2014 Harley Davidson Street 750 Road Test & Review

Harley Davidson is a globally renowned motorcycle manufacturer popular for being able to sell all of its models in its line-up successfully. Even in India, it remains one of the most successful brands in the premium segment, selling a number of motorcycles across its dealer network. In the short span of being in India, they have had many achievements including a steadily growing customer base. However, their latest feather in the cap is the Street 750. It is manufactured at Harley’s only manufacturing plant outside of USA at Bawal, Haryana for Indian and global consumption.

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The Street 750 has been a long time in the making. It created a flutter in the Indian context as it gave many the possibility of owing an affordable Harley Davidson motorcycle and enjoy an authentic experience of the American marque. So let me cut to the chase and get to the review of the new Street 750!

 Harley Street 750 Design, Ergonomics and Quality

The styling on the Street 750 gives it an easy distinction of being a Harley Davidson motorcycle. With its low slung looks and all black treatment, its presence feels worthy of the HD badging. Our test bike had the Dark Custom matte treatment known as ‘Black Denim’ which looks quite appealing. Personally, I found it to be a good looking motorcycle despite its small size as the design seems to be inspired by the Sportster and V-rod lineage. It has a classic bikini fairing on the round headlamp, gators on the front forks and a slender front fender and is visually appealing from the front and the side profile.

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The radiator doesn’t look out of place despite its size and the slightly upswept 2-into-1 exhaust matches the cruiser looks of this motorcycle. The Street 750 also comes with 7 spoke alloy wheels, again in matte black paint, and this adds to its stealthiness. It is available in three color schemes of Vivid Black, Black Denim and Fire Red. Personally a shade of white as standard color option would have looked great on this bike.

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Street 750 fuel tank has a tear drop shape with the fuel filler cap on the right top side looks quite beautiful with the HD logo on either side. However, the spine of the tank does stand out as a bit of an eye sore. The standard seat tapers down towards rear fender which houses the LED tail light. Visually they are not the most appealing bits on the bike. I found the rear profile to be lacking in terms of design compared to the rest of the motorcycle. It could have been better styled as it feels more contemporary than classic on a motorcycle such as the Street 750. It is belt driven and hence a large part of the rear left is taken by the belt cover.

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Handlebars are wide but easy to reach for someone of my height of 5ft 10in. The foot pegs are mid-set and it’s easy to place your feet on them in stop-and-go traffic. It has a single pod instrumentation console which is easy to read in the day and looks quite beautiful at night. The instrumentation however is lacking in features such as DTE (Distance to Empty), Fuel gauge given the 13.1 liter tank capacity and a gear indicator. That said, the instrumentation features lights to indicate low oil pressure warning, engine check light, turn indicators, high beam indicator, low fuel warning and a light to indicate the neutral position.

The well contoured seat along with riding position is spot-on and favors the rider, offering a good ride quality. It is set at a height of 28.2 inches off the ground which makes it easy for shorter riders to firmly plant their feet on the ground. However taller riders may find it a bit uncomfortable to ride this bike owing to its small size.

A taller seat is available as an option which will make it more comfortable to ride it. Pillion seat is small, uncomfortable and without a back rest it is not a very good place to be for a second person on the bike for long rides. The mirrors do a decent job of showing the road behind you but it also tends to show you a fair bit of your arms as well.

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Headlight of the Street 750 is powerful in low beam and high beam modes however I sorely missed the pass light switch. Harley motorcycles generally come with the left side turn indicator switch on the left switch gear and the right side turn indicator switch on the right switch gear, turning them on together does the job of the hazard lamps. It has a single switch for left and ride indicators on the Street 750 but there is no provision to switch on all four turn indicators at once. The turn indicators aren’t self-cancelling either and require a gentle push from your thumb that ‘clicks’ to turn them off.

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Quality of workmanship is somewhat questionable on the Street 750 and hence deserves special mention due to the cost cutting undertaken by the American marque. The overall build quality is good, the bike feels solid in many key areas. However in some places, the fit and finish will leave you wanting for more. The wiring is exposed at several places and has not been insulated properly in certain areas. The welding feels poorly done in certain places and does not feel symmetrical. The paint finish is good but it could have been better. There is no spring on the foot rests which tends to close when you lean the bike over.

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The quality of parts used; plastic bits as well as metal in some areas don’t seem to match the otherwise ‘high quality’ profile of the brand and this feel like a bit of a let-down. While it may not boast of the best quality, it certainly doesn’t take away the overall experience of riding this motorcycle.

Harley Street 750 Engine and Gearbox

The new Revolution X engine has been a major step away from the conventional air-cooled engines seen in all other Harleys – the V-Rod family being the only exception to this rule apart from the new Street 750. The 60 degree mounted, liquid cooled, V-Twin engine has a 4 valve per cylinder configuration along with chain driven SOHC (Single Over Head Cam). Harley Davidson doesn’t state the power figures of this motorcycle but it is expected to be in the range of 60 Bhp of power at around 8,000 rpm and around 60 Nm of torque at about 4,000 rpm. Thumb the starter and the engine fires up easily thanks to the Mikuni fuel injection and quickly settles into a dull rumble on idle. It revs up quickly and even at standstill, the bike has fewer vibes compared to other bikes in the Harley line-up which vibrate a lot at idle.

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A few may find it disappointing that the typical Harley sound that we are used to- Po-Ta-To-Po-Ta-To is clearly missing! Rev up the engine and the exhaust note feels like a single mill. There is an aggression in its sound (fair bit of the timing chain rotation) but the rumble is missing as you get the revs up on this Harley. We reckon that the Screaming Eagle exhaust available as an option will ‘fix’ the exhaust note of this motorcycle. Even as you are riding this bike there’s not much you can hear unless you are just about pottering around the city in the lower gears at slightly higher rpms. You won’t even hear it pass you on the highway, the sound from the stock exhaust is quite muted at that.

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The Street 750 with its RevX engine has lots of torque from the lower revs yet the power delivery is not vicious but rather docile off the start. The short gear ratios on the bike ensure that 0 to 100 kmph is dismissed in just 4.5 seconds. The acceleration is brisk through the gears but it won’t scare you. The throttle response is crisp. The power delivery itself is quite linear and makes for quite a joy ride on the open highways and the low end torque helps you pull away from the traffic easily. The engine character makes it easy for new or young riders to get on this motorcycle and ride away. At low revs the throttle response is not snatchy which makes it easy to roll on and off in traffic. It has very good low-end torque which spreads across the mid-range and tapers off towards its peak revs.

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The ample spread of torque through the gears thanks to the ratios set ensures that you hit speedo indicated speeds of 60 kph in the 1st gear, 90 kph in the 2nd, 120 kph in 3rd, 140 kph in the 4th and a tad above 160 kph in the 5th. We did however managed a top speed of 168 kph on the GPS as you can see in the picture below at a speedometer indicated 173-174 kmph! The speedo error on this bike seems to be on the lower side with the speedo indicating near accurate speeds. The peppy nature of the engine ensured that we couldn’t help but have some fun and see if this machine could ride up-on-one-wheel.

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As you can see in the images it was indeed a lot of fun testing the Street 750 as it obliged to every one of my demands from the engine. The vibes from engine, as you ride it, are manageable and doesn’t tire you. It does get a bit buzzy at the pegs, tank and at the bars at very high revs but nothing of the sort that will leave you frustrated.

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The gearbox is a 6 speed unit with the standard 1-down, 5-up shift pattern. The clutch is easy to pull-in and moderately weighted which makes it manageable in high traffic situations. There is a positive clunk as you shift into first and the gearbox makes you work it little bit. However, the downshifts were smooth and slick and match your throttle blips very well but it was the upshifts that were a bit on the harder side. Wearing my race boots the upshifts were a bit of a problem and I gave it another try wearing my regular ankle length riding boots and it was easier. However, the upshifts aren’t as seamless as the downshifts. Few riders may miss the ‘heel shifter’ while riding this motorcycle.

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There is no tachometer on this motorcycle and the only way new riders can upshift at high revs is either by feel of the motor reaching its peak rpm or by watching the speeds as the motor cuts off at peak revs. It’s worthy of noting that the engine cuts off smoothly on the new Harley Street 750 without any jerks or a loud clunking noise. The only other issue I faced with our test bike was that finding neutral wasn’t always easy. From 1st or 2nd gear slotting into neutral was a sensitive task that requires patience.

Harley Street 750 Fuel Efficiency

We didn’t test the fuel efficiency of the motorcycle. But from my observation of the 13.1 litre tank capacity one can expect a range of around 250 kms easily with the fuel efficiency hovering around the 20 kmpl mark which is quite possible from this engine. This motorcycle will please those who love to ride on the open highways.

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The tank will easily suffice while touring in areas with easy availability of fuel. The reserve capacity is limited to 2 liters but on long rides it would have been great if Harley Davidson would have included a DTE (Distance To Empty) or reserve fuel indicator in the instrumentation display.

Harley Street 750 Ride, Suspension and Handling

Negotiating curves is the highlight of the Street 750 which at the time of testing the motorcycle was a delightful experience for me. When it comes to road manners I am someone hard to please but the Street 750 proved to be an engaging ride. At low and high speeds it shined by being balanced and composed. On smooth tarmac it exhibits mature manners by providing very good ride quality. On bumpy tarmac at high speeds the ride can be a little unsettling. The ground clearance is a healthy 145mm which is sufficient to go over high-set speed breakers and deep potholes. The bike exhibits confidence and good balance while riding slowly over bad roads which is quite reassuring.

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The chassis seemed rigid and didn’t seem to flex very much. This ensured that the ride through curves was largely wobble free as is the case sometimes with heavy cruisers. The telescopic front suspension is set slightly on the stiffer side while the rear suspension is more softly sprung. But they are perfectly matched with each other which results in a planted feel not only at high speeds but also on wide sweeping corners. The slightly wide turning radius does require one to lean it further on tighter curves. The MRF Zappers, sized 100/80-17 for the front tyre and 150/70-15 at the rear, provide adequate grip at varying speeds.

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The footpegs are quite high-set and generally don’t come in the way unless you go very hard into the curve in which case they do tend to ground quite easily. Overall the feel from the front end is largely confidence inspiring and this motorcycle is capable of tackling the smooth and wide corners at speeds upwards of 120 kph. It is a motorcycle built for the highways where it is most comfortable munching mile after mile endlessly thanks to its stable chassis and linear power delivery. The only issue is the wind blast at high speeds but this can be easily sorted with the optional windscreen. You are bound to go fast on this motorcycle as the peppy engine loves to be revved and bike loves the curves on the road.

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Harley Street 750 Braking Performance

The strong performance from the engine is a little marred by the slightly unimpressive performance from the brakes. The front brake, a single floating disc with a twin piston caliper provides adequate braking performance. However it has a slightly wooden feel requiring a tight squeeze from a minimum of two fingers to get it to slow down from high speeds. The front tyre doesn’t given way under hard braking but the lack of ABS on a bike cost upwards of 4 lakh is not something expected. At present ABS is not even available as an option however we expect Harley Davidson to rectify this in the future.

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That said, the rear braking isn’t any better and has a floating disc with a two piston calliper. The pedal does give slightly better feel in comparison with the front but with my race boots it was extremely difficult to push the pedal down. It requires a lot of action before it starts engaging as I observed this wearing a different pair of boots. It did however have a good bite once it starts engaging but it didn’t entirely meet my expectations.

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To slow this bike down you need to utilize a combination of the front and rear for any effective braking. For a new rider, you don’t have to worry about locking the brakes on this bike. Nonetheless, ABS would have been a great addition at this price point!

Harley Street 750 Price & Value For Money

Harley Street 750 is priced from an ex-showroom New Delhi price of ₹4.1 Lakhs which translates to approximately ₹4.57 Lakhs OTR Delhi price. For the price you get a powerful 749cc V-Twin engine that has oodles of low end torque. You are able to get into the Harley family on a motorcycle that loves the curves and provides a very good riding experience. It has the right amount of power if you are upgrading from any other sub 2 Lac rupee Indian motorcycle or even if you are riding motorcycles for the first time. It is smooth and rides very well on varying road conditions while being quite fuel efficient. It also turned heads effortlessly wherever we took it!

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Harley Davidson provides a 24 month unlimited kms warranty on the new Street 750. At ₹4.1 Lakh ex-New Delhi for the Vivid Black version there are hardly any competitors at this price point. Despite lacking in some areas, Harley seems to have gotten the pricing correctly!

Verdict – Is Harley Street 750 worth the price?

The Street 750 offers a great riding experience however is that enough? Harley motorcycles have always had an image of being bad ass motorcycles for a very long time. But the brand is also lambasted at times for selling motorcycles with outdated technology while commanding a high price for same! The Street 750 unfortunately does carry some of these aspects with respect to its quality which certainly could have been better. Lack for few basic features also makes you think about it. Long term reliability of this motorcycle is an unknown territory but nothing to worry about from a service standpoint because Harley’s reach is growing in our market.

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What you must consider is the 4 Lakh to 5 Lakh rupee price bracket and in this range there is currently no other ‘Cruiser’ option! This certainly gives the Harley Street 750 an advantage! If you are a cruiser fan or love the Harley brand then it’s completely worth buying for the all-encompassing Harley experience! If you are a new rider considering a Harley after riding your ‘desi bike’ for all this while then this is great choice as you can upgrade to a bigger Harley down the line.

Harley Davidson Street 750 also offers the unique HD ownership experience just as good as any other Harley motorcycle in the market. It is a lot about the brotherhood and riding together just as much as jumping on your motorcycle and riding solo into the horizon.

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Final Notes

Harley Davidson is all about riding in clubs and the iconic HOG – Harley Owners Groups. If you are an owner of the Street 750 then you will get complete access to the HOG chapters in India. Harley has 13 dealerships and each one has a local chapter along with numerous other Harley-only motorcycle clubs. Buying the most affordable Harley that money-can-buy-today in India gives you access to the same!

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Harley has tied with banks like HDFC to help you secure a loan for your Street 750 to make it more accessible to anyone who wishes to purchase it. HDFC Bank provides loan upto 80% of the OTR price at an interest rate of 12.5% p.a for a maximum tenure of 4 years.

Harley Davidson motorcycle ownership is also a lot about personalizing your motorcycle through the various parts available for customizing your motorcycle. More than 40 new accessories are available for the Street 750 apart from the entire HD catalogue that consists of more than 5,000 unique items. A dedicated consultant will be assigned to your motorcycle to assist you with modifying it when you purchase it. Use of authentic parts from Harley will ensure that your warranty is also retained.

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Harley Davidson Street 750 Technical Specifications

Length: 2,225 mm
Ground Clearance: 145 mm
Wheelbase: 1,535 mm
Front Tyre Specification: 100/80-17 52H
Rear Tyre Specification: 150/70-15 67H R15
Fuel Capacity: 13.1 L
Weight In Running Order: 222 kg
Engine: Liquid-cooled, Revolution X, V-Twin Configuration
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 Type2-piston floated front and rear
Engine Torque: 60 Nm at 4,000
Engine Horsepower: Estimated 60 Bhp at about 8,000
Lights: Indicator Lamps High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning

Harley Davidson Street 750 Image Gallery

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  1. Great review…unbiased and covered aspects like avg ect…
    I want this bike so badly….

    Reply
  2. Superb Review!! So realistic, absolutely delightful to read and understand the nuances of the bike. And the level of maturity and impartiality that we don’t get to read in the Review articles of some senior Moto-journos in the Indian print media. Any more caustic it would be touching the Jeremy Clarkson boundaries. Thanks and Keep up the Good Work!

    Reply
  3. Samarjit Neog July 4, 2014, 1:52 pm

    Superb review… unbiased n very truthful…

    Reply

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