2023 Harley-Davidson X 500 First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Second model from Harley-Davidson and QJ Motors collaboration

Harley-Davidson and QJ Motors officially introduced the X 500, the second product of their partnership, following the X 350 revealed in March. Like the X 350, the X 500 is intended for the Chinese market. It may yet be imported to other markets, but at the moment, there is no indication that it will be brought to the U.S.

QJ and Harley-Davidson say the X 500 is inspired by the Sportster, but the shape of the fuel tank doesn’t exactly recall the iconic peanut shape. The rear fender does look like the classic Sportsters, but it seems an odd fit here, considering how much of a gap sits between it and the rear wheel.

As was the case with the X 350, the Harley-Davidson styling is wrapped around what is essentially a QJ motorcycle, or more specifically, the Benelli Leoncino 500. The engine, exhaust, steel trellis frame, wheels and suspension all look nearly identical to those on the Leoncino.

The engine is a liquid-cooled fuel-injected 500cc DOHC eight-valve Parallel-Twin, claiming 33.9 lb-ft. at 6000 rpm and 46.9 hp at 8500 rpm (which would make the X 500 A2 license compliant like the Leoncino, should Harley-Davidson decide to bring it to Europe.)

The suspension consists of a 50 mm inverted fork with adjustable rebound, and a single rear shock with adjustable rebound damping and preload. Harley-Davidson didn’t provide the suspension travel, but if it’s the same as the Leoncino, it would be 4.9 inches up front and 4.4 inches at the rear. The braking system is composed of dual discs with four-piston calipers up front and one single-piston caliper at the back. ABS is standard.

The 17-inch cast aluminum wheels come with Maxxis Supermaxx ST tires, with a 120/70-ZR17/58W on the front and a 160/60-ZR17/69W at the rear.

Mid-mount foot controls and raised handlebars should make for a fairly neutral riding position, and the 32.3-inch seat height is tall for a Harley. Also unusual for a Harley are the 46.9-degree left and 49.5-degree right maximum lean angles.

Other highlights include a claimed 459-pound curb weight, 3.4-gallon fuel tank, all LED lighting, and a round instrument cluster. Three color options are available: orange, silver, and the always popular Vivid Black. Pricing remains to be determined.

2023 Harley-Davidson X 500 Specifications


Liquid-Cooled, Parallel Twin Cylinder, 500Cc



Bore x Stroke

69.0 mm x 66.8 mm

Compression Ratio



46.9 hp at 8,500 rpm (claimed)


33.9 lb-ft. at 6,000 rpm (claimed)

Fuel System

Electronic Air Intake Fuel Injection (ESPFI)


2 into 1 short order, 3 catalysts

Main Drive

Chain, 74/38

Maximum Lean Angle

46.9° left, 49.5° right

Front Suspension

50mm inverted rebound adjustable

Rear Suspension

Oil-air separation, rebound damping adjustable, preload adjustable shock absorber

Front Brake

Dual four-piston fixed calipers

Rear Brake

Single-piston floating caliper

Rear Wheel

Cast Aluminum

Front Tire

Maxxis Supermaxx ST 120/70-ZR17/58W

Rear Tire

Maxxis Supermaxx ST 160/60-ZR17/69W


84.1 inches

Seat Height

32.3 inches

Ground Clearance

6.0 inches

Rake / Trail

24.5° / 4.0 inches


57.4 inches

Fuel Capacity

3.4 gallons

Oil Capacity (With Filter)

0.8 gallons

Curb Weight

459 pounds (claimed)

Fuel Economy

48.5 mpg (claimed)


Front Lights: All LED, low beam, high beam and position lights; Tail Lights: All LED Lights; Front Signal Lights: All LED Lights; Rear Turn Signal Lights: All LED


Combined electronic instrument Stepper motor indicates vehicle speed, digital indicates speed, hour, total travel, two-way (A+B), km/mile indication

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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