Not long ago, it was announced that Harley-Davidson was teaming up with Chinese motorcycle manufacturer QJ Motor to come up with a range of small to mid-displacement cruisers which would be sold primarily in the Asian market. Now, QJ Motor is one of the biggest motorcycle makers in China, and has no shortage of new models.
Indeed, QJ Motor is so aggressive, in fact, that it has already expanded operations all across Europe, other parts of Asia, and even the U.S. As such, developing a pair of cruisers to sport Harley branding was probably a walk in the park for them. This may well and truly be the case, as the upcoming Harley-Davidson X350 and X500 are set to be unveiled on March 10, 2023.
It's not really surprising that the technical foundation of the two small-displacement Harleys are bikes that already exist. For the X350, which is set to be the most affordable two-wheeler bearing the H-D badge, it's based on the Benelli 302S, a naked roadster with fairly neutral ergonomics. The X500, on the other hand, is also based on a Benelli, but this time, the slightly larger Leoncino 500. Of course, styling, ergonomics, and overall design have been altered quite a bit. Nevertheless, the new baby Harleys certainly look much smaller and more compact than their American counterparts.
On the performance side of the equation, we're looking at a 353cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine for the X350. A similar engine as that found in the QJ Motor SRK 350, this motor can churn out a decent 36 horsepower. Meanwhile, the X500 gets a 500cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine with a maximum output of 47 horsepower. Across the board, the bikes share inverted front forks, front and rear disc brakes equipped with ABS, and LED lights all around.
Once the two bikes hit the market, they'll go head-to-head with cruisers and neo-retro roadsters such as the Royal Enfield Meteor and Hunter 350, Honda Rebel 300 and 500, and the Benelli Leoncino and 502C. As mentioned earlier, the bikes are expected to be unveiled on March 10, 2023, so be sure to check back as we'll bring you even more info then.