Leaked documents reveal that new entry-level Harley-Davidson bikes for China share key hardware and use engines manufactured by QJ Motor
Harley-Davidson has a new strategy in place, wherein it is collaborating with regional partners to create entirely new products in middleweight segment. An example is China, where the American motorcycle manufacturer has been working with Qianjiang Motors. This partnership will spawn several new products, the first of which will be X350 and X500 motorcycles.
A teaser released recently indicates that either one or both of these bikes will launch on March 10, 2023. Ahead of their launch, some of the key specifications of these bikes have leaked online.
Harley-Davidson X350 – 350cc motorcycle
Harley-Davidson X350 and X500 have a retro theme, as is evident with the round headlamp and rear-view mirrors and circular instrument pod. Apart from that, each of these bikes have quite a few unique features. Overall, X350 has a more modern character with sharp fuel tank, step-up seat design and extended tail section.
In terms of performance, Harley-Davidson X350 will be powered by a 353cc motor. It will deliver 35-36 PS of max power. Earlier, the bike was proposed to be powered by the liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine that was in use with Benelli 302S. However, QJ Motor had later introduced an updated 353cc version of this engine.
Other details revealed include the bike’s weight at 195 kg. Claimed top speed is 89 mph, which is around 143 kmph. Hardware specs include USD front forks, monoshock rear suspension, alloy wheels and disc brakes at both ends. The same configuration has been used for the larger capacity X500 as well. There’s a slight difference though, in that, X350 has petal rotors at front whereas X500 utilizes conventional rotors.
Harley-Davidson X500 – 500cc motorcycle
Powering Harley-Davidson X500 will be a 500cc motor, generating 47.5 PS and 46 Nm. This engine is already in use with bikes like Benelli TRK 502 ADV, Leoncino 500 scrambler and 502C cruiser. Harley-Davidson X500 will have kerb weight of 207 kg, making it a bit lighter than respective Benelli bikes. X500 top speed is claimed at 99 mph or approx. 159 kmph.
If launched in India, Harley-Davidson X350 and X500 will primarily rival Royal Enfield bikes. In 350cc segment, Harley-Davidson X350 will compete against the likes of Classic 350, Meteor 350 and Hunter 350. On the other hand, Harley-Davidson X500 will take on the 650 twins – Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.
Launch of these new bikes in India has not been confirmed yet. Harley-Davidson has a JV in India with Hero MotoCorp. Here too, the plan is to aggressively target the middleweight segment that is currently dominated by Royal Enfield.
Backed by Hero’s affordable manufacturing, it is possible that Harley-Davidson may be able to achieve a competitive price point for its first small-capacity bike for Indian market. Harley will also benefit from Hero’s vast countrywide network of dealerships. Once launched, these new Harley’s will take on Royal Enfield and upcoming Bajaj Triumph motorcycles.