Throttle Jockey: 2017 Harley Street Rod, Specs and More

Just a couple of years ago, Harley-Davidson introduced an interesting sub-set of bikes called the Street line. The “Street” offerings include both 500cc and 750cc “X-Twin” V-Twin-powered models, and they are squarely aimed at budget minded and entry-level riders.

The bikes are lower-key than H-D’s bigger, more stylish offerings, and feature liquid cooling, modern, economical styling and a standard riding position – pretty much what every beginner should have a checkbox for. And with their friendly power output, they are indeed a smart way to start riding if you want something that says Harley-Davidson on the tank but costs less – a lot less – than the previous beginner model, the 883 Iron (aka The Little Sportster).

And that was fine and dandy. But now, Harley has gone and done something rash by introducing a third Street model, the Street Rod.

The Street Rod is also a 750cc machine and looks much like its Street 750 brother, but it’s actually a very different animal in many important ways. And I would hesitate to recommend it to a beginner.

Many riding enthusiasts will recall Harley’s hotted-up XR1200R Sportster from almost a decade ago. That sleek machine had the right look and has now ascended to cult bike status, but it was hampered by two traditional Harley woes: weight and power (or the lack thereof).

The new Street Rod takes several cues from the venerable XR1200R, including a healthy dollop of good looks. But it departs from tradition – and the rest of the Street lineup – with some decidedly nice bonus features and a clean-ish sheet engine design that owes nothing to the limited-output air-cooled Sportster powerplant that hampered the XR1200R

The fuel-injected  X-Twin engine has been hot-rodded to make nearly 70 horsepower, a nearly 20-percent bump over the standard Street 750. There’s also a solid boost in torque, along with much more ground clearance, triple-disc brakes (as opposed to just the two on the Street 750/500), a shorter wheelbase, wider tires, sharper steering geometry and a small bugscreen over the lone clock by the handlebars.

Additionally, the Street Rod comes with bar-end mounted mirrors as stock for that cafe-race look and better rearward vision. However, it still shares the belt drive and 6-speed tranny ratios of its Street siblings. Of course, the Street Rod can be tarted up even more with aftermarket goodies from Harley and beyond, giving buyers room to customize to their liking.

The Street Rod also doesn’t come with what I’ll call “that Harley Thing,” the built-in rebel/biker label (and perhaps expectations) that comes with saddling up a Low Rider or Street Glide. And at $8,700, it also doesn’t come with a big-bike price tag.

What to make of this interesting development in the Street line from typically bigger-is-better Harley? The Motor Company hasn’t really offered a higher-performance lightweight bike that could appeal to sport-minded riders and also riders looking to get back into the sport after a long layoff from their younger days. The new Street Rod may be the perfect choice for both groups. I know I’m working to get a test bike in for some seat time – and I’m really looking forward to it.

Images and Video courtesy Harley-Davidson


Our Favorite Pieces of Gear in the Stylish Lineup of Dainese Motorcycle Gear

In addition to its innovative motorsport gear, the company offers a range of stylish apparel to break the stigma that safety has to look dorky.

The HoverSurf Hoverbike Is a Real-Life, Star Wars-Esque Speeder Bike

If you've ever wanted to fly around your local park terrorizing neighborhood soccer moms, your time has come thanks to the Hoversurf Hoverbike.
Fashion & Style

The Zippo x Foundrae Luxe Capsule Collection Combines Elegance with Expertise

Spark a flame with flare with this new Zippo lighter, which has "heirloom" written all over it (and a price to match).

Indian (Finally) Debuts FTR 1200 Racer Built for the Street

It's steeped in Americana, bathed in technology, and delivered to those who’d rather hit a dirt oval with the force of a neutron bomb.

Porsche’s Rebirthed 935 is Ready to Devour Racetracks Whole

The 935 Clubsport has racing air jacks that can pop the car up, and slam it back down, for when you need to pit quickly.

The Solar Impact Yacht Can Sail the World in Zero-emission Luxury

This newly unveiled solar-powered ship has the potential to chart a much brighter course for the future.

Narke Is the Emissions-Free Electric Jet Ski That Batman Would Ride

This sexy futuristic jet ski has smartphone integration and a digital dash.

The Best First Aid Kits for the Home, Car, Hiking, and More

Accident, injuries, burns, bug bites, and worse can strike at any time. Be prepared.

Dads, Here’s a Sexy (but Safe) New Car For You: The Volvo V60 Cross Country

It’s both a rugged piece of metal and luxuriously designed to make you a bonafide DILF.

Romotow Is a Futuristic Travel Trailer With a Hidden ‘Party Deck’

One button turns this sleek travel trailer into an eight-person, off-grid party pad.

Classic Cuban Cars to Take You Back in Time (Photos)

After a trip to the Caribbean, we brought back photographic evidence of the legendary and impossibly cool Cuban cars.

Camp Literally Anywhere with the World’s 10 Most Extreme Overland Vehicles

Because it's more about the journey and less about the destination.

The Porsche 911 Speedster Concept Brings the Open-Top Noise

Porsche has stated that the company will only build 1,948 examples of the Speedster marking the year the company officially received its operating license and began production.

Mother of God, Listen to the Aston Martin Valkyrie Roar

No other car sounds like this.