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Harley-Davidson reportedly readying sub-500cc, $4,000 motorcycle

America's fabled motorcycle brand is said to be looking to expand into new world markets with a low-cost bike.

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Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert

Legendary American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has been struggling as of late, and efforts to expand the brand's appeal both home and abroad are well underway to staunch losses and solidify the company's future. Here in the US, that means taking a chance on new products in new segments like the forthcoming Livewire all-electric cruiser. In other emerging markets, that likely means a low-cost, high-volume sub-500cc model. That's according to reports out of Asia, including Outlook India and Zigwheels.

Shockingly, the new bike, which is expected to go on sale in 2020, could be as inexpensive as $4,000 in Asian markets like India. However, it's highly unlikely Harley-Davidson would bring such a bike to North America. In the States, the company's least expensive offering is the Street 500 (shown below), which starts at $6,899 (before options and delivery fees). The lion's share of H-D's bikes are substantially more expensive.

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The new motorcycle, which is rumored to be shown at the 2019 EICMA show in November, may be under joint development with a motorcycle manufacturer in India. Other competing brands, including BMW Motorrad and KTM have had success going the domestic-partnership route.

Zigwheels speculates that a fuel-injected air- and oil-cooled V-twin engine is likely to power the bike, and it's possible that the model could use a frame based on the Street 750, which is already manufactured in India. Displacements between 250cc and 500cc have been mooted.

Harley-Davidson officials did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment on this story.

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