Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 review: The unconventional HD

New Delhi:Harley-Davidson is unmistakably the most popular brand in the leisure motorcycle segment. However, it was not within the reach of most Indian buyers until the Street 750 was introduced with an alluring price which made it the best-selling bike of its segment.

While the first Street 750 was criticised for some issues like braking and finishing, the American bikemaker overcame most of them with regular improvements. And now, the company has introduced a new model based on the same platform which has been claimed to offer even more positive changes. The new Street Rod 750 has been priced at Rs 6.04 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), around Rs 90,000 more than the most affordable Harley. So, let’s see how the new model justifies the extra cost.

Design and styling

The H-D Street Rod is based on the same single-cradle, double-downtube frame that is used by the Street 750. The new bike also borrows the metallic tear-drop fuel tank from its sibling but the rest of the styling is completely new.

The round headlamp of the Street Rod gets a speed screen that makes the bike look sportier and aerodynamic. Most are used to seeing an upraised, tall handlebar on a Harley but this one comes with a flat drag-style handlebar that looks like a metal ‘rod.’ It also gets bar end mirrors to flaunt. Another element adding a sporty feel to the bike is the inverted front forks, which compliments its all-black theme.

The rear of the Street Rod is all-new and shorter than the Street 750. The new panels housing a two-step seat look more appealing and purposeful. However, the short, slotted rear mudguard just acts as an aesthetic element, allowing mud and water to pass on the back of the pillion.

There is a sleek LED tail lamp that is another good looking element on the Street Rod. The bike also gets new alloy wheels.

Visually, the Street Rod appears fast, agile and definitely better than its more affordable sibling.

Information:

The same single-pod instrument cluster has been carried for the Street Rod, which can be seen on the Street 750 as well. Besides an analog speedometer, it features an LCD screen for a digital clock, odometer, two trip meters and a low fuel trip meter that appears only after the reserve fuel capacity is remaining.

There is also a low fuel indicator light as the bike misses on a fuel gauge that is a major drawback of the instrumentation. Other telltale lights include high beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics and ABS status.

Engine and performance:

Powering the Street Rod is the High Output Revolution X V-Twin that is claimed to be an improved version of the Revolution X, used in the Street 750. Basically, it looks like the same 750cc, liquid-cooled, V-twin, but the company says the new version delivers 18 per cent more power and 8 per cent more torque. So, what are the changes making that possible?

The upgraded motor has a higher compression ratio, and also gets a bigger airbox and wider 42mm throttle bodies instead of the 38mm ones. And the changes actually reflect in the real world performance, making the Street Rod much more responsive and linear in delivery.

It’s not just about the numbers but one can feel the improvement in the performance, making the bike quicker in sprints and effortless cruising up to 140kmph (kilometers per hour).

The engine is refined but not up to the mark and the heat dissipation is also not impressive while riding in the traffic. The engine offers a lot more than the previous version but still, there is scope for improvements.

There is no change in the six-speed gearbox and it has been taken from the Street 750 with the exact same ratios. It is the slickest one in shifting among all of Harley’s transmissions. However, the mechanical clutch feels a bit on the heavier side, making the ride a bit tiresome in traffic conditions.

Ride and handling

The bike looks sporty and that’s how the seating position is. The foot pegs have been pulled back to accommodate the new riding stance provided by its flat handlebar. The conventional Harley riders will definitely find the riding position odd as they are used to sitting in a feel home position on their riders.

Besides the sporty riding position, the Street Rod has a shorter rake that allows quick changes in directions. Moreover, it gets new suspension setup — including 43mm inverted front forks and twin rear shocks with piggyback reservoir — which has been tuned to accommodate fast transactions at higher speeds. One may feel it a bit stiff and uncomfortable on bad roads but it is rare to get the best of both the worlds.

It is the best Harley in the terms of city riding and speedy cornering or this can be titled as the sportiest H-D available in the market.

The braking performance of the bike has also been improved with a dual disc set-up at the front. The Street Rod sports two 300mm discs on the front wheel and one on the rear wheel, each of them is bitten by a two-piston caliper. The performance of this setup is quite impressive and much better than that of its sibling. Combined with the dual-channel ABS, the bike feels safe at any speed.

Verdict

The better styling, improved performance, upgraded suspension and enhanced braking, justify the extra cost on the bike that one has to pay over and above that of the Street 750.

If one is looking for a Harley to go on long rides with utmost comfort, then this doesn’t seem a good option for him/her. However, those Harley fans who like to ride fast and agile sportbikes as well and lean their machine on each and every corner will surely love the Street Rod.

Though it may be a tiresome task to do a continuous long haul ride on the H-D Street Rod, it can be a fun bike for daily traffic negotiations and short weekend escapes.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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