After much speculation and discussion about the Chinese-produced Harley-Davidson roadsters, the X 350 and X 500, the company has officially revealed the 2023 X 350 in China, confirming that it is a significant milestone for Harley-Davidson. The X 350 is the company's first motorcycle in the modern era under 500cc and the first bike crafted by QJ Motor, their Chinese partner.
Introducing the X 350, Harley-Davidson's newest roadster developed in partnership with Chinese motorcycle giant QJ Motor. The bike features a blend of modern and classic elements, including all-LED lighting and alloy wheels that lend it a contemporary look, while its round instrument console, mirrors, and headlight shape give it a retro flair. The bike's aerodynamic and robust radiator shrouds, as well as its flat-track-inspired tail section, exude a unique charm. In an unusual departure from Harley's traditional cruisers, the X 350 has no chrome, further contributing to its unconventional and unexpectedly sporty appeal.
Compared to typical Harley motorcycles, the X 350 offers a unique riding experience. It cannot be classified as a cruiser due to its mid-controls, low handlebar, and tall 32-inch seat height, which place the rider in a neutral position rather than the traditional laid-back, foot-forward posture. Additionally, the X 350 features a basic digital-analog instrument cluster, indicating that the bike was designed with a budget in mind.
The X 350 is equipped with a 353cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that has been borrowed from QJ Motor's previous models. This engine generates 36 horsepower and 22.8 pound-feet of torque, which is transmitted to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox with a chain drive, marking a departure from Harley's usual belt-driven systems. The bike has a 13.5-liter fuel tank, which is expected to provide sufficient range between fill-ups.
As of now, the X 350 is only available in China and is priced at around P264,000, which is relatively high compared to the Royal Enfield Hunter 350. If the X 350 makes its way to the Philippine market, it will likely be compared to the Hunter. On the other hand, the X 500, which is expected to be modeled after the Benelli Leoncino, may be a more suitable choice for beginner riders looking for a big bike. However, we will have to wait for Harley-Davidson to reveal more details about the X 500.