Tuesday, 5 November 2013

First Look: Made In India Harley-Davidson Street 750 & Street 500 Unveiled

Harley-Davidson has finally revealed the two new entry-level motorcycles, Street 750 and Street 500, at the ongoing EICMA Motorcycle Show. As we all are aware, both the new offerings will be manufactured Exclusively in India and will be exported to other markets from here. Two motorcycles are going to be made off this platform, to be called the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and the Harley-Davidson Street 750. Harley-Davidson has just revealed their first new platform in 13 years in Milan.

The bikes represent an aggressive attempt to expand Harley's already massive reach to younger, newer and smaller riders by offering them a substantially lighter and more manageable urban street cruiser. The Harley-Davidson Street 750 and Street 500 have similar styling, apart from slightly premium touches on the Street 750. The cruisers have an imposing all-black colour scheme that reflects a bold stance. It has masculine styling elements such as metal tank and fenders with a neatly finished rear section featuring LED tail lights and bullet signals.

The new engine is a marked change for the Harley featuring among other things, liquid-cooling and a 60 degree V-twin. Both of these things are big departures for the Milwaukee company which tends to favour air-cooled engines as well as a 45 degree included angle in the vee of its twins. Of course, Harley has experience with liquid-cooled engines in the V-Rod and more recently in the part liquid-cooled engines that came out of Project Rushmore. The engine is a four-valves (two per cylinder) SOHC layout with fuel injection.

The Harley-Davidson Street 750 is powered by a 749cc, liquid-cooled, Revolution X, V-Twin engine, which is expected to produce 50 BHP of power with 55 Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed transmission. The Street 500 is powered by a 494cc, liquid-cooled, Revolution X, V-Twin engine, which is expected to churn out 40 BHP of power with 45 Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The new motorcycles are smaller and are said to be agile compared to the other big brute motorcycles in the Harley-Davidson lineup.

On the chassis front, Harley says they have managed to give the Street two extra inches of ground clearance (50mm) and two inches (50mm) of extra suspension travel compared to the Iron 883. Both should come in handy in emerging markets where road conditions are more unpredictable. The instrumentation is typically Harley with a simple round speedometer with a small digital display taking care of the details.

These smaller models are intended to cater to the young audience. The smaller motorcycles are meant for easy city drivability with the liquid-cooled engine and tight dimensions. The Street 750 and Street 500 will hit the Indian dealerships around second quarter of 2014 and at the same time, they will be introduced to the international markets.

Visually, the Street looks right. They look like marginally scaled down Harleys that wear some new detail elements like the more angular sidepanels but exude that Harley line and ethos in design. Harley also says that extreme care has been taken to ensure that the liquid-cooled Revolution X engine sounds exactly like its air-cooled siblings.

We are expecting the prices to be extremely attractive with the Street 500 to be priced at about Rs 3.8-4 lakh and the Street 750 likely to arrive at about Rs 4.5-4.8 lakh ex-Delhi. These are, of course, our estimates, not official figures. What remains to be seen is the pricing. Harley India says the commercial launch is set for the middle of 2014 with the final announcement of the date and timelines expected at the 2014 Auto Expo in February. 

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