The company says it's doing so because of tariffs it's facing in a trade dispute between the US and the European Union. Steel would incur a 25-percent tariff, while aluminum imports would see a 10-percent tariff.
That will make each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export, Harley-Davidson said.
The company said it will take a hit of $30 million to $45 million for the rest of this year.
Harley-Davidson Inc. plans to shift some production of its iconic motorcycles out of the USA in response to retaliatory European Union tariffs, as President Donald Trump's trade war ripples back to American companies.
Harley said ramping up production at overseas worldwide plants could take at least nine to 18 months.
The company has assembly plants in the United States, India and Brazil, and will open a new plant in Thailand in the summer.
The company, which sold almost 40,000 motorcycles in Europe past year, said it planned to absorb those costs rather than pass them on to customers and risk damaging sales.
Harley-Davidson Inc. sold nearly 40,000 motorcycles in Europe a year ago, generating revenue second only to the USA, according to the Milwaukee company. Harley reports it will share more information on this shift in its second-quarter conference call set for 8 a.m. July 24.
"Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag", Trump said.
Harley-Davidson claimed Monday that the EU's action increased the tariffs on its motorcycles "from six percent to 31 percent".
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Last year, as Breitbart News reported, about 183 American workers were laid off by the motorcycle company in Kansas City and Menomonee Falls.
According to the company, the EU's new tariffs will increase the cost of a motorcycle shipped from the USA to Europe by $US2,200. Harley tied its higher costs to a sequence started by Trump, who praised the company as a model American manufacturer during a February 2017 meeting at the White House.
While Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. can easily win trade wars, victims are starting to pile up at home and overseas.
Harley's announcement came as administration officials struggled to present a united front on another element of Trump's trade policy, new measures created to curb China's ability to access American technology by investing in American companies.
The EU said Friday that it would counter the tariffs with penalties of their own on $3.2 billion of American-made goods.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, Harley-Davidson said the tariffs imposed by the European Union "would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region". While such a deal might still happen, trade tensions with China are likely to intensify this week as the USA gets set to announce investment restrictions meant to keep key technology out of Beijing's hands.
Harley estimated that ramping up output in global plants for the European Union may take at least nine to 18 months.
Harley-Davidson shares have lost about 9 per cent since early March when the trade skirmish between the United States and the European Union started, and are down over 18 per cent since end-December 2017.