Simon attended the Aussie launch of the Harley-Davidson X350 last year and had so much fun on the bike that he has picked one up for a Staff Bike for winter. Here's his first monthly update...

Harley-Davidson has hit the mark with its X350 naked street bike. It is small, yes, but it is super fun and punchy and handles really well. Simon has been commuting and weekend scratching for a month so far on his long termer. Here’s his Harley X350 part one review…

I have had the flick-knife style key for our Harley-Davidson X350 motorcycle (it/that) long-termer for over a month now and every time I hop on-board, it never fails not to put me in a happier place. I’m not exactly sure why, is it because it’s so un-intimidating, or is it because it’s so easy to ride and so well balanced, or is it because it feels as though it wants to scrap with traffic of any size, shape or form? It’s definitely a blend of all of those sentiments and I really dig it.

Read Simon’s Harley-Davidson X350 Road Test here

Hopping on for a fang or work commute is one and the same for me and the little XR racer. It’s basically instant start, warm-up then go and let the little belter howl. I easily shave off 20 minutes or more travelling the 40km to work with it than when in my cage. That alone is a win, with the narrow width and nimble nature being absolutely ace in dealing with traffic. Weather permitting, I always take a long-cut home and divert to my fave twisties to let the X350 help clear my mind of life’s gobbledegook. That commute includes freeway work and the bike will happily cruise well above speed limit, but it does get a bit tiring due to wind lash and noise. Long hauls are not really it’s cup of tea.

As it turns out, the long-termer is the exact bike that we got to review earlier this year, so it was very familiar. Not only, but it was simply impressive straight out of the box and I have not wanted to change anything. Yet. I intend on having a fiddle with the suspension, probably rear first to jack it slightly and see what that does to the handling before altering any damping adjusters.

The front brake feel, or lack thereof, remains a bugbear, though. The span adjuster alters the lever position by 7mm, but it is still insufficient for me to really curl my fingers over the lever to gain more tactility. There is little that can be done about it, I reckon, barring a change in ratio between master-cylinder diameter and caliper piston displacement. Oh well, you can’t have it all at this level and they still work well enough. We might try some different sintered brake pads from SBS.

The fuel indicator seems to have inherited the same defect that the X500 suffers from, seemingly coming on at random and always once you hit 120. Due to this, I am not really getting down to an empty fuel load, so can’t really comment on how the bike consumes juice yet, but it is efficient. The paint finish on the top yoke and handlebar clamp is looking a bit patchy, but all other finishes seem to be unaffected by the environment. It is due a wash and spruce up, too.

“I always take a long-cut home and divert to my fave twisties to let the X350 help clear my mind of life’s gobbledegook”…

The seat is really nice and the XR racer style bolster behind your bum is nice to push against and stretch out the back. My legs need stretching, too as I am having some meniscus issues with the old knees Vs the rearsets. I am continuing to rack up the miles and in this cool weather appreciate the exposed engine cases for traffic light hand warming. It has over 2000km on the odo now and looking forward to piling a few more on and checking out how the gearbox and motor frees up and how any suspension changes may affect the currently excellent handling.

2024 Harley-Davidson X350 (LAMS) SPECIFICATIONS

Price: $8,495 Ride-Away
Warranty: TBA
Colours: Dramatic Black, Dynamic Orange, Supersonic Silver, and Pearl White
Claimed power: 27kW@9500rpm
Claimed torque: 31Nm@7000rpm
Wet weight: 195kg
Fuel capacity: 13.5L
Fuel Consumption (Claimed): 4.95L/100km

Engine: Liquid-cooled, in-line two-cylinder, four-stroke, DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, 353cc, 70.5 x 45.2mm bore x stroke, EFI, 11.9:1 compression ratio, six-speed gearbox, wet clutch, 2-1 exhaust.

Chassis: Steel tube trellis frame, steel swingarm
Rake: 24.8º Trail: 140mm
Suspension: 41mm USD forks, rebound adjustable, lateral rear shock, preload & rebound adjustable N/A travel.
Brakes: ABS, dual semi-floating petal rotors, twin calipers, single rear rotor, single piston floating caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Aluminum alloy, 3.50 x 17in, 4.50 x 17in, 120/70 – R17, 160/60 – R17, Maxxis SuperMaxx tyres.

Seat height: 777mm
Wheelbase: 1410mm
Overall Length: 2110mm
Overall Height: N/A
Ground Clearance: 143mm

Instruments & Electronics: LCD display, ABS

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