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Harley-Davidson started producing motorcycles a century ago. The company is known for their cruisers which definitely turn heads wherever they go. Also, they were among the very first premium motorcycle brands to set up shop in India in 2009.
Just like the other brands, Harley is also catering to a market which loves entry-level big motorcycles. Back in 2014, the company showcased the affordable Street twins such as the 500 and 750. And later that year, they launched the Street 750 in the Indian market.
The basics like the engine and chassis were good but the brakes felt a bit bad while fit and finish quality were not up to the mark; cost-cutting being the main reason. But, in 2017 Harley launched a new model on the Street platform; enter the Street Rod 750.
We took the motorcycle for a spin on the road and open tarmac and here is what we have to say about it.
The changes that transform the Street 750 to the Street Rod go beyond the visuals. The suspension, braking and performance have been upgraded. At the front, the motorcycle now features 43mm upside-down forks. Right on top of that sits a conventional round headlight unit which is covered by a cowl. Sadly, the motorcycle features halogen bulbs rather than LEDs.
Just on top of the headlight unit sits the same instrument cluster which is seen on the Street 750. The cluster features an analog meter and has a small screen. The screen displays the odometer, two trip meters, gear-position sensor and a clock. The cluster could have been better and we would have liked a fully digital one.
Moving on, the motorcycle features the same 13.1-litre teardrop tank as its sibling. Our test motorcycle was finished in a Lightning Blue colour, which looked really amazing with the all-black theme. The tank features a ‘Harley-Davidson' sticker on either side along with a good-looking graphics.
Talking about comfort, the Street Rod gets a better seat than the regular 750. I felt that the seat has a decent amount of cushioning for the rider as well as the pillion, but the comfort does not last long. If you are riding for short distances it's perfect, while on longer rides you will have to take a few breaks in between as it becomes a bit tiring.
The new Street Rod takes inspiration from the company's drag-style motorcycles such as the V-Rod and Night Rod. The handlebars upfront are almost-straight and give the rider an aggressive riding stance. As mentioned before, fit and finish quality is now top notch but I felt that the switchgear could have been a bit better.
Powering the Street Rod 750 is the same liquid-cooled 749cc Revolution X V-twin engine that powers the Street 750. However, the engine now comes with a bigger air-box, new throttle bodies and a fresh 4-valve head. All these upgrades make the motorcycle pump out 62Nm of peak torque, which is 3Nm more than its sibling. The clutch, on the other hand, feels a bit hard and will tire you out a bit. The power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a belt drive in typical Harley fashion.
The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox and feel smooth. Finding neutral when at a stop light will be a pain, but once the ignition is off, neutral comes in easily. The redline has also increased from 8000rpm to 9000rpm. On an open road, the motorcycle feels smooth and there is no heating issue but in the city, where you have stop-and-go traffic, the bike heats up a lot. The hot air from the radiator fan is directly channeled to the rider's under-thigh which will definitely be an issue if you are wearing short pants and riding.
Unlike other Harleys, the Street Rod has got good cornering capabilities. Show the motorcycle some corners and it will easily dip into it and that is because it now offers 40 degrees of lean on either side. Thanks to a 60mm increase (205mm overall clearance) in ground clearance and a solid 5-degree sharper rake angle, the Street Rod is one of the best cruisers on the market to go fast around the corners.
The Street Rod sit on MRF Revz H radial tyres now - 120/70-R17 at the front and 160/60-R17 at the rear. These tyres provide excellent cornering grip and also a lot of stability at high speeds.
Braking duties are handled by dual discs at the front and single unit at the rear. The brakes offer a strong bit and it takes no time for the 240kg-behemoth to come to a halt. ABS is the there to watch your back but I felt that there should have been traction control too. The suspension is more on the stiffer side which allows better handling, but on the contrary, the ride quality feels a bit bumpy and harsh over broken tarmac.
Our test motorcycle was fitted with an aftermarket Motomiu exhaust system (Rs 28,600), which is extremely loud but sounds really good. Otherwise, the stock exhaust is now much shorter than the Street 750's for a better grunt. The motorcycle returned us an overall mileage of around 22km/l and on brimming the tank you could get a range of around 250 kilometers.
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
The Street Rod 750 is a substantial leap over the standard 750. The motorcycle looks dashing and rides well. All of this comes at a price tag of Rs 8,13,000 on-road (Mumbai) which is approximately a lakh over the standard one.
I must say tall riders who are six feet plus like me will face some difficulty riding the motorcycle but, at the same time, this is one of the best Harley's I have ridden till date. The company has brought back a sport-oriented motorcycle in their portfolio which will keep a lot of riders buying this motorcycle happy.