The Harley 750 doesn’t carry some of the bulk people might associate with the brand. It’s like losing all the weight you put on during the Christmas holiday!

AUSTIN, TEXAS.

I can’t think of a better time to learn how to ride or a harder time to ride.

These juxtaposing thoughts can be explained thusly. There are so many great choices for new riders when it comes to machinery it’s hard to make a decision on what to add to your garage. But the variety also means there are bikes to suit all.

Those wanting to get on sportbikes don’t need to start on a 250 or 300 cc, let alone a 600 cc variant. You can get a 125 cc. Or when it comes to cruisers, you don’t have to start on a machine that might be a little on the heavy side. You can get a competent road partner, which looks cool and doesn’t weigh south of 250 kilos.

Enter the 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750. 222 kilos, soaking wet.

Hitting streets later this year, it’s the first new bike the American motorcycle maker has concocted from scratch in the last 11 years. The last all-new bike was the V-Rod.

And with a blank canvas, Harley could start from the ground up, listen to the voices of the customer and translate that into a cruiser that is tailored to urban riding.

On the streets of Austin, Texas, a group of international media had the opportunity to take the new machinery for a test drive. While the majority of the route takes us on long, sweeping stretches of country roads, the Street 750 really shines in slow speed environments.

Why does it thrive in an urban setting?

For many reasons, the first being that Harley wanted to create a bike for the city rider. A bike that has a low-revving yet silky smooth engine and transmission, a low seat height, a favourable suspension – for all the potholes and road imperfections one might encounter –and is a bike on which variety of riders can feel comfortable.

Let’s start with its all-new engine. The Street 750 is matched with a liquid-cooled – yes, liquid!

749 cc, 60-degree, which gives ample acceleration when you need it, particularly when you’re accelerating from a standstill.

Not only that, it doesn’t spew unwanted heat towards the rider when they’re idling. And if you’re like me, and wear full gear even on hot, summer days, you’re incredibly grateful for that.

Furthermore, it’s paired to a 6-speed transmission. Normally, stop-go traffic on a Harley would be a pain. However, it wasn’t with the 750. It’s the easiest and lightest clutch I’ve worked with on any of the American motorcycle manufacturer’s bikes.

Speaking of low seat height, it measures in at 709mm (27.9-inches.)

‪Thanks to a narrow and lean chassis, as well as a narrow seat you can feel your feet

‪being planted even better because you’re not losing your touchdown ability.

The Harley 750 doesn’t carry some of the bulk people might associate with the brand. It’s like losing all the weight you put on during the Christmas holiday! It just feels good.

When it comes to the 750’s suspension, it’s not jarring and pleasantly soft. Not so soft, that it puts you to sleep, but a good balance of urban comfort mixed with open road riding pleasure.

Up front, the 37mm telescopic forks and rear twin tubular externally mounted shocks absorb the bumps in the road and leave the rider feeling fine. However, after a day of logging over 200 kilometres, the rear end does feel a little sleepy! General ergonomics are good, though I would have brought the handlebars a little closer to my body. They’re not a stretch for me, but something that would have made the ride more comfortable.

I also would have liked a little more “grab” in the front and rear brakes. It seemed like I really had to bite hard into the front brake to get it to slow down. The logic behind that is that new riders are less likely to get in trouble in an event where they are nervous and get a little jumpy.

Lastly, fit and finish of the bike could have been neater. Wires were exposed, and it took away from the overall aesthetic. That said the bike does have character to it.

The 2015 Street 750 from Harley-Davidson has many good things going for it. And with it tipping the scale at just 222 kg (489 lbs.) – in running order – looks like Christmas comes early.

Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.

Visit http://www.harley-davidson.ca for more information on the bike.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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