Harley-Davidson to build an even smaller bike

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Words: Nile Bijoux
20 Jun 2019

A Harley-Davidson with a capacity below 800cc was once just wishful thinking, then the bar-and-shield brand released the Street 500 and 750. Since then, the 500 has gone on to become one of Harley’s most popular models, just one unit behind the 2019 Sport Glide in the latest May sales figures. It therefore stands to reason that the American is considering going even smaller and taking on the lucrative Chinese and Indian markets.

It won’t do it alone, though. H-D is currently in talks with Benelli’s parent, Qianjiang Motorcycle Company, to develop a premium 338cc bike for Asian markets.

The new model will “embody a distinctive look, sound and feel that will spark powerful connections with riders,” H-D says. The bike will be produced in a Qianjiang facility in China and adhere to the quality standards and testing processes followed for all Harley-Davidson products.

There is no word on whether the engine will be a V-twin, morph to a parallel twin or shrink down to a single. The latter two are the most likely, with Qianjiang already having a 300cc parallel twin powering the Benelli BN 302 and a 500cc twin in the Leoncino. Plus, if you look closely, the concept shown above looks to be powered by a parallel-twin.

China will get the new bike first, with other Asian markets to follow.

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