Harley-Davidson had collaborated with China’s Qianjiang Group (Benelli’s parent company) more than a year ago to develop a relatively affordable and small-capacity bike (called the HD350) that will help the American motorcycle company to reach out to the masses. While Harley-Davidson did reveal a couple of sketches of how the HD350 would look like, the leaked patent images of QJ Motor’s (Benelli’s sister brand) QJ350 reveal the final machine’s chassis and engine.
The QJ350 is based on the Benelli 302S, however, it has several technical changes. It will have its own unique styling and design but it is being speculated that there will also be Benelli and Harley-Davidson versions of the motorcycle. This suggests that the HD350 will share most of its parts with the QJ350, including the engine.
It can be seen in the leaked patent images of the QJ350 that on the left side of the engine, the words ‘Harley-Davidson Motor Company’ have been cast into the cover. Also, the homologation documents of the QJ350 reveal that it has a 353cc twin-cylinder engine which will deliver 36 hp (27 kW) of maximum power. The powerplant should comply with the latest and stricter Euro-5 emission norms.
In terms of looks, the Harley-Davidson HD350 is likely to be different from the QJ Motor QJ350. It would have a classic and retro appearance which will be similar to the company’s traditional styling. While the QJ350 would be a China-only model, the Benelli and Harley-Davidson derivatives of the motorcycle are expected to be made available in the Asian markets.
As of now, there is no specific timeline about the launch of the Harley-Davidson HD350. Considering the new strategy that the firm’s new CEO has opted, the future of the HD350 is a blur right now. Do you think Harley-Davidson should go ahead with the HD350 and launch it in the Asian markets including India? Let us know in the comments section.