Harley-Davidson X440 : Negatives To Keep In Mind Prior To Buying
Featured Stories by Team Drivio | 19th Sep 23
The X440 is the Harley Davidson’s smallest bike (in terms of capacity) till date
- The major negative that stood out for us was the bike’s fit and finish levels
- Authentic Harley fanboys will also find its design to be polarising
- The large bulky exhaust might be a bit of an eyesore for some
Harley-Davidson bikes, over the years, have been known mainly for their big, burly V-twin cruisers. In fact, that’s their macho appeal is the reason why a lot of people, especially in India, bought them in the first place. So then when the brand decided to make its first ever smaller capacity single-cylinder motorcycle, the world obviously took notice.
We even went down to Hero’s factory in Jaipur to ride it and found it to be quite a likable motorcycle. That said, if you want to get your hands on one as well, we’d advise you to check out these five things before getting one home:
The Harley-Davidson X440 has a stylish neo-retro design influenced by the iconic Harley-Davidson XR1200. It boasts a retro round LED headlight and a modern LED DRL strip with 'Harley-Davidson' engraved on it. All-LED lighting is standard. The bike features a square 13.5-liter peanut-style fuel tank, giving it a robust appearance that complements the one-piece seat design. However, the exhaust stands out as it doesn't align with the floor for a classic look nor points upwards for a sporty touch.
While it looked good to us, it’ll definitely polarize a lot of the original Harley Davidson fanboys. If you love your motorcycles brawny and very muscular, this one might not catch your fancy for it’s a relatively smaller bike with much smaller proportions than your average Harley cruiser. Plus the roadster design isn’t really everyone’s cup of tea.
The raked-out front with an otherwise streetfighter-like stance might polarise a lot of people and that’s reason number 1 as to why you should avoid the X440.
While the overall design might be compact, what’s definitely not compact is the X440’s exhaust. It’s chunky, large and looks borderline ugly. One of the primary reasons as to why Harley did it, was to accommodate the larger catalytic converter as well as to comply with the stringent BS 6.2 norms that have now kicked in as well.
So if you’re someone who’s very picky about the aesthetics of their bike, the big exhaust might be something that’d stick out like a sore thumb for you on the new X440. It’s something we definitely recommend you have a look into before buying the bike. Head to a showroom and see the bike in person to see if its aesthetics fit your bill.
Harleys are also very famous for their exhaust note. The V-twin engine gave a characteristic ‘potato-potato’ exhaust note, something that Harley fanboys absolutely loved. So if you go towards the X440 thinking about the same, it’s not the case here. The bike has only one cylinder so obviously it simply cannot mimic the exhaust note pumped out by a twin-cylinder bike.
The exhaust note is a lot meeker and lower than you’d expect on an average Harley-Davidson bike. And it obviously doesn’t really have the ‘potato potato’ soundtrack either. So do keep in mind that before you decide to get the bike home as well. The X440 has a rather gruff note that you’d expect from the single-cylinder engine.
Plus, given that it’s made to take on the Royal Enfield Classic 350, it does have that thump that the older Classics were known for. So Royal Enfield fanboys will definitely like the X440’s exhaust note. And more importantly, despite that thump, the X440 remains ultra smooth throughout. Even if you’re redlining it at every gear shift, the bike remains very smooth.
Fit And Finish Levels
And finally, it’s the fit and finish levels. Harley bikes have never been very well finished and this one’s no different. Some of the panel gaps are unsightly and there are loose wires hanging all around. More importantly, the paint finish on the bike seems off and within days of testing, there was some fade on the bike as well.
What was worse was that some of the other bikes even had alignment issues with its handlebar. Even if you rode the bike straight, some of them would swerve in a rather unnerving way to the right or the left. Such issues on a bike that’s brand new don’t do well for the company's reputation.
The bike will be serviced at some premium Hero dealerships as well as Harley dealerships, both of which aren’t very large in number. Unfortunately, to keep its brand value alive, Harley-Davidson chose not to give the bike’s servicing to all Hero dealerships.
Now while that will ensure that Harley-Davidson’s brand value doesn’t completely dissolve, where it’ll cause an issue is in terms of the brand’s reach. People living in relatively less populous cities will have a tough time. So if you’re someone living in a tier 2 or 3 city, this might be a bit of an issue for you.