Can Bullet do a Harley makeover? Not likely

JAIPUR: If Harley-Davidson represents an iconic brand in the US, the natural question that flows from this is whether something like that could work with India’s own stud-muffin machine – the Royal Enfield Bullet.


This was a question that this writer put to Clyde Fessler, former vice-president of business development for Harley-Davidson Motor Company when he caught up with him after his presentation.


Harley Davidson


Royal Enfield Bullet

Fessler’s response was not exactly encouraging for those bullish on the Bullet’s prospects. A confession - this writer happens to be a Bullet fan and recollects that a college mate had a bike that was older (at 28 years at the time) than his mate and would start with just one kick.

Said Fessler: It was possible at one time but not today. The “heritage category” is shrinking day by day. According to Fessler, worldwide, interest in heritage bikes peaked between 1987 and 1992. And it has been dropping ever since.

Fessler pointed out that the Harley story was also about the sort of people who rode the bikes, and whether such a community existed in India was open to question.

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