = Eric Buell Racing


Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
It wont make any difference. Even a brand like Hyosung isnt popular in India compared to the more renowned names

When I mentioned global in my previous post. It meant in true sense.

Do you agree that a brand like Yamaha, Honda & Suzuki is known by an average motorcycle enthusiast in each/majority countries of this globe?

Do you think Hero/Bajaj enjoy the same popularity? I dont' think so. They are going global but, are at a nascent stage. Maybe 10-15 years down the line they will become a global brand like Honda, Suzuki etc.

Thats true. And honestly Bajaj doesnt need to go premium by itself. They can sell their stuff under KTM and Kawasaki names.

And Hero can go the Buell way.
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Old 10th February 2014, 17:43   #10
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Default Re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Considering that most of the big brands are available in India these days, may be it is time to request Mods to remove the "Superbikes and Imports" section of motorbikes and instead add the following 4 subsection to Motorbikes

- Standard (commuter bikes generally below 300cc)
- Cruisers (Bullets, Harleys etc)
- Sports (includes Supersports & Superbikes)
- Scooters

Thoughts?
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Old 10th February 2014, 18:24   #11
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Default Re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondadude View Post
Considering that most of the big brands are available in India these days, may be it is time to request Mods to remove the "Superbikes and Imports" section of motorbikes and instead add the following 4 subsection to Motorbikes

- Standard (commuter bikes generally below 300cc)
- Cruisers (Bullets, Harleys etc)
- Sports (includes Supersports & Superbikes)
- Scooters

Thoughts?


CBUs and CKDs are technically imports.
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Old 10th February 2014, 19:38   #12
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Exclamation Re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

I could be wrong but here is what i thought/read in one of the leading foreign autojournos:

600 cc, 3/4 cylinders: super sports
750 cc, 3/4 cylinders: maxi sports
1000cc, 3/4 cylinders: super bike
1300cc or more, 3/4 cylinders: hyper bike

drive safe
e46
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Old 11th February 2014, 00:06   #13
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Default Re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by e46 View Post
I could be wrong but here is what i thought/read in one of the leading foreign autojournos:

600 cc, 3/4 cylinders: super sports
750 cc, 3/4 cylinders: maxi sports
1000cc, 3/4 cylinders: super bike
1300cc or more, 3/4 cylinders: hyper bike

drive safe
e46
I think this would apply in foreign markets. But in India, at least for now I think 600cc onwards is pretty much considered a super bike. The general trend (not counting the bullets) is standard bikes pretty much max out at around 250cc.

In India, the common person (In my opinion) would even call a 2 cylinder Ninja 650 a super bike.
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Old 11th February 2014, 01:14   #14
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Default Re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

No it is not a superbike irrespective of whether it generates 50bhp or around 100 in the top of the range models. They are the way i see it - overpriced homage to the past and a mean of leisure riding as opposed to agressive riding one expects from a SBK.

Harley davidson , BSA , triumph etc were out-darwined in the 70s by the japs . This is not even up for debate the way i see it . Many top level manufacturers went out of business within half a decade because of honda and co . The reason some have survived is -
1. Some like triumph have adopted the high revving formula of japs and manage to sell motors to people looking for variety or a different badge . Some models like bonnie aim at the nostalgic retro crowd while not being a superbike.

2. Harley has survived because of unparalled patriotric mindset among americans which was their only realistic market after the jap invasion . They have to thank the MCs like hells angel etc for spreading this 'true american' bike image . Infact the street 750 or VROD are considered Fake by many . Obviously a very narrow minded approach but one that has helped harley A LOT.

They are comparable to enfield in india . No not the bikes but the image that the bikes represent , just like you find many here preaching the virtues of a stone age cast iron engine(appreciating a vintage motor is one , saying it is better than the current gen engine is ....) , there are those in america who consider panheads or shovelheads as the real Harley, Even a 2013 breakout is a fake for them . This public perception , this image is the only reason these two brands have survived. If enfield had not migrated to India , it will be long extinct just like BSA and velocette .
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Old 11th February 2014, 10:08   #15
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Default Re: Is Harley-Davidson a Superbike anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by e46 View Post
I could be wrong but here is what i thought/read in one of the leading foreign autojournos:

600 cc, 3/4 cylinders: super sports
750 cc, 3/4 cylinders: maxi sports
1000cc, 3/4 cylinders: super bike
1300cc or more, 3/4 cylinders: hyper bike

drive safe
e46
Firstly the 3/4 cylinder parameter doesnt work. The V-twins and V-fours from Ducati, Aprilia and ilk are pretty much on the super-sports map.

Secondly its not just the cubic capacity alone which defines the class of a bike. Its also the intended purpose. An inline4 Ninja 1000 is not a superbike but a powerful sports tourer. Same holds true for the other Adventure bikes and tourers.

Yes, In India due to the lack of legacy on these bikes and their usage and because of the perception created by movies like Dhoom, the imagery of a superbike/sportsbike is vastly different. If your machine has a fairing (sad but true) and makes noise while "looking" fast then for the masses its a sportsbike.

The biker fraternity is alot more educated in comparison and can distinguish between the tourers and the nakeds etc. But then this population is an absolute minority.

But there is a silver lining to the cloud. With the advent of cheaper performance machines like the Dukes and the bigger Pulsars, CBR250s and the R15s, the scenario is evolving pretty fast. KTM has started introducing folks to the concept of track riding. All this is a major step-up from where we were 5 years ago.

The only thing left is for the eco-system around performance bikes to develop. We need more tracks. We need better and legal tyres. We need better fuel. More facilities for tourers on bikes. This is the real gap in my opinion. With more and more performance machines on the horizon, this gap becomes all the more critical.

P.S - I think I have gone way OT. The mods will keeel me.

Last edited by narula123 : 11th February 2014 at 10:18. Reason: Tubelight moment
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