Fun and sporty

K Shivraj
Saturday, 16 September 2017

Based on the Street 750, Harley Davidson Street Rod looks sportier, performs well and absorbs some of the irregularities that a costlier bike may not be able to handle better

The Street Rod breaks away from the typical, and conventional cruiser image a Harley Davidson motorcycle has come to acquire. Based on the Street 750, an ABS version of which the company unveiled sometime back, the Street Rod looks sportier. It takes inspiration from the Harley drag bikes like the V-Rod, and in the process adorns an aggressive styling.

Sporty stance
The head lamp fairing draws attention, and makes it a sporty bike. Along with it, the engine and the exhaust painted in a shade of matte black, the split seats with a new saddle, and the rear fender that looks shortened when compared to Street 750 add to its sportiness. The handle bars are flat and drag-style with bar-end mirrors.

The Street Rod doesn’t just look good, it also delivers a performance to match. The 749cc, eight-valve, liquid-cooled, V-Twin, Revolution X engine produces 62Nm of peak torque at 4000rpm. The new fuelling system that includes a bigger throttle body has resulted in an increase in torque by 3Nm. Power has also increased. Featuring twin-port injection over the single-port of the Street 750, the Street Rod has a higher compression ratio. With peak power developed at 8250rpm, the Street Rod responds well to throttle inputs. Producing good amount of torque at low revs, the Street Rod surges forward, and can take the rider by surprise in city traffic. While some restraint would be called for, at low revs the exhaust note is a muffled rumble.

Strong performance
There is some increase as the throttle is opened up on an open road. At speeds in the region of 100kmph, the bike, in sixth gear, has the engine turning at 3700rpm. Some vibrations creep in as the revs rise at the handlebar and the foot pegs, and are surprisingly accompanied by a strong wave of performance. Power continues to build all the way to the 9000rpm redline, and the six-speed gearbox, enabling the quick swapping of cogs. Speeds in the region of 150kmph are achieved with ease. With enough open roads, the bike treads close to 175kmph. Averaging 25kmpl in a mix of city and highway riding, the bike, weighing 238kg, has a firm edge to the ride.

While minor irregularities are somewhat felt, the Street Rod surprisingly soaks the more troublesome looking irregularities with consummate ease. Expansion gaps and many other surface irregularities are well taken care of. The taut suspension setting makes for sportier handling. Higher ground clearance than that of the Street 750 makes it easier to lean in corners. A sharper rake angle also helps. It does feel a little unusual with those foot pegs positioned higher and the seat height continuing to be almost as much as that of the Street 750, but over a certain time of riding one gets used to. Leaning in corners with ease, the Street Rod needs a firm push at the handlebars. But the superior stability inspires confidence and the tyres provide good grip.

Verdict
Additional front disc and a new master cylinder make for a good braking ability. ABS does a good job on wet surfaces. At Rs 7.5 lakh approximately, the Street Rod marks a significant leap over the Street 750. Roughly Rs 1 lakh costlier than the Street 750, the sporty Street Rod delivers a relaxed ride and absorbs some of those irregularities that a costlier bike may not be able to handle better. The overall composition of the Street Rod makes it very desirable.

Pros: Styling, performance, handling
Cons: Front brake could do with more feel

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