Street’s ahead One year with 750 Hog
After 10 months and 8000 miles with Harley’s first made-inIndia machine, the Street proves itself to be the real deal
t’s an age ago that I was welcomed by the Rutland Chapter, my local Harley Owners Group (HOG), for their Easter Egg Run on my shiny new Harley Street 750. Some 10 months and 8000 miles later, it’s with a heavy heart that I have parted with the bike.
It was my introduction to the Harley lifestyle and one I wanted to experience to the maximum. With this in mind I crammed in as much riding as possible, including travelling to Europe, riding round Wales dressed as Evel Knievel, plus passing my IAM test.
A particular highlight was an August Bank Holiday weekend, which saw me loading the bike for my biggest trip of the year. The Street 750 isn’t meant for long-distance riding; striking out on a 1000-mile round trip to the Thunder in the Glen Rally in Aviemore, was a little adventurous to say the least. The resulting tennis elbow, which is still troubling me some four months later, is evidence that the bike’s not a tourer. That aside, the rally was an experience I wouldn’t have missed for all the tea in Guy Martin’s garage!
While there I chatted with true dyedin-the wool Harley owners to see just what they thought of my built-in-india bike and whether I’d be accepted as a ‘real’ Harley rider. The Street’s the first Harley to be built outside the US, and was designed to entice riders with a smaller budget so it’s not quite as ‘bling’ as the norm. I was pleasantly surprised by their welcome, the three guys I spoke with had 25 years of ownership under their belts, so I valued their views. They all said that as long as it’s made by Harley the owner would be welcome at their respective HOG Chapter but none of them would part with their cash and buy a Street 750.
In all my time with the bike, I had just two real gripes, one was comfort and the other fuel economy. Tackling the comfort issue was a costly challenge; I initially tried a Mustang Fastback seat (www.mageurope.eu) at £337.20, but it proved no relief for my aching coccyx. It was fitting a pair of adjustable Ikon 7610s (www.ikonshocks.co.uk), £335.16, that solved the problem.
I’m renowned for getting great fuel economy, finding I was averaging 40mpg per tank was disappointing. I took some advice from local tuning shop BSD and realised I needed to run the bike at about 5000rpm, roughly 20% throttle, to maximise fuel economy. Without the aid of a rev counter the only option was a dot of Tipex on the throttle and bar, when these lined up I was riding at the optimum efficiency. Sounds basic but it worked, seeing a maximum of 66mpg.
My biggest achievement and a cracking way to round off my year was passing my IAM Advanced riding test (www.iamroadsmart.com) as I wanted to improve my riding skills. The £149 fee covered test fees plus membership to the IAM and all the observed rides I needed to prepare for my test.
On test day it was great to be riding the Street 750, I was really comfortable and confident on the bike. My tester for the day, Andy Mcmanus, commented that the feet-forward riding position made it easy for him to watch my gear changes and use of the rear brake. He also commended me on my steering, even though the Street 750 is the smallest Harley in the range it’s still cumbersome when steering, and on tighter bends can be quite difficult. But to quote Andy, I got a ‘good solid pass.’ I’m happy with that.
‘As long as it’s made by Harley the owner would be welcome at their respective HOG Chapter’
FINAL REPORT 8144 MILES
ALISON SILCOX Been riding for 12 years and over 20 as pillion
Height 5ft 10in Weight 72kg Price £5995 Fuel 13.1 litres @ 57.5mpg = 165 miles Weight 223kg Seat 710mm Power 52bhp Torque 43ftlb