Custom – Test Street 750: a very urban little Harley? – When we arrive in Street …

TEST

Street 750 test: small, very urban Harley ?

Custom - Test Street 750: a very urban little Harley? - When we arrive in Street ...

Harley-Davidson has recently introduced in these French dealerships a brand new Street 750. Classified separately in the Milwaukee clan, this city-oriented motorcycle represents the new entry-level HD. Site tried it for you.

When we arrive in Street…

First observation when you hear the new Street 750 idling: it is excessively discreet. Harley-Davidson had nevertheless guaranteed us that its "sonority had been worked to perfection in our acoustics laboratory in Milwaukee". The disappointment is all the greater !

Of course, American engineers can be congratulated and thanked by city dwellers, many of whom are surprised by the astonishing discretion of this Harley-Davidson. But the Yankees went a little hard (sic) by trading the "potato-potato"distinctive of Milwaukee V-twins against a muffled and sad melody that evokes that of a wise twin … Japanese !

The little 749cc liquid twin whistles almost more than it sings. Its sound is much less flattering than that of the 883 cc air twin. And the phenomenon is amplified when riding, due to diametrically opposed characters…

If the maximum torque is reached almost as early as on the Iron (59 Nm at 4000 rpm on the 750, 70 Nm at 3750 rpm on the 883), the Street must be bawled up to 8000 rpm. min to benefit from its 56 horses which tumble in a very – too – linear way (against 52 wilder horses at 5750 rpm on the big sister).

A charming little touch is retained, however: these are the little dry clicking sounds distilled by the pot when the engine cools. We will therefore take care to arrive first on the terrace of the cafĂ© for an aperitif … and to leave the last. !

Taking off from a place, a stop sign or a red light poses no problem: the soft clutch and the very short first gear do not require great dexterity. The following two reports are close together and bring tone to the little "seven-and-a-half". This time, Harley-Davidson was telling the truth by calling his bike "reactive".

"Where is my potato?"

By staying high in the towers, you are sure to tax 125 scooters and cars, but more difficult to maxiscoots and large cubes. At the same time, we note the appearance of a few jerks due to the transmission. Fortunately, the finely tuned injection makes it possible to reduce them.

Rather unusual on a custom, especially from Milwaukee, the Street 750’s gearbox offers a quick and enjoyable selection. Site must however note that it has happened to find itself with a loose selector temporarily prohibiting it from changing gear…

But this situation is exceptional: it only occurs when you are too tender with the foot control, and you do not use the left hand control. However, this is not the driving style used to face the city and its particularly stressful users. !

In the rise of files, precisely, it is possible that one is slowed down by the width of the handlebars. We only partially blame him: his lever arm allows the machine to turn from one angle to another in the blink of an eye on small roads borrowed at a good pace. But go and explain that to the idiot to the asshole who honks behind you in the middle of a Parisian traffic jam !

Still in the city center, no need to play the big arms because the Street 750 is obvious to guide. A simple movement of the pelvis is enough to swing the machine from one lane to another. At very low speed, the drooping steering may surprise: it requires a bit of experience or a little getting used to.

Fortunately, the 17-inch front wheel never gets tiring to steer and doesn’t make the rider feel like riding a big Touring. The long wheelbase (a good three centimeters longer than the Iron) and the thin tires mounted on small rims (see the technical sheet on the last page) offer the Street 750 a very relevant compromise between stability and agility..

On the other hand, we are far from the mark in terms of braking … The power of the front brake is too low, especially compared to those of the roadsters on which apprentice bikers are practiced: the biting and efficient ER-6 and MT-07, mainly.

Playful but small brakeman

Yet not born of the last license reform, Site himself was surprised twice by not anticipating sufficiently strong slowdowns, on the A86 and on a motorway exit ramp…

Imperative in an emergency, the use of the rear brake is recommended to decelerate as hard as the little comrades perched on roadsters – not necessarily very – sporty. Bikers who have never tasted the specifics of custom are warned !

Almost essential support of the single front disc and its double piston caliper, the single rear disc with double piston caliper (also) is controlled by a pedal with too long travel and too soft to the touch to be perfectly dosable. The effectiveness of this element is therefore also disappointing.

If the extension of the right ankle is too generous and sudden, we take the grip of the Michelin Scorcher 11, otherwise satisfactory in the dry. The absence of ABS, even as an option, is a serious fault on a motorcycle made for the city, where the traps are as numerous as … parking spaces are scarce, hey.

Another type of inconvenience affects the biker who lingers too long in the city center: the engine heats up and the fan ends up blowing his hot breath on the thighs. The advantage of liquid cooling over air cooling is not obvious in this case..

Conversely, the interest of the "super square" dimensions of the 750 (85 x 65 mm) on the "long stroke" of the 883 (76.2 x 96.8) is striking: the flexibility of the "seven-and-a-half" half "is such that you can cruiser on the ring road on 6th gear, even when heavy traffic and / or pollution requires (s) to go below 60 km / h.

The absence of crackling at medium and high speed is more surprising. Only the most ticklish bikers – or those wearing simple Converse-type fabric sneakers – will feel some tingling in their feet, but will not be able to pretend any discomfort..

Well wedged at the bottom of the large saddle, the buttocks hardly tire. At the end of the day, it is rather the middle of the back, a little too bent, which can be sore. However, the low consumption of the Street 750 does not make its task easier. !

At the rate of an average consumption of 4.7 l / 100 km (value measured by MNC during this test), the maximum range of the little Harley is close to 280 km. Enough to go back and forth between work and sleep serenely, or quickly get away from home – or from your boss…

City harley

The accessories catalog is overflowing with references (150 including 60 specific), so that the "the Street can even be transformed into a mini tourer with a saddlebag, windshield and backrest set !", observes Harley France.

At Site, we would have preferred to be able to select a "sports chassis", as it exists in the automobile. Indeed, the front axle does not seem sufficiently riveted to the ground to inspire full confidence on small roads with passable surface..

The rear shock absorber duo is also quickly overwhelmed when you whip the 56 horsepower of the liquid twin as soon as the rope point is crossed. The lack of precision and rigor of the front and rear axles in the fast and dented sequences encourages even the most valiant of bikers to give up their hand.

Beyond that, even by fine-tuning the trajectories and limiting the brake intakes and go-arounds, we invariably end up rubbing the bike. The footrests are quickly "knocked out". This is a simple warning that must be taken into account, because then the frame touches … and the trajectory widens. !

"But the Street wasn’t designed for that", Harley-Davidson France reminds us, half-amused, half-disillusioned! The Street, as its name suggests, is indeed adapted to streets and avenues where its suspensions offer unexpected and welcome comfort, thanks to the lengths of travel unsuspected … and not communicated by the brand !

To summarize, this new Harley-Davidson is pleasant to drive in the city thanks to its docile and flexible engine on the one hand, its limited and low weight on the other. In addition, ubiquitous HD inscriptions allow the owner to loudly proclaim his membership in the Milwaukee clan..

But its finish is frankly passable and the absence of – good – vibrations and soundtrack make it a too bland motorcycle compared to the Iron, which it replaces as an entry level. In this sense, the price of the Street 750 seems too high: the extension of 1100 euros required for the rough but sensational Iron will give food for thought….

"Be careful, this bike has nothing to do with the Iron", Harley-Davidson tells us,"they do not have the same character at all (MNC approves, Editor’s note) and are not intended for the same customers". Urban bikers looking for a wise little bike will look for it at Harley? Site is in doubt. The future will tell.

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