Harley Davidson India had already set the biker community abuzz when the news of a locally produced 750cc engine motorcycle broke. Ever since its foray into the Indian market back in 2009, the Wisconsin based bike maker has made immense progress and has taken a major step in market penetration with the Street 750. Priced at a mouthwatering 4.1L (ex-showroom Delhi) during the Auto Expo 2014, the overall package invited jaw dropping reactions from the audience. With the high build quality obsession of H-Ds, a 750cc based on a fresh platform at a shocking price was bound to raise the eyebrows. So how good is it really, and has H-D skimped on quality this time to match a price? We put the 750 through its paces along the Streets, where it’s intended to belong.
Images: Amit Chhangani
Design and appearance
Harleys are known to be the American cruisers worldwide, and try hard as you might, you just cannot take that appeal even if you wish to design a bike for the urban streets. In true blue H-D fashion, the Street 750 is a looker with its timeless and typically Harley low rider cruiser stance. In flesh, the bike is surprisingly compact yet exudes the big bike feel once astride it. The Street 750 seems to draw its styling cues and lines from the Night Rod, and with the lack of liberal chrome treatment it affirms more so.
Minimalistic is the word to best describe the 750, right from the front mudguard, the single speedometer instrumentation to the rear fender. In our opinion, the 750 in “Fire Red” shade takes the desirability quotient to a next level, at the same time being stunning in the other two colour options (Vivid Black and Black Denim). While the rubber gaiters on the front shock-absorbers remain a matter of personal choice, we are unsure of the twin `saree guards` though. While the mirrors go well with the design, they score low on the usability factor, offering little visibility of the action at the back. The wide pulled back handlebars give the bike an urban-cruiser poise while also aiding its handling capabilities.
The tear drop effect gas tank has a flattish top and an offset gas tank cap. The speedometer is back lit with a red glow and the tiny LCD within can be cycled for Odometer and twin trip meters. The ignition switch is neatly tucked away out of the sight under the handle bar yoke. The 750 gets a smart looking set of 7 spoke alloy wheels with Machined Rim Highlights, which lend it the popular pin stripe effect. Sadly, the Street 750 comes with very basic cylindrical foot pegs/rests which look low rent and don’t match the premium positioning of the bike.
Engine and Performance
The Street 750 is powered by an all new 749 cc V twin liquid cooled “Revolution X” engine. This 60 degree V twin gets a 4 valve head and boasts of 85mm X 66mm, bore X stroke. Reportedly, this mill can rev up to 11000 rpm. As per the specs, it produces 60Nm @ 4000 rpm, however the power figures are rumoured to be between 50-55 bhp (H-D never reveal bhp figures). Never mind the bhp figures, V engines are loved for their grunty torque and that’s what the Street 750 has in oodles. Like all Harley-Davidson bikes, power transmission to the rear wheel is via a toothed belt, which liberates one from the hassles of lubrication and adjustment of a chain drive.
The 750`s V twin is mated to a 6 speed gearbox which clunks through the cogs with reassuring feel. The clutch is surprising light, however could have had a more progressive feel. Riding it along the traffic isn’t much of a wrist workout since the torque-y nature of the mill demands minimal swapping in between cogs. Such is the nature of its potent bottom end torque that the bike pulls away clean from 35 kmph in 6th gear!
Despite being a liquid cooled power plant the head radiation does become a bother while trundling along the urban traffic. The liquid cooling also minimizes the V twin roar and leaves it with whirring burble. The `Screaming Eagle` exhaust and air filter will certainly help the Street 750 gain some more aural grunt.
The engine exhibits an eagerness to rev and does not hesitate at the slightest twist of the wrist. The V twin remains the happiest within the low to mid range of the rev band and does get slightly harsh towards the top end. Keep the throttle wide open and the 750 will hit 170 kmph, however the wind blast makes riding at speeds above 140 kmph quite tiresome.
Ride and Handling
The Street 750 cradles the 749cc V twin in an all-new frame by Harley Davidson. The chassis feels stiff and coupled with slightly firm suspension setup endows the 750 with precision handling prowess that is seldom seen in cruisers of this size. H-D manages to nail it in the handling department with the Street 750 which has the capability to be the corner carvers of the bikes in this segment.
The 750`s pulled back wide handle bars with soft grips makes a light work of weaving through the urban traffic maze. The handle bar design is more suited to taller riders, riders with average height (5`7“-5`8“) will find reaching out to the grips a bit of stretch and leading to fatigue over longer durations. A bit more pull back would have helped in making riding the experience a stress-free one.
One must however, exercise caution while riding through winding roads. The Street 750 handles unlike any other Harley Davidson and given its handling, it is very easy to get carried away with the Street`s appetite for curves on the black top before the foot-peg digs in threatening to spit the rider off the bike. The foot pegs do not carry a feeler bolt either, even though they are spring loaded. The positioning of the foot pegs too, in our opinion could have been revised for a more forward position, while the pillion foot pegs are uncomfortably high. Riding the bike as a pillion for longer durations would call for regular halts to prevent a sore saddle.
The 750 rides with a ground clearance of 145mm and short travel suspension, with a 5 step adjustable (for preload) hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear. Even with a pillion aboard, the 750 feels stable and composed at triple digit speeds unshaken from any cross winds or minor undulations which are dispatched without any notice. Even with a low ground clearance, softest pre load setting and a pillion the Street 750 managed to dodge most of the city`s speed breakers without a scrape! The belly scrapes only over the more vicious speedbreakers. With a wide and comfortable rider saddle, there are rarely times when one craves for more suspension travel or a softer set up.
The motorcycle is shod with 17 inch 100/80 rubber at the front and 15 inch 150/70 MRF Zapper rubber at the rear, keeping the costs in check. We strongly feel that the 750 deserves better gripping (and looking) rubber considering the torque-y nature of the engine and the speeds it is capable of.
Braking duties on the Street 750 are taken care of by single discs with twin pistons at both ends which are adequate on paper, but lack the bite on the limit. Our test bike had a spongy feel to the front brake while the rear too lacked any sharp bite. Braking thus, is average and nothing to write home about considering the 222 kgs (+ rider) weight that it has to haul down.
Living with it / features
Being a product from the Harley Davidson stables, the Street 750 guarantees attention everywhere you ride. From fellow road users to passers- by, from PYTs riding pillion on other bikes to truckers on a highway dhaba, the 750 makes its presence felt and remains an eye ball magnet. We got ample evidence of the bike being an eye-candy on our ride to Amby valley from Mumbai and back. However, all’s not good and the 750 does have its own gray areas.
The presence of seat extension and rear foot pegs does not mean you should invite pillions for a share of the attention the Harley commands. As we found out, the 750s pillion seat remains the avoidable place to be at with its high foot rests and rear ward sloping profile of the seat. Pillions will strongly desire for extra padding and a back rest.
The rider foot pegs are wide and great while munching miles endlessly, but they foul the natural movement of feet in stop and go traffic, remember this is an urban cruiser.
The heat from rear cylinder head can be overwhelming in slow traffic and the best solution is to switch off the engine whenever possible. The rear cylinder head maintains barely a few centimeters from your left thigh and caution must be exercised with the kind of clothing you chose before getting astride the 750.
Liquid cooling means that the radiator fan kicks in every time the temperature crosses a set limit which means that you get a draft of hot air on to the inside of thighs and calves.
The exhaust down pipes runs close to the right foot peg and it is quite easy to get caught off guard and scald your-self, despite having a matt finish heat shield.
While we find nothing wrong visually with the rear view mirrors, they just offer a bit more than your elbow and can lead to fatal consequences while riding. Replacing the mirrors with ones that offer a better rear view should be one of the first upgrades that a 750 owner execute, we suggest.
The Harley Davidson Street 750 does not incorporate a fuel gauge for its 13.1 litre tank. The only visual indication remains a low fuel warning light which comes on while the fuel level drops below 1.5 litres (we presume).
The cost control is evident with the finishing of the tank welds, the general cabling and usage of cycle parts like the nut/bolts/fasteners etc. which could have had better quality to them. Fuel cap pops out – doesn’t have any hinges to secure it while refueling.
The clutch and brake levers feel very basic too. The Street 750 even skips the pass button though the built quality of switches remains good. The 750`s switchgear does away with the typical H-D style which has the left indicator switch on the left side of handle bar and the right indicator switch on the right. In our opinion, this is a wise move since this happens to be an entry level H-D and buyers would be riders who will be moving up the cubic-capacity segment.
The H-D also features a single feeble sounding monotone horn, and it is gets the matt black treatment like most of the bike. We wouldn`t blame, if any one demands a louder horn.
Brakes aren’t sharp enough for a bike this heavy and this fast. We think a better brake-tyre combo would have further improved the impressive (for a cruiser) handling of the Street 750
Yes sir, the saree guard has been duly outfitted for India. On both sides in the Street 750’s case.
Check out the LED lights below the tail-lamp assembly to illuminate the registration plate
These few shortcomings apart, the Street 750 remains a well put together and should go a long way in taking the abuse our roads conditions could chuck at it. Riding incessantly over broken patches wasn`t enough to lead to any rattles whatsoever. During our test runs, the 750 returned a respectable 20 kmpl.
The iconic and legendary Harley Davidson badge enjoys a cult following in India as it does anywhere on this planet, its refined and potent V twin and finally its mouthwatering price tag make the Street 750 an irresistible proposition barring a few glitches. With buyers already queuing up for this new kid on the block, Harley Davidson should look forward to impressive sales figures for the Street 750.
Price: Rs 4.1 Lakh ex-Delhi
Length- 2,225 mm
Ground Clearance- 145 mm
Wheelbase- 1,535 mm
Tyres, Front – 100/80-17 52H
Tyres, Rear – 150/70-15 67H R15
Fuel Tank Capacity- 13.1 l
Weight, In Running Order222 kg
Engine- Liquid-cooled, Revolution X™ V-Twin
Bore- 85 mm
Stroke- 66 mm
Displacement- 749 cc
Compression Ratio- 11.0:1
Primary Drive Gear- 36/68 ratio
Gear Ratios (overall)- 1st 14.52
Gear Ratios (overall)- 2nd 10.07
Gear Ratios (overall)- 3rd 7.45
Gear Ratios (overall)- 4th 6.0
Gear Ratios (overall)- 5th 5.04
Gear Ratios (overall)- 6th 4.53
Wheels, Front Type- Black, 7-Spoke Cast Aluminum with Machined Rim Highlights
Wheels, Rear Type- Black, 7-Spoke Cast Aluminum with Machined Rim Highlights
Brakes, Caliper Type- 2 piston floated front and rear
Engine Torque- 60 Nm
Engine Torque (rpm)- 4,000
Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps 7High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning
Harleyt Davidson Street 750 Image Gallery