It's widely known that Harley-Davidson has joined forces with QJ Motor, a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer. QJ Motor, also known as Qianjiang, is the parent company of several emerging brands in the motorcycle industry such as Benelli, Keeway, and QJ Motor. In addition, Qianjiang has partnered with major manufacturers including MV Agusta and Harley-Davidson.
The X500 and X350, which are the result of the Harley-Davidson and QJ partnership, are highly anticipated and differ from the typical cruiser design that Harley is known for. Instead, they features a tough, city-friendly roadster style. Recently, the latest models were revealed at the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show. This announcement comes shortly after Harley teased another model, the 4XX, which was created in collaboration with Hero MotoCorp, an Indian motorcycle brand.
As anticipated, the Harley-Davidson X500 bears a striking resemblance to an already existing Qianjiang motorcycle, the Benelli Leoncino 500. The designers at QJ haven't made much effort to hide this fact, as the frame, wheels, and general posture of the X500 are almost identical to those of the Leoncino 500. This has resulted in a Harley motorcycle that looks very different from the traditional cruiser style, with only the Pan America adventure bike looking more dissimilar.
For those who are familiar with Benelli's 500cc twin-engine motorcycles, the performance of the X500 will come as no surprise. It features a 500cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine that produces 47 horsepower and approximately 33 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mounted on a steel tubular frame, and is supported by a sturdy 50-millimeter inverted front fork and a monoshock at the rear. The X500 rides on 17-inch wheels both at the front and back, and has dual radially mounted disc brakes at the front and a single disc brake at the rear for braking.
The X500 and X350 models have a semi-digital instrument pod on the dashboard that maintains a compact appearance, although it may appear slightly on the cheap side. The motorcycles are also equipped with a single LED headlight and a tail light with built-in turn signals. In terms of electronic rider aids, the X500 and X350 only come with ABS. Currently, the bikes have only been displayed in China, so it remains to be seen whether they will be available in the Philippines.