The Forgotten Harley-Davidson
Back in 2014, Harley-Davidson was searching for a way to attract new riders onto Milwaukee iron. Competitors like the Vulcan 900 were selling well, which made it logical that a lower-priced Harley-Davidson should find success with entry-level riders. Harley-Davidson needed a bike that would give them access to global markets, primarily Asia, where big displacement V-Twins are out of place lane-splitting heavy traffic.
Taking a clean-sheet approach, Harley designed a new engine dubbed the Revolution X, a liquid-cooled V-Twin for use in the new Street Series, 500 and 750 bikes. This new engine is a large part of the reason for the lukewarm reception among Harley faithful. It seemed sacrilege to produce a 60° V-Twin with a radiator, Harleys are 45° Cylinders with big cooling fins, and what is this 750cc business, that’s just one cylinder…right? The smaller displacements and design changes mean the Street series can be built both in the USA and in India with likely a more efficient process for Harley-Davidson.
Let’s take a look at the Street 750 and see if it really deserves to be pushed over into the shade like the ginger-haired kid at the beach who forgot their sunscreen.
Our Take: Why You Should Buy a Street 750
Making the shift to a liquid-cooled 60° V-Twin, allowed the Street 750 to get a nice low stance and low center of gravity, all attributes that enhance handling and low-speed stability. Stripping weight wherever possible the Street 750 comes in at 514 lbs, which is certainly light for a Harley, but also lower than many competitors. Tuned for a healthy 64hp and 43.5 ft-lbs of torque, the Street 750 has no issues with acceleration. Harley added a balance shaft to ensure this engine feels nice and smooth yet retains a nice Harley vibration at idle.
Taller riders will likely complain about the ergonomics because this bike is focused on those under 5’10”. The foot controls are positioned in such a way that feels like a middle mount, compared to typical cruisers’ forward-mounted setup. Combined with a more upright seating position, it’s not hard to see why traditionalist HD riders would consider the Street series the black sheep of the family. Still, this positioning does work well to give confidence to new riders, especially during low-speed maneuvers and general corning, all welcome elements for the inexperienced.
Braking seems to be the biggest complaint with the Street series. With the strong engine performance, it would have been nice to see far better brakes, and the fact that ABS isn’t standard makes no sense to me. For the 2017 model year ABS became an option, so that is some acknowledgment of the need for improvement. Most rider complaints are the spongy feel and the lack of power from the front disc. With just a single disc and a 2 piston caliper, stopping this bike takes a little more distance than it should. Switching the brake lines to steel braided would likely improve the braking feel considerably.
Bottom line: The Street 750 has great power and torque, to match its good looks. The blacked-out styling is modern and badass. The small cafe-style fairing doesn’t block much wind but is attractive.
Overall this bike is a great ride. For those whining that it’s not a “true” Harley, I totally disagree. It is exactly the kind of good riding bike that will work in other markets, and work for new riders. Perfect in the city and capable on the highway. It has the sort of build quality that fits the price point, and if it was priced like a Softail I would be far more critical. The Harley-Davidson genetics are certainly present in the Street series, and I think the Street 750 does the brand proud.
Reasons to buy the Street 750:
- It is a good-looking bike and will get many compliments.
- The riding position is comfortable for most under the 6’ mark.
- The 749cc Revolution X™ V-Twin engine strong and smooth.
- Lightweight makes the low-speed maneuvers easy.
- Modern blacked-out styling.
- Nice exhaust note from the factory pipe.
Reasons not to buy the Street 750:
- You will always hear comments that it’s not a “Real Harley” because it’s not a Big air-cooled twin.
- The brakes are not the strongest and ABS was an option.
- If you want fancy electronics you won’t find them here.
Production Run & Notable Model-Year Changes
Production Run & Model Generations
Harley-Davidson introduced the Street 750 for 2014 as part of the “Dark Custom” lineup, with the aim of attracting new riders. Production for sale in the United States and Canada was done at Harley’s Kansas City facility; production for the rest of the world, including engines, was done at the Harley-Davidson India subsidiary.
First Generation (2014-2020)
- Brand new 449cc (45 cu. in) liquid-cooled, Revolution X™ V-Twin engine
- Design as a blend of cruiser and cafe racer styles
- Minimal chrome to join the Dark Custom theme of Harley-Davidson
Owner Reviews of the Harley-Davidson Street 750
Press & Magazines
Harley-Davidson Street 750 – Riding Impression
“Acceleration is surprisingly good, whether leaving a stop or using the midrange torque to pass another vehicle. Rowing through the six-speed gearbox is easy, with light yet very positive shifts, although I did sense a bit of driveline lash when rolling the throttle on and off in urban settings.”
– Blake Connor – Cycle World – June 2014
Flashback Friday: Costa reviews the Harley-Davidson Street 750
“Clutch pull is beginner-friendly light and the six-speed gearbox is among the best-shifting I’ve sampled in a while. In fact, the engine, despite its modest specs, is surprisingly torquey at low revs, and it is among the smoothest V-twins on the market. The fuel injection is very well sorted and throttle response is seamless.”
– Canada Moto Guide – Costa Mouzouris -January 29, 2021
2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 review
“Here’s one way to look at it: I know you’ve got a buddy who refuses to start on a ‘beginner’ motorcycle because they’re so godawful bland. The Street is the zippy alternative. It’s like… medium salsa. Lava Volcano is just going to hurt going down, but nobody likes to ask a cute server for something called ‘mild.’”
– Revzilla – Lemmy – June 2015
What Owners Like
- The look – the Street 750 sits low and has a sweet blacked-out look to it.
- Performance – It gets up and goes, really well.
- Riding comfort – Your hands land on the bars very naturally, and the low seat height gives a great sense of stability and control to new riders
- The Brand – It’s a Harley, and with that comes entry to an entirely unique culture specific to the brand.
- Rarity – There are Street 750’s out there but not in huge numbers. Riding a bike you enjoy and don’t see on every corner is quite fun.
What Owners Complain About
- The Brakes – multiple comments can be found complaining about the power of the front brake and the lack of feel. ABS became optional in 2017.
- The Seat – After a couple of hours you may need a break, the seat is soft and has little support.
The Bottom Line
There is little doubt this is not the earth-shaking 100 plus cubic inch V-Twin, dipped in chrome, ape hanger style Harley-Davidson that is the brand’s tradition. The Street 750 is the Harley meant to attract global buyers and those new to riding, and to that goal, it does a really good job.
The Revolution X engine delivers great power and looks great in the blacked-out guise. No, it is not the typical air-cooled V-Twin, instead, it is a strong, smooth, reliable, and affordable V-Twin that does the HD brand proud.
New riders will easily find comfort with the Street’s geometry and control layout. This is a great bike you can grow with for many years, and thanks to such attractive styling, it’s a bike you won’t get tired of looking at anytime soon.
Harley-Davidson Street 750 Competitors
If you’re looking at a Street 750, you may also want to check out the Kawasaki Vulcan 900.
Harley-Davidson Street 750 Specifications
The important specs are listed below. See the Wikipedia page for more detailed specifications.
|Engine||749 cc (45 cu in), 60° SOHC, Liquid-cooled Revolution X V-twin|
|Top speed||Est. 160 km/h (99 mph)|
|Torque||43.5 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm|
R: Dual shocks
F: Single disc. Twin-piston, floating caliper, optional ABS
R: Single disc. Twin-piston, floating caliper, optional ABS
|Tires||F: 100/80-R17, R: 140/75-R15|
L: 2215 mm (87.2 inches)
W: 815 mm (32.1 in)
H: 709 mm (27.9 in)
|Seat height||720 mm (28.4 inches)|
Dry: 223 kg (492 lb)
Wet: 233 kg (514 lb)
|Fuel capacity||13.1 l (3.46 US gal)|
|Fuel consumption||64 mpg (3.68 L/100 km)|