Under previous Harley-Davidson (Harley) CEO, Matt Levatich, Harley made a deal with China’s Qianjiang Motor to develop and brand a Harley machine to help it break into international markets; especially Asia. But questions still exist about Harley’s plans for the new model. Harley’s new CEO, Jochen Zeitz, is significantly changing the MoCo’s manufacturing philosophy. He wants the company to cater to its core customers, namely those who buy big, expensive tourers and cruisers.
338R production ready?
Nonetheless, it seems that Harley-Davidson’s new small-displacement model is nearing its final configuration. Previously, we’ve shown you images of a Qianjiang machine that has multiple brand’s names on the bike. Those photos show branding from Qianjiang, Benelli, and Harley-Davidson.
And now, the UK’s Bennetts has a “leaked” image it reportedly found on Chinese social media. Bennetts says the image represents what may be or may have been Harley-Davidson’s toe-dip into international markets.
As seen in the photo, the bike is branded as a Harley-Davidson and carries an apparent model name of “338R”. Since the Harley 338R is based upon Benelli’s 302 model, it’s not clear what the machine’s actual displacement will be. But getting it up to 338cc should not be that big a deal if 338ccs is the bike’s actual displacement.
Bennetts says that Qianjiang could get to the new Harley’s 338cc displacement by using the bottom end of the crankshaft from the 300cc Benelli 302 and combining it with the pistons and cylinders of the Benelli 502 twin. The combination of the two would result in a bore of 69mm and a stroke of 45.2mm. And, those two factors result in a displacement of 338cc.
As for the rest of the machine, it does look like most of the bike’s components are a lift from Benelli 302. If this is the case, you can guess that the 338R’s weight should be close to the Benelli’s 185kg (407 pounds). That’s a fair amount of heft for 338ccs to push around.
Benelli says its 302 makes 37.5 horsepower. If the Harley machine does have a displacement increase, there could be a potential for a few more ponies to be squeezed out.
The Benelli 302 is currently priced at $4,299 in the USA. Harley CEO Zeitz wants his company to be seen as a premium brand, so it will be interesting to see what the machine’s MSRP will be. Since the Harley 338R won’t be available in the USA, at least initially, we’ll have to do a bit of currency conversion to find out.
Do you think that Harley will go ahead with the 338R? If so, will it be priced with a premium price tag, or do you think it will be priced close to its competitors to help the MoCo to gain a foothold outside the USA? Let us know what you think in the comments below.