Harley-Davidson rules the Indian big bike market roost today, with consistently impressive sales figures flowing in on the back of a burgeoning following of Indian bike enthusiasts. These heavy, macho, chrome rich motorcycles have clearly caught our fancy, as has the magic of being associated with and living the Harley dream, riding in large, like minded groups, snugly kitted up in a range of Harley gear all easily available across the country. So it’s no surprise, the American bike-maker has decided the time is ripe to move from this firm foothold in the Indian big bike market, to a position of dominance.
First shown at the EICMA motor show, Milan, the Street 500 and 750 represent H-D’s very first all-new motorcycle platform since the V-Rod model of 13 years ago. Bookings for the 750 open in India a few days from now, in March and here’s what the new bike brings to the table.
The Street 750 sports a cruiser typical front end, with bikini fairing and classic round headlamp. Customizing the bike to sport a more classic look is simple, by easily removing the front fairing. It’s a muscular, low and lengthy motorcycle, with powerful, macho presence. There’s a circular instruments pod, with speedometer to be calibrated in kph. Good quality grips, switches and mirrors are all a part of the Street 750. The bike’s elongated fuel tank sports an offset filler lid, and flows backwards into a plush riding saddle and really distinctive, stepped tail.
The Street 750 runs on four-stroke power from a 60 degree—wide for a low centre-of-gravity to promote better handling—V-twin engine, displacing 749cc, with fuel-injection. Much development on the new engine has been put in by AVL. A single overhead camshaft and liquid-cooling are offered, as is a 6-speed gearbox, shifted in a 1-down, 5-up pattern. Expect excellent low-end grunt, born of ample torque, 6.62kgm output at 4000rpm with adequate performance. Power is to be transferred to the Street 750 rear wheel via a Harley typical toothed-belt, a quiet, reliable system that’s better suited to India and required lower maintenance than a drive-chain. Look forward to a potent sounding exhaust growl when the Street 750 finally enter Indian showrooms, with Harley-Davidson confirming they have spent much time ensuring this latest generation liquid-cooled ‘Revolution X’ engine makes no acoustic compromise. Harley-Davidson has read Indian riders and our riding conditions well, which is why the Street 750 is certain to output pulse quickening acceleration to 110kph, and a top speed in the region of over 150kph. Fuel economy is expected to be in the region of 20kpl.
The Street 750 comes with a cruiser typical 1511mm long wheelbase, and seats riders in armchair comfort, its back-upright riding position supported by feet-set-forward rider footrests. A steel fabricated frame forms the backbone of this motorcycle. 7-spoke alloy rims, telescopic fork front suspension and dual rear shock absorbers with a rectangle section steel swingarm are standard kit.
The Street 750 offers 2 inches more ground clearance and 2 inches extra suspension travel over any other Harley presently in India. Its handlebars are wide for good leverage. Chunky MRF Zapper tyres are front and rear, while braking is via a pair of single, ventilated discs at both ends.
Harley-Davidson already offers Indians a wide range of bikes, assembling several popular models here as CKD units, which helps keep pricing tempting. It’s a proven formula that’s allowed a new generation of Indians access to these famous motorcycles and the lifestyle. Production of the large capacity Street 750 is already underway, for India and in India at Bawal, Haryana, using several key components sourced from Indian vendors. This isn’t the first time the well known American manufacturer makes motorcycles outside the US, but India is today the only other manufacturing facility outside the US to use local parts, with an aim to rapidly ramp up localization, maintaining H-D’s quality.
While the Street 500 come to India later in 2015, Harley-Davidson has announced aggressive pricing for bigger brother, the Street 750, at Rs 4.10 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), making it time to start saving. Its engine is liquid-cooled, a notable factor that should hand this Harley a sizeable advantage over its more expensive siblings in hot and sunny India. So before even reaching us, it’s clear the Street 750 presents a solid case and offers better value-for-money than any other Harley-Davidson bike in India.
We’ve peered within the crystal ball, and would like to say this first; the Street 750 will do its maker proud, and has all it takes to become India’s largest selling big bike in days to come.