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2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 review, test ride
May 18, 2017 by Sherman Hale Nazareth

While the main frame of the bike has been maintained, it gets a shorter sub-frame, and this is where the Street Rod really differentiates itself from the Street 750. It now gets beefy 43mm inverted forks at the front while the twin rear shocks now get piggyback reservoirs for improved damping. With the new forks, the front geometry of the bike has also been altered and now has a tighter 27-degree rake angle which also results in a reduced trail of 99mm. This has led to a drop of 10mm from the overall wheelbase which now stands at 1,510mm.

And in order to maximise cornering performance, Harley-Davidson has also upgraded the tyres to radials, which are now sized at 120/70 R17 (front) and 160/60 R17 (rear). The improved rubber from MRF really ensures that this Street Rod is not just about straight roads. A change in foot peg position to make them more rear-set has allowed for much higher cornering clearances on either side, an area where the Street 750 falls behind.

Even the brakes have seen an immense improvement thanks to the dual 300mm rotors up front with two-piston calipers, as opposed to the single disc on the Street 750. The rear brake stays the same, with a single 300mm disc with twin pot calipers. However, Harley is offering ABS as standard on the Street Rod which should really help increase safety to offset the boost in performance. Although the brakes do feel a bit vague and lack feel, the stopping power is strong and confidence inspiring.

We certainly were impressed with the Street Rod's handling. The aggressive seating position means you're already quite leaned into the handlebars. So dipping deep into corners feels quite natural; the higher cornering clearance makes for much sharper handling, especially when you factor in the increased seat height of 765mm that makes for a higher centre of gravity. Once you're into the corner, the Street Rod has a rather composed feel that really encourages you to push it harder. And the engine here is definitely punchier than the Street 750's; once you wring that throttle, the bike surges forward with a sense of purpose. The Street Rod comes together just brilliantly and really is a hoot to ride. Although it would definitely be more than happy to obliterate a set of twisty mountain roads, the seating position may make things a bit uncomfortable on longer hauls. It’s also not as nimble as you expect a modern sport standard to be.

Let's talk about ride quality. The Street Rod manages to handle bad roads brilliantly. While the suspension is soft, it doesn't get the bike wallowy around turns or hamper precision. The only issue we'd have to point out is the heating problem. Although the 749cc mill is liquid-cooled, it does get quite hot in slow-moving traffic or when at a standstill. And thanks to the seating position and position of the cylinder heads, your left thigh might touch the cylinder head when you put your feet down; and the cylinder head does get quite hot. That said, the side stand is easily accessible and is conveniently placed than you'd expect on regular cruisers.

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