The Qianjiang Group, which owns the QJ Motor brand, is one of the most prominent two-wheeler manufacturers of China, and also owns the Benelli brand. And QJ Motor, the group's Chinese motorcycle brand, seems to be going all guns blazing lately. QJ Motor has not only revealed several new models based on the Benelli platforms, but the company is also known to be working on Harley-Davidson's smallest capacity motorcycle yet. And now, the Chinese brand has revealed images of a new cruiser on its social media channels, which could well end up as being a small displacement Harley-Davidson in some markets.
QJ Motor has an agreement with Harley-Davidson to be the American brand's production and development partner for the Asian market. Under the partnership, a range of cost-effective, small and mid-capacity Harley-Davidson bikes will be introduced, to be made in China, in the next few years. The image of the latest cruiser could well be the 350 cc Harley-Davidson that is reportedly under development. And from the design of the bike, it looks quite like a Harley already, from the tear drop shaped fuel tank, low-set bars and single seat which ends quite neatly into the rear mudguard.
Also Read: 2021 QJ Motor Range Unveiled In China
Harley-Davidson may have decided to shut down manufacturing and assembly in India, but clearly, smaller models will be developed in China with QJ Motor's collaboration. The only Harley-Davidson motorcycles to be manufactured in India were the now-discontinued Harley-Davidson Street 750 series of cruisers. With Harley-Davidson deciding to adopt a new business model for India, and one which will see Hero MotoCorp take on a proactive role in brand Harley, possibly including sales, after sales and even development, it's not clear what Harley-Davidson's future plans will be. It could be a matter of having different partners in different countries; in this case, QJ Motor in China, and possibly Hero MotoCorp as a manufacturing partner in India.
More importantly though, it will be interesting to see if the new 350 cc Harley-Davidson is also manufactured, or assembled in India, to take on Royal Enfield in its turf. With Honda already in the game with the new Honda H'Ness CB 350, and the first bike with similar engine capacity expected from the Bajaj-Triumph alliance, the next few years certainly promises a lot of excitement.