Small capacity Harley-Davidson should land in June this year

Harley-Davidson’s move into the small capacity motorcycle sector could take place as early as June this year when they launch the 388 for Asian markets


HARLEY-DAVIDSON’S next new motorcycle could be the biggest change to the brands petrol-powered line-up since the MT500 adventure machine of the 1980s. The bike that will carry the brand forwards into this bold new era looks set to be the innocuous-looking Harley-Davidson 388.

The machine is the result of a coloration with Chinese manufacturing giant Zhejiang Qianjiang, and uses a 338cc, parallel twin cylinder engine that is expected to put out around 40bhp and 19ft-lbs of torque. The bike may look familiar to some of you, and for good reason – the frame, engine, suspension and cycle parts are all borrowed from the Benelli 302 A2 friendly naked machine, a bike that is built for Benelli by Qianjiang.

Interestingly it is the link-up between Benelli and H-D that has given us this clue that the bike is set to launch officially this year. the above photo has been leaked and was found on a Thai motorcycle site, ignore the bike they have circled and look at the machine being launched above and to the right of it.

The machine above is the Benelli 302S - similar aren't they!?

For now, it seems that the H-D 388 is only like to be launched in the lucrative and high volume Asian market, although with the UK and Europe’s penchant for an A2 licence friendly naked motorcycle, it could one day come to these shores in one form or another. The similarities between the two bikes are so great, it wouldn’t be too much trouble for a helpful Benelli dealer to sell a 302S to a customer but deck the machine out in Harley-Davidson bodywork.

You’d have to really, really want one though!

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