Indian muscle with global aspirations. That's what Harley Davidson likes to call its much-anticipated made-in-India Street 750 motorcycle. India is amongst the first five markets in the world besides the US, Spain, Portugal and Italy which has got the Street 750. The real surprise and cheer was the Rs 4.1 lakh price tag that was announced at the Auto Expo recently. While the price tag did bring a smile to our faces, the price made us a but skeptical - was this a true Harley down to the bone, or a whole new bike just with the Harley Davidson badge. So we were glad to have the opportunity to find out for ourselves. And so we set out with the Street 750 on the rowdy roads of the capital. (See : Harley Davidson Street 750 gallery)
This is also quite a new road for Harley Davidson with the Street 750 being the first all-new platform in 14 years, meant specifically to target young urban riders. So new specs like the all-new liquid cooled Revolution X powertrain, higher ground clearance, and a better suspension all meant better urban riding dynamics.
Our ride on the Street 750 began on the open highway where the 749 cc V-twin engine lets your cruise at three-digit speeds with ease, just to prove to you that it is every bit a Harley. The throttle responses are quick with smooth acceleration and all six gearshifts are easy and precise letting you enjoy the ride. Even at really high speeds of over 120 kmph, the engine doesn't make a fuss about being pushed, and allows to open up the throttle further. The Street 750 may have been designed for the urban rider but Harley's trademark cruising riding characteristics are still intact - Thank God! But you will notice that the Street 750's engine sound doesn't go potato-potato like other Harleys but sounds more like a soft rumble - which is quite distinct and yet kind of un-Harley-like.
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In city traffic, the Street 750 is quite comfortable as the engine backs it up with good torque in the low and mid-range letting you zip around without any hassles. What is really impressive is the way the bike maneuvers through city traffic despite its 222 kg heft. Adding a few inches in ground clearance and suspension does mean that the Street 750 takes in the large potholes and uneven speed breakers with confidence unlike other Harleys which tend to be lower. The chassis keeps the ride steady all through and the handling both on the highway and in city traffic is impressive. The MRF front (100/60 R17) and rear tyres (140/75 R15) offered only for the Indian market, have decent amount of grip but could use better traction especially at high speeds - as the braking isn't quite so precise. The Street 750 has fantastic cornering abilities for a cruiser though, and lets you take those wide turns without slowing down and worrying about the foot pegs hitting the road.
The riding position on the Street 750 is low with well-laid out handlebars, although the front foot pegs are a bit high and could leave you uncomfortable during long rides - more so for really tall riders. Do check out the tall boy seat option available on the Street 750 which might work then work for the taller amongst you.
The Street 750 looks a little less-intimidating than other Harleys with a leaner, muscular design and a neat teardrop shaped tank. But it still has a strong presence on the road. The circular headlight comes with a bikini faring and lends the bike some Harley character. The instrument cluster looks simple in the centre with the speedometer and the quality of the switches aren't exactly Harley standard - which was disappointing. The position of the rear view mirrors is a bit of a bother as you have to struggle to get the full image of the rear when riding.
The seat is well-padded and comfortable but gets a little narrow as its flows towards the rear. The rear of the bike looks good with its LED tail light and mini bullet indicators.The Street 750 has a wheelbase of 1534 mm which allows you get the typical Harley cruiser-feel while riding. There are loads of Street 750 accessories that Harley is providing to customise your motorcycle and pump up it's appeal.
Having riden it over 300 kilometres in half a day both on the highway and through wild Delhi city traffic, we can confidently say the Street 750 is a motorcycle that rides very much like a Harley Davidson, although the feel could have been a bit better.
But the bike really took us by surprise with its fantastic engine performance and easy yet solid handling. Unlike most Harleys which rarely get out of the garage on weekdays, we do expect the Street 750 to be on the road all though the week both in the city and on the open road. Bookings for the bike have been strong so far and Harley says the Haryana plant where the Street 750 will be produced is ready to deal with the positive demand without keeping too much of a waiting period.
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