Harley-Davidson hasn’t held any sort of official North American reveal for its Chinese-built X350 yet, but it has finally launched the machine in its home market.
It’s been a long time coming. This bike was first seen back in 2019, even before the COVID pandemic, and the spy shots have been constant since then. But, there was no official unveiling, which puzzled many riders, who wondered if the bike would ever make it past the planning stage.
Then, earlier this winter, Harley-Davidson big boss Jochen Zeitz announced the X350 would not be sold in North America as a street-legal machine for consumers—that’s why we see it for sale in China, but not on display at Daytona Bike Week.
However, here’s what we are going to get in North America: The X350 RA, a version of the bike that’s been built for riding schools. Remember that Harley-Davidson offers its own rider training program, and this low-priced bike is a way for them to teach skills without bashing up expensive Softails (the most affordable machines in the Harley-Davidson lineup, now that the EVO Sportster is canceled and the Street is long gone).
What does China get? Pretty much the same bike you see above, minus the crash bars. The Chinese version makes a bit more power, as it isn’t detuned for learners. The liquid-cooled eight-valve parallel twin puts out 36 hp and just under 23 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed transmission, and weighs 195 kg ready-to-ride. It comes with Pirelli Angel ST tires on 17-inch rims. ABS is standard, as are dual disc brakes up front, with four-piston calipers. The front fork adjusts for rebound, and so does the shock. The shock is also preload-adjustable.
Much of that configuration is surprisingly better than some of Harley-Davidson’s more expensive bikes, although it’s possible the machine looks better on paper than it rides on the street.
In China, this bike comes in orange, black and silver paint, and comes at a price around roughly $6,500 CAD, depending what exchange rate you get.