It’s been known for a while now that Harley-Davidson is working on a smaller-capacity motorcycle for the Asian market, in conjunction with its Chinese partner Qianjiang Motor. The fruits of this partnership were thought to be limited to the upcoming 338R roadster, which seems to be edging closer to production. But new spy photos have emerged of a previously unseen motorcycle with Harley-Davidson badging, which seems to share most of its underpinnings with the Benelli Leoncino 500. QJ Motor is the parent company of Benelli and the Leoncino 500 is a bike that’s currently on sale in India.
New Harley-Davidson roadster: design
The engine cases on this new Harley seem to very closely match the size, shape, and design of those on the Leoncino 500. Many of the frame and suspension areas seem to be identical too, with the little Harley getting a trellis frame, USD fork, and monoshock, much like the Leoncino. The differences are on the surface, where the Harley wears the silhouette of a typical American roadster and the Leoncino is a more upright neo-retro motorcycle.
The Harley gets a round headlamp garnished with a muted silver bezel, a teardrop-shaped fuel tank complete with the new Harley logo, and a single-pod instrument cluster. Upfront is the liquid-cooled motor’s radiator. In the Leoncino, this engine produces 47.5hp at 8,500rpm and 46Nm at 6,000rpm and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Expect similar numbers for the upcoming Harley as well.
Other design touches include oval-shaped mirrors, a long single-piece seat, and a bobber-style rear fender that affords it a butch look in-line with most of Harley’s larger models.
New Harley-Davidson roadster: India launch
This sighting, combined with the recent developments regarding the 338R, indicates that Harley is once again shifting its focus to the Asian market and hoping to add some volumes to its sales. If these two motorcycles do go into production, it’s very likely that they will make their way over to India, and would provide a welcome boost to the company, which has been through sailing rough seas in recent times.
It’s almost certain that this 500cc model will carry a price premium compared to its Benelli cousin, which itself costs Rs 5.05* lakh (ex-showroom).
What do you make of this new Harley roadster? Let us know in the comments below.
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