Harley-Davidson Street Rod delivers entry-level power boost
It may include the smallest capacity motorcycles in Harley-Davidson's lineup, but the Street series' newest arrival brings the kind of power that would compare directly with bigger models. The Street Rod introduces the High Output Revolution X engine, mated with upgraded equipment and sharper steering.
When Harley-Davidson first announced the Street series, it served two very important purposes. The 500 and 700 cc engine variants sound too small for a Harley, yet they excel at appealing to both younger riders and manufacturers' new holy grail, booming Asian markets.
With the addition of the Street Rod, Harley-Davidson simply adds a generous touch of spice to its entry-level lineup with the debut of the High Output Revolution X 60-degree V-twin motor. The evolved variant of the standard Street 750 engine features a heap of changes, including new gas-flowed cylinder heads with higher compression, sportier high-lift camshafts, a new exhaust system, and new throttle bodies fed via a larger air box.
The end result translates to an 18 percent hike in power and eight percent in torque – the latter set at 65 Nm (47.9 ft-lb) at 4000 rpm. Harley-Davidson does not mention exact horsepower figures but, given that the Street 750 produces some 58 hp (43.3 kW) in EU spec, on paper the Street Rod's output comes up around 68 hp (50.7 kW). This power reaches its maximum value at 8,750 rpm, which is around 1,000 higher than the standard engine, as the redline has accordingly climbed to 9,000 rpm.
In terms of styling, little has changed, but Harley-Davidson's suggestions of a sharper motorcycle are much more than simple marketing lingo. The suspensions now consist of 43 mm inverted forks and a pair of piggyback shocks, with benefits spilling over to the braking department as well, in the shape of a twin-disk front setup.
One of the most significant changes though is not very obvious in the photos. The Street Rod sports much more aggressive frame geometry, with fork rake reduced from 32 to 27 degrees. The rear tire is also taller at 17 inches (15 for the Street 500/750), lifting the bike's tail section in tune with the sharper handling that Harley-Davidson typically declares.
The end result is complemented with drag-style handlebars, bar-end mirrors, and several minor stylish details like the new logo on the 13.2 l (3.5 gal) fuel tank.
The Street Rod retails in USA from $8,699 (about €8.200), while in European markets its starting price flirts with the €10,000 (about US$10,600) mark. It will be available in black, charcoal, or olive gold solid colors, and a little extra cash buys silver pinstriping.