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UM Motorcycles USA comes to India

An American Export

By Ujjwal Dey

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America’s biggest and most successful export is “American Culture”. Everyone everywhere wants a piece of Americana. No matter which industry you look at, the biggest brand in any product or service is always an American Brand Company.


No wonder then that riders in India welcomed UM Motorcycles of USA with great thrill and affection. It was an affordable American brand, like my Levi’s jeans and my Zippo lighter and my Rolling Stone India Edition magazine and my subscription to Netflix. Something a normal human in Asia can afford. Something for everyone. Something which prides on legacy of mass production such as American legends Henry Ford and Bill Gates. Something I can buy, my neighbor can buy and a newly employed 20 year old man can buy.

Triumph launched 800cc Triumph Tiger to compete with Enfield in India. Triumph is giving bikes for Zero Down-payment with 100% financing. Harley Davidson India is competing with Street 750 bikes but won’t be releasing Street 500cc bikes in India. Harley and Indian brands are luxury brands in India comparable to owning a Porsche and Mercedes due to extremely high import duties. There is a future for Harley and Indian motorcycles in India soon though with record growth of India’s GDP surpassing that of China. There are more tech billionaires in India now than ever before. If economic trends continue then the much promised smart cities will give boost to sales of Harley Davidson for sure. Harley Street 750 couldn’t make a dent in Enfield market-share but has managed to establish itself as the highest selling Harley Davidson model in sheer numbers in sales figures. It is now a well-known entry model for Harley Davidson in India just like Sportster is an entry level model in USA.

UM is an American company which has tied up with local Indian manufacturer to sell UML brand bikes. So it is a small American player challenging the big American brands in Asia.

UM Renegade is a machine, you ride and a legacy, you respect. The legacy of the UM Renegade goes way beyond its beatnik-rocker soul. Clean, classic lines and shiny chrome conceal safety innovations like a world-first, 360-degree LED light system, blindspot mirrors, tubeless tires, and the SAM® onboard maintenance system. Together, they make the Renegade as reliably secure as it is recklessly cool. Feel the hum of the 4 stroke, liquid cooled engine and the crunch of gravel beneath the massive 140mm rear tire.

The UM Renegade Commando model features an ergonomic riding position with pulled-back narrow handlebars for easy city commute, centered footrests for upright seating and a wide cushioned seat for hours or riding while you Feel the Freedom. The Commando is powered by a strong and reliable single cylinder, 4 valve, liquid cooled engine which delivers 25hp and 22 Nm of torque mated to a 6 speed transmission that is geared for city use in low gears and equipped with an overdrive for comfortable highway riding in 6th gear.

The new UM Renegade Sport S model has redefined the concept of a sport cruiser. Pure American Muscle with the comfort of a full size cruiser and the innovations that you come to expect in modern bikes. The Renegade Sport S was designed to conquer the motorcycle enthusiast looking for the riding comfort of a cruiser combined with the performance and sporty looks of a sport bike. A T shaped handlebar, sport grips and a low center of gravity design give you full control of this power cruiser while on the road.

UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt. Ltd. is the Indian company which has tied up with UM Global to launch these two breakthrough models in India. Currently offering Renegade Commando and Renegade Sport S to hungry motorcycle market in India. There is such a huge demand that now there is more than three month waiting list to own a UML Renegade in India. They have sold out all the stocks they brought to market within a matter of few weeks. This new bike manufacturer is gaining fast popularity in India with practical and utility driven design.

See: http://www.uml.co.in/

It is a Small but Significant breakthrough. UML India competes against fellow cruisers in India, namely Enfield and Bajaj Avenger. I am hoping Ural will come to India someday.

Already UML India has a dealer network in 36 major cities and towns in India. Mumbai city has 4 Authorised Dealers booking Renegade bikes all seven days as if they were a Visa to USA itself. The IT capital, Bangalore city has 10 Authorised Dealers of UML Renegade.

I would bet, that if any foreign player can make a dent in Enfield Motorcycles sales record in home turf of India, then it is a bike such as UM Renegade. The prices, the quality, the design, the network competes with every Enfield bestseller in the market (INR 159,000 ex-showroom). With an 18 litre fuel tank, Renegade is in a different class to Harley which is more of a lifestyle choice and not just about commuting. However you can indeed cruise or go long distance riding into the sunset with these large and gorgeous UM motorcycles. Enfield has a 13 litre fuel tank for its 350cc and 500cc bikes. These are important issues for a less developed nation like India where long highways may not necessarily have the much needed refueling stations at convenient distances.

All motorcycles in that category of 100cc to 500c are 2 valve air cooled engines in India. But UM Renegade sold in India is 4 valve liquid cooled engine.

If UM Global brings their Dual Purpose all terrain DSRX motorcycles to India, they will bite a chunk out of Hero, Honda, Bajaj, Yamaha, KTM brands. And people would rather buy a handy rough riding UM DSR than a Ducati which is more expensive than the base model of Audi luxury car in India.

UM is an American manufacturer of a variety of motorcycles. Their lineup has Sports bikes and Scooters as well in USA. Established in the early 2000s by Octavio Villegas Llano, UM is based out of Miami, Florida. Inspired by the perilous living conditions of the Latin American population of the mid-20th Century, Mr. Villegas wanted to create and offer transportation products and opportunities to the low and mid-income population through which the UM brand was born. UM aims at offering motorcycles at an affordable price to the masses without skimping on performance and technology.

UM International has teamed up with UP-based firm Lohia Auto and has invested Rs 100 crore in India (INR 1,00,00,00,000) . Manufacturing of the motorcycles is already underway at Lohia Auto’s Kashipur facility in Uttarakhand after bookings were opened at the 2016 Auto Expo. Headquartered out of New Delhi in India, the company has started appointing dealers across India.

All three Renegade bikes launched in India are powered by a 280cc, single-cylinder and liquid-cooled motor. If you are an average Joe in India then most likely you are not a millionaire. Therefore you would want a budget cruiser. Current competition is ONLY Enfield models and Bajaj Avenger model. UML has turned out to be the big and influential budget cruiser in Indian motorcycle industry.

The average Showroom of UML India is 2600 square feet to 3100 square feet. Much better than any Enfield or Bajaj Showroom. Competing directly, head-on with the luxurious wide-spaced Harley-Davidson Showrooms to give you the Big America Welcome associated with American brand names.


If you have heard of the current demonetization of Indian economy by the Indian Government, then you know there has been a nationwide crackdown on tax-evaders and black money hoarders. Trillions in black money have been confiscated since November 8, 2016. Here is an inside scoop from your Bikernet India Correspondent. Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles sales STOPPED DEAD in November 8, 2016 till December 2016. Yes, the biggest source of revenue and sales of Harley-Davidson India came from corrupt tax evaders and black marketers in India. The corrupt black marketeers were able to afford to buy the million Rupee price tag Harley-Davidson in India in cash with no paper trail of expenses and taxes.

Harley-Davidson Dealerships across India have barely sold a handful of motorcycles since November currency ban till early January 2017. Their Christmas was over on 8th November itself. No new bookings. Not a single 2017 model Harley sold. Sales were affected drastically but now normal economic life is getting stabilized and the recent Harley Davidson Annual Party at Goa in March 2017 was well attended and well funded by sponsors. So it’s not the end for the big engines such as Harley and Indian yet.

This is a small American revolution happening in India and I am calling it as I see it. Shape up or ship out. Cashless economy is the immediate future of India. Everything tracked, everything taxed. And with major American IT giants such as Microsoft and Google building smart cities all over India, you can be sure, there is no stopping the cashless economy train. Microsoft, Google, IBM, Accenture, are tech giants whose head count will show that majority employees on their payroll are Indian citizens or of Indian origin. The future road of India and USA is parallel and wide and long-distance. UML is just one such cog on this giant wheel turning global corners. Welcome UM Motorcycles of America. Thrill us now.


Copyright Ujjwal Dey 2016 www.iqmind.org

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