Harley-Davidson pulled the covers off their latest partnership with QJ Motor in China. The motorcycle brand revealed its X500, a mid-entry-level street bike entirely locally made in China.
Now, China is becoming Harley-Davidson’s most rapidly expanding international market, and the X500 could see massive traction among the millions of new riders. QJ Motors (Qianjiang) is the parent company of Benelli and Keeway and has partnerships with elite OEMS like Harley Davidson and MV Agusta.
X500 was one of the most anticipated motorcycle models within the motorcycle community, while the other model was 4XX which was jointly developed with Hero MotoCorp. The newest model X500 filled the rugged, urban roadster gap that Harley had missed.
While everyone else was excited about the new Pan America, Harley was busy signing deals with China’s largest motorcycle maker: Qianjiang Group.
If you need to be made aware, Qianjiang is a full-scale motorcycle manufacturer in China. Harley has full access to their manufacturing facilities and resources for building its bikes in China.
Harley-Davidson has made a significant move in China with the Qianjiang-built X500. It hopes the 500cc urban roadster will catch the eye of young people in the world’s largest market for high-end motorcycles.
However, we see a few things familiar regarding X500 and Benelli Leoncino 500: stance, frame and wheels. However, X500 looks more raw and brutal compared to Leoncino 500. It rightly feels like the Harley Davidson.
Harley and Benelli DNA
If you look at the performance specs, it gets a 500cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine responsible for making 47 horsepower and about 33 pound-feet of torque.
Further, the X500 has a 50-millimetre inverted front fork and mono-shock at the rear supported by a steel tubular frame.
You can see radially mounted disc brakes up front and a single disc on the rear with 17-inch rear and front wheels.
Compact semi-digital instrument pods support the electronic aides. LED front and tail light with LED blinkers with ABS.
The X500 is a 500cc motorcycle built with the Asian market in mind. The bike was officially unveiled during the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show and will be launched in China later this year. While the price and availability of the bike in other markets are yet to be decided.