HARLEY-DAVIDSON'S  Street 750 supplies two reasons why the machine will sell. Reason number one is the price. At £5,795 on the road, it’s £1,700 less than the Iron 883. Reason number two is that the Street 750 doesn't feel too much like a the bigger Harleys.

The 750 is liquid-cooled, and is only the second bike Harley-Davidson has made liquid cooled, the first was the V-Rod. The Street 750’s engine is quieter and has higher revving than other Harleys. The old school Harleys are famous for their distinctively loud engines. You won't recognize this from the quieter 750. 

The 750 has a fairly natural riding position, with your back straight, not bent forward to reach the bars. The pegs are placed a short distance ahead of the seat, not way up in front. It feels smaller and much lighter than other Harleys.

Harley hounds love the machines for their distinctive personality and know exactly what they’re getting when they buy one. Non-Harley lovers who do not know any better and simply want a motorcycle better not get on this one because on this occasion a solid motorcycle is exactly what Harley has built.

The Street 750 was introduced in Italy, Spain and Portugal in 2015, and is only now due to go on sale in the UK. It reaches the UK with a round of minor updates for 2016, the most significant being a new Brembo front brake caliper on a slightly bigger disc, up from 292mm to 300mm. 

It instantly feels like a more accessible prospect for those who are no already Harley converts. At 229kg wet, it’s the lightest machine in the US marque’s range and I daresay it’s probably the easiest to ride.

From the way it changes direction, I’d have guessed it was lighter still. It pitches quickly and easily into corners, more so than the two updated models which Harley launched alongside it in Barcelona, the Iron 883 and Forty-Eight.

The engine is punchy. In Barcelona's busy traffic, a small blip of throttle sent it shooting through gaps like Arnie past the lorry in Terminator 2. Most of the fun to be had is from this mid-range wallop, with peak torque at 4,000rpm. But it does keep pulling as revs climb in quite an un-Harley-like way, until it hits a rev-limiter. There’s no rev-counter and this is one Harley that might benefit from one.

Stopping at lights, it sometimes proved tricky to get into neutral, going straight from first to second instead. This could be one traditional Harley trait that has been retained.

Accelerating, it felt stronger than the 883cc Iron and a simple motorway test suggested it was. Rolling on the throttle at about 60mph, the Street 750 pulled away from the bigger capacity air-cooled machine. Both were in top gear (sixth on the Street, fifth on the Iron).

The seat is low, at 710mm, soft and large, with an ass-friendly concave profile. Short riders should have no trouble getting both feet flat on the ground.

The pegs are widely spaced in typical cruiser style and the distance between them and the seat is small. As I said in my first impressions of the bike, the position is not entirely unlike squatting on a low toilet, with knees bent at an acute angle. 

I was comfortable most of the time but the position did seem to cause me occasional spasms of cramp, which I could only relieve by standing up at traffic lights. I suspect six-footers may crave a bit more legroom.

Maximum lean angle is 28.5° according to Harley. That’s a tiny bit less than the Iron 883, which manages 29° on one side and 30° on the other, but still a lot more than some Harleys. Take the Softail Breakout, which touches down at 23.4°.

It's possible to enjoy cornering the Street 750 without constantly worrying about running out of clearance, but optimum lean angle is within reach and the sound of scraping pegs is the reward for getting there. Except it's not pegs that are scraping.




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