It was a good summer, all in all, made better by hanging out with the friendly, fun-to-be-around Harley-Davidson Street 750. We were only supposed to have the little hog for a couple weeks, starting in mid-June, but it wound up being a puppy that wanders into your yard you hope nobody comes looking for, so we asked to keep it around a little longer. It’s supposed to be an entry-level/beginner bike, and my 20-year old son liked it so much he went and got his motorcycle license, something no other bike at the compound had gotten him to do. The Street even got him to do a little work for MO, which nobody and no other thing has ever been able to accomplish.


The kid’s been back at college for the last couple of months, but I still find myself hopping on the Street for short jaunts around town, even though there’s also right now on the premises a KTM Super Duke R, a Moto Guzzi Norge and a Yamaha FZ-07. It’s hard to believe the 505-pound Street is 102 pounds heavier than the FZ-07. Even so, the Street’s long lowness and easy-riding nature make it almost as nice to ride and as relaxing as my couch. Both the Super Duke and the FZ-07 require more involvement.

A lot of other bikes came and went over the summer, too, and sometimes the Street stayed parked for weeks at a time, but it never failed to fire up instantly when called upon. It seems like we put many more miles on it, but in fact we returned the bike with only 1722. I remember checking the dipstick once, the oil was fine, and that’s the only maintenance the bike got or needed. It takes a long time to pile up miles when you’re only doing 20 or 30 at a time. Even in that kind of urban use, once we’d upgraded to Harley’s Screamin’ Eagle Nightstick exhaust, Air Cleaner, and Stage 1 ECU reflash, the bike returned 43.5 mpg on average.

The only other thing we did was to fortify the Street’s entry-level front brake with a set of SBS Sinter brake pads, which did extract noticeably improved performance from the single-disc front brake. Other complaints include a clutch basket that may be a tad on the soft side, metallurgically speaking; the Street’s clutch is a little grabby in the mornings, less so as its engine oil heats up.

Discuss this at our HD Street Forum.

Meanwhile, over at HD Street Forum, nobody’s complaining about much of anything in particular, though everybody agrees the mirror extensions and horn relocator brackets are a good idea, while the battle rages on with the loud pipes guys. Amazingly, I found no “which oil should I use?” thread. It was interesting to take a virtual ride with some Indian HOG members to Karjat, Khandala and back.

Somewhere along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway … (image courtesy of HD Street Forums.)

Somewhere along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway … (image courtesy of HD Street Forums.)

Why Harley didn’t build the Street 10 years ago is a worthy question, since there’s really nothing about it that’s close to cutting-edge technology. According to the Motor Company’s third quarter report, it sold 73,217 motorcycles over the three-month period, up from 70,517 motorcycles sold in the same period last year. In Q2, Harley stated its plan was to ship between 7,000 to 10,000 Street motorcycles worldwide in 2014, and our Harley person hints about 7000 of those are inside the U.S. – so not bad for a bike that didn’t make it into showrooms until well into summer. It seems the Street is pulling its share of the load.

Suddenly, though, there’s a lot more competition in the $7K range, including Yamaha’s sportier FZ-07 and now Kawasaki’s cruiseresque little Vulcan S – and who knows what they’re up to at Indian and EBR? None of those have the famous bar and shield on the gas tank, which has always been a wide-enough moat up till now. In any case, it should be fun to watch H-D’s efforts to keep up with the Joneses, now that it’s finally built a bike to compete with them.

Farewell, little Street 750. Thanks for a great summer.

Farewell, little Street 750. Thanks for a great summer.

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  • Craig Hoffman

    “In any case, it should be fun to watch H-D’s efforts to keep up with the Joneses, now that it’s finally built a bike to compete with them”.

    This is an excellent point. Interesting indeed. The 7K market is where the volume is. as next to nobody has 18K in ready cash to spend on a motorcycle, and let’s face it, financing non essential toys like motorcycles at high interest rates is just plain stupid, a fact realized by many since the financial crisis. The 7K zone is where the action is.

    • DickRuble

      What do you base the assessment that it’s doing OK? On a salesman’s word? The bogus forum? Here’s a hint, the forum is build by HD. A number of HD employees with multiple fake online IDs post bogus messages.
      ID1: Hi, there, just ordered my Street 750 in black with gold and diamond.
      ID2: Welcome to the club.
      ID3: When does yours arrive
      ID1: Soon, I can’t wait
      ID2; I ordered mine with custom blah blah blah
      ID3: I got the mirror extenders

      • Gary Blankenship

        Keep spreading the word Dick. Most people don’t have a clue this kind of thing is going on.

        • Roco Languso

          Gee….since I’ve gotten my Harley and am making payments on it….anyway, I bought it on dreams of yesteryear and am I ever sorry I did. Spot on about the opinion shaping….and I, being one of those “suckers born every minute”. lol

      • smoketrain

        It is an expensive toy with low build quality, they must do better. How about an adventure 750 or scrambler model?

        • DickRuble

          They (HD) don’t have the culture or the engineering skills for that.

  • who cares?

    I’m sure it’s a fine motorbike. I wouldn’t buy one with someone elses money. Why, you might ask? Simple, it’s a Harley-Davidson. When you buy a bike, you also buy all the baggage, history, and image that goes with that brand. They will have to a lot better than this and that E-bike to change my opinion. Similarly, I wouldn’t buy a Cadillac, Citroen, or even a Schwinn bicycle.

    • DickRuble

      Agree with almost everything minus that it’s a fine motorcycle and the Citroen dig..I’ve driven a couple of them and they were great

      • who cares?

        The old ones (like the one in your photo) were great. Also the 2CV. Wouldn’t touch a new one.

      • Martin Buck

        I drove a Citroen BX19 in Wellington one time and it was fine, except the footwell was a bit small for my feet. On the other hand, I simply love Peugeots and have owned many. The 505 was a magic carpet sports car, simply brilliant on the road. Rear wheel drive and the most communicative steering ever. The ride of a Rolls Royce, hugely comfortable seats, and pin sharp handling. Not too quick, but I could maintain high average road speeds because there was no need to slow down for bad road conditions (many in New Zealand). Pity there’s none left now. Should have been a classic.

        • Old MOron

          I used to drive both the 505 and the 504. Loved them both.

    • Pete M

      Never ridden a Paramount have you? Guess you never will, just as well. Then again, I wouldn’t ride an HD if they gave it to me.

      • who cares?

        I used to own a Paramount. Also a DeRosa, Picchio, and a Pinnarello (still riding that). I was referring to the crap being sold under the Schwinn name in Walmart these days. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Eyam Ova-Urazis

      There are some fools who buy a Harley simply for the name. It’s interesting that there are some fools who have the same reason for not buying one.