The craze of the mid-weight naked is becoming more and more alive in the Indian subcontinent, and Harley-Davidson is looking at getting a bigger piece of this market segment too. To try out their luck, the iconic American brand has launched the third member of its Street family. It has more aggressive styling and improved handling above all of the Streets.

That is the all new Harley-Davidson Street Rod. A little sparse, a little spare, and an exercise in understatement. The most sport-oriented version of the Street series offering an alternative to more conventional cruiser variants. This young generation of a machine is a serious effort to reach customers outside the likes of the classic Harley Davidsons’. Always something up their sleeves.

Back in 2006, Harley had their most sporting motorcycle ever sold called as VRSCR Street Rod (V-Twin Racing Street Custom). Bringing back this name from the dead, Harley has pimped up their street 750 and essentially made a hot-rodded machine out of it. And we are here to get an in-depth overview of this demon here:


STYLING

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The Street Rod takes its design cues from the Street 750 Concept RDX 800 that was showcased during the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, which happens to be designed by an India chap, Chetan – Senior Motorcycle Designer at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. According to him, this bike has a “bulldog” feel to it because of the front end changes having thicker forks and the girth continuing till the tail-end. “Everything was looked at to be performance oriented, street-fighter inspired but with a Harley image and Americana” he says.

It has the silhouette of an off-spring flat tracker which takes the spotlight from the company’s recently announced XG750R American Flat Track race bike. Yes, it also looks similar to the Street 750, but trust me, the changes are thorough. Apart from the frame and fuel tank, the entire motorcycle is built from the ground up. The fuel tank is itself significantly repositioned to improve handling.

Out front, Harley has fitted this bike with a classic round headlamp unit and what they call a colour matched ‘Speed Screen’ with a black insert that sure does make a good first impression. There is no fancy LED here unlike at the rear tail light unit that gets a curved LED treatment with integrated Bar & Shield logo and rear LED turn signals.

Behind the Street Rod’s bikini fairing are a single instrument cluster and a flat, drag-style handlebar with bar-end mirrors that makes a sporty and aggressive riding position. The instrument cluster is a clutter-free panel which is mounted right on the handlebar and you get a 3.5-inch electronic speedometer with odometer, trip meter and LED indicator lights. All that you may need in a clean and tight package.

You get the signature metal teardrop tank with a new fast graphic and Harley-Davidson script to show that it’s the real deal. On it, you get a locking gas cap, old-school style. Apart from this, the bike also features a fork lock that prevents the front wheel from being turned when it’s engaging and an ignition lock to keep the bike protected.

Then your eyes fall on that majestic black heart that has a complete blacked-out finish on the High Output Revolution X engine. You will not falter in noticing the high output black air cleaner besides which is the only place you see anything shiny – the touch of polished metal on the cylinder fins to bring out the classic, muscular, iconic lines of the V-Twin. To provide that classic custom look, HD has provided the Street Bob with black open spoke cast aluminium wheels.

The simplistic side body cowls wrap around the saddle like a café-racer, and this Street uses a single exhaust canister like the others. Overall, the Street Rod’s styling is a typical mix of a café-racer and a flat track racer that results in an unusual but a rather scintillating looking motorcycle than the Street 750.

Overall Dimension

Make Model2017 Harley Davidson Street RodDucati Scrambler Café-RacerTriumph Street Cup
Length2130mm2107mm2105mm
Width870810mm740mm
Height11451066mm1105mm
Wheelbase1510mm1436mm1355mm
Seat height765mm805mm780mm
Wet weight238kg188kg210kg
Fuel tank13l13.5l12l

POWERTRAIN

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With the Street series of motorcycles, Harley-Davidson introduced an all new family of engines, Revolution X. The new Street Rod is powered by the same mill as the Street 750. It is a water-cooled, four-stroke, twin cylinder, 749cc Revolution X V-Twin engine, which is also the larger of the two Revolution X Engines.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that HD were lazy to leave it untouched. They had a major rework on the power mill to produce 11 percent power boost on the top end and 5 percent more torque across the rev range when compared to the Street 750. Harley-Davidson claims the Street Rod will produce 69 horsepower at 8,750 rpm and 62 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The Street Rod gets a high-performance airbox that feeds dual throttle bodies and separate intake manifolds that feed the heads individually. Revised intake and exhaust ports along with higher lift cam necessitate an increased compression ratio of 12:1 and the engineers have raised the engine redline from 8,000 to 9,000 rpm. The belt driven transmission is through a 6-speed gearbox.

The sound eliminating from the wider pipes has a low-frequency thumping rumble which was tuned to perfection in their state-of-the-art sound facility to be instantly recognisable on any street corner in the world. Although it misses out on the exclusivity, it still notes deep.

As expected from Harley-Davidson, the engine has got the same notable strong mid-range and punchy top end power, though it may not give you the adrenaline rush of the rest of the motorcycles of Harley, as it misses out on the trademark ‘potato-potato’ exhaust note reminiscent of other Harleys. Courtesy, new emission norms. Nevertheless, the engine is quite powerful for its size and is equally at home in both city peripherals as well as highways.

Engine Specification

Make Model2017 Harley Davidson Street RodDucati Scrambler Café-RacerTriumph Street Cup
Capacity cc749803900
Bore/ Stroke mm85/6688/6684.6/80
Output69 bhp @ 8750 rpm75 bhp @ 8250 rpm54 bhp @ 5900 rpm
Torque62 Nm @ 4000 rpm68 Nm @ 5750 rpm80 Nm @ 3230 rpm
TypeHigh Output Revolution X V-TwinL-Twin cylinder, air cooledLiquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, parallel twin
Clutch typeWet- MultiplateAPTC wet multiplate clutch with mechanical controlWet- Multiplate assist clutch
Transmission6-speed6-speed5-speed

RIDE AND HANDLING

As obvious, being one of the smallest motorcycles in Harley Davidson’s Indian portfolio, the Street Rod will be quite a nimble motorcycle to ride. Although the Street Rod makes use of the same frame as the 750, the chassis setup makes it shift more towards the sporty zone rather than the cruiser. The fuel tank position is taken further back to necessitate better centre of gravity, and the rider sits farther forward.

The drag styled handle-bar, and higher footpeg positions give in for a sporty seating position with ample amounts of confidence to twist through urban traffic snarls. The Street Rod gets a two-piece 2-up seat with a perforated finish and a French stitch pattern along with foot pegs for your passenger.

Suspension units are enhanced form the Street 750 with the Rod getting 43mm black-anodized inverted fork at the front and the rear piggyback shocks that offer increased suspension travel and are tuned for a sportier ride and greater lean angle. Dual 300 mm disk front brakes and a single at the rear with dual piston callipers provide premium braking performance, quick reaction and stopping power. ABS comes as a standard fitment on the cast aluminium 17-inch wheels at both ends with Michelin Scorcher radials.

Mathew Weber, Harley-Davidson Chief Engineer for the Street Rod, says “Tires, wheels, suspension and frame geometry are engineered to work together and deliver handling that’s light and precise at all speeds.”

Chassis Specifications

Make Model2017 Harley Davidson Street RodDucati Scrambler Café-RacerTriumph Street Cup
Suspension / Front43mm Telescopic forkUpside down Kayaba 41 mm forkKYB 41 mm forks, 120 mm travel
Suspension / RearTwin tubular, piggy-back shocks, externally mounted (pre-load adjustment only)Kayaba rear shock with fully adjustable preloadKYB twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120 mm rear wheel travel
Brakes / Front300mm Dual Disc 2-piston floated330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4-32 calliper, 4-pistons, radial pump with adjustable lever, with Bosch ABS as standardSingle 310 mm floating disc, Nissin2-piston floating calliper, ABS
Brakes / Rear300 mm disc 2-piston floated245 mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper with Bosch ABS as standard equipmentSingle 255 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating calliper, ABS
Tyres / Front3.5”X17120/70 ZR17100/90 R18
Tyres / Rear4.5”X17180/55 ZR17150/70 R17

PRICE

Harley-Davidson has recently launched this bike in India. And according to their website, the motorcycle could be yours starting at ? 5.83 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

You will get the Street Rod in three colour options: Vivid Black, Olive Gold and Charcoal Denim.

COMPETITION

The Street Rod is somewhat in a unique category of its own. It is neither a café-racer nor a flat tracker. But if things have to be put in a perspective, two other middleweights can give a stiff competition to it when it gets on the road.

Ducati Scrambler Café-Racer

Meet the new in-house breeder, the Ducati Café-Racer in pure café style straight from the factory floor. Visually this Café-Racer hits the high note and is considerably the favourite one of the Scramblers. It has been treated with a glossy black coat which Ducati calls ‘Black Coffee’. Gold coach lines, logo and alloy wheels accentuate the black paint scheme highlighting the bike’s grown up design. It’s a colour combo that just works.

It is really a commendable job done by Ducati to have managed to spin the same engine and create that many Scramblers each having their character. The loveable air-cooled 803cc motor is bolted to the steel trellis frame, and the Euro 4 compliant engine develops 75bhp at 8,250 rpm and 68Nm of peak torque at 5,750 rpm. Although it is the same motor, riders can now expect quite a treatment to their ears due to the Termignoni silencer. Promising smoother delivery of power and faster throttle response, especially at lower rpm, than ever before.

Ducati will be introducing the Scrambler Café Racer very soon in the Indian market, somewhere in the price range of ? 8-8.25 lakh. The motorcycle will be available in a single paint shade of Black Coffee, which comes with golden inserts to its fuel tank and alloy wheels.

Triumph Street Cup

1. Triumph Street Cup

As one would expect, this Street Cup is loaded with a lot more urban panache and flamboyancy due to its cleaner styling cues and commendable ergonomics. And that two-tone paint scheme is for sure an eye candy. The contemporary urban styling cues are boldly shown with those clean looking lines and minimal bodywork. The coach lines on the elegant fuel tank are hand painted, and it looks striking on the two-tone colour scheme.

Boasting a ‘high torque’ 900cc motor that is capable of 54bhp @5900 rpm. Not much one would say but is enough to wind around in the urban city more comfortably. The torque figures are in the range of 80Nm which is significantly higher compared to other café racers around. The exhaust note from its parallel twin 270° crank is beefier with the exhaust system making use of shorter upswept steel mufflers. There is a torque assist clutch system that makes power delivery for a start stop urban commute a breeze.

Triumph has not yet announced the pricing list and its availability. Although, we believe it is going to be under ?9 lakhs hoping Triumph won’t ask too much of a premium for this Street Cup.

VERDICT

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The Street Rod will share a unique space when it comes to putting it under a category. As aforementioned, it is neither a café-racer nor a flat tracker. This attempt of Harley is to lure customers who might not have considered the brand before; those who are always in need of a little more power.

This packaged machine from the American brand seals the deal on having a sporty outlook on a cruiser model. An American stamp on the sporting standard.

More could be told about this bike when it launches in the country this year, and scribes will write sagas about how well made this motorcycle is. More power, improved suspension, tweaked geometry, and better brakes. It looks like Harley is in the habit of nailing it since the last couple of products.