Harley-Davidson Street 750 Review
Bike Tested: 2016 Harley-Davidson Street 750; Road Test No. 626
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 5,15,280/-
Minor improvements make the Harley-Davidson Street 750 a better bike for MY2016
Just two years back, Harley-Davidson took a big step by bringing in the Street series. The Street 750 is the cheapest of the Harley lot as it is manufactured in India, giving it good appeal for the cruiser and comfort set of needs of Indian customers. Back in 2014, we had ridden the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and we were very much impressed with the bike. But as it was the first Harley bike that is totally made in India, most of the parts were locally procured or manufactured. This gave out some flaws and all the media and critics did point out those flaws. Harley-Davidson India took a year, thought quite much and brought some updates in the same motorcycle and earlier this month, the company arranged a ride for us to Lonavala and back to get to know how well the model is with the few new updates.
Motor Quest: Harley-Davidson showcased the Street series at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan, launching it in India in 2014. This is Harley’s first light-weight and all-new model after the year 2000. Harley-Davidson only brought the Street 750 to India (the Street 500 hasn’t been launched and won’t be) while giving it an update this year.
Styling – For the 2016 model, there’s no specific change in the design or styling while each and every bit of the bike remains the same. The similar black visor on the classic round headlamp stays intact. There’s this upright handlebar which is not much wide either, coming down to which there’s the huge wide tank. The rubber logo on the tank is the one which most of the Harley-Davidson bikes don’t get. The Revolution-X engine fits right below the tank while the engine is both air and liquid cooled. The design of the fins for the air-cooling have a chrome edge making the all black engine look better. Just between the pair lies the air filter box having the 750 logo printed on it.
Being a Harley-Davidson, the bike attracts a ton of attention always
Coming behind, there’s this single piece seat having a decent area for the rider while a small space for the pillion. The rear ends with an LED tail-lamp which in turn is very good while it again has a cowl cover coming down from the rear seat to the tail-lamp. Both the wheels are alloys, all black alloys with thin rim-strips and chrome disc plates. Yes there’s the chrome! And finally, there’s the black canvas and Dark Custom initiative by Harley-Davidson themselves, aiding buyers to customise the styling as per their need and choice.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – There is literally nothing new here. The bike carries the same single pod instrument console holding the speedometer and the odometer readings. There is no fuel gauge and neither is there a tachometer. There’s a warning light within the console which lights up when the fuel goes lower than 3-litres within the tank. The instrument cluster does get a chrome ring edge. Yes, that’s a few bit of chrome put up. Coming to the switchgear, all the Harley-Davidson motorcycles adapt to the foreign set of switchgear which is very different from Indian motorcycle switchgear. As the Street 750 is made in India, it uses switchgear identical to other Indian bikes, a win here. Well there’s a catch here too, the headlamp gets a switch to turn it off and on but surprisingly there’s no pass light. There wasn’t one in the 2014 model, neither does the 2016 model get one. In the 2014 model, there were a lot of wires hanging out and going down by the tank, it did make it look ugly as well as risky as all the electricals are exposed. In the 2016 update, the Harley-Davidson Street 750 did lose out on a few wires while they are still exposed and bear the risk.
Ergonomics – Cruiser and comfort is the one thing that the Street 750 provides. Yet there’s a certain condition to this. If you are tall, you won’t be comfortable as the Street sits very very low. For short riders, it’s a good catch but then you wouldn’t adjust to the handlebars if you are too short. Then comes the wide tank and then the super wide footpegs. While seated on the bike, the tank feels decent enough, the only thing that would bug someone is the footpegs, the bike sits low and hence the footpegs go wide. The seat is soft and wide while the seat for the pillion isn’t great at all. A pillion would be barely comfortable on the seat. Both the footpegs are straight and hence give an upright seating for both the rider and the pillion. Coming to the front, the handlebar is a bit weird as its wider than the mirrors coming out, so you can barely see anything behind. The size of the console is too small, any which ways it doesn’t matter much as it doesn’t show much information except for the speed.
Performance – The 750cc Revolution-X engine of the Harley-Davidson Street 750 is the most beautiful thing in the motorcycle and this is where the actual fun starts. The motor shoots around 58 BHP and a powerful 59 Nm of torque at an early 4000 RPM. The engine does no non-sense while belting out the power, instead it aids in for numerous wheel-spins. And once the tyres are hot, it does lift a wheel. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the first two gears are tall while the rest four are decent enough for a 750cc motorcycle. The cruiser-comfort Street has the capability of hitting the ton in under 6.5 seconds. And once flat out, it can aim for the second ton too!
The Revolution-X motor does rev fast, faster than other big Harley engines
The bike doesn’t get a tachometer hence what RPM are we riding on isn’t visible. While riding around, we found a safe spot with a whole long stretch and no traffic. Pulled every gear to the redline and the Harley-Davidson Street 750 actually burned the street with its tyre marks. First gear 60 km/hr, second gear 90 km/hr, third till 120 km/hr, fourth till 150 km/hr while the fifth and sixth gears both managed to take the bike till 180 km/hr. At the redline, when the engine goes to its limit, there’s a more bassy and good rev noise from the powerplant. The only thing that would bug any one riding it would be the vibes from the footpegs and the handlebars. There’s quite a lot of harshness in the engine but it’s comparatively much smoother and revs much faster than the rest of its siblings.
Riding Dynamics – The actual update on the bike for the 2016 model year has a major effect on the riding dynamics of the motorcycle. The Harley-Davidson Street 750 in 2014 had the same engine, same power and same riding dynamics as of the 2016 model. The only thing that let the critics and media point out was the not so cool brakes! The motorcycle boasts capabilities of going fast while it didn’t stop as quickly as it was required. Harley-Davidson took this thing quite seriously and worked on it. The 2016 model boasts of updates on the disc plates and the brakes too. The initial bite is sharpened and the feedback is made better but there is still no ABS. The brakes are so sharp now that the rear locks the wheel! Just a tap is enough for the rear brakes while the front lever gives the required feedback while braking and one can depress it accordingly. Talking about the levers, the bike get new brake and clutch levers too. The levers look good and are practical enough, providing good grip.
Braking performance has improved but the rear has too sharp stopping power
Tyres are still the MRFs which aren’t the best for the amount of power the bike puts out. The brakes are made better but if taken into consideration, the tyres matter too and these aren’t the best on offer (Harley slaps on Michelins on the Street models it exports). The ground clearance is barely 145 mm while the wheelbase is about 1535 mm which is way too long! The bike can be tipped into corners but by the time you have had a good lean, the footpegs touch and due to the long wheelbase, cornering is not much of fun here. All the fun lies in the straight line. The weight of the bike is over 200 kgs making it quite heavy and stable in a straight line and sturdy while cornering or basically just taking a leaned turn.
Verdict – The 2016 update for the Harley-Davidson Street 750 makes it a bit better or does it? Well it’s upto the one looking forward to it. The bike is totally as it was in 2014 with a few tweaks here and a few changes there. The brakes are sharper and Harley-Davidson did listen to what was missing already and provided that. But wasn’t this possible at the first time itself? Well Harley-Davidson made their first Indian oriented motorcycle (or emerging market specific) and to suit the needs of Indian people and the bike to adapt to Indian roads, it took quite some time. Now, the new Harley-Davidson Street 750 rides really good and much of it is that it stops better! The changes are very few and only the ones who own it already would notice.
The Harley-Davidson Street 750 was introduced with a focus to attract young customers, yet it misses out on the hardware and the only thing that’s the best is the 750cc liquid cooled Revolution-X engine that doesn’t let the fun go out.
* Being a Harley-Davidson, attracts a ton of attention
* Disc brakes are more sharper now and bikes stops faster
* Decently smooth and much of a rev happy engine
What’s Not So Cool
* MRF tyres on offer don’t grip well
* Hardware on the motorcycle is a bit dated
* Not suited for tall riders
Harley-Davidson Street 750 Specification
* Engine: 749cc, liquid-cooled, V-Twin, SOHC
* Power: 58 HP @ 8000 RPM (est.)
* Torque: 59 Nm @ 4000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed
* 0 – 100 km/hr: 6.17 seconds
* Top Speed: 180 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 20-25 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Twin-Tube
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Twin Shock (Rear)
* Tyres: 100/80/17 (Front), 140/75/15 (Rear)
* Brakes: Disc (Front), Disc (Rear)
Harley-Davidson Street 750 Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 2225 mm x 815 mm x 709 mm
* Wheelbase: 1535 mm
* Ground Clearance: 145 mm
* Seat Height: 710 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 13-litres
* Kerb weight: 229 kgs
Picture Editing: Sri Manikanta Achanta
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