Will we see a brand new 500cc Harley-Davidson mannequin from Qianjiang earlier than the long-rumored 350cc model seems? This spy shot says so. (QJmotor/)
For years we’ve been ready for Harley-Davidson’s partnership with Chinese language producer Qianjiang to provide you with a manufacturing machine. However now a second mannequin has been spied on earlier than the primary era of QJ-Harley has even been formally revealed.
In the event you bear in mind, the unique Qianjiang deal was revealed again in 2019 when Harley’s then-CEO Matt Levatich introduced plans for a 338R mannequin to be in-built China. It didn’t take a lot to infer that the machine was a reworked model of the 300cc Benelli 302S roadster, since Benelli is Qianjiang’s most outstanding subsidiary, and that the 338cc capability could be achieved by combining the 302S’ stroke with the bigger bore cylinders from Benelli’s 500cc twin.
The brand new machine seems to be primarily based on the bike often known as the Benelli Leoncino 500 within the West, right down to the wheels and brake calipers. (QJmotor/)
Later, it emerged that the engine was being reworked to 353cc when Qianjiang type-approved a motorbike below its QJmotor model that used a 353cc model of the engine and had “Harley-Davidson” logos on its engine covers.
Whether or not on account of COVID or a rethink on Harley’s half, the 338R nonetheless hasn’t been launched, however now new spy pictures within the Chinese language media present a bigger Chinese language-made Harley apparently present process dyno checks.
These photos, which seem like stills from a video, reveal that the brand new bike is closely primarily based on the chassis and engine finest identified within the West from the Benelli Leoncino 500.
Nearly every mechanical aspect of the spied bike, from the body to the 50mm inverted fork and radial brake calipers, is visually equivalent to the equal half on the Leoncino.
Even the swingarm is unchanged, with the identical distinctive, tubular license plate bracket hanging from the again. The wheels, footpeg hangers, and even the handlebars and mirrors are additionally carried over to the Harley.
Harley badging on the reshaped tank and different new particulars and styling are what distinguishes this bike from the Leoncino. (QJmotors/)
What’s new, nonetheless, is the styling. The tank is reshaped and there’s a special, round headlight and a brand new, single instrument gauge forward of the rider.
Behind him, the rear bodywork may be very clearly impressed by Harleys of the previous, with exterior helps on both aspects of an easy, bobbed fender.
The presence of protecting plastic on the seat, to not point out the finished-looking paintwork with a Harley defend on the tank makes this look very very similar to a production-ready bike.
It’s seemingly we’ll additionally see the identical parallel-twin engine from the Leoncino although it could use a bigger 550cc displacement. (Benelli/)
Whereas there’s a powerful likelihood the engine on this new Harley is similar 500cc twin used within the Leoncino (visually it seems unchanged), in China the similar-looking QJmotor equal has been uprated to 549cc.
It’s a change that ups energy from 47 bhp to 50 bhp however one which hasn’t been carried over to the European Benelli.
This may effectively be a result of Euro bike license guidelines embracing a decreased A2 class that restricts riders to 35kW (47 hp) machines, so the additional 3 hp from the 549cc engine would imply fewer riders may use it.
However whether or not the Harley has the 500cc or 549cc model of the engine, it’s certain to have between 45 hp and 50 hp, and given the equivalent chassis to the Leoncino it’s truthful to have a look at that bike’s specs to get a greater concept of the Harley 500′s particulars.
They put the bike’s weight at 456 kilos, with a 56.8-inch wheelbase, 5.7 inches of floor clearance, and a 30.9-inch seat peak. The 17-inch wheels entrance and rear carry 120/70 and 160/60 rubber, respectively.
The Chinese language-market QJmotor is equal to the Leoncino sports activities with the larger 550cc engine, which is rated at 50 hp. (QJmotor/)
Just like the 338R, this bike may be very a lot aimed at the Chinese language market, utilizing native factories to scale back import duties and delivery prices in addition to manufacturing bills, and giving riders who would have little hope of affording an “actual” Harley-Davidson a greater likelihood.
Like or detest the concept of a Chinese language-made Harley, there’s logic to the choice to introduce such a factor in that market. Nevertheless, the latest NHTSA filings from Qianjiang embrace two US-destined fashions with VINs that observe the Harley-Davidson method of doing issues slightly more than the same old QJ sample.
The bikes, code-named LWZX350 and LWZX350RA, seem like the much-delayed Harley 338R. If these machines are coming right here, it appears seemingly that the 500cc twin could ultimately attain these shores as effectively.
Within the US, the Benelli Leoncino 500 that’s the premise of the brand new Harley 500 prices $6,799, and the Benelli 302S that varieties the premise of the 338R is $4,889 and given the mechanical similarities between these fashions and the Harley spinoffs, these costs are in all probability superb information to the place the H-Ds is likely to be positioned.