Now, ride a 1200-cc Harley 'Forty-Eight' – for Rs8.5 lakh

Harley-Davidson, the premium US motorcycle maker, this week launched its 1,200cc superbike 'Forty-Eight' in India. Priced at Rs8.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), Harley's latest offering will be available at all the five Harley-Davidson dealerships in the country, according to a company statement in New Delhi.

The company said bookings for the Forty-Eight will start this month. It will be in addition to the company's current line-up of 14 bikes for 2011.

Powered by a 1200-cc V-Twin engine, the bike retains the 'retro' look that has made Harley famous, with a slammed suspension and the classic 'peanut' fuel tank. It will be fully imported, unlike the two models it assembles at its plant in Haryana.

In December 2010, the company had announced that the SuperLow and Iron 883 will be the first two models to be rolled out of the 'CKD' assembly facility in Bawal. Completely knocked down or CKD is Indian jargon for vehicles of which all the parts are manufactured abroad, but assembled in India.

There is a huge gap between the duty structure for such vehicles and those imported in a fully-built state. However, this year's union budget has narrowed the gap by hiking duties on 'CKDs'.

The company had announced after the budget that it has no immediate intention of hiking the prices of its locally put-together models, which are priced at Rs5.5 lakh and Rs6.50 lakh respectively. Its other 12 fully imported bikes are priced between Rs7.79 lakh and Rs38.66 lakh.