Cycle World has an opinion. Motorcycle.com has an opinion. I trust their judgements enough to share my opinion based on theirs, if you care enough to read it. If not it’s cool, there’s plenty of Oppo to go around!
So basically it’s juuuuuuuust maneuverable enough to qualify as a standard(40-degree lean angles and reasonably thin tires), ergonomically rude(oddly wide pegs and a drag bar that brings you a smidge too far forward, plus the wide tank and big intake resist the normal knee grip), dynamically dulled(they upped the horses to 67 but the taller gears, 500+lb weight and small rear sprocket on a taller 17" wheel absorbs the extra power), and as affordable as possible while still being more expensive than the competition it’s inferior to! Never change, Harley-Davidson! I couldn’t afford you if you did.
Seriously though, and not to let H-D off the hook because they do often børk easy things they should get right, but the Street Rod never really needed to be great or even much good, just not terrible or unreliable. Barely-there refinement is more of a Harley-Davidson trait than a flaw. More than any other company I can think of, H-D cultivates and designs products to appeal to the custom and aftermarket scene - and always has, they like the parts sales they get as a result - almost to the point that it’s odder to have a completely stock H-D than it is a custom IN THE SHOWROOM. I think they expect people to swap and upgrade parts so much that they’ll focus on the looks, put it out if it’ll pass regulations and leave the details and specifics you’d expect them to do stock - like, say, a larger rear sprocket to send the increased power through the taller gears to the larger rear wheel more effectively? - to the aftermarket, so they can drop the bottom line a bit. Say what you want to about this approach, it’s worked for them in the decades since H-D was racing Sportsters hasnt it? Somebody told me it’s bad form to end a paragraph with a question when the next paragraph starts with one, so here you go.
Now, is that going to work on people outside of the Harley-Davidson/Sportster Fan Club, the guys and gals who are also looking at the Ducati Scrambler or the Triumph Street Twin, neither of which really needs to be upgraded day one like most Harleys? I don’t know, but it worked with iPads and those ‘accessory’ keyboard covers and stylos everybody bought without a second thought. Plus, most of the young Harley-Davidson riders I know are stunters who do jumps and wheelies... On 600lb Dynas! I have to think at least two of them would appreciate the lighter weight, even if they had to wrench on the engine-assuming they don’t just buy the race engine from the Daytona-winning XG750! It fits right into this frame, good luch passing the e-check.
I freely admit to being biased, though. How can I doubt that theres an audience of people willing to accept a Harley-Davidson that handles in any capacity when I’m looking at financing for one? Then again, I said the same thing about the EBR 1190SX and the Octane so maybe I’m not the shining endorsement you can rely on here. Still, I do plan on riding one soon. Maybe I’ll make a video, if I can find a way to mount my phone!