[UPDATE, October 13, 2023: Harley-Davidson has since informed us that the X500 was and is intended for release in Asian markets, and is not coming to the US. 

The fact that an official manual was published by Harley-Davidson and is available on its website, with verbiage related to US emissions and instructions for VIN decoding, still remains. It's not clear why it's there; all we can say for certain is that it exists.]

Original piece follows.

If you’ve been following the rollout of the Harley-Davidson X500 as it rolls out around the world, the thought of its entry into the US market may already have crossed your mind. Would it make its way over here, or wouldn’t it? Also, if it did come, when should we expect it? 

Now, the last time Harley-Davidson released a 500cc bike in this market was the Street 500, and sales weren’t what the MoCo had hoped. That was several years ago, sure—but is the US in 2023 a different enough place for the X500 to make sense? Some of that depends on the bike, of course—but other parts depend on riders, as well as how it’s priced and marketed. 

That’s all beside the point, though—because as of October 11, 2023, we have solid evidence that Harley has plans to bring the X 500 to the US in some capacity. As the inestimable Dennis Chung at Motorcycle.com noted, a service manual for the 2024 Harley-Davidson X 500 has just appeared on the official Harley-Davidson Service Information Portal.  

2024 Harley-Davidson X500 - US Manual - VIN Decoder Screenshot

2024 Harley-Davidson X500 VIN Decoder Guide Screenshot - Captured October 12, 2023

2024 Harley-Davidson X350 - US Manual - VIN Decoder Screenshot

2024 Harley-Davidson X350 VIN Decoder Guide Screenshot - Captured October 12, 2023

The existence of a manual written in English wouldn’t be convincing on its own. However, if you start skimming its contents, you’ll find the usual information that you find in other motorcycle owner’s manuals in 2023. That includes sections about compliance with US emissions requirements, both of the 49-state and California varieties.  

Manuals for both the 2024 X500 and X350 currently sit on the Harley SIP portal, available for anyone interested to download. We’ll include links to both in our Sources so you can peruse them for yourself if you’re interested.  

Most notably, there are sections in both the X 500 and X 350 manuals to help owners decode their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) on both bikes. The tables and information displayed are almost identical in both manuals, with the sole exception being a table with VIN Model Codes in the X350 manual.  

As a reminder, we previously learned that Harley planned to import the X350 to the US as a training model for use at motorcycle schools, not as a retail model for sale to the public.

There’s no official indication as yet regarding how Harley might intend to bring the X500 here. Is it another training model? That’s possible. Will it try to market a smaller-displacement bike to younger, newer riders once again? We’d never say never unless Harley does, but we’ll add a caveat here that there hasn’t been anything official from Harley on that front yet. 

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