The time is gone when the dream to own an American motorcycle meant selling your house, numerous visits to customs office and being denounced as a maniac and not a motorcycle enthusiast. With the arrival of Harley Davidson and Indian in India, a new range of bike manufacturers have started to gauge the potential of this market and invest everything they can to tap this market.
To join this bandwagon most recently is UM Global - a young outfit based out of Miami that took birth somewhere in early 2000s and soon knew the taste of success.
UM Global plans to take the economical cruiser segment by storm as there are not many players in the segment that are affordable. That makes Royal Enfield its major competition. Remember, this is the same segment that welcomed Yamaha Enticer with open arms when it was launched 11 years ago. But, the manufacturer that plans to cater to the 100-400 cc segment, might find it a bit difficult to lure a potential buyer. The cautious buyer who belongs to the desired Target Group is either moved by the brand image or the brand reliability, which UM lacks as of now.
If rumours are to be believed, UM might team-up with GSK (same people sell Hyosung motorcycles in India) for a deeper penetration with DSK's broad dealership network. The first few batches might reach buyers via CKD route, and once UM finds some grip, it plans to localise around 40-50% of its machines. Three cruisers from its famous Renegade series - Commando, Sport and Duty, and the naked streetfighter - Xtreet R made eyeballs pop out at Auto Expo 2014.
UM Global has not made any official comment on the prices of these eye candies, but the Renegade series is expected to cost somewhere between 1-1.5 lakh, which is pretty fair keeping in mind its competition and the reputation its competitors have.
Let’s see if this American finds as many houses in India to live as its fellow motorcycles did. Well, whatever takes place, either UM Global will write history or turn into one.