Harley-Davidson’s ambitious commitment towards brand expansion in today’s highly competitive environment has fueled the unveiling of the Street Rod — a retro middleweight built around the Street's 750cc liquid-cooled V-twin and inspired by the RDX 800 (a Street 750 design concept that debuted November 2013).
Instead of the Street 750’s cruiser-like sensibilities, the Street Rod has adopted the seating position, suspension geometry, and profile of a standard roadster. It also gets the new High Output Revolution X 750 engine with more mid-range torque and a higher redline.
While the Street 750 features 32° rake, the Street Rod gets a decreased 27° and significantly increased lean angles for more agile steering and canyon carving capability. The new Street Rod has a higher seat, unladen at 764.5 mm. Pegs have been reeled in to position feet slightly behind the knees. H-D has given the Street Rod drag-style handlebars with bar-end mirrors that can fold back without interfering with operation. Its tank has also been moved forward — hence the rider as well — to adjust the center of gravity for better handling.
The lead designer behind the Street Rod was Chetan Shedjale, who also designed the 2013 RDX 800 concept which served as the new motorcycle’s main inspiration.
“American racing is something very inspirational to the world so this was a key factor in styling inspiration and resulted in substantial changes to the look. The bike has a ‘bulldog’ feel because of the front end changes. Thicker fork legs. Everything was looked at to be performance oriented, street-fighter inspired but with a Harley image and Americana," said Shedjale.
The Street Rod gets 17-inch cast aluminum wheels and a longer swingarm. It wears Michelin Scorcher 21 radial tires in sizes 120/70 R17V in front and 120/60 R17V in the back. 2-piston floating calipers take care of braking both ends with two 300 mm discs up front and a single at the rear; ABS comes standard for European markets and is optional in other countries. Performance oriented 43 mm black-anodized inverted forks take care of suspension up front with gas-charged, piggyback-reservoir shocks in the rear.
Tuning and brand new components on the High Output Revolution X 750 engine provide the Street Rod with 64 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Redline has been increased from 8,000 rpm to 9,000 and maximum output has been claimed at 67.5 PS at 8,750 rpm.
Harley-Davidson hopes to tap into a customer base that otherwise might not have considered buying Harley — whether they are millennial novices, or folks looking for a retro standard to customize. Suffice it to say, the public outcry for an American standard has been answered by industry heavyweight Harley-Davidson. The 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod will be available in Vivid Black, Olive Gold, and Charcoal Denim.