By Wade Thiel
It’s Called the HD350 Project
A while back I reported on the fact that Harley would be working with a Chinese manufacturing company to develop a smaller bike with a displacement of 338cc. Now that bike is ready for production and there are some renderings of the official design (shown above) floating around.
Harley-Davidson teamed up with the Chinese company Qianjiang to produce its bike. Qianjiang also makes Benelli motorcycles so there will be strong ties from the Benelli 302S and the new Harley. According to Bennetts, the name HD350 Project is just what the bike was called at the ceremony where both companies signed off on the design. The next step is to actually produce the bike. It’s unclear if that is the official name that Harley will be going with or if they have another in mind.
Visually, the HD350 will look noticeably different than the Benelli 302S. It’s impressive how much a new tank, different seat, new fenders, different handlebars, and a more traditional headlight can change the look of a bike. Underneath, however, I assume it will be extremely similar to the Benelli 302S. This means a steel trellis-style frame, low-swooping and stubby exhaust, and a big mono-shock in the rear.
With all this said, I think it could be a good bike regardless of how you feel about the fact that it’s built by Qianjiang. If you’re expecting to see this bike on European or American roads, you’ll be disappointed. The bike is for Asian markets. I wouldn’t expect to see it outside of those markets anytime soon.
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