New Bikes

Is this the Harley-Davidson HD350?

New documentation reveals the production-ready version of the Qianjiang QJ350 naked, which could well become the Asia-market Harley-Davidson HD350

Another week, another new motorcycle has appeared in China’s ever useful patent documentations only this one – the Qianjiang QJ350 – is certainly more notable than most new material that passes through.

Granted a small displacement naked motorcycle originating from Asia may not stir the senses, but there is more to the QJ350 than perhaps meets the eye.

First and foremost, as the parent company for Benelli, the Qianjiang QJ350 will spawn a European cousin at some stage to be rebadged as the Benelli 350S – even if it’s unclear whether it will go ahead to be sold here – but it is this model that is also slated to become a new Harley-Davidson offering, the HD350.

The HD350 has been conceived as Harley-Davidson’s dedicated overseas model, a model that was at least once deemed as crucial to help it get a better foothold into the lucrative Asian-market without having to rely on an already pricey premium range lumbered with additional duty.

Interestingly, if you look very closely you will be able to spot some Harley-Davidson branding on the engine casing, which together with the Benelli branding on the rear makes this QJ350 something of a motorcycle mongrel.

As it stands, it’s unclear whether the HD350 is still heading for production. The American company has undergone something of an overhaul – or, rather a ‘Rewire’ – to return Harley-Davidson to brand values its better associated with, such as big cruisers and premium products, something the HD350 wouldn’t be.

New president and chief executive officer Jochen Zeitz recently gave a relatively vague update on whether the project will be going ahead. 

“We would like to reveal our products much closer to actual launch, and whether and when we are going to launch specific products is not something I would like to elaborate on right now,” Zeitz responded, according to Motorcycle.com. “We will provide further detail in the fourth quarter. At this point, there’s really nothing new to say about that.”

Should it hit production then the HD350 will look fairly different to the Qianjiang, with an artists’ impression doing the rounds earlier this year showing a more taut design with more H-D hallmarks, including a circular headlamp and reprofiled frame.

 

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