The first QJ Motor-built Harley-Davidson machine is ready to hit the road.
Harley-Davidson has confirmed rumors and revealed 2023 X 350 in China. It goes without saying that the X 350 is a bike that marks a new milestone for Harley’s history. It’s their first foray into the sub-500cc segment in the modern era and the first two-wheeler to be crafted by their Chinese partner, QJ Motor.
Retro flair is prominent by the round instrument console, mirrors, and headlight shape, while the aerodynamic and brawny radiator shrouds, as well as the flat-track-inspired tail section, exude a distinctive charm. Interestingly, unlike Harley’s traditional cruisers, the X 350 is entirely devoid of chrome, further adding to its unconventional, surprisingly sporty appeal.
It has mid-controls, a low handlebar, and a tall 32-inch seat height that puts the rider in a more neutral position instead of the usual foot-forward, laid-back posture. A basic digital-analog instrument cluster reflects the fact that this bike was designed with a budget in mind.
H-D X350 is powered by a 353cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine borrowed from previous models in QJ Motor’s lineup. Producing 36 horsepower and 22.8 pound-feet of torque, the chain drive is matched with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Its recognizable fuel tank stores 13.5 liters.
Keep in mind that this motorcycle is exclusive to China and costs approximately $4,793. This is less than comparable motorcycles in the 300 to 400 cc category.
However, the X500 may be aimed at beginner market in USA and would be based on Benelli Leoncino. (Benelli being owned by QJ). It is expected that the Harley-Davidson will launch the X500 first in China and other Asian markets before bringing it home to USA and probably to Europe as well.
Question: Can someone with a motorcycle permit have their small dog riding on the motorcycle or would that be considered a passenger? We have already purchased a helmet and leather jacket for this lucky pup! Thank you for your response.
Answer: First of all, where will this dog be seated and how? I see less issues if you are talking about a motorcycle side car or a motorcycle trailer equipped with a kennel. But if you are talking about on the actual motorcycle with you, I don’t think this would be very safe for you or your pet.
If you are going to carry a passenger, there are a few key items to keep in mind:
Equip and Adjust Your Motorcycle:
A passenger seat and footrests are required by law.
Adjust tire pressure and suspension settings for the additional weight. (Do not exceed weight limitations specified in the owner’s manual.)
Provide protective riding gear: eye protection, a DOT-approved helmet, boots, gloves, long riding pants and a high-visibility motorcycle jacket.
Passengers under age 18 are required by law to wear a DOT-approved helmet.
Small children are required by law to be able to reach both footrests with their feet while sitting on the passenger seat.
Getting On and Off the Motorcycle:
Start the engine before the passenger gets on.
Squeeze the front brake while the passenger gets on or off the bike.
Passengers should get off the bike before the operator.
Passenger Safety Tips:
Hold operator’s waist or hips, or motorcycle’s passenger hand-holds.
Keep feet on footrests at all times, including while stopped.
Keep hands and feet away from hot or moving parts.
When turning, look over the operator’s shoulder in the direction of the turn.
Avoid turning around or making sudden moves that might affect operation.
If crossing an obstacle, rise off the seat keeping your feet on the foot pegs with knees slightly bent and allow legs to absorb the shock upon impact.
Operator Safety Tips:
A passenger will affect handling due to extra weight and independent motion.
Braking sooner with greater pressure may be necessary.
Use extra caution in a corner.
Allow more time and space for passing.
Be ready to counter the effects of wind.
Avoid extreme speeds and dramatic lean angles.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW).
Picture this: You’re hanging around the Rock Store at the top of Mulholland Highway with your rental Camry the day before you fly home. The leather-clad crowd around praises the virtues of the GSXR600 chassis and the electronics package on the R1 for what seems like hours before a voice from the ether comes down and declares that, in fact, all of that sucks. Instead the holy follow the real truth of Slow Bike Fast.
This truly enlightened rider who belongs to that voice is astride a miniscule machine that looks like a sportbike that stayed in the dryer just a bit too long and has an exhaust note like a mix of an old enduro machine and the Singer your mom used to repair your jeans way back when. Is this person insane or a prophet? There’s only one way to say for sure. I took the Honda CBR300R out for a week of playing in the canyons alongside some high-horsepower (and highly capable) machines to see if it truly held up.
This 250cc-400cc market segment is now a packed class, with the KTM RC390, Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 400, and Suzuki GSX250R all competing for both attention from new riders and track rats alike. That is two very different subsets of buyers but it all boils down to similar wants and desires: Reliability, approachability, and fun factor.
Honda comes right out and calls the 300 a commuter machine in some of its press materials. It is an evolution of the CBR250R which lived from 2011 to 2015, after which the engine was upsized to the current 286cc. The non-ABS equipped model comes in at $4,899 plus $600 in destination and freight charges. Add in the well-tuned ABS, as seen on our test bike, and the price rises to just $5,099. Either trim can be had in grand prix red or matte gray metallic.
The engine is not the main reason I would recommend this bike though. It’s the chassis that gives the baby CBR the most fun character. A scant 30” seat height is the first thing that stood out when I threw my leg over the bike for the first time. My 32” inseam means that I am rarely bothered by seat heights, but the CBR’s lower seat combined with the narrowness of the chassis to feel playful to me. Riding through twists and turns was an absolute delight.
Straight line speed was not astonishing, but the Honda still moved quickly enough to be safe and fun. Unfortunately, those canyon roads were a place the CBR’s suspension really showed its pricepoint and intended use case. The fork is sprung on the soft side and the rear begs for more rebound damping.
The dash consists of a simple analog sweep tachometer and LCD display for speed, distance, and other necessary measurements. Simple and functional. A cable-pull clutch and hydraulic front brake round out the rider touchpoints.
The ready-to-ride weight comes in at just 354 pounds and it very much feels like it. The single front brake measures just 296mm diameter, with 220mm rear disc and the combination has no problem slowing the CBR. The ABS threshold is fairly high, as we had to work to get it to intervene but it cycled quickly and consistently once engaged.
(Editor’s note: I think the 320cc Yamaha R3, which I’ve ridden quite a bit, feels even lighter on its feet — Jack Baruth)
The CBR is a delight to ride just about everywhere. The only place it fell short was highway riding. Honda claims a top speed just shy of 100mph, but 70mph felt busy on the little machine and the tach needle fluttered in the top third of its range. Will it do it? Yes. If that is your main use though, the larger CBR500R is likely a better fit.
Once off the superslab we had no trouble racking up miles on the comfortable seat. The bike just was not tiring to ride like most small-displacement bikes tend to be.
The low seat height and light weight combine with smooth controls to make a very beginner-friendly package.
It’s also one that veteran riders will find playful to ride–this is the core of “Slow Bike Fast.”
The little CBR is not the perfect motorcycle, but it is a great second (or third) bike; delightful to ride, and once you have one you will likely find yourself reaching for its keys more than you would think.
ROYAL ENFIELD REVEALS ALL-NEW SCRAM 411 ADV CROSSOVER
Ready. Set. Scram!
Milwaukee, WI (Tuesday, March 15, 2022) – Royal Enfield, the global leader in the midsize (250cc – 750cc) motorcycling segment, today unveiled the Scram 411 – the brand’s first ADV crossover. The new Scram 411 is an engaging, accessible and capable street scrambler, with the heart of an adventure motorcycle. Built on Royal Enfield’s proven 411cc single-cylinder engine platform and the Harris Performance chassis, the Scram 411 combines spirited agility on urban streets, with competent rough-roading capabilities. Focused and purposeful changes in the riding geometry and ergonomics make it ideal for in-city riding, as well as unpredictable, challenging trails off the urban grid.
Unveiled for global audiences today, the new Scram 411 is already available in India, and will be available in Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America later this year. The Scram 411 is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. late summer/early fall. Pricing and colorways will be announced in the coming months.
The Scram 411 is a continuation of Royal Enfield’s constant pursuit of exploration, and building motorcycles to enable every adventure. One such motorcycle is the Himalayan—Royal Enfield’s flagship adventure tourer. Launched in 2016, the Himalayan has fostered a subculture of adventure touring around the world, most recently, even Antarctica’s South Pole. Its unique design and well-rounded capability make it among Royal Enfield’s best-selling motorcycles, and it is upon this stalwart platform that the style evolution continues with the more urban-focused ADV-crossover motorcycle—the Scram 411.
The all-new Scram 411 is a new subspecies that has the authentic vibes of a scrambler and adventure touring in its DNA. With long-travel suspension and class-leading ground clearance paired with a 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear, the Scram 411 is playfully agile on city streets, yet is highly capable of tackling more rugged terrain, so the exploration doesn’t end when the pavement stops.
Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director, Eicher Motors Ltd., simply loves the fluidity and the
multipurpose ability of the Scram 411. Speaking about this in the context of modern existence, he said, “Whether it’s London, New Delhi or Tokyo, the contours of modern urban existence are ever-changing. With our world increasingly becoming more fast-paced, life in the urban context has become about the weekday hustle and the weekend getaway, and everything in between. We wanted to build a motorcycle that could effortlessly navigate this entire gamut, and be the perfect ally for the young, modern-day rider. The Scram 411 is truly a motorcycle made for now, and is always ready to tackle whatever surprise is in store.”
Speaking about the inspiration behind the Scram 411, and about the new motorcycle, Executive Director, Royal Enfield, B Govindarajan, said, “The globally lauded versatility and competence of the Himalayan inspired us to reimagine the motorcycle in a more young, modern-day, urban context. The Scram 411 is the perfect crossover for young city-dwellers, who prefer a motorcycle that is fun and engaging to ride around the city, yet has a rugged appeal. By shifting the riding geometry to make the motorcycle more at home on busy city streets, and retaining its strong ability to take on rough roads and take on the weekend dirt trail, we’ve brought a unique subcategory for consumers. Like all our motorcycles, the Scram 411 is built for the global rider, and manufactured with world-class engineering. We also have an array of genuine motorcycle accessories and a vibrant apparel range inspired by the Scram lifestyle. This is a very exciting and spirited new motorcycle, and we are confident that young riders from across the world will love the new Scram 411.”
Mark Wells, Chief of Design at Royal Enfield, enjoys riding the Scram 411, and loves how easily it can navigate a wide spectrum of terrain and challenges. Speaking about creating a new subspecies of motorcycles, he said, “Most scrambler motorcycles focus only on aesthetics and looks. When we began work on the Scram 411, we were determined to create a motorcycle that would be distinct in design and purpose, and bring the best of rough-road capability to urban riding. With its distinctive look and design, playful colorways, accessible riding proposition, the Scram 411 is an ultimate ADV crossover for the urban environment.”
ROYAL ENFIELD SCRAM 411 – DETAILS & SPECIFICATIONS
The Scram 411 is powered by the globally appreciated 411cc, fuel-injected, 4-stroke, SOHC, air-cooled single-cylinder engine. The counterbalanced engine ensures smooth power delivery and strong bottom-end torque that elevates the overall performance. The wide spread of useable power makes it easy to manage over long urban commutes with minimum gear shifts, and the confidence-inspiring low-revving torque allows it to tackle bad road, and off-road sections easily.
Long-travel suspension and monoshock design, together with class-leading 7.8 inches (200mm) of ground clearance, the Scram 411 delivers a smooth and comfortable ride. The telescopic front suspension with 41mm forks and 7.4 inches (190mm) travel, pairs with 7.0 inches (180mm) travel on the rear, where the link-mounted monoshock enables stable and confident riding over rough roads. Front and rear disc brakes combined with dual-channel ABS, ensures confident braking.
The change in the riding geometry is brought about by the 19-inch front wheel and dual-purpose tire. This, combined with the 17-inch rear wheel, are key to the Scram 411 motorcycle’s nimble handling. The dual-purpose tires ensure a confident grip over tarmac and loose gravel for the ideal combination of on-road grip and rough-road tractability.
The seat on the new Scram 411 is designed for comfort over long saddle time. The single seat that reflects the urban styling of the motorcycle, offers great comfort for both rider and passenger. The accessible 31.2-inch (795mm) seat height enables and easy reach to the ground, making it easy to maneuver in stop-and-go traffic.
The Scram 411 features a new digital-analog instrument cluster that provides easy access to essential information. Circumvented by a traditional analog speedometer, the Scram retains this classic style element, also making for easy viewing.
WATCH THE Live Launch of the Royal Enfield Scram 411
More details, information and specifications on the North America-spec Royal Enfield Scram 411 ADV crossover motorcycle, including colorways, options, genuine accessories and pricing, will be released in the coming months. U.S. arrival is anticipated in late summer/early spring.
#readysetscram #scram411 #royalenfieldscram
About Royal Enfield
The oldest motorcycle company in continuous production in the world, Royal Enfield made its first motorcycle in 1901.
Royal Enfield North America (RENA) is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is developing a growing network of more than 140 dealers in North America, including the contiguous U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. RENA currently offers the all-new Meteor 350, Himalayan and the 650 Twins (INT 650 and Continental GT 650) motorcycles, along with a range of Genuine Motorcycle Accessories and apparel.
Indian Motorcycle introduces 2022 Lineup featuring Updated Technology.
New Ride Command Update, Adaptive Headlight for Scout.
All-New Accessories for Cruiser, Bagger & Touring.
Prices, Paint and Specs announced.
“Rider feedback continues to be at the forefront of what drives refinements and enhancements for our model year offerings, and that is once again the case for 2022. With the help of customer feedback, we aim to consistently enhance and improve the lineup with new technology and wider-ranging accessory options like these for 2022.” – Mike Dougherty, President for Indian Motorcycle
For decades, the Harley-Davidson Sportster dominated the American middleweight V-twin class, mostly by dint of being the only American middleweight V-twin. Without a top contender to challenge its reign, the Motor Company only issued modest upgrades since 1986. However, that all changed when the Indian Scout burst onto the scene in 2015.
Heavily based on the Victory Octane, the revived Scout paired Indian’s rich heritage with thoroughly modern equipment. The liquid-cooled, DOHC, 1,133cc V-twin was the antithesis of Harley’s ancient air-cooled Evo engine. Compared to the Sportster’s signature teardrop tank and engine cooling fins, the Scout’s low-slung stance and neo-bobber aesthetic presented a viable alternative to Harley’s aging platform.
Facing a formidable foe and new emissions regulations, the Bar and Shield telegraphed its counterpunch when it revealed the Custom 1250 in July, 2018. Nearly three years later, that haymaker finally landed when Harley officially announced the 2021 Sportster S.
Complete with a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 1,252cc V-twin, the new Sportster’s spec sheet now stands toe-to-toe with the Scout. Of course, we won’t know who wins the battle in the showroom until the Sportster S arrives at dealerships. For now, however, the tale of the tape tells a fascinating story.
Overview 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S – Vs – 2021 Indian Scout
Featuring Harley’s shiny new Revolution Max 1250T, the 2021 Sportster now produces 121 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque. While the Scout previously set performance benchmarks for the category with 100 horsepower and 72 lb-ft of torque, Indian’s entry cruiser now looks outgunned. Of course, the Revolution Max V-twin touts a larger displacement, which helps the Sportster S steal that performance feather from Indian’s cap.
On top of that power deficit, the Scout lugs around 59 extra pounds, weighing in at 561 pounds compared to the Sportster’s 502-pound wet weight. Straightline acceleration and top speed define a motorcycle not, but agility goes to the Hog as well. With a 59.8-inch wheelbase, fully adjustable USD fork, and a linkage-equipped monoshock, the Sportster S outmaneuvers the Scout’s 62-inch wheelbase, conventional front end, and dual rear shocks.
Indian does outfit the Scout with a 16-inch wheelset shod in sticky Pirelli Night Dragon rubber while Harley opts for a 16-inch rear and 17-inch front. We could surmise that the smaller wheelset gives the Scout a handling edge if it weren’t for the Sportster’s specially-developed Dunlop GT503 tires. Thanks to an aggressive profile and sticky compound, the Dunlops compensate for the Sportster’s larger front wheel, helping to deliver a 34-degree lean angle compared to the Scout’s 29 degrees.
Though Indian no longer holds the performance edge, the Scout still has a fighting chance. At 29.6 inches, the 2021 Sportster’s perch is a full four inches about the Scout’s 25.6-inch seat height. Most riders won’t have an issue with the Sporty’s seat height, which sags to 28.9-inches in the saddle, but even less will have problems with Indian’s low-slung seat. Of course, novice and inseam-challenged riders benefit most from a low seat height and the Scout is good option for that reason.
Conversely, Indian only offers optional ABS on the Scout while the Harley flaunts rider aids like traction control, cornering ABS, ride modes, and engine braking settings. On top of the full electronics suite, the Motor Company’s new round, four-inch TFT display also outshines the Scout’s analog speedometer and digital tachometer combo. Of course, you could reason the Scout’s spartan accommodations help beginners learn the ropes with a less cumbersome system, but it’s usually better to have rider aids and not need them as opposed to the other way around.
If we’re going to make any case for beginner-appropriate features, however, it should start with the brakes, and the Sportster delivers yet again. Championing a full Brembo braking system with a radially mounted four-piston front caliper, floating single-pot rear binder, and master cylinder, the Sportster S stops surprisingly well. On the other hand, the Scout’s single two-piston caliper up front and single-piston clamper in the rear don’t deliver as much stopping power as its counterpart.
The Final Decision:
Though the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S walks away with nearly every round in its pocket, we still have to consider one very important detail: price. At $14,999, the souped-up Sporty is $3,000 over the Scout’s MSRP. Coupled with a 121-horsepower V-twin, Harley’s asking price could easily put the Sportster S out of most beginner’s grasp. When price is taken into account, the two cruisers stack up much more evenly, and may even cater to different customers/budgets.
With that said, we can’t wait to see how the Sportster and Scout duke it out in the future. Will Indian fight back with an even punchier V-twin? Will Harley offer a cheaper Sportster option without diluting too much performance? The middleweight cruiser class is a much more competitive environment these days, and we can’t wait to see Sportster and Scout continue to battle it out in the future.
So, you want a new, retro-styled street bike under five grand? There is Good News & Bad News.
The Meteor 350 is a bang-for-buck motorcycle. The Enfield name has more mystique than any of the major brands in this space, and those who appreciate Royal Enfield’s history will be proud to ride the modern-day version. Folks place more value on the bike’s style and personality. The Meteor 350 rides exactly the way it looks, as it advertises – “Cruise Easy”.
If you want a turn-key retro motorcycle with a warranty and a few modern luxuries, give the Meteor a try. It’s a nifty way to go motorcycling without getting in over your head.