Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG, formerly HDI), often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Harley-Davidson also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese manufacturers.
The company sells heavyweight (over 750 cc) motorcycles designed for cruising on highways. Harley-Davidson motorcycles (popularly known as "Harleys") have a distinctive design and exhaust note. They are especially noted for the tradition of heavy customization that gave rise to the chopper style of motorcycle. Except for the modern VRSC model family, current Harley-Davidson motorcycles reflect the styles of classic Harley designs. Harley-Davidson's attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met with limited success and have largely been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary.
Harley-Davidson sustains a loyal brand community which keeps active through clubs, events, and a museum. Licensing of the Harley-Davidson brand and logo accounted for $40 million (0.8%) of the company's net revenue in 2010.
In August 2009, Harley-Davidson announced plans to enter the market in India, where, according to press releases, it expects to start selling its motorcycles in 2010. The company has established a subsidiary to be located in Gurgaon, near Delhi, and has begun the process of seeking dealers. Plans to enter the Indian market have been delayed for several years, due to high tariffs and emissions regulations. The pollution regulations have recently changed, but the tariff problem is yet unresolved.
In 2007, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and the Minister for Commerce and Industry of India, Kamal Nath, had agreed that Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be allowed access to the Indian market in exchange for the export of Indian mangoes. However, India had not specified emission standards for motorcycles over 500 cc displacement, effectively prohibiting the import of Harley-Davidsons, along with most models of other manufacturers. Plans to export to India were also held up by import duties of 60% and taxes of 30%, which effectively doubled the sale price. A Harley-Davidson spokesman said the company thinks demand is high enough to overcome the tariffs, and chief operating officer Matt Levatich said they would continue to push for lower tariffs.
Harley Davidson is introducing 12 models in India from the range of five motorcycle families, namely Sportster, Dyna, VRSC, Softail and CVO. The motorcycles are completely built units and will be imported to India, thus attracting a tax over 100% in the price range of 695,000 rupees and 3,495,000 rupees ex-showroom. The bookings might start from April 2010 and the motorcycle delivery will commence from June 2010. To begin with, Harley Davidson would have five dealerships (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh) with the aim of increasing the dealerships to more than 20 in the next five years. In November 2010, Harley-Davidson said that it will start an assembly facility for complete knock down (CKD) kits of its motorcycles in India by the first half of 2011, making it only the second CKD facility outside the US.
The Revolution engine is based on the VR-1000 Superbike race program, developed by Harley-Davidson's Powertrain Engineering team and Porsche Engineering in Stuttgart, Germany. It is a liquid cooled, dual overhead cam, internally counterbalanced 60 degree V-twin engine with a displacement of 69 cubic inch (1,130 cc), producing 115 hp (86 kW) at 8,250 rpm at the crank, with a redline of 9,000 rpm. It was introduced for the new V-Rod line in 2001 for the 2002 model year, starting with the single VRSCA (V-Twin Racing Street Custom) model.
A 1,250 cc Screamin' Eagle version of the Revolution engine was made available for 2005 and 2006, and was present thereafter in a single production model from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, the 1,250 cc Revolution Engine became standard for the entire VRSC line. Harley-Davidson claims 123 hp (92 kW) at the crank for the 2008 VRSCAW model. The VRXSE Destroyer is equipped with a stroker (75 mm crank) Screamin' Eagle 79 cubic inch (1,300 cc) Revolution Engine, producing over 165 hp (123 kW).