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HARLEY-DAVIDSON STREET™ 750 & 500 MOTORCYCLES

  • I went down to the local Harley dealer for the unveiling of the new H-D Street 750 & 500 motorcycles yesterday... well actually they only had the 500 on hand but told the 750 looks eveactly the same.

    For those who haven't heard of it, here is what the Harley Davidson website says about it...

    Pure, liquid-cooled Harley-Davidson muscle and Dark Custom attitude built to conquer the urban world.

    • All-new Revolution X™ powertrain
    • Narrow and lean chassis built for agility
    • Super low seat height, new suspension and broad handlebar sweep for confidence and maneuverability
    • Cafe' style speed screen, black front fork gaiters, all-black exhaust system and aggressive slash on the tail section
    • Premium Harley-Davidson style and iconic Harley-Davidson sound

    The idea behind the new line to attract current non-Harley buyers looking for an affordable bike with a smaller motor... the Honda Shawdow type buyers.. which I think is a great idea.  Unlike some who are already jumping up and down screaming about Harely selling out because they won't make ONLY the bike I want to ride, I think the plan of using an existing infrastructure and dealer network to reach a portion of the market currently going to oither manufactures is a GREAT idea. 

    BUT, event though I think the plan of jumping in the small street bike market was a good plan, I am NOT at all impressed with the execution.  I mean the bike looked cool and even felt well balance when I sat on it, however from what I saw the bikes just looked cheaply made.  Now I know Harley wanted to keep them affordable but there is a difference between low cost and cheap.  Just simple things like handle bars that look like they came of a bicycle to exposed connectors and wires make it look cheap!

    I am going back to the dealer to test ride on this morning, so I followup and how it rides.

     

    * * UPDATE * * from today's Test Ride

    Okay I went back and test rode the 500 today.  Now again I am not comparing this to the existing Harley line because I know it is a completely different beast and wasn't meant to be like the current big Harleys. I will first give you the ONE thing I liked... the bike was light and nimble and you could throw it into corners like you would expect from a 500cc 400 pound bike.  However, at least in my opinion, the bike is full of design/engineering flaws.  It's like they didn't even test ride the prototypes before they went to production with what looked good on paper. 

    First thing you will notice right off is the riding position is VERT cramped - and I am an average 5'7" guy.  Then there is the ignition switch that is hidden uder the certer of the handelbars.  You can even really see it while sitting on the bike so you have to insert the key by feel and then if you have anyt other keys on the key chain, they will dag and vibrate on the front part of the tank.  Then there is the hanlebars and controls... very awkward!  The way the brake and clutch are set up you have to kind of reach over the grips and down to get them.  You would think you could just loosen the mount and turn them , but because of the mirror mounts, you can't.  Speaking of the mirrors, you can't see anything but your shoulders.  The bars are narrow like on a lot of smaller bikes, but the mirror posts need to be longer to put the mirrors out further.  The worst design flaw I found was the rear brake.  I thought it was just me but when we got back from the ride all 8 people got off the bikes and the first thing everyone said was "what's up with that useless rear brake.  It is set up level with the foot pag and kind of far forward so there is no way you can prees it until it engages without moving forward in the seat - your ankle don't bend that far.

    And finally the power... there is now what so ever.  I know it is only 500cc, but even mid range in second thru forth gear there is no get up.

     


Comments

10 comments
  • blurplebuzz
    blurplebuzz Thanks for the post!!!
    I find it interesting that Harley has finally decided to git off its lazy butt & go more mainstream,could it be that they are feeling a bit of a pinch after the glory days of the 90's & last decades record profits?? A lot of shar...  more
    April 15, 2014
  • Lucky
    Lucky Well I don't think there is much of a chance of Harley going under, with or without the new line of bikes. Their stocks are at almost an all time high and will probably be at an all time high before the end of the month. Some strategic restructuring and...  more
    April 15, 2014
  • Jonesy1340
    Jonesy1340 Great stuff I think I'll tell my daughter she wants into the bike scene and the 500 will suit her too the ground...Down here you can't ride over 650 cc from your initial licence for 3 years...Now she can own a HD straight off..Great article Lucky...
    September 25, 2014
  • AzRider
    AzRider Finally sat on one and I agree, very cheaply made!
    February 5, 2015