Revolution X | SOHC | 749cc | 85mm x 66mm
Harley Street 750 set for Sept launch
£5,795. That's the UK price for the new Harley-Davidson Street 750 which will go on sale in September 2015. No longer will we be referring to the enduring Sportster as the "entry level Harley". The Street 750 has supplanted that and has been designed to not only provide (relatively) low cost access to the HD brand, but to help see-off rival middleweight cruisers whilst boosting Harley-Davidson's ailing fortunes. It's the first completely new Harley engine since the introduction of the V-Rod platform 14 years ago.
It's a liquid-cooled SOHC engine based upon Milwaukee's Revolution X powertrain. The 85mm x 66mm, 749cc, 60-degree V-twin motor features an 11:1 compression ratio and is fed by a 38mm Mikuni Single Port Fuel Injection system. There are four valves per cylinder. The primary drive is by gear, and there are six more gears on the other side of the clutch.
The wheelbase is a tad over 60 inches. The seat height is a tad under 28 inches. The frame is steel. Brakes are two-piston floating front and rear. The front wheel is a 17-incher, the rear is 15-inch. The front fork is 37mm. The weight is around 450lb dry. The fuel capacity is 3.5 gallons (US). The horsepower is reckoned to be around 58bhp @ around 8,000rpm. The final drive is by belt. And the top speed is "what the hell?"
Harley isn't having the greatest year in terms of units sold. In the second quarter of 2015, bike sales (globally) declined by 1.4% to 88,931 units. US sales were down by 0.8%. European sales fell by a more significant 8.9. Other overseas markets dropped by 2.7%.
There's also a 500cc version of the bike aimed at China and India and elsewhere on the Asian continent.
At this price, we're expecting to see a few manufacturing corners cut. But maybe not too many. Harley-Davidson (arguably) needs this bike and risks diluting its street cred by entering what will broadly be viewed as the Japanese cruiser arena. And there's a lot of competition in this sector. Then again, the HD monicker is a world class brand with 100 years of developing muscle behind it. So maybe it's the Japs who should be concerned.
Certainly, the VRSC V-Rod has laid a a lot of tarmac for this Street 750. There was a time, after all, when the notion of a liquid-cooled Hog was unthinkable. But the VRSC reshaped the template, and it's the air-cooled architecture that's looking less and less sound.
The Street 750 is clearly going to give Hinckley's Bonneville a run for its money. Sure, the two bikes have very different "personalities". But there's some obvious crossover there. We're looking forward to a close up view and a ride on this three-quarter litre Hog. So okay, it's a small step for mankind. But it's a fairly big leap for Harley-Davidson.
See Sump November 2013 for more on this bike.
— Del Monte
Copyright Sump Publishing 2013