The first machine to emerge from the Hero-Harley partnership is a neo-retro roadster powered by a single-cylinder engine.
We’re just a couple of days away from the India launch of the most hotly anticipated Harley-Davidson in recent times. The upcoming H-D X 440 roadster is going to be built right here in India, in partnership with Hero MotoCorp, and here’s what we know so far.
Harley-Davidson X 440 powered by an all-new engine
As the name suggests, this new Harley will be powered by a 440cc motor. However, unlike the twin-cylinder X 350 and X 500 recently shown overseas, the X 440 will sport a single-cylinder engine. This will be the Milwaukee giant’s first modern-day single-cylinder mill, and it will be air/oil-cooled. Given its displacement, and the fact that it features oil cooling, it is likely to be a cut above something like a Royal Enfield Classic 350 (20hp/27Nm). You could even see as high as 40Nm from this motor, which should make for a fairly effortless urban riding experience. The final drive is in the form of a chain, making this only the second modern-day Harley after the Pan Am ADV to employ a chain-drive.
Harley-Davidson X 440 chassis & cycle parts
Things are quite conventional in the chassis department, with a tubular steel frame nestling this new engine. Suspension comprises an upside-down fork and twin shock absorbers, along with a single disc brake at each end with dual-channel ABS. Early images of the bike showed that it sported CEAT Zoom Cruz rubber, but the production bike will sport MRF tyres that sport a retro tread pattern quite similar to that of the Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp rubber. The HD X 440 rolls on cat alloy rims with an 18/17-inch setup (F/R), which gives it a commanding stance.
In terms of both styling and seating, the X 440 looks more like H-D’s old XR roadsters than its trademark cruisers, sporting a flat handlebar, neutral ergos and a butch stance. Cornering clearance also appears to be fairly generous, and it will be interesting to see what the dynamics of this machine are like. We will be riding this machine early next week so watch this space for our review, which will drop soon after.
Harley-Davidson X 440 features
The round headlight has a Daytime Running Light bar running across the centre, and it’s likely that the headlight itself will also be an LED unit. The round indicators also sport some very neat detailing, with Harley logos at the centre, and overall, there seems to be high attention to detail across the motorcycle, with fit levels appearing to be quite good. Areas like the polished cooling fins on the engine, and the fasteners across the motorcycle all point towards this. Instrumentation will be fully digital, in the shape of a single round pod, and it would not be surprising to see Bluetooth connectivity on the features list.
Harley-Davidson X 440: expected price & rivals
Given everything we’ve seen so far, the Harley-Davidson X 440 should cost between Rs 2.5 lakh-3 lakh, (ex-showroom) once it’s launched. Perhaps there will be a slightly different version than the one we see here, which will sport simpler equipment and form an entry point to the range.
At this price, the Harley will sit a little higher than the simpler, air-cooled RE Classic 350 (Rs 1.9 lakh-2.2 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi). But it will also likely be a little more affordable than the more advanced liquid-cooled Bajaj-Triumph models that are being launched just 48 hours after the X 440.