It was big news when Harley-Davidson started selling their legendary bikes in India. But the impact it made on the market was small in scale mainly due to their exorbitant price tags which is expected from one of the most popular premium bike marques in the world. Royal Enfield, India’s beloved cruiser bike maker, brushed aside the challenge from the American brand and continued to dominate that particular segment of bikes in the country without breaking a sweat. Now, however, another American brand is stepping into the ring and they’re teaming up with an Indian company to improve their chances.
UM Motorcycles, a manufacturer of cruiser bikes, has teamed up with the Noida-based Lohia Motors Ltd. (whom you might remember for their scooters) to launch the UM Renegade Commando in India. The Renegade Commando is a 280 cc single-cylinder cruiser bike that is targeting the segment which has been dominated by the Royal Enfield Thunderbird for years. The Renegade Commando’s engine produces 24.8 bhp of power and 21.8 Nm of torque compared to the Thunderbird 350’s figures of 19.8 bhp and 28 Nm. While it has lesser torque than the Enfield, it does develop more power which usually means a higher top speed.
The UM bike also has a very attractive price tag of Rs 1,50,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) which is going to provide some serious competition to Royal Enfield. Previously anyone looking to buy a classy cruiser would have had to opt for the Thunderbird because Harley’s are just too expensive. Now, UM have made it possible for Indians to get an American-style cruiser for the same price as a RE. The Renegade Commando looks brilliant, has a decent engine and provides exceptional value for money which means that it shouldn’t struggle too hard to find a foothold in the Indian bike market. But specifications and price tags are never a good measure of whether or not a bike will be successful in the market. The UM Renegade Commando is no exception and only time will be able to tell if it can provide a serious challenge, if any at all, to the great Royal Enfield.
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