“Years before Street launched, we spoke with riders in various urban environments all over the world,” said Frank Savage, Harley-Davidson Styling Manager. “We wanted to understand how they viewed Harley-Davidson, how they saw themselves in the riding world, and how we could meet them on their terms.”
The feedback was resounding. These riders wanted an authentic, rugged and durable bike that could meet the stop-and-go challenges of urban riding. They wanted a Dark Custom™ soul with a rebellious spirit that combined a contemporary look with the heritage of Harley-Davidson. The Street went there and beyond.
Riders have responded to our customer-led approach with acclaim. In fact, Street 750 was recently named the 2015 India Motorcycle of the Year, and in the U.S., retail sales of Street drove double-digit gains in Harley-Davidson's small cruisers in the third and fourth quarters of 2014. In select markets around the world, riders have attended events such as India Bike Week and Barcelona Harley Days® to show their support for the bike.
India Bike Week
Since our market entry in 2009, the leisure motorcycle market in India has seen substantial growth. Our India team has worked to blend the lifestyle of Harley-Davidson with the country’s rich social culture. In recent years, the assembly of Sportster®, Dyna®, and Softail® model families at our plant in India increased interest in and accessibility to our brand and motorcycles. This enthusiasm continued to boom with the introduction of the Harley-Davidson Street 750 at the second annual India Bike Week in Goa in 2014.
“We saw thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts from around the country come to India Bike Week last year, many of whom came to see the new Street,” said Anoop Prakash, Harley-Davidson India Managing Director. “Ten months later, we had a robust demand for our new Street motorcycles, bringing a new generation of riders to the brand. Street allows young urban riders a more affordable option to be part of the Harley-Davidson lifestyle sooner than they would be able to with other models.”
Following the launch of Street 750 in select European markets, dealers and riders immediately recognized the bike’s potential for customization. So, we launched the Custom Kings program, a campaign designed to showcase the performance of Street and our dealers’ strengths in the customization space.
With a strict budget and using only Harley-Davidson Genuine Parts & Accessories, dealers were encouraged to put their unique stamp on Street. Our dealers accepted the challenge.
“We were blown away by the amount of passion and creativity our dealers poured into the Custom Kings campaign,” said Mike Johnstone, Harley-Davidson Regional Marketing Operations Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It’s a testament to their individualization and speaks volumes about the global potential of Street.”
Skateboards and Motorcycles
Looking to unveil Street 750 to great fanfare in Spain and Portugal, we took a unique approach to draw our target audience to Barcelona Harley Days. Weeks before the event, a skateboard competition was organized across the nation, with the finals scheduled to take place at the urban festival.
“We learned a great deal from previous Street launches, including the type of customer we wanted to attract,” said Olivier Allamagny, Harley-Davidson Regional Country Manager for Italy, Spain and Portugal. “So, we wanted to take a unique approach to drawing those current and future urban riders to Harley Days.”
The plan paid off. Not only did our target audience turn out in great numbers for the unveiling, but once again we proved our ability to reach new and existing riders in new and exciting ways.