The engine is incredibly smooth and a joy to blast between traffic lights or corners using the generous spread of power. On motorways it begins to feel a little breathless, and sixth gear is more like an overdrive. It’ll happily sit at 75mph, but push to 80mph and vibes start to creep through the bars. The headlight cowl does little to keep the wind off at higher speeds, and in stop-start town riding the water cooled engine emits quite a bit of heat. It’s not as bad as an air-cooled bike, but you’ll want to spread your legs out away from the engine after a while.
The lack of ABS is strange, especially considering all new bikes (over 125cc) will be required by European law to have ABS as standard from 2016. The front Brembo caliper grabs the single front disc well and brings the 229kg Street smartly to a stop. The rear brake is strong as well, but if you’re hard on the front brake then it’s all too easy to lock the rear wheel as there’s a lack of feel at the pedal. Good for skids, but possibly surprising for the new riders Harley-Davidson is hoping to attract.
While the handling and agility of the Street are both impressive, the real star of the show is the new liquid-cooled Revolution X engine. It’s nothing like the conventional air-cooled engines Harley are known for. It doesn’t oscillate like a jackhammer at idle and it needs to be revved to get the best from it, uncharacteristic for a Harley motor. Peak torque of 44ftlb is reached at 4000rpm – it’s not a monstrous amount of torque, but it propels the Street at a good pace.
With its low retail price, it’s not surprising to find that the Street 750 is built on a budget and while the bike is designed in the US, it’s actually made in India. Thankfully it feels very well put together. It’s too early at the moment to comment on the reliability of the machine but it’s been on sale in Europe for 10 months already, allowing for any initial niggles with the model to be ironed out before the model gets to the UK.
The Street is good value. You don’t get masses of toys for your money but what you do get is well made. Despite the low price, there are also a couple of nice touches, such as the Harley emblem on the headstock and the neat, tidy positioning of the ignition barrel under the clock, which keeps the lines smooth and clean around the cockpit area.
The switchgear and the dash are both basic – the dash only shows speed and a choice of odometer or two trips counters. On a bare-bones, simple cruiser like this you don’t really need anything else. It certainly doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles attached but that isn’t the point of it.