BMW F650 GS was relaunched in India today at an ex-showroom price of Rs. 9.99 lakhs (BMW F650 Funduro was sold for a short period in the 90s by Hero Motors).
Now I understand that BMW motorcycles or for that matter, BMW cars are never really cheap and import duties in India are fairly high as well. However considering the fact that the primary reason why the F650 didn’t sell earlier was due to its high price, even though it was the only imported motorcycle being sold in India at that time, one would think that the F650 would have been priced a little lower to entice more customers.
Especially since today even Ducati and Harley Davidson has models selling at around 7 lakh rupees in India and Triumph is about to enter the Indian market with some delicious pricing as well and KTM is going strong with the launch of its 200 Duke and is planning to launch the bigger bikes soon. And at a moment like this, pricing an entry level 800cc enduro motorcycle for nearly the same as a liter class Japanese superbike is something that just doesn’t makes sense in my head.
I mean I know it’s the BMW F650 GS, which most motorcycle tourers like me have a really soft corner for and would be a fantastic bike for touring in India, but frankly speaking, if I had a million rupee to spend on a motorcycle, then I would likely get a liter class superbike instead, even though I would only be able to ride it on the national highways!
Of course it might just be the case that BMW isn’t really looking at blokes like me and instead is planning to leverage its existing car customer base (especially the born again bikers), for whom paying 20-30% premium over other brands might not be a big issue.
However I do believe that if BMW is really serious about its motorcycle business in India, then they will have to slash prices at some point and look at the viability of manufacturing its motorcycles locally and maybe even making India a global export hub for its motorcycles.
Till then, I guess I need to start a Triumph Speed Triple saving fund :D.