Harley-Davidson's Street 750 is a Highly Customizable International Feast

John Burns
by John Burns

Alas, the poor Harley-Davidson Street 750 continues to get little love from MO, finishing third of three in our recent Gaiternational Shootout against Triumph’s excellent new Street Twin and Moto Guzzi’s still very good V7 Stone II. No doubt a few Triumph tuners and a handful of Guzzi specialists will get to work on those bikes, but few if any will reach the level of the Cherry’s Company turbocharged H-D Street 750 in our lead image.

It’s a simple matter of aftermarket support. Harley enthusiasts have been hard at cracking the Street code since the bike’s introduction two years ago. One of the advantages of only building a new engine every 13 years is that it’s a big deal when you do – and God knows people love to mess with their Harleys like no other brand, at home and abroad.

It probably doesn’t hurt that Harley eggs builders along by sponsoring contests; they’re smart that way in Milwaukee. Maybe the off-the-shelf Street 750 isn’t exactly a show-stopper, but it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see the potential in there. For those with no imagination, we rounded up a few Streets for your viewing pleasure. Well, it started out to be a few, but I got carried away…

Harley sponsored a big “Custom Kings” competition among its dealers last year. The bike that won was the turbocharged number built by Yellowstone Harley-Davidson in Belgrade, Montana. The rules were 1) use Harley parts and 2) price shouldn’t exceed $15,000.

They must’ve had a surplus of front wheels lying around the shop in Belgrade so it’s slightly hard to tell if this one’s coming or going – but nobody can deny the boardtracker-inspired turbo isn’t unique.
Harley of Macon, Georgia, built the runner-up Street, inspired they say by the ’78 Harley MX250 motocross bike, which I did not know existed. Nightster spoke wheels, the right shade of orange paint and powdercoat, clip-on handlebars, a modified frame and chain conversion complete the transformation. I’d ride it, you? Listen to it here.
Ray Price Harley-Davidson of Raleigh, NC, put Street Bully together with nothing crazier than a Buell front end, some amazing paint, and a nice tall, dirtbikey handlebar. It Bullied its way to the semifinals.

About 100 more entries here if it’s a slow day at the office.

Meanwhile not in America, other people (especially in Japan) are doing tasteful things with the Street, some of them a little over the top, like this slice of turbocharged exquisiteness built by Cherry’s Company of Tokyo.

Where to begin? A hand-bent steel frame, swingarm and girder fork housing a turbocharged XG750, covered in hand-formed aluminum bodywork. Kaichiroh Kurosu has been building custom Harleys for 20 years, but this one is special.

Heat from the turbocharger feeds through the intercooler and into the carbon brake discs via iPhone app. I made that part up.
Hossack-style front end means the tire can be tucked in close without banging into the radiator (an item that’s remarkably unobtrusive on nearly all these bikes). A million MOrons typing for a million years on a million laptops could not build this motorcycle or properly describe it.
This entry from Harley of Shinjuku won the Japan Battle of the Kings, looking only slightly but expensively reworked with Sweden’s finest suspension, aftermarket wheels, a big Brembo brake and tasty (some would say obnoxious) dual exhaust pipes.

The winner of Harley’s 2015 Battle of the Kings, Euro version, was the Harley-Davidson of Prague entry.

Hand-formed aluminum bodywork has a definite Shinya Kimura influence, no? A revised rear frame makes room for a bigger tire. Aside from those things, the basic Street is intact.
Personally I prefer the Streetfighter of Cyprus, another Street that’s mostly all there including the stock radiator shroud, save a complete Buell front end with wide handlebar, big boy wheels and tires and excellent detailing and paint.

Meanwhile in Amurica…

Roland Sands Design and Indian Motorcycles sponsor “Super Hooligan” flat track events from time to time. Thor Drake of See See Motorcycles in Portland, Oregon, used this Street 750 to win the inaugural one at the Las Vegas Superprestigio last year, winning himself a new Indian Scout 60 in the process. All he had to do, Thor said, was remove about 120 pounds of extraneous street equipment.

Not to be outdone in Long Beach, CA…

Brothers Aaron and Shaun at Suicide Machine Company built this flat tracker, keeping weight to a minimum via carbon-fiber gas tank, carbon tailsection, carbon adjustable levers, carbon handlebars, and full carbon BST wheels. Throwing the VISA card to the wind, Öhlins front and rear suspension is mounted to a chrome-moly frame complete with integrated adjustable-eccentric swingarm pivot. Overall, the thing is so compact it’s the first Street I’ve seen that makes the small Hog engine look large.

Now they’re hard at work on a Ducati-inspired roadrace version. Why not?

“My brother and I,” Aaron Guardado writes, “were inspired from a lot of the roadracing we did as kids, we grew up in shifter-karts, then full-size cars, and into sportbikes. We were running Ducatis at Willow Springs International Raceway for what seemed to be every weekend. It was a lot of fun, knowing the bikes could handle on the track as long as we could hold on and direct the bike where it needed to be.

“This 750 was directly inspired from multiple Ducatis we have seen or ridden. We were able to get Brocks Performance on board again with the Carbon BST wheels, and Carbon BST swingarm from a 1098. We designed a frame in Solidworks with a friend of ours, and began plugging in the geometry we wanted, and we were on our way to start constructing it. Öhlins helped us out with some special suspension parts that we needed to match a specific spec we had in mind. We designed triple trees in order to get the right offset for the specific parts we used. Thus far, we are super happy with the bike, and can’t wait to keep it going and finish it up for the Born Free show in June.

“I think the 750 platform is pretty neat, being a complete drivetrain in one unit, rather than a Twin Cam with primary and trans separate, this is easier to build around and somewhat compact. We do have another motor out for R&D in order to bump up the performance and free up some horsepower, so once that is ready, we will be able to get both of the 750s running a bit quicker.”

Last time I checked, the average motorcyclist is not getting any younger, especially the average Harley motorcyclist. Shaun and his brother are still in their 20s. The only thing I love better than watching skilled craftspeople build cool things is watching skilled kids build cool things. Just like the country needed a good five-cent cigar a hundred years ago, maybe all it needed now is a good $7,500 Harley. I almost want one for my own garage.

John Burns
John Burns

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