AUSTIN, Texas --
It’s only 9 a.m. and the temperature has already reached 30 degrees Celsius. The buildings in downtown Austin, Texas are tall, and there’s not a lot of airflow.
Naturally, I’d be anything but excited to get on an air-cooled motorcycle, only to be stuck in traffic that inches along. However, I have the good fortune of test riding one of the first production models of Harley-Davidson’s all-new Street 750, which is blissfully liquid cooled.
I can get excited again.
2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 highlights
Built from the ground up, Harley’s new model is aimed at new/young adult riders. It’s also constructed with the urban riding mentality: higher ground clearance (145 mm) to help avoid potholes, a more pleasant suspension to absorb road imperfections, a front fork with 5.5” of travel that's fairly forgiving, and a low seat height of 652 mm (25.7”).
As mentioned, the all-new Revolution X engine that powers the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 is liquid-cooled. This 749cc, 60-degree V-twin engine is smooth-revving and has ample low-end torque. It was specifically tuned to deliver that peppy acceleration you need when starting from a stop.
Furthermore, the Revolution X engine is paired to a 6-speed transmission with the lightest clutch lever I’ve ever used. Thank goodness, because there’s nothing worse than feeling like your left hand is going to fall off after a ride in stop-and-go traffic. And the 6-speed does everything it’s supposed to do, and does it seamlessly.
Riding the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750
|This 749cc, 60-degree V-twin engine is smooth-revving and has ample low-end torque. (Photo: Alexandra Straub + Riles and Nelson)
The 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 features a new double downtube frame which was designed to handle the rigours of the road. It’s also narrow, meaning the vertically challenged can easily throw a leg over and actually touch the ground.
Ergonomics aren’t bad. The wide handlebars and mid-mounted footpegs make for a generally comfortable riding position, although I’d pull the handlebars slightly towards me since it was a bit of a stretch. Despite travelling over 200 kilometres, the ride didn’t prove to be tiresome on my upper body.
There’s no tachometer, so if you’re used to revving the engine high before shifting, you’ll just have to tone it down a little. Regardless, the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 has the agility to work its way through tight spots but also cruise along the highways and interstates with confidence.
2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 could use a few teaks
|The 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 features a new double downtube frame which was designed to handle the rigours of the road. (Photo: Alexandra Straub + Riles and Nelson)
Overall, I enjoyed riding this new bike, but a few tweaks would make it better for me.
For starters, the single disc brake up front isn’t grabby. That’s both good and bad. New riders will find it hard(er) to really lock up the front wheel (there’s no ABS available), but it requires a firmer pull of the lever, especially in hard braking situations. Therefore, give yourself a little extra time if you’re riding at highway speeds.
The rear brake pedal also required coaxing to get it to grab. Plus, you have to push down enough to get your foot to contort in a way you wouldn’t necessarily want it to. Meanwhile, the clutch lever wasn’t in the right place for my tiny hands. Granted, that’s an easy fix; I just didn’t have the right tools to do it.
Fit and finish could be better: The exposed wires near the instrument cluster are far from attractive.
Overall, though, the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 looks racy and has a bit of flair, particularly the red model I tested. With a host of accessories available from the get-go, you can easily customize it, as well. After all, what would a Harley be if it weren’t tailored to your personal style?
Summing up the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750
|Fit and finish could be better: The exposed wires near the instrument cluster are far from attractive. (Photo: Alexandra Straub + Riles and Nelson)
The engine is great, and so is the softer suspension. As far as an all-new motorcycle goes, the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 still has some growing pains to endure, namely in the fit and finish department. That said, this bike is not intimidating and its light weight of just 222 kg (489 lbs) could certainly appeal to a whole new crowd of riders.
Pricing for the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 will be announced closer to its release date later this year.
- Engine and transmission are very good
- Easy to ride
- Great for an urban setting
- Fit and finish could be improved
- Brakes need more bite