The nest at Milwaukee is stirring, and we are sure there must be atleast two groups emerging. One that wants to continue clutching on to the old straws, and the other is that which wants to change things, and Move On!!
For the moment, one group basks in the glory of victory, as Harley-Davidson has broken its mould and has gotten out of the cocoon. As they decide to go all guns blazing for emerging markets like India, Italy, Spain and Portugal, the V-Twin powerplants of Harley-Davidson drop to a new low in terms of capacity.
The newly unveiled models ( Street 500, and Street 750 ) continue to grab eyeballs on the internet, and people lie in anticipation if the new Harley-Davidsons will actually be able to break new ground. Meanwhile RideApart, a reputed name, has come up with an innovative piece of work. Though they haven’t actually rode the Street 500 themselves, they have conversed with a Professional Rider Coach called Braden who did the same on a pre-production version.
We have wrung out the points worth mentioning, and have coalesced it into a form that will help you get an overall impression of the bike. Here are a few excerpts :
- The striking mention from Braden about the Harley-Davidson Street 500 was that it lacked the character and guts that Harley-Davidsons have been known for. He mentioned that it lacked the invigorating feel and sound that has been come to be attached with all Harley-Davidsons. Since Harleys have literally been selling because of their aura, the rider felt it could weigh down heavily on the bike’s chances.
- Braden was happy with the handling characteristics of the bike. At very low speeds, the weight of the bike was definitely a thing to watch out for, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker for sure. However, the bike showed immense compliance to the rider’s inputs once it hustled past 10 kmph.
- The rider opined that the clutch feel was good, and the front brake offered worthy feedback. It was the rear brake which worried him; he felt it didn’t provide enough bite.
- Braden was also impressed with the performance of the V-Twin powerplant of the Street 500. It had enough low-end grunt to punch out of corners at low revs, and throttle response was as good as the company had claimed. It definitely allowed the rider to scythe through the chaotic traffic of the urban jungle where he lived.
- He was, however, let down by the clunky nature of the gearbox which struggled to snick itself into Neutral.
- Braden wasn’t too fussy about the behaviour that the bike put up on corners. It took a good amount of effort to cajole her to lean down into the corners, but once it was done, she stayed put in an unflinching, unwavering line. Good amount of torque from the V-Twin helped the Street 500 to muscle her way out of the corners.
Above squats Braden, flanked by the two bikes he owns. He suggested that the Street 500 he tested didn’t really offer any huge functionality bonus over the Ninja 300 or the CBR250R. The Street 500 would also find it difficult to bear the tag of a true-blue highway muncher, partly due to its smaller engine capacity which forces the puny ( By relative Harley Standards ) to work harder than usual.
However, the Street 500 will not disappoint a person who has a penchant for cruisers and is willing to invest in an upscale brand like Harley-Davidson. Will you agree with him and shed your Royal Enfields for the upcoming Harley-Davidson Street 500??