Common Tread

Harley-Davidson Street Rod first look

Mar 09, 2017

Harley is going to slow the internet to a crawl today.

They have released the bike I’ve been clamoring for for ages. This is the bike many of you have asked for, too.

Street Rod
Harley-Davidson Street Rod. Harley-Davidson photo.

Internet, meet the Street Rod. You may remember that name; it was the moniker for one of the few sporting bikes the MoCo has sold in recent memory. Many felt it was the most palatable version of a V-Rod, because it featured improved suspension, controls, and brakes, and it was fitted with wheels and tires more suited for harder riding.

Street Rod rider
Harley-Davidson Street Rod. Harley-Davidson photo.

The new Street Rod follows that recipe, but instead of being an offshoot of the V-Rod, the new version is based on the Street 750. Details are slim at this time, but I’m gonna reel off a few of the fast facts for ya. The bike is wearing 17-inch wheels front and rear. The fork is inverted, the brakes are dual discs (300 mm), and ABS will be an option (for another $750). Triple clamps are aluminum. Rake angle was decreased by five degrees, down to 27! The rear end is wearing a set of piggyback shocks, and the swingarm is slightly longer. Seat height goes up nearly four inches, to 29 and change. Rear suspension travel is 4.6 inches. (Check out the photos; it's ground clearance for days!) The Street Rod also features new forged foot controls and aluminum foot pegs.

The engine got some love, too. It has a higher rev limit, higher compression, reworked heads, and different cams. Harley is claiming it makes 18 percent more horsepower and 8 percent more torque than the standard Street 750. (Stock Streets are in the 55-59 range at the wheel, so this iteration should theoretically be around 65 at the wheel, which is probably about 75 from the crank.) This puts it smack-dab between something like a Yamaha FZ-07 or a Suzuki SV650.

Drag bar and bar-end mirrors for a look that stands out in the Harley-Davidson lineup. Harley-Davidson photo.

And then there’s the little stuff. The flyscreen and rear bodywork are new and the bike has different turn signals and an LED taillight. I also see swept drag bars and bar-end mirrors, and the perf-leather seat is a really nice touch at this end of the market. I normally don’t spend time discussing looks too much due to subjectivity, but this bike appears way more cohesive visually to me than a standard Street.

The new Street Rod has an LED taillight. Harley-Davidson photo.

And of course, a not-so-insignificant detail in question here is the price. Vivid Black is going to run $8,699, and Charcoal Denim and Olive Gold ring in at $8,994. I love Harley-Davidson, but I'm also fairly vocally critical of them. For A $1,495 difference, H-D appears to have addressed many of the things I did not love about the Street 750. They certainly stretched the extra budget in my view.

Harley has invited Common Tread to test this baby in Daytona, so stay tuned for some coverage on this machine. Before I sign off, let me take a break from bein’ the curmudgeonly guy around here: I AM SO EXCITED! This spec sheet has me very, very intrigued. I have a sneaking suspicion H-D is going to sell a lot of these. If the bike proves itself in Daytona, one of those sales is very likely to be to me.