2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod First Ride Review
Harley-Davidson is out to make a bold statement. The Motor Company says that it plans to release 50 new models in the next five years.
This initiative begins with its latest model that targets a younger demographic of urban riders—the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod.
I headed to Daytona Bike Week to test the new Street Rod, the third model in Harley’s Street lineup, along with the Street 750 and Street 500.
Though based on the Street platform, the Street Rod is an entirely different motorcycle—one that was designed with a form-over-function mindset after Harley talked to over 3,000 riders for design input.
Ahead of our full review, here are the Fast Facts from our first ride.
- Creating about 70 horsepower (claimed), the Street Rod’s High Output Revolution X 750 engine delivers just enough power for urban riding. It’s not wheelie-happy power, but it is 18 percent more than the Street 750, which feels like a dog compared to the Street Rod. Even with the additional peak power—courtesy of upsized Mikuni EFI—the liquid-cooled 749cc motor has a wide torque curve that helps produce power across the rev range, and is happiest from 3000 to the 9000 rpm rev limit (1000 rpm over the Street 750).
- Though it’s built on the Street 750 platform, the suspension is updated for much better handling. The 43mm front fork handled Florida’s few twisty roads with ease, providing good damping for more aggressive riding. The ride is much harsher than the Street 750, and the front fork can use a bit more rebound damping.
- Crank the preload on the rear coil-over rear shock absorbers, and the Street Rod handles much better. By my first stop this was needed, as the bike was a bit sloppy for my 180 pounds. The rear has 4.6 inches of travel, and is fit for lighter riders.
- The ergonomics are extremely crunched, and simply didn’t work for my nearly six-foot frame. My knees were well above the gas tank, providing a psychological comfort challenge during the first few miles. The handlebars are flat and wide, and keep you in a commanding position for aggressive riding.
- Due to dual 300mm discs up front, and a single 300mm disc out back, the Street Pro has massive stopping power. I was directly behind a bike that had crashed at around 65 mph, and was able to comfortably come to a stop without any issue. The always-on ABS worked spot on, and intervention was barley noticeable.
- The two-into-one exhaust looks great, but gets in the way of your right foot when riding on the balls of your feet. Harley knew this would happen, and actually put a rubber footrest on top of the exhaust, which keeps your foot completely—and awkwardly—horizontal. As for noise, well it’s extremely quiet.
- The 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod is 30 pounds heavier than the Street 750, and wears all 519 pounds (wet) very well. The bike is easy to maneuver at low speeds, and I was able to go from lock to lock with the steering at low speeds while doing figure 8s.
- The bikini fairing looks the aggressive urban part, but provides little wind protection. This was noticeable at highway speeds, though the intentions of this bike are strictly urban.
- My threshold for comfort was about 30 minutes. After that, my right leg, which was mended with a titanium rod back in 1994, went completely numb. The seat allows for little movement while riding. Again, the Harley-Davidson Street Rod is not intended for touring.
- Lean angle is 40 degrees, which provides some serious fun in the corners. When pushed as much as possible on the few turns we encountered, I never scraped a peg—the Michelin Scorcher 21s did their job—and that’s while remaining centered on the seat and not hanging off. The added lean angle—the rear tire is two inches larger in diameter than the 15-inch on the Street 750— is a perfect match for a front end that is tucked in a whopping five degrees compared to the Street 750.
Photography by Brian J. Nelson
- Helmet: Shoei GT-Air
- Jacket: Harley-Davidson Scully 3-in-1 Convertible Mesh Jacket
- Gloves: Oscar by Alpinestars Rayburn
- Pants: Alpinestars Crank Denim Pants
- Boots: Harley-Davidson FXRG-3
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod Specs:
- Type: Revolution X 60-degree V-twin
- Bore x stroke: 3.35 x 2.6 inches
- Displacement: 46 cubic inches (749cc)
- Maximum torque: 47 ft/lbs @ 4000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 12:1
- Fuel system: Mikuni Twin Port Fuel Injection w/ 42mm bore
- Lubrication: Wet sump
- Cooling: Liquid
- Transmission: Six-speed
- Clutch: Wet multi-plate
- Primary drive: Gear
- Final drive: Belt
- Frame: Mild tubular steel w/ rectangular backbone
- Front suspension: Non-adjustable inverted 43mm forks/5.2 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: Spring-preload adjustable shocks/4.6 inches of travel
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17; Michelin Scorcher 21 radial
- Rear tire: 160/60 x 17; Michelin Scorcher 21 radial
- Front wheel: 17” x 3.5”; 7-spoke cast aluminum
- Rear wheel: 17” x 4.5”; 7-spoke cast aluminum
- Front brakes: 300mm discs w/ two-piston floating calipers
- Rear: 300mm disc w/ two-piston floating caliper
- ABS: Optional
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Seat height: 30.1 inches
- Wheelbase: 59.4 inches
- Rake: 27 degrees
- Trail: 3.9 inches
- Right lean angle: 37.3 degrees
- Left lean angle: 40.2 degrees
- Fuel capacity: 3.5 gallons
- Curb weight: 516 pounds
- Estimated EPA fuel consumption: 54 mpg
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod Colors:
- Vivid Black
- Charcoal Denim
- Olive Gold
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod Prices (MSRP):
- $8699 (Vivid Black)
- $8994 (Charcoal Denim; Olive Gold)