The news surrounding Harley-Davidson hasn’t been the best lately. However, with total revenue slightly down in 2016 and dealerships overstocked with inventory yet to sell, Harley is still planning to add 2 million riders and 50 new models over the next 5 to 10 years. To kick things off Harley-Davidson has released the 2017 Street Rod.
With a starting price under $9,000 the Street Rod finds itself among some interesting competition. The Suzuki SV650, Kawasaki Z650, Triumph Street Twin and Yamaha FZ-07 all have similar prices, style, and power.
Starting with the Street 750 as the foundation the Street Rod makes many significant changes that allow Harley-Davidson to consider it a brand new motorcycle. Almost everything except the fuel tank has seen some type of changes and improvements. Even the tank has been repositioned to help accommodate a more sporty seating position. After years of soliciting feedback from its customers, Harley has finally given them what they have been asking for, a sport standard.
The 750cc liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin has been significantly upgraded to produce almost 20% more peak horsepower. The High Output Revolution X engine makes about 70hp at 8,750 rpm and 47 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The changes include a larger airbox, 42mm throttle bodies which are 4mm larger than those in the Street 750, 1,000 rpm bump to 9,000rpm, new pistons that raise the compression ratio from 11.0:1 to 12.0:1, new intake ports, and different cam profiles.
With more power comes a need for an improved chassis. One of the most noticeable changes is the move away from 17 inch and 15 inch wheel combination found on the Street 750. The Street Rod has 17 inchers all around. The front suspension is comprised of a 43mm inverted fork and the rear has dual preload adjustable piggyback reservoir shocks. There are dual 300mm brake discs with 2 piston calipers providing the stopping power.
As Street Rods start hitting showroom floors, it will be interesting to see how buyers respond. There are a lot of options in the class and the competition has never been fiercer.