Harley Davidson is heading to China where they plan to announce by this summer the opening of a retail outlet for their big V-twins. But an article yesterday mentioned a few of the drawbacks to cruising the open roads over there. A Hong Kong dentist wanted to ride with a group of 35 bikers to Guilin city. They finally did, but only after paying $1,290 per bike in escort and paperwork fees. Puts a bit of a damper on the local H.O.G. chapter holding poker runs around Beijing.
The article notes the average wage in China is still around $1000 which doesn’t buy much Harley, though I imagine there’s a growing segment of the market making loads of money as their economy grows so purchasing power might not be the problem the rules, regulations and fees will be. Those regulations kept BMW, which has been in China since 2003, to total sales of 70 motorcycles all of last year. Yep, that’s a free market.
I still think the biggest problem will be when one of those bikes ends up in a Chinese factory where a bit of reverse engineering results in a Harvey Davidsun for $2995.