As a lifelong rooter for the underdog, I really wanted to like this one. Almost three years ago, I was a big fan of the original Street 750, which wasn’t so easy because it did have a couple of glaring shortcomings. But it was such a friendly little approachable motorcycle I liked it anyway – then H-D gave it a better front brake and cured its main malfunction. But the critics still panned its lack of cornering clearance, its mundane parts manifest and its frankly sloppy fit and finish. All legit complaints, but I always liked the little Harley’s potential. The cut of its jib.
So when Harley let fly the press release and photos of the new Street Rod a couple weeks ago, I felt personally vindicated, like watching your spaghetti-armed kid suddenly pound one over the centerfield fence. Yess!Four-point-six inches of rear suspension travel?! Inverted fork, 17-inch rubber, 18% more power, excellent cornering clearance? It had seemed like none of these are in the Motor Company’s playbook. But now it all appears to be an old-school medium-displacement standard sporty motorcycle, one like the recent Triumph Street Twin, upon which you can motor comfortably around on all day every day, but with H-D’s dark custom murdered-out-in-America swagger, a bike you can wear skulls on and pack heat. Home run!
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