Back in 2018, Harley-Davidson introduced a new strategy, named ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ which basically highlighted the brand’s intent of reaching out to the masses by developing a host of affordable motorcycles. Under the same strategic framework, they partnered with China’s Qianjiang—owner of Benelli, to co-develop a premium 338cc displacement Harley-Davidson motorcycle for sale first in the Chinese market with additional Asian markets to follow. Harley-Davidson currently has the Street 750 as its most affordable offering but it still is rather expensive for a lot of buyers.
The American Bar & Shield brand knows the potential of this segment and is looking forward to tapping into it. In June last year, Harley-Davidson released a few render images which hinted that the new motorcycle will be based on Qianjiang-built Benelli 302S. The renders suggest that it will feature a parallel-twin engine instead of the traditional V-twin, and an underbelly exhaust.
The identical chassis and swingarm were strong hints that the upcoming HD350 will be developed on the foundation of the Benelli 302S or the TNT 300 for that matter. While according to the official timeline, the motorcycle should be a thing of reality by now but that hasn’t been the case and that can be partially blamed on the current global pandemic. At the end of 2019, the bike’s name was changed to “HD350 Project” instead of HD338 so that hints at the possibility that the bike could receive a minor bump in displacement.
According to the latest development regarding the upcoming motorcycle, the HD350 will share underpinnings with the QJ350-13 which was recently leaked online. It adorns the badging of QJMotor and we already know by now that it’s the subsidiary of Qianjiang under which the Chinese brand will launch ‘high-end’ motorcycles. As per the reports, the QJ350-13 or 2021 TNT 300 packs a 353cc parallel-twin motor that makes 36PS, 2PS less than the BS4 TNT 300.
We can expect Harley-Davidson to play around a little to make the motorcycle fit the legacy and the brand image they have built since their inception. The styling will obviously change and will look more in line with the rest of the motorcycles in H-D’s line-up. Benellis are renowned for their sporty exhaust note but the same exhaust note wouldn’t go well with the brute appeal of Harley-Davidson. They will, in a highly likely scenario, will tweak the exhaust note to sound more, umm… muscular?
We can expect Harley-Davidson to unleash their 350cc motorcycle by the end of 2021. Expect the twin-cylinder Harley to be priced between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh (ex-showroom). They will most probably bring the motorcycle to India too, shortly after its international debut. Harley-Davidson recently unveiled prices of all its BS6 models. Starting with the Street 750, the most affordable in their range, it has been priced at INR 4.75 Lakh (All prices mentioned here are ex-showroom). On the other hand, the most expensive Harley-Davidson model in India is the Fat Boy Special in red or blue and black at Rs 20.75 lakh.
It is being assumed that the American brand will bring some more motorcycles to India this year. We would also like to see the FXDR making it here because that would add so much more muscle to their already brawny lineup of motorcycles.