Harley-Davidson Street 750/ First Ride Review

The H2o HD

When testing bikes our job is really two-fold. Sure we at Hot Bike tell you the nuts and bolts about all the new bikes like those guys at the leather padded skin suit and neon helmet motogeek magazines, but we also get into the modification and customization potential that each new bike has as well. So with that said, lets get started.

Let’s also preface this bike test with this; The Street 750 was made for a different market segment than the bros with baggers, sisters with Softails, and dudes with Dynas. So those of you who already have a wad in your undees that this bike is not a real Harley, or how this piece of machinery may somehow effect your man/woman hood or even devastate the resale of your air-cooled bike, stop right there. We heard it all before with the V-Rod back in 2001.

The heart of the bike is the Revolution X motor, which is a 60-degree (Gasp!) water-cooled motor with four valves per head that sucks air and fuel in with the aid of a Mikuni 38mm bore throttle body. The peppy motor gets a reported 41mpg and made 57.6hp and 43.2lb-ft on our trusty (and accurate) Dynojet Dyno. The Street 750’s six-speed transmission was the smoothest I’ve ever banged through on a Harley of any ilk and the clutch had a very easy pull with a positive stroke to it. The cumulative effects of the aforementioned parts all made for a very nicely meshed powertrain.

The frame and fork geometry are pretty dialed in for this 489-pound machine

The frame and fork geometry are pretty dialed in for this 489-pound machine. Lock-to-lock U-turns are easily made on cramped streets and the bike was both stable on the highway and it acted positively in the few twisties I encountered. The bike rolls on 15-inch rear and 17-inch front seven-spoke cast aluminum wheels shod in Michelin Scorcher rubber, which are nice nod to the iconic Morris mag wheels synonymous with the late ’70s Harley race bikes. The designers at H-D must have ridden some BMX or Motocross when designing this bike because the stock handlebars are 7/8-inch. And to my surprise they actually have a comfortable bend to them. Something the MoCo hasn’t done in decades. Kudos for that.

The stamped steel mid controls were a bit archaic looking, but we at Hot Bike are cognizant that it’s a price point bike and they have to cut costs somewhere. Nonetheless, they are at the right location for around town cruising as well as the “spirited” riding on sidewalks and though city parks. Though the Street 750 had a fairly low stand over height of 25.5-inches it didn’t grind on much of anything even when rolling off of curbs and hitting higher-than-average speed bumps with a compressed suspension. This was due to 5.5 inches of travel up front and 3.5 in the rear and a measured ground clearance of 5.7-inches.

Yeah, I’m not too hyped on the funky LED-lit tail section/fender thing and the flat 3.5 gallon mini-Superglide gas tank, but I tend be very critical of H-D’s styling as of late. And trust me there are going to be a gang of companies who will be making cool sheet metal for these bikes, so there will be choices coming your way soon. Another point of contention I had when first riding the bike was that the brakes were a bit mushy, but once I was used to the “modulated” feel of them I could even get the rear to lock up on command.

With the formal review in the stock bike done, what would I change on the Street 750 you ask? I would fab a new fender/seat/tail section, throw a thinner and more sporty-looking tank on it. Then I would get a set of Renthal or Pro taper handlebars on it. To get it sounding and breathing better I would make a custom exhaust for it as well as add a better flowing intake. To finish this bike off I would add some bigger brakes and then ride the hell out of it! I am trying to figure out how to get my hands on one to molest a multitude of ways so stay tuned and you just may see my dream come to reality.

My personal two cents is I don’t care if it’s water-cooled, where it’s parts are made, who designed the motor and any other gripe the internet armchair quarterbacks who have never ridden it are already complaining about. I liked the way it rode and handled both in the city and the open road. It had good power for a bike of this caliber and was strong well up into the 80mph range. Could it have been a better bike from the factory in a perfect world? Yes. But that is every model bike I have ever tested. I feel that for it’s intended audience, usage, and price point it’s a good alternative to what the Euros and Asians are making. And it’s a Harley-Davidson! The long and short of the H-D Street 750 is this; If you are new to riding, someone with a short stature, or want a low-cost fun-as-hell urban street-ripping commuter bike, you should seriously cast your preconceptions aside and take one of these water-pumping H2o H-D’s for a test ride.

Specifications
Price $7499
Engine type L-C 60-deg. V-twin
Displacement 749cc
Transmission 6-speed
HP 57.6
Torque 43.2lb-ft
Frame Steel Double Cradle
Front Suspension Showa Fork
Rear Suspension Dual Showa Shocks, Adj preload
Front Brake Two-piston caliper
Rear Brake Two-piston caliper
Front Tire 100/80R-17 Michelin Scorcher
Rear Tire 140/75R-15 Michelin Scorcher
Seat Height 27.9
Wheelbase 60.4 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.5 gal
Claimed Curb Weight 489.lb
INFO harley-davidson.com