Our ride review of the Harley-Davidson Street 750 below has been live since Mar 29, 2014, moments after we rode the bike in Delhi region. At the time, we pointed out poor brakes to say- ‘The big Harley stops when you want it to, but the brakes lack powerful bite, require pressure at the levers and fail to communicate a reassuring enough feel when trying to haul the bike down urgently from really high speed. ABS is also missed, and Harley would do well to add this to the new bike.’
Since then, several respected publications worldwide echoed similar concerns, including a German report of total brake failure during testing. The recently introduced, 2016 year model Street 750 has improved brakes, as mentioned in our review here although users of earlier bikes have been left in the lurch, with the company refusing to address their pleas for any solution, that offers them a reasonable, or affordably priced upgrade to safer brakes. Story here
Our Mar 29, 2014 review as under.
Who would have imagined the Indian big-bike market could grow so fast? Turn the clock not so far back to 2009, and Harley-Davidson had only just commenced India operations, with the Harleys for mangoes exchange legend doing the rounds. No one could have foretold just a few years down the line, the famous American company would actually be manufacturing motorcycles in India. And that's exactly where we are, the famous cruiser bike maker moving at breakneck speed in our market, with prices cascading down and Indian bike enthusiasts having never had it this good.
It's been quite a wait, with so many of us itching to ride the Indian-made Street 750 ever since our September 2013 issue where we announced Harley will manufacture this bike in India. The Street 750 is H-D's first new motorcycle platform since the V-Rod of 13 years ago. Bookings are open, and here's what we've just experienced in the saddle.
The Street 750 is a big cruiser in the flesh, in typical Harley style, a neat bikini fairing housing its classic circular headlamp. You can customize the Street 750 by ditching the front fairing, to leave your headlight exposed. It's a muscular, low bike, with powerful presence, drawing attention from bystanders whenever you get out for a ride. The front telescopic fork pipes come with rubber boots to protect them, a good thing in India's rugged conditions. There's a solitary instruments pod, with speedometer prominently displayed and reading up to 180kph. The Street 750 comes with plush feeling, high quality grips, as on all Harley bikes, but we found the motorcycle switchgear lacked quality, despite being easy to come to terms with, and its mirrors could have offered better rear view vision too, calling for moving your elbows out of the way to see enough behind the bike.
The Street 750 is produced by Harley-Davidson for India, in India at Bawal, Haryana, using several key components sourced from Indian vendors. This isn't the very first time the well known American manufacturer has built bikes outside the US, but India becomes today the only other manufacturing facility outside America, with an aim to rapidly ramp up localisation, all the while striving to maintain H-D quality standards.
At Rs 4.10 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), our ride confirms the Street 750 delivers in spades, offering an undiluted, 'pukka' Harley feel, at a never before value-for-money price. It's a landmark bike, not just for Harley, but for the expanding and evolving Indian big-bike market, a big bonus being the refined, smooth performing Revolution X engine offering liquid-cooling, which isn't otherwise available on sibling Harley bikes, unless they cost far more, this also making for a notable advantage in hot and sun-drenched India. The Street 750 makes a solid case for itself, offering better value-for-money over not just every other Harley-Davidson bike, but almost every other big-bike today available in our market. There's absolutely no doubt, barring lacklustre overall quality that Harley is sure to work on and improve in time to come, the Street 750 has what it takes to earn itself a coveted crown in India, to rise and become the largest selling big-bike here in the not so distant future.