Even for Harley-Davidson, which is one of the best known motorcycle makers in the world - this one, literally is a ‘revolution’ of sorts. The Street 750 motorcycle, unveiled at the EICMA (Milan) motorcycle show, features the all-new Revolution X Engines from the bike maker. In addition to the new engine, which for the first time on a Harley boasts liquid cooling; the motorcycle will also feature Dark Custom styling language from the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker.
Now, to have an all-new platform rolling out of your stables in 14 years is big news in itself. The new Street 750, along with the smaller engined Street 500 boasts of the feat. The most exciting bit about the Street 750 is that the machine was designed with India, along with a few other markets in focus. Moreover, the highly anticipated machine will be assembled in Harley’s India plant in Bawal, Haryana for local consumption.
The Street 750 and Street 500 motorcycles will have their focus on urban environments, nimble handling and ease of use. In an attempt to address the requirements of the urban youth, Harley Davidson is trying to make their bikes more suited to the cityscape. The styling will be signature H-D and there won’t be mistaking these machines for anything but H-D based on their looks and sound.
Of the two newly revealed motorcycles, Harley Davidson has already confirmed the Street 750 for India. The new machine is expected to carry a sub 5 lakh rupees price tag, and will make its debut at the 2014 India Bike Week in January. The new motorcycle will go on sale soon thereafter, while making another show appearance at the 2014 Auto Expo. The launch of the smaller Street 500 with an even smaller price tag is also almost a certainty; but unlike the Street 750, Harley Davidson India have not made any official announcement about it.
The headline news about the new Street 750 and 500 is the all-new Revolution X engine series. For the new engines, Harley-Davidson have increased the angle of their legendary V twin engine for these models to 60 degrees, for a lower center of gravity and resultantly better handling. Technologies such as fuel injection, liquid cooling and overhead camshafts will ensure crisper throttle response, great low speed tractability and impressive overall performance for the segment.
The new engines will be mated to six speed manual transmission with the universally prevalent one down five up shift pattern. Unlike the chain driven motorcycles we see here in India, drive to the rear wheels will be transmitted via a Harley toothed belt - which is smoother in operation. The new chassis is narrow and lean and has its focus on agility. The height of the seat has been lowered, the suspension has been overhauled and the broader handlebar sweep works towards providing better maneuverability while negotiating tight turns in the city. Both the Dark Custom theme based motorcycle also have customisability as one of their prime agenda. The bikes have been designed to offer space for the owners to be able to customise these machines to the hilt.
Design wise, the new Harley-Davidson Street 750 will feature a typical cruiser-style face. A small round headlamp is bikini faired and leaves space to be customised for a classic look. Low, long and beefy in the middle, the new motorcycles make a strong style statement. The engine and exhaust are finished in an imposing matt black, with the engine fins getting a subtly contrasting gunmetal treatment. The use of chrome in the stock motorcycle is limited to the rear suspension and a few other places.
A few other interesting details on these machines include a rearwards slanting pillion seat and a unique design for the tail-lamps. The telescopic front suspension with covered travel also features orange reflectors on the sides. Great looking 7 spoke wheels have a 17 inch front and 15 inch rear radius and are shod with 100/80 and 140/75 section Micehlin tyres up front and at the rear respectively. The Street 750 for India will also boast more ground clearance and suspension travel than the models on offer internationally. The Street 750 will be assembled here in India at Harley Davidson’s plant in Bawal, Haryana.
With the new Street 750, and possibly the Street 500, Harley Davidson hopes to raise its sales volumes in the world’s second biggest bike bazaar. With the cost advantages associated with local assembly, and the suitability of the new machines to the Indian market, there is every chance that they should be able to attain that goal. While no official details have been released about the price, we expect a launch price tag of R4.5 lakh or thereabouts.
With that pricing, we’re of the opinion that H-D India would surely manage to hit a sweet spot. Both the Street 750 and 500 are modern, performance oriented machines which are well suited to the Indian market, and are bound to be successful here. As Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company likes to point out “these new bikes are leaner, yet still have a mean streak - they’re the real deal, made of real steel.”
Harley-Davidson Street 750: Rs 5 lakh approximately
Harley-Davidson Street 500: Rs 4.5 lakh approximately
Engine 749cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled
Wheels 7 spoke alloys