Harley-Davidson and Chinese motorcycle giant Qianjiang (also the owner of the Benelli brand) have reportedly gotten together recently for a Design Freeze Signing Ceremony to create the most affordable Harley-Davidson motorcycle. So far, we don't have any actual images, other than design sketches released earlier of the bike, but what is clear now is that Harley-Davidson is going ahead with production of the 'baby Harley'. The new motorcycle will be powered by a 338 cc engine, but instead of being a v-twin, it is expected to be a parallel-twin engine.
The new bike is being cleared for production at a time when Harley-Davidson is looking to expand its customer base with its 'More Roads to Harley-Davidson' outreach, with a series of new models planned over the next few years, including the LiveWire electric bike, the Bareknuckle, the Bronx, as well as the Pan America. While we still don't have any actual images of the bike, the design sketches do reveal a very similar silhouette to that of the Benelli 302S. In fact, the platform could very well be of the 302S, including the chassis and most of the bodywork, aside from a new seat unit and fuel tank.
Harley-Davidson is likely to use the new 350 cc model (actually with a 338 cc powerplant), as its mainstay as the American brand gets ready to get into new markets and more volumes, particularly in South East Asia, India and China. It's still not known whether Harley-Davidson will use the HD350 name, or come up with a new moniker, like it has for the new models the brand is developing for the future. More details are expected in the next few months.