Supplier surprises the motorcycle market

Motorcycles too now! Graepel, the German supplier of cold-formed sheet metal components, is entering the motorcycle market – right at the top: with Harley-Davidson.

Just a few days ago, the US brand presented its latest model, the X440: It is a classic roadster-style motorbike, sporting an oil-cooled one-cylinder engine with a displacement of 440 cm3. The machine stands out from the rest of the product range because it was specially designed for the Indian market.


Protective grille for air cooling

The motorcycles also feature “Made by Graepel” radiator grilles. This also marks the first time that the Löningen-based manufacturer is producing sheet metal components for motorcycles. Such grilles are anything but trivial, because air throughput and strength are usually mutually exclusive. The dusty and hot environmental conditions in India make the requirements even stricter.


The grilles are delivered to HD partner Hero MotoCorp based in New Delhi. For now, they are only producing the X440 for the local market. However, Hero is one of the world’s largest manufacturers with over 6 million motorcycles annually. Last but not least, with the new Harley, Hero expects to expand into higher motorbike classes. So far, the product range for the subcontinent includes models with up to 200 cm3 engine displacement.

The concept and target group of the X440 are no coincidence. India is considered to be an emerging economy and, according to current UN figures, is overtaking China as the world’s most populous country. Over 1.4 billion inhabitants make it a highly promising market. Graepel recognized the enormous potential of the country early on and already has its own factory there for local production. Graepel is the only one in its industry to have manufacturing facilities on three continents.


One-piece construction is a key factor

They have been working on the X440 order for over two years. The total annual volume includes a unit count of around half a million. Graepel emphasized the one-piece design of the component as a special feature - composite designs are customary on the market. From a technical standpoint, the approach was so convincing that a second order was placed in parallel with the first.

By entering the motorcycle market, Graepel is closing a gap in its portfolio of target groups: From sports cars, trucks, tractors, construction machines and buses to trains, it already supplies products for almost every powered conveyance on wheels. The company can trace its roots back 134 years – practically to the dawn of industrial vehicle construction. More on this can be found at and on the Internet.

Mit der neuen X440 von Harley-Davidson will die Kult-Marke in Indien richtig Gas geben. (Foto: Harley-Davidson/Hero)

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