The tiiiiiimes, they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sang, and that’s really apparent these days as Harley-Davidson has unveiled its second made-in-China motorcycle, only a few days after a made-in-India Harley appeared in spy shots and a few weeks after the Chinese-built X350 also appeared in China.
The Chinese X500
The made-in-China Harley-Davidson X500 is built by QJ Motors, the same company that owns Benelli. As such, it is no surprise that the X500 looks a lot like the Benelli Leoncino 500, with parallel twin engine. We haven’t seen those machines here in Canada, but they are pretty common over in Europe.
Harley-Davidson debuted the X500 at the Shanghai Auto Show, and based on that release, plus what we already know about the Leoncino 500, here’s what we know (or think we know) about the bike.
Obviously, it’s built with kinda-sorta street tracker lines, and covered in orange and black paint that’s meant to recall not just the XR1200X roadster, but the XR750 racebike before that. But this is no lean, mean sporting machine. It is expected to make about 47 hp, with 34 lb-ft of torque, so it’s legal on an A2 licence in Europe. It’s also expected to weigh 207 kg at the curb, which is an important part of the A2 licencing (it’s judged on power-to-weight ratio), but also means it’s no performance bike.
H-D’s design includes an offset shock and upside-down fork; reportedly the shock is preload-adjustable and rebound-adjustable, and the fork is rebound-adjustable. Fuel capacity is 13 liters.
So, while it won’t be replacing the Yamaha XSR700 in the retro-hoon category, the X500 does have decent equipment for an entry-level sort of bike, and it seems likely it will be sold in Europe. Canada? Maybe, for the $8,000-$9,000 range?
The made-in-India Harley-Davidson…
A few notes about this made-in-India roadster.
Harley-Davidson, of course, had its own Indian factory not long ago, where it made the Street 500 and Street 750. Now, this totally-not-an-on-purpose-leak shows a new machine that manufacturer Hero is supposed to build with the H-D badge on them.
And that’s about all we know! But we do expect that between the new Chinese X350 (unveiled in March), the X500 and now this made-in-India machine, the world is about to see a lot more choice in small-cc Harley-Davidsons. Let’s just hope we get some of that choice here in Canada.
What no screamin’ chicken?….no skulls? They look like motorcycles. Huh who da’ thought.