Harley Davidson's Street 750: An icon reinvented
The Street 750 is Harley's interpretation of a motorcycle for the iPad-toting urban Gen-Y riders. It’s a shiny, snazzy little new dart — but does it hit the bull’s-eye?
With the Street 750, Harley-Davidson, the legendary American motorcycle maker, is letting in the metro male who favours compact size to sheer girth, some agility along with unabated allure and more practicality for a prominent presence its customer base.
For its price, the Street 750 is sure to get tremendous response. It may not be perfect, but it has its own set of virtues like a rev-happy engine, good performance and plausible handling. Pics/Amit Chhangani
More importantly, with the Street 750, Harley-Davidson has brought down its price barrier drastically, presenting itself as a much more accessible brand for growing markets like India and other South East Asian countries. So how successful has H-D been with the Street 750? Let’s find out
Speedo is a basic unit with odo and trip-meters incorporated in the digital display. There is no fuel gauge here. A warning light comes on with roughly 30 km more to go before the fuel dries up
Design and appearance
There’s no doubt about the fact that the Street 750 is rather minimalistic as compared to other Harleys in the company’s line-up. However, the essence of the timeless Harley design ethos is very much there. Unmistakably an H-D with its low-rider stance, organic lines and long wheelbase, the Street 750 wins admirers wherever it goes. While we initially thought that the Street 750 was a tad too compact to catch attention, our 200-km ride to Lonavala and back proves otherwise. Twisted necks, widened eyes and incessant inquiries about the motorcycle pursue us throughout the ride.
The rider seat is cushy and comfortable. We wish the handlebars were a bit closer to suit even shorter riders. The pillion seat and position of the rear foot-pegs is not too comfortable
Harley-Davidson has kept things simple on the Street 750. Featuring bold-looking, seven-spoke alloy wheels as an exception, the Street practices constraint in design with its slim front fender well-defined central area and a compact, curvy rear end. We love the contrastingly shiny, machined engine fins and the round air-filter housing with air-craft fuel cap styling and ‘750’ lettering.
Braking is one area where the Street 750 could have performed better. The disc brakes don’t offer the kind of bite and stopping power you’d expect on a bike this big and powerful
While some may oppose the thought, we loved the Fire Red shade on our test motorcycle more than the other two options (Vivid Black and Denim Black), which look pretty good too. Simplicity in design can also be witnessed in the 2x1 single exhaust can, a rider-oriented short seat and the twin-shock rear suspension layout.
The machined fins of the engine and the air filter case resembling an aircraft fuel tank cap endow the Street 750 with a meaty and great looking mid-portion
Engine and performance
The Street 750 boasts an all-new 749 cc V- twin ‘Revolution X’ engine, the first new engine from Harley-Davidson in as many as 14 years! It’s also the first-ever liquid-cooled engine from the American motorcycle maker. This 60-degree V-twin can rev up to an impressive 11000 rpm.
Peak torque output is rated at 60 Nm @ 4,000 rpm. Power figures for the bike have not been revealed by H-D, but the peak output is said to be around 50-55 bhp. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox which is a slick unit to operate. We did, however, manage to put the motorcycle in neutral without the neutral indicator light coming on a few times!
Like all Harley-Davidson bikes, power transmission to the rear wheel is via a toothed belt, which liberates one from the hassles of lubrication and adjustment of a chain drive. The strong low-mid end grunt of the new engine ensures that riding the Street 750 in city traffic isn’t tedious at all. The bike pulls away clean from as low as 35 km/h even in the top gear.
On the highway, the engine shows an eagerness to rev and does not hesitate to get spinning at the slightest twist of the wrist. The V-twin remains the happiest within the low to mid range of the rev band and does get slightly harsh towards the top end. Keep the throttle wide open and the 750 will hit 170 kmph, with some effort post 140 km/h.
The simplistic speedo unit doesn’t have a fuel gauge, and would warn you about low fuel with about 1.5 litres remaining in the tank. It’s backlit with a red glow and the tiny LCD within can be cycled for odometer and twin trip meters. The rider foot pegs are wide and comfortable, but they foul the natural movement of feet in stop and go traffic.
The heat radiation from the engine head and fins, despite it being a liquid-cooled unit, is on the higher side. While it’s not a problem while riding, the engine heat becomes a bother while trundling along the urban traffic.
Ride and handling
In addition to the new engine, the Street 750 also features an all-new frame by Harley Davidson. The chassis feels stiff and coupled with slightly firm suspension setup, endows the 750 with handling prowess that is seldom seen in cruisers of this size. Care must be taken while attacking corners though, as the wide foot-pegs tend to dig into the tar as you lean the bike hard.
While the rider seat is wide and comfortable, the pillion seat is short and downward sloping towards the rear; the positioning of the foot pegs is high too, making it uncomfortable for long rides.
For its price, the Street 750 is sure to get tremendous response. It may not be perfect, but it has its own set of strong virtues like a rev-happy engine, good performance and plausible handling. The overall package makes it too mouth-watering a proposition to overlook for the upwardly mobile cruiser motorcycle fans, H-D aficionados in
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Engine: Liquid-cooled, V-twin
Displacement: 749 cc
Engine Torque: 60 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
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