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Harley-Davidson 338 will be based on Benelli 302S

Written by Nizam Shaikh

As reported earlier, American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson is planning on to make a move in the small displacement motorcycle market and the brand will be developing a motorcycle in alliance with the Chinese automobile Qianjiang. Qianjiang sells motorcycles in China under its names such as Generic, KSR-Moto, Keeway and Benelli. Qianjiang is owned by Geely which is a big name in the automotive world in China and sells cars under its name such as Volvo, Lotus as a well as upcoming car firm Lynk&Co.

The Harley-Davidson which will be made in alliance with Qingjiang is likely to be based on the Benelli 302s. A close look at the images which Harley-Davidson revealed, it does seem like the the new 338 motorcycle has a lot in common with the Benelli 302S.

The Harley-Davidson 338 is expected to use the same steel trellis chassis, the same suspension and braking equipment borrowed from the 302s. Even the engine on both the motorcycles looks the same, at least externally. Harley-Davidson is likely to change the motorcycle cosmetically, tweak the suspension geometry and tweak the ride & handling dynamics of the machine. Also, the gearing, sound engineering, speedometer console, seats and the likes will be worked upon to suit the Harley-Davidson DNA.

In the engine department, the Harley-Davidson 338, given that the bike is based on the 302s, seems quite odd at first but speculations are that the brand is likely to achieve this by mixing parts from two engines – the 302 and the 502. The 502 currently power the Benelli TRK 502 and is essentially the same engine as the 302 but in a larger displacement form. So by using the crankshaft and connecting rods from the 302 and using the larger bore and piston from the 502, the following can be achieved by inserting the values in the formula, Volume of a Cylinder = π r2 h.  Where the Bore from the 502 is 69mm and Stroke from the 302 is 45.2mm. By mathematical calculation, we get the volume of the cylinder which is 169000 cubic millimetres which converted to cubic centimetres (cc) is 169cc per cylinder, multiplied by 2 (twin-cylinder), we get 169cc X 2 = 338cc.

Harley-Davidson 338 is likely to be sold in the Chinese market at first and the brand is expected to bring it to Indian shores as the small capacity segment is quite popular and has substantial volume potential in our market. By sharing parts the development process can be accelerated and Harley-Davidson is likely to launch the 338 by next year.