The Harley Davidson X Range: X350 & X500 Review, The Ultimate LAMS Approved Motorcycle?

Harley Davidson has long been synonymous with the roar of freedom and the spirit of the open road.

Known for their rumbling V-twins and unapologetic throb of power, they’ve captured the hearts of riders globally.

However, in a bold move that has set the motorcycle community abuzz, Harley Davidson has introduced two remarkable additions to their family – the X350 and X500 – specifically designed for the novice rider.

Let’s delve into why these motorcycles are not just innovative but also worth every dollar for those learning the ropes.

A Fresh Beat to the Harley Rhythm

The X350 and X500 mark a significant shift in Harley Davidson’s approach.

These bikes are not just about keeping the legendary Harley culture alive, they’re about extending an invitation to a new generation of riders.

They are learner-approved machines that promise to make every rev a delightful experience, from the classroom to the open road.

The idea is simple yet revolutionary – preserve the iconic Harley charm while offering a gentle stepping stone for novices.

A Nod to the Past, A Leap into the Future

Harley Davidson’s foray into learner-friendly models isn’t entirely new; the Street 500 launched in 2014 was their first Learner Approved Motorcycle (LAMS).

It was a hit, drawing in younger riders and expanding the Harley community. However, the Street 500’s tenure ended in 2021, leaving a void that the X350 and X500 eagerly fill.

The X350: Agile and Sporty

The X350, taking design cues from the iconic XR750 Flat Tracker, offers a sportier riding position. Its stature is compact, with a lower seat height, a shorter wheelbase, and a light frame weighing in at 195 kilos.

These features make it an ideal choice for riders looking for an agile and manageable motorcycle that still packs the Harley punch.

The X500: Classic and Robust

On the flip side, the X500, inspired by the classic Sportster, caters to those who prefer a more upright riding position.

It’s designed with bigger and taller riders in mind, offering a comfortable stance complemented by beefier suspension and larger brakes.

Weighing at 208 kilos, it presents a more substantial feel, akin to the traditional Harley experience.


Manufacturing Synergy: The Harley-Benelli Connection

One of the most intriguing aspects of the X range is its place of manufacture. Harley Davidson has partnered with Qianjiang Motorcycle, which also produces Benelli motorcycles, to produce the X range in China.

This collaboration has led some critics to compare the X500 to a “rebadged” Benelli Leoncino 500.

While there are similarities, Harley has made sure to infuse its unique DNA into the bikes with distinct styling changes and modifications.

Performance Tailored for Learning

Both the X350 and X500 are powered by liquid-cooled parallel twin engines, a departure from the traditional V-twin setup.

This design ensures a smooth and manageable power delivery for learners.

These bikes also feature fuel injection, a six-speed transmission, and chain drive, providing a modern and efficient riding experience.

Simplicity in Tech

Harley Davidson has equipped both models with mandatory ABS, but intentionally omitted the bells and whistles of traction control, ride modes, and smartphone connectivity.

The rationale is straightforward: keep it simple for learners.

By reducing distractions and complexities, new riders can focus on developing their riding skills.


Pricing and Practicality

The X range is undeniably more budget-friendly, with an increase in plastic components and decals in place of metal badges.

This not only keeps costs down but also means that any unfortunate drops while learning won’t break the bank in repairs.

The bikes offer a single analog gauge, endorsing the minimalist theme that runs through the machines.

We have seen a few comments on Live To Ride social media channels asking for a Harley-Davidson bike under $13,000 – well H-D have listened and here are two bikes ready to go.

The X350 starts at $8,495 while the X500 starts at $11,495 respectively.

In Conclusion

The Harley Davidson X350 and X500 are not just motorcycles; they’re a bridge to the future of riding.

By offering a learner-friendly experience, they’re poised to bring new enthusiasts into the fold of the Harley community.

With their unique blend of tradition and innovation, these bikes stand as a testament to Harley Davidson’s commitment to evolution and inclusivity in the world of two wheels.

Whether you’re a fledgling rider eager to throttle up for the first time or a seasoned motorcyclist looking to revisit the basics, the X range promises to be a rewarding ride.

Harley Davidson has, once again, revved up the excitement, proving that the learner’s journey can be just as thrilling as the destination.

Scroll to Top