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HD-X 350 | Review


GAME THEORY | 2024 HD-X 350

I caned Harley’s new X350, I caned it remorselessly! I tried to break it by thrashing it around town and when that didn’t work, I took it for a 600-plus kilometre ride into Western NSW and I thrashed it some more.
Clouded by my mission to punish the little 350, I was slow to come to three realisations, firstly, the X350 was laughing off my attempts to break it, secondly, I was having way too much fun and thirdly, not only can the X350 grind out the 9-5 commute; it can carve corners like a boss!

HD-X 350

HD-X 350

You may have read a little piece I wrote on Harley’s new X500 recently. I liked the 500s looks, but the 350 looks better; the styling reminds me of Harley’s old XR flat trackers and I really dig it.

The X350’s 353cc parallel twin is a buzz to play with. It loves to be revved, which is a good thing if you’re going to venture out onto the highway because it sits mighty high in the rev range at highway speeds. There may only be 36hp on tap, but it teaches you to be fast and ferocious with your gear changes to keep the engine on the pipe - this is a rider’s bike, people; lazy riders need not apply.

First gear is bordering on useless, and you’ll be changing from first to second within a couple of metres if you’re heavy on the throttle. A learner legal twin needs low gearing, but I reckon the X350 has enough punch to run slightly higher gearing so that you can get more out of the first cog.

The suspension performance is great for the bike's intended purpose of heading to work and general transport duties around town. Fast and bumpy country roads at speed are outside the X350’s comfort zone, and it shows, but if you can find yourself a smooth stretch of twisty tarmac, you’ll be very impressed with how hard you can push this bike. It turns on a dime, holds a line, and is stable. In fact, the only limiting factor is the ground clearance which you’ll run out of if you get too excited because this sucker can bang.

HD-X 350

HD-X 350

Braking performance is fit for purpose, but I’d be chucking some softer pads in it immediately if I owned one, because I reckon that would improve power and feel. 

The riding position is sportier than its X500 big brother. The rearset pegs kick your legs back, not in an uncomfortable way, just purposefully! If you’ve got experience riding Harleys, this is absolutely nothing like any of them.

With the combination of a $8495 ride away price tag, relatively low 777mm seat height and 195kg wet weight, this should be an attractive package for even the most discerning Hog buying learner. I love the grunt of the X500, but the X350 is more fun when you arrive at corners.

I had more fun on the X350 than I ever thought I would, I mean, I’m an experienced rider, and the 350 is a bike for learners right. Yes, it is, and it’s a damn fine entry into the world of motorcycling and the Harley-Davidson brand. It’s as simple as this, if you want more grunt and want to cruise on you learner Harley, buy the X500, but if you want a rider’s bike, a bike that engages you and you it, and you like corners, the X350 is for you.

HD-X 35-