Harley-Davidson Street Rod: First Impression

Is this the model to find success for the Revolution X engine?

custom street
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod $8,699 [Rider is 6', helmet is Simpson Ghost Bandit]Brian J Nelson

I just returned from Daytona where I was testing the all new 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod and I can't shake this one feeling. A performance Street 750; can they really save it? After the underwhelming Street 750 and Street 500, most riders had made up their minds on the smaller, more approachable American motorcycles, but is the Street Rod enough to change them? The new model is much better looking with a huge boost to performance from where the basic Street 750 started out at. Maybe this will be the model to put the Revolution X Engine on the map, because god knows the Street 750 or 500 wasn't the chosen one.

But enough about my poor little brain trying to understand why a company made the thing, fact is it is here and it is a definite upgrade from its base model cousin…. or would it be its brother?

custom street
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod $8,699Harley-Davidson

First off let’s look at the aesthetics of the new Street Rod. Right off the bat the new front and rear suspension jump out and slap you in the face. Inverted up front, piggyback in the rear, it is a huge difference from the looks of the standard Street 750. The Street Rod is rocking Drag bars with bar end mirrors, and yes you can actually see out of these mirrors and you sure as hell could not see anything out of the Street’s mirrors, well unless you wanted to stare deeply into your own chest or armpits. It has a new styled front fender that replicates that of the Night Rod Special. The rear fender has been changed as well as the seat option with a two-piece two up also much like the Night Rod Special. Up front you have a newly designed wind splitter as well to help keep some wind off your chest, but mainly just for looks. Touching the pavement, you have new black 7-split open spoke wheels to finish it off.

So yes in the looks department, it has been changed, and for the better.

Next up and more importantly, in my opinion, is performance. The Street Rod is equipped with a High Output 750 Revolution X engine pumping out 8% more torque and 18% more horsepower. Picking up the front end in first gear is an absolute breeze with this power plant between your legs. To actually give you some damn suspension the Street Rod is equipped with 43mm inverted front forks and piggyback shocks in the rear. Obviously night and day difference from the standard. The bike does handle pretty damn well, eating the bumps in the road with ease and with the 30.4” seat height, you can lean the thing for some canyon riding. The stopping power has also been increased by adding dual front disk brakes, a much needed upgrade from standard Street.

custom street
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod $8,699 [Rider is 6', helmet is Simpson Ghost Bandit]Brian J Nelson

A performance Street 750, “The answer to the question nobody asked.”

Moving into ergonomics the seat height has been raised just over two inches. The mid controls have been pulled back about four inches as well. I am 6’ on the dot and most of that is legs, I was surprised to find that, for me it is not comfortable. I wanted it to be so badly because everything they did was what I would have done, but it binds up my hips almost immediately. Unfortunately, I think for me the seat would need to be an inch or two higher still or the mids pushed back forward an inch or two. The drag bars are comfortable for me at least.

The Street Rod comes in at $8,699, starting, and the standard Street’s starting price is $7,549. For a little over a grand more you get a world of difference in every aspect, style, performance and ergonomics. Again, I can’t find where they got the demand for this bike, but apparently it’s somewhere and Harley did a great job for the most part on this project. The transmission is still the same as the standard Street, one of the worst transmissions I have ever had the displeasure of riding to be honest. Drops gears, is hard to shift and sometimes even refuses to shift all together and won’t go into neutral. If I were redoing the bike that would have been my first task.

new harley
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod $8,699Harley-Davidson

Maybe this will be the model to put the Revolution X Engine on the map, god knows the Street 750 or 500 wasn’t the chosen one.

new harley-davidson
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod $8,699Harley-Davidson

So all in all it has a massive leg up on the standard Street, but the bike is by no means perfect. I love the Revolution X, especially the High Output. A lot of good that motor is though when it has that dreaded transmission behind it. It should be comfortable by the specs, but a few of us editors had the uncomfortable feeling in our hips. I would not recommend buying without riding to test if your body is comfortable, as I said the discomfort was immediate for me as well as a few others. It does indeed win in style points; I could actually see myself feeling somewhat cool on one of them. They also did a great job with the suspension and the 43mm inverted front end; paired with the piggyback shocks the bike does handle exceptionally well.

rip bruh
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod $8,699 [Rider is 6', helmet is Simpson Ghost Bandit]Brian J Nelson