Royal Enfield purchase chassis experts Harris Performance to bolster their UK R&D center.
Royal Enfield is done playing teenage wet dream and ready to move into echelons of the world’s great motorcycle manufacturers with the acquisition of Harris Performance for an undisclosed amount in May 2015. To henceforth dominate the 200cc – 750 cc segment, Eicher Motors, possessors of Royal Enfield, have embarked on an ambitious project to establish an R&D hub in UK to supply its factories in India with world class designs.
Found A Squeeze Overseas
Recently this initiative received its biggest boost yet with the acquisition of British chassis specialists, Harris Performance. Harris’ biggest link with Royal Enfield before this acquisition was the design of the Continental GT. Apart from that, their core business still revolves around providing racing bike chassis and kit for Kawasakis and Yamahas.
Acquiring Harris will bring to Royal Enfield another slice of global know-how. Apart from chassis, Harris have also a thriving business in motorcycle parts and accessories. That should help Royal Enfield with a useful scaleable side income, should they choose to keep it.
Eicher To Their Own
Post the takeover, Eicher will absorb the entire Harris workforce, including chief Steve Harris. They will be redeployed to work on the new generation products Royal Enfield has been developing, including the 410 cc Himalayan Adventure Tourer and another couple of products based on a 750cc powerplant.
The addition to the research team in the UK follows the appointment of ex-Triumph project head, Simon Warburton as the chief of product planning and strategy and ex-Ducati design chief, Pierre Terblance as the resident design guru. Royal Enfield believe this elite team coupled with cheap manufacturing costs at its Indian plants will propel it into global leadership.
Time To Act Royal
Royal Enfield have clearly taken a lot of heart from the fact that they outsold Harley Davidson last year. The aim is to now make a serious go of producing world class products which will cement that position. It’s not just Harley Davidson which is in Royal Enfield’s sight, but also Ducati’s Sports Classic range. Let the battle begin!
Photo Credits: Sonniss