Hero Plans to Bring Premium Commuter Bikes to the Global Markets

Sources in the Indian automotive media report that Hero Motocorp is planning to make a significant move in the international markets, bringing what is being referred to as "premium commuter" bikes.
Hero HX250R 1 photo
Photo: Florin Tibu
Now, having put Hero and "western markets" in the same sentence, it's impossible to think about what happened with the tie-up between Erik Buell Racing and Hero Motocorp.

Some might say that such ideas are more of a conspiracy theory, but we're not saying that Hero acted the way they did with a clear purpose. That is, we can't venture into saying they were after EBR's knowledge to help them build small-displacement bikes that they could sell in western markets.

Still, it's more than obvious that Hero IS using whatever intellectual property they bought from EBR in the first auction during the receivership. It remains to be seen how much this will help...

Hero is in a dominant position in the Indian market, with a share that reaches north of 50 percent, but in Europe and North America, the brand is insignificant. Autocarindia quotes Hero Motocorp CTO Markus Braunsperger as saying, "We plan to look at the category of motorcycles with engine displacement of more than 250cc, which will give us an opportunity in India but mainly in the global markets."

Now, it doesn't take a bike expert to look at Hero's current line-up and understand that these bikes would have a hard time in the European and North American markets. Underpowered and with aesthetics that collide with what the western riders are looking for, Hero's machines don't stand a chance there, even if sold at insanely low prices.

If Hero wants to make a move in such markets, they have to up their game significantly, and the know-how they acquired from EBR might help them build machines that may appeal to the western customers.

With most of the entry-point road bikes already having taken a step up from the classic quarter-liter engine, 250cc would hardly do, especially when paired with the lack of notoriety the brand will have to overcome.

They seem to have the money and other resources needed for such an undertaking, but whether Hero is able to build a bike to make a stand in the western countries is a thing that only time will tell. Their XF3R concept looks quite lovely, but it's a long way from this stage and a bike that rocks the streets.
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