Harley-Davidson's endeavors outside of its home country have been widely known. The renowned Motor Company has chosen to collaborate with foreign companies to enhance its presence in the Asian market. As a result of this collaboration, we have witnessed remarkable outcomes, exemplified by the introduction of the X350 and X500 motorcycles in China. Although these bikes were jointly developed with Qianjiang, a prominent Chinese motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson has more to offer besides these models.
It's worth noting that Harley-Davidson has established a partnership with Hero MotoCorp, an Indian motorcycle manufacturer that has gained immense popularity in India and neighboring Asian nations. Hero MotoCorp has primarily focused on producing small displacement motorcycles tailored for commuting purposes. However, they are now venturing into a new segment through their collaboration with Harley-Davidson to develop a cruiser motorcycle. While the official launch of this cruiser is scheduled for July 4, 2023, Harley-Davidson India has already released teaser images of the upcoming bike.
The new cruiser motorcycle developed through the Harley-Davidson and Hero MotoCorp partnership is named the X440, aligning with the naming convention used for its Chinese counterparts. From the outset, it's evident that the X440 shares a similar design aesthetic to the Qianjiang models. In contrast to the larger cruisers in Harley's range, the X440 boasts a shorter and smaller stature, featuring a more pronounced rake angle that imparts a sportier naked bike appearance rather than a traditional cruiser look. Additionally, the placement of mid controls and a relatively tall handlebar are expected to provide a balanced and comfortable riding position.
The X440 retains the distinct Harley-Davidson styling cues, reaffirming its association with the brand. Notably, it features a round LED headlight with the iconic Harley-Davidson logo subtly embossed beneath it, adding to its visual appeal. The bike's bodywork follows a minimalist and rounded design approach, albeit with modern contours, resulting in a contemporary appearance. Furthermore, the alloy wheels of the X440 draw inspiration from previous versions of the Sportster, creating an illusion of larger size and enhancing the overall aesthetics of the bike.
While specific details regarding the performance of the X440 from Harley-Davidson India have not been disclosed yet, we can make some educated assumptions based on the available images. By examining the pictures alone, it is apparent that the engine is a single-cylinder unit, evident from the presence of a single exhaust manifold. Additionally, the engine features numerous cooling fins, suggesting that it is designed for both air and oil cooling, prioritizing functionality over purely aesthetic considerations. Given the naming convention of the bike, it is reasonable to anticipate an approximate displacement of around 440cc for the engine.