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Harley-Davidson Street Rod: Road Test Review

Harley-Davidson Street Rod: Road Test Review

Snapshot: It surely is one of the best in class in terms of looks, but how is it when it comes to riding?

The American motorcycle making brand came up with the Street Rod earlier this year and it is the latest bike from Harley currently. At the first glance, it is easy to notice that it comes from same Street family because of its size, similar silhouette, and appeal of an entry level Harley. But hold on, because similarities are a few and differences are a slew. Harley went to over 10 countries, researched with all kind of rider to see what they demand from a bike like Street, and hence the Street Rod came into existence. They altered its looks, engine, and riding dynamics heavily, to make it more of a hooligan. How did it work out on the Street Rod? Let’s see!

Design:

Harley-Davidson Street Rod is clearly a more violent looking machine. It turns heads, it demands you to look at it and drool. And in short, it is clearly much striking than its parent bike, the Street 750. Thanks to the Harley’s Dark Custom Studio, the bike gets full marks for its styling and jaw dropping looks. The bike looks more detailed, and aggressive. The front headlight cowl now stretches longer and reminds of ‘Frieza’ from Dragon Ball, no seriously.

The front suspension has been swapped with beefy looking USD forks that apart from proving better handling and comfort, also looks good. The side intake scoop gets inspiration from old school forced-induction hot rods and that along with the new stubby tail unit, flat-wide handle bar, and sportier seats, makes the bike look like a modern dirt tracker. A special mention has to be made of the new split seven spoke alloys that are simply brilliant to look at.  And at the price it is offered at, it clearly is one of the best looking bikes in its range.

Engine and Performance:

It basically runs on the same single overhead cam four-valve 750cc ‘Revolution X’ V-twin engine but for Street Rod, it has received some useful updates. The major engine upgrades come in as the new 42mm throttle body and new high-flow cylinder heads containing new high-lift cams with longer duration. This motor now produces 11% more power and 5% more torque which is enough to make a difference in terms of how the bike performs (or at least feels). The two-into-one exhaust is also shorter than before.

The bike pulls nicely from a standstill and has enough bottom and mid-range grunt. The motor feels smiling when revving at nearly 5,000rpm and you feel the bike running on a surge of torque that tries to stay around till the top end and then it’s time to pop a gear up in order to stay in the power band. You will be all smiles when riding that wave of torque out of the corners and with the eagerness it rockets out of a curve is indeed impressive!

Ride, Handling and Comfort:

Not just the engine, but the company has brought major changes in the way it handles. Up front, the steering angle has been cut significantly at 27 degrees to make it a more neutral handler. It gets new 43mm fat USD front forks, the seat height gets taller at 765mm, wheel base gets reduced to 1,510mm, and all that comes together to make the bike agiler, fluidic and easy handling machine. And it is visible as soon as the first hairpin arrives. It dives deeper because it’s more up the ground, and it attacks the corners more confidently. Also, the rider now sits on the bike, instead of inside it that gives it more natural control. This riding position though looks sportier, but may not be as comfortable as it was on Street 750. The foot pegs are set directly in the middle, not forward or backward, and scratching the feet every time you are tip toeing. The knees are touching the tank and the heat, I am not a big fan of this heat, especially in Delhi traffic. But if you can ignore the heat, it is quite a bike that you can ride every day.

Talking about another concrete upgrade is the braking. And kudos to Harley for this one. The double disc brakes at the front work like a miracle and has got all the bite and feedback you need for a bike of its size to stop safely. Plus, the added safety net of ABS works well too. 

Verdict:

They have clearly transformed the bike by adding bit more character to it and came up with something that is not only a step ahead in terms of looks and feel, but also in the real life riding experience. It clearly is more appealing, aggressive and modern and due to which it will surely attract a greater set of audience, especially the younger ones. If only they would’ve managed to work on its heating that it would have scored even better in our charts, but nonetheless, Harley-Davidson Street Rod is a great package for people looking out to buy an entry-level Harley with more butch appeal and stamina to rule the corners. 

Photography: Mohd. Nasir

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