xBhp Rides and Reviews the all new Harley Davidson Street 750 and finds out how good is it.
After a gap of nearly 14 years, Harley Davidson launched a completely new motorcycle, choosing India to be the centre stage of this great event in their history.Which isn’t surprising as India today represents a ray of hope in the globally declining motorcycle market. And this shows not only in their selection of India as one of the manufacturing hubs for this motorcycle, but you will find a lot of features/ design specifications (which we will discuss later), which point towards India as one of its major target markets, though the folks at Harley Davidson deny it and say that none of their products are designed keeping a specific geographic area in mind.
Anyways, the bike in question here, the Harley Davidson Street 750 was first unveiled in EICMA in October last year along with its sibling, the Street 500 which by the way will not be sold in India as of now. We got to see the Street 750 during the recently concluded Auto Expo 2014 where Harley Davidson had also put up on display various customized versions of the Street 750.
We finally got to ride the bike in Delhi when Harley Davidson organized a ride for media professionals and here’s what we think of it.
Design: The first impression of the Street 750 is that of a reasonably big, yet compact, classic Harley cruiser with low seating, a round headlamp with bikini fairing
and a teardrop tank. The overall design of the bike is that of a neat and well-proportioned motorcycle that is neither too big to intimidate you with its presence, nor too starved to kill your dreams of owning a big bike. The dark custom theme with all black treatment to the engine suits this bike perfectly. Swing a leg over the saddle and you will see a single unit round digital+analogue speedometer console that has the speedometer needle going all the way up till 180 kmph. A small digital window at the bottom shows you other stuff like odometer, trip meter, etc. The neutral gear and turn indicators lights glow up in the form of small LEDs. The switchgear assembly on the handlebar is completely different from what we are used to seeing on other Harley Davidsons. On the left we have the button to activate the horn, low-high beam switch, and the turn-indicator slider switch that is of push-to-cancel type. There is no pass switch, sadly! On the right, we have the electric-start switch and the left-to-right sliding engine kill switch. Also the thing you will notice instantly is the new lock unit on the Street 750 that has both the ignition lock and the handlebar lock in one unit instead of the separate handlebar lock in other HD bikes. Also of note is the lockable offset fuel tank cap, which proves the Street 750’s Indian DNA as we haven’t seen it on any other HD bikes that we’ve ridden so far. The natural sitting posture with not-so-forward set footpegs again seems to have been designed keeping in mind the height of the average Indian motorcycle rider. The taller riders would find themselves sitting a little awkwardly on the stock seat; however, they can opt for the ‘tall-boy’ seat, which is available as an accessory at HD and can make it much more comfortable than the stock seat.
Engine: Nesting at the heart of the Street 750 is a 4-stroke, 749 cc, V-twin, fuel injected, liquid cooled (with a huge radiator) engine pumping out about 55-60 horses (though this figure is just speculative as Harley doesn’t reveal the actual BHP figure of their machines.) There is 64.9 Nm of torque that is spread evenly throughout the rev range so that you don’t feel any peak or blank spots anywhere when you twist your wrist. The peak torque comes up as early as the 4000 rpm mark, which makes this bike a breeze to ride in city traffic. Also worth mentioning is the refinement of this engine, which is again unlike any other Harley that we’ve ridden before. The liquid cooling jacket helping cut down all extraneous noise from within the engine. Also it feels relaxed and happy to rev.
Handling & comfort: The Street 750 feels as nimble handling the city traffic as it feels at home while negotiating the long winding curves. At around 222 kilos, it isn’t really a lightweight, but it doesn’t pin you down with its weight either. Also it is definitely lighter than any other HD bike in production.
The new Revolution X engine provides a vibration free ride up to about 145 kmph, after which slight vibrations can be felt. With a bit of tail wind, we managed to clock a speedo-indicated 180kmph, which is where the speedo needle swing’s end. The Street is easily capable of cruising at the 120-130 kmph mark the entire day with a lot of juice left in reserve, in case you need to accelerate quickly.
If loud pipes are music to your ears, you’ d better go for the aftermarket Screamin’ Eagle as the stock exhaust note of the Street 750 is quite muted one. The bike comes fitted with MRF 150/70-15 at the rear and 100/80-17 at the front, which though look kinda skinny compared to its otherwise big bike feel, provide good enough grip for the regular use. However, you can opt for a fatter set of premium aftermarket rubber and get that issue sorted.
Brakes on the Street 750 feel adequate for an average run; however, in case of sudden or panic braking, you’d definitely want something that is more reassuring.
Fit & finish:This is one area where the folks at HD need to work. The overall fit and finish on the Street 750 leaves a lot to be desired. There are a lot of exposed wires here and there in the bike, which isn’t a deal-breaker but feels like an eye-sore on an otherwise good looking bike. Cost cutting is visible in the plastic that is used to make the switch gears.
Verdict: With a mouth-watering price tag of INR 410,000 ex-showroom Delhi, the Street 750 is really a winner in Harley Davidson’s hands. It is the most affordable Harley that is available in the country and is as much a Harley as any other bike in their stable. It has got a lot of oomph and manages to make its presence felt on the road as it rolls by without looking too ‘alienish’ to an ordinary Indian citizen who has never seen a big bike. From styling to performance, it has got everything working in its favour. However, this being a ‘budget Harley’, the cost cutting is visible here and there in the Street 750; most notable being the overall fit and finish on the entire bike with exposed wires and not-so-great quality plastic. The buyer is advised to keep a few thousand bucks aside for upgrades and customizations if he really wants to stand out ‘in the league’. The Street 750 in HD’s own words is just a “big empty canvas” which the bikers can paint as per their own imagination. From Screamin’ Eagle exhaust kit to two-tone limited paint set, from centre stand to custom wheels, and from pillion backrest to custom hand grips, there are plenty of accessories and custom upgrades already available if you want to give it your own touch.
A big thumbs up to Harley Davidson from xBhp for this bold step and starting a ‘revolution’ of sorts in India. Hope the other bike manufactures will take a note and give Indian bike enthusiasts their due.