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HomeBike Reviews2024 Harley-Davidson X500 & X350 Launch Ride

2024 Harley-Davidson X500 & X350 Launch Ride

Allianz Stadium would be the scene of Harley-Davidson’s introduction of their learner legal X500 and X350 motorcycles. Australian media would be assembled to taste test Harley’s latest foray into the learner legal market through the underground tunnels and carpark of the Football Stadium and form their initial impressions on the newest Harley-Davidson models.

Although not a full road test due to the bikes still being in their final stages of ADR compliance, our Harley-Davidson X experience was designed to acquaint us with the new learner legal motorcycles which will fill the void left by the popular Street 500 when it was dropped from the range back in 2021.

Harley-Davidson X500 & X350
Harley-Davidson X500 & X350

Manufactured in China, the X350 and X500 give the American brand an entry point to entice novice riders to Harley-Davidson. It’s one they hope will allow customers to step up to larger bikes in the range, ensuring buyers stay brand loyal throughout their motorcycle journey.

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Media were ushered under alliance Football Stadium to press the flesh with both new models before a technical briefing by the Australian Harley-Davidson officialdom. Here we would learn specification pricing and of course that all important date when customers will be hitting the streets on these new bikes.

Harley-Davidson officialdem presenting the new models
Harley-Davidson officialdem presenting the new models

For those of you wondering, December will be when these new learner legal models will be hitting Australian tarmac, just in time for Christmas if you are looking for an early present to put under the tree.

Both the X500 and X350 feature distinctive styling and specification. The X350 instantly reminded us of the XR750 with it’s distinctive dirt tracker styling, whilst the X500 had more of a Sportster 1200 vibe with its more rounded rear fender and of course thicker touring style seat.

Harley-Davidson X500
Harley-Davidson X500

There is some shared componentry, including the sexy LED headlight that sits out front of both bikes, the tachometer and switch gear, and some bits of the engine cover.s

Both models feature Dual front disc brakes and a single rear disc brake, with ABS. The X350 utilises a 41mm inverted fork with adjustable rebound damping whilst the X500 comes fitted with a 50mm inverted fork, again with adjustable rebound damping.

Harley-Davidson X350
Harley-Davidson X350

On the rear both bikes come equipped with Mono-shock suspension featuring a coil spring with pre-load and rebound damping adjustability. Apart from seat height and motor capacity the bikes are pretty similar in specification including frame and chassis specification.

Next it was time to taste test both models around the tunnels under Allianz Stadium before hitting the carpark where Harley-Davidson Australian had set up an obstacle course similar to what we had experienced when we did our Learners many, many years ago.

Harley-Davidson X500
Harley-Davidson X500

We left the presentation room to choose our steed, both models were available in all 4 colours Dramatic Black, Dynamic Orange, Supersonic Silver, and Pearl White. We chose to climb aboard the X500 in Supersonic Silver for our first experience.

Off we went beneath Allianz Stadium, to be fully transparent we spent approximately 25 minutes on both bikes and did not really get out of second gear or above 80km/h. The X500 felt comfortable even for a bigger gent, such as yours truly. The seat was comfy and the riding position felt neutral and user friendly.

Harley-Davidson X350
Harley-Davidson X350

The 500cc donk felt Smooth with enough punch down low to be engaging for a learner rider or someone looking for a commuter or cafe/cruising bike. The 500cc DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin produces 35kW of grunt and is mated to a six-speed transmission utilising a wet-plate clutch.

It seems to be a user friendly package and worked well in our limited experience in both launching the bike off the line in the obstacle course and cruising the tunnels of Alliance. The brakes seemed to do an admirable job when testing emergency braking with the ABS doing its job.

Harley-Davidson X500
Harley-Davidson X500

We returned to our starting point and mounted the X350 in Dynamic Orange. To be perfectly honest we weren’t to sure what to expect when we were given the details about this event but the morning was proving to be fun.

However the fun dial was about to be turned up somewhat unexpectedly. The X350 felt and sounded a little more aggressive and to be honest we were more partial to its styling than the X500.

Harley-Davidson X350
Harley-Davidson X350

By the time we had made it half way round our first lap under Allianz Stadium we were laughing quiet loudly under our helmet. The bike was fun. Up to the carpark obstacle course we went to try some emergency braking and the slalom course.

The bike was easy to pull up with the dual front disc breaks doing the job. The slalom course also gave us an indication that the bike will be easy and very manageable to manoeuvre for newer riders especially with nice low seat height of just 777mm.

Harley-Davidson X500
Harley-Davidson X500

Powered by a 353cc DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin engine produces 27kW and the X350 left us intrigued and really wanting to ride it on the roads to test it more in real world conditions. In fact both X models had left us probably a little more curious of how they would go in real world road going conditions.

Stay tuned though, Harley have promised bikes for full reviews very soon. Perhaps the only dissapoinitng part of the morning was after seeing Allianz lit up on the big scoreboard and advertising around the stands in Harley-Davidson parafanllia was that we didn’t get to take the learner legal chariots onto the middle of the stadium and do childish things – oh well maybe next time.

Harley-Davidson X350
Harley-Davidson X350

The X500 will be priced at $11,495 ride away, whilst the X350 will be priced at $8,495 ride away. Interestingly there are no additional charges for any of the colours unlike all other models in the current Harley range.

What Harley-Davidson have seemingly produced with their learner legal models is two bikes that are much better looking and easier on the eye the there last foray into the learner market with the Street 500. On initial limited impressions they seem better to ride as well.

Harley-Davidson X500
Harley-Davidson X500

For those of you wondering Harley-Davidson will release a range of Harley-Davidson X accessories for both models. For more information, contact your  local Harley-Davidson dealer.

Our test bikes were provided by Harley-Davidson Australia as part of the Australian media launch. Pictures courtesy of Incite Images.

Harley-Davidson X500 & X350
Harley-Davidson X500 & X350
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkinhttp://twowheeladdicts.com.au
Andrew Jenkin is the founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, a contributor to BikeReview and Drivetribe as well as being a panel judge of Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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