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HARLEY-DAVIDSON STREET ROD MORE POWER, MORE MATTE, MORE HARLEY

14 June 2017

HARLEY-DAVIDSON STREET ROD MORE POWER, MORE MATTE, MORE HARLEY

Harley seems to be busy churning out sportier versions of its motorcycles like the Street Rod, a sportier derivative of the brilliant Street 750. This little tyke is inspired by Harley-Davidson’s drag-style bikes such as the V-Rod and the Night Rod and packs in aggressive styling that spells speed from every angle. Apart from a healthy dose of matte black paint for the engine and exhaust, the Street Rod gets split seats with a new saddle that helps riders cope with hard acceleration. The rear fender has been shortened to give it a sportier makeover. The drag bike motif continues to the front that has a tall cowl around the round headlight along with flat ‘drag-style’ handlebars and bar-end mirrors. But it’s not just about looking fast also ensured that the Street Rod has the performance to match its menacing appearance.

Street Rod is available with 749cc, V-Twin, Revolution X engine that powers the Street 750, but with a new fueling system, a larger throttle body and a higher compression ratio. All of that allows the engine to produce more grunt. It makes 62Nm of torque (an increase of 3Nm) and an 11% increase in horsepower.
With an increase of only 5.0kg in kerb weight increases power and torque figures translate to sharper acceleration on the Street Rod as compared to its cruiser sibling. The bike also gets shorter and wider exhausts that add a slightly more aggressive soundtrack to the motor. While the main frame of the bike has got stiffer and stronger, it gets a shorter sub-frame, and this is where the Street Rod really differentiates itself from the Street 750. It now gets beefy 43mm inverted forks at the front while the twin rear shocks now get piggyback reservoirs for improved damping.

And in order to maximise cornering performance, Street Rod has also upgraded the tyres to radials, which are now sized at 120/70 R17 (front) and 160/60 R17 (rear). The foot pegs too are more rear-set to ride free scraping during cornering and curvy bends.

Upgraded Brakes with dual 300mm rotors up front with two-piston callipers, as opposed to the single disc on the Street 750. The rear brake stays the same, with a single 300mm disc with twin pot calipers. However, Harley is offering ABS as standard on the Street Rod which increase safety to offset the boost in performance.The stopping power is strong and confidence inspiring.

The Street Rod’s handling is positively impressive. The aggressive seating position with leaned into the handlebars. So dipping deep into corners feels quite natural, especially because the increased seat height of 765mm makes for a higher centre of gravity. Once you’re into the corner, the Street Rod has a rather composed feel that really encourages you to push it harder. And the engine here is definitely punchier than the Street 750’s; once you wring that throttle, the bike surges forward with a sense of purpose. In short, the Street Rod is a hoot to ride.

Ride quality. The Street Rod manages to handle bad roads brilliantly. While the suspension is soft, it doesn’t get the bike wallowy around turns. And thanks to the seating position and position of the cylinder heads.

All in all, this is one of the best Harleys out there. Unlike some of Harley’s past efforts in this space, the Street Rod is a value-heavy proposition. It does command a slight premium over the Street 750 ,although it undercuts the Bonneville family and has better components. The Street Rod will appeal to customers who wouldn’t have considered a Harley as their next motorcycle.

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