As Harley Davidson gears up to launch its bikes in India, another iconic brand - UK's Triumph - is finalising plan to burn its rubber on the Indian roads, with cruising in some of its famous brands, including the 2,300-cc 'Rocket III' cruiser and the 'Bonneville' classic, by year-end.
"We plan to get in a series of models from our line-up," Nick Bloor, whose family owns the Triumph brand, said.
Bloor, the export manager for the company, said Triumph was negotiating with seven to eight firms in India, that includes Bajaj Auto and a lifestyle product maker.
"We are here to formulate a strategy for getting into India and are confident to find a partner by the middle of this year," he said.
The company plans to get in a range of models from its line up of urban sports, cruisers and modern classics bikes - though the import route, which would mean an 'ultra expensive' tag that would be affordable only by a select audience.
These include the 2,300-cc 'Rocket III Touring' cruiser, covered in chrome and infused with Triumph's original and authentic styling.
Urban sports bikes like the 675-cc 'Street Triple' and the amazing 'Daytona 675', that won the Best Supersport in both the Supertest and Masterbike 2007 track tests in Spain, could also come in.
However, with import duty, price could be a deterrent. The Rocket III, the company's flagship product, costs around 12,000 pounds in the UK and would cost you well over Rs 18 lakh after a duty of about 110%.
"These products cater to a different and niche segment and we come here with an eye on the future. We feel it is an exciting market with fantastic growth potential," Bloor said.
Modern classics like the 865-cc 'Bonneville' and a deluxe version of the sixties icon, the 'Bonneville T100' could also come in.
"Powered by air-cooled parallel twins, their performance, brakes and fuel injection are tuned to current times, even though they are classic," Bloor said.
Triumph is also looking to launch its clothing and accessories line in India. "These would create awareness of our line-up. Also, these would provide good revenue stream for our dealers," he said.
Government recently relaxed norms for facilitating easy import of bikes over 800cc engine, by accepting testing and approval by any certified agency from EU against the previous norm of only the country of origin.