The new Harley Davidson Street Rod

People have been clamoring for an affordable, ‘Merican, sporty standard for a while now. Something with 17" wheels, more than 2 inches of suspension travel, and good cornering clearance. Harely-Davidson has tried this before with XR1200 and with Buell, but Buell never got further than being a novel, American alternative sportbike and the XR1200 was simply ahead of its time.

Harley Davidson XR1200

More recently, Polaris/Indian further stoked those flames with the surprisingly sporty-ish Scout, the Project 156 race bike, and Scout FTR750 Flat Track race bike. The time seemed ripe for Indian or Victory to whip out a Sporty Standard with that amazing V-twin.

Victory Empulse TT & Project 156

Then we got the Octane, which in and of itself was a good cruiser, but it failed to live up to the hype. A few months later Polaris announced that Victory was dead.

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Hope for basically an American SV650 seemed lost.

Then this morning I saw a picture of the new Street Rod. At first I thought it was a silly, appearance package for the Harley Street 750, but then I started noticing the details. It’s got taller suspension! An USD fork! Dual disk brakes!

Let’s dig in a bit and compare some specs to the regular Street 750, the Triumph Street Twin, and the good ‘ole Suzuki SV650...

The changes are much more than just some new wheels and suspenders. They steepened up the rake and gained 10 degrees more cornering clearance. It unfortunately gained some weight.

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Also those tires sizes means you can put on all sorts of good sporty rubber. They’re also claiming about 68 horsepower.

Obviously, performance-wise, it’s not going to keep pace with an FZ-07 or an SV650. However, those bikes are selling great because they’re fun and affordable. I’m reserving judgement until I can ride one, but the pieces are there to be a distinctly ‘Merican Standard that can hold it’s own in the twisties.

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It’s probably more fair to compare it to the similarly named Triumph Street Twin. Either way it’s looks to be a great addition to the Harley Davidson family.

Keep the shiny side up