Harley-Davidson Releases Low-Priced Motorcycle

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Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) has had a good run this year. Its shares trade near a 52-week high. Its lineup of motorcycles has a strong presence in the expensive end of the market. But the company has decided to flank the companies at the lower end of the market, in an attempt to break out of its current niche. The name of the new motorcycle is the Street Rod 750, and it has an entry price of $8,699.

A motorcycle priced at nearly $9,000 would seem expensive enough for anything short of a car. However, Harley has motorcycles priced at well above $25,000. A case in point is the Tri Glide Ultra, which carries a price of $34,339, without the addition of a host of features.

As for the Street Rod, Harley markets it as a motorcycle that can even be used in city stop-and-go traffic:

The new Harley-Davidson Street Rod motorcycle is a muscular middle-weight built to blitz the city streets. An addition to the Harley-Davidson Street model family, the Street Rod is agile, powerful and tuned for maneuvering through traffic and congestion. Steeped in tough Harley-Davidson Dark Custom styling, bearing a stance that’s poised and aggressive, the Street Rod always looks ready for action.

Mathew Weber, Harley-Davidson Chief Engineer for the Street Rod, said:

The Street Rod will put the thrill in any urban commute. We’ve paired the potent new High Output Revolution X 750 engine with a revised chassis and up-rated suspension components to make the Street Rod quick, light-handling and easy to ride.

As for competition, for example, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) has a number of motorcycles at the lower price point. Harley wants a piece of this market. It has the brand, but do possible customers look at it as anything other than a marketer of huge beasts?