We take a detailed look at Harley-Davidson Street Rod – the American bike maker’s latest motorcycle to come to India.
Harley-Davidson has just launched a new motorcycle called the Street Rod that is based on its most popular model in India, the Street 750. This new Street Rod takes inspiration from the company’s drag-style bikes such as the V-Rod and the Night Rod and packs in aggressive styling that spells speed from every angle. Apart from a healthy dose of matte black paint for the engine and exhaust, the Street Rod gets split seats with a redesigned rider’s saddle that helps riders cope with hard acceleration. The rear fender too has been shortened to give it a sportier makeover and the drag bike motif continues to the front with a tall cowl around the round headlight along with flat ‘drag-style’ handlebars and bar-end mirrors. But it’s not just about looking fast. Harley-Davidson has really put in a lot of effort to ensure that the Street Rod has the performance to match its menacing appearance.
The new Street Rod derives its motor from the same 749cc, eight-valve, liquid-cooled, V-Twin, Revolution X engine that powers the Street 750, with identical bore and stroke figures, but with a new fuelling system. In this ‘high power’ guise, it features twin-port injection (as opposed to the single-port in the Street 750) and it gets a larger throttle body as well. Along with a bump in compression, which now stands at 12.0:1, this motor makes 62Nm of torque (an increase of 3Nm) coming in at 4,000rpm. While Harley-Davidson doesn’t specify the exact power figures for either the Street 750 or the Street Rod, they do mention that the latter has a peak horsepower increase of 11 percent coming in at 8,250rpm.
With an increase of only 5.0kg in terms of kerb weight, this increased power and torque figures should mean much snappier acceleration on the Street Rod as compared to its cruiser sibling. The bike also gets shorter and wider exhausts which, Harley claims, adds an aggressive soundtrack to the motor.
On the other hand, the six-speed gearbox is carried over exactly as from the Street 750, with matching gear as well as final drive ratios. This gearbox has proven to be among the slicker shifting units in Harley’s line-up so it’s fair to say that the experience should remain unchanged even on the Street Rod.
Chassis and suspension
This is one department where the Street Rod really differentiates itself from the Street 750. While the overall frame of the bike has been maintained, it now gets beefy 43mm inverted forks at the front while the twin rear shocks now get piggyback reservoirs for improved damping.
With the new forks, the front geometry of the bike has also been altered and now features a tighter 27-degree rake angle which also results in a reduced trail of 99mm. This has led to a drop of 10mm from the overall wheelbase which now stands at 1,510mm. Theoretically, it should make for much nippier handling, especially when you factor in the increased seat height of 765mm that should make for a higher centre of gravity.
And in order to maximise cornering performance, Harley-Davidson has also upgraded the tyres to radials, which are now sized at 120/70 R17 at the front and 160/60 R17 at the rear. The improved rubber should really go a long way in ensuring that this Street Rod is not just about straight roads. But Harley hasn’t stopped there. A change in foot peg position to make them more rear set has allowed for much higher cornering clearances on either side, an area where the Street 750 sorely falls short.
Even the brakes have seen an immense improvement thanks to dual 300mm rotors up front with two-piston calipers, as opposed to the single disc on the Street 750. The rear brake stays the same, with a single 300mm disc with twin pot calipers. However, Harley is offering ABS as standard on the Street Rod which should really help increase safety to offset the boost in performance.
While the styling as well as the performance has taken a bump up on this Street Rod, it doesn’t really do anything significantly different in terms of equipment when compared to the Street 750. It keeps the same 13.1-litre teardrop-shaped steel fuel tank as well as steel fenders. And there doesn’t seem to be any difference in the 3.5-inch single-pod instrument cluster which has an analogue speedometer and a small digital multi-function display.
This 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod is priced at Rs 5.86 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and is available in three colours – Olive Gold, Charcoal Denim and Vivid Black. It might command a slight premium over the Street 750 (priced between Rs 4.91 lakh and Rs 5.18 lakh), but it does offer a lot of performance improvements, and we have to admit, it just looks a lot cooler as well.
Take an up-close look at the new Street Rod 750 in our image gallery
What’s in this issue?