First Harley Davidson Street Test Ride Event - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-14-2014, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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First Harley Davidson Street Test Ride Event

So I've been reading about the first Harley Davidson Street Test Ride Event that was held last weekend in OC California. As opposed to the Indians who have only been treated to the Street 750, this event was the opposite and only gave people a chance to ride the Street 500.

One guy who went to the event liked the idea of the Street 500 but didn't really like the execution:

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Unlike some who are already jumping up and down screaming about Harely selling out because they won't make ONLY the bike I want to ride, I think the plan of using an existing infrastructure and dealer network to reach a portion of the market currently going to oither manufactures is a GREAT idea.
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I am NOT at all impressed with the execution. I mean the bike looked cool and even felt well balance when I sat on it, however from what I saw the bikes just looked cheaply made.
It wasn't all bad news though (though it was mostly bad news from this guy). He liked that the bike was lightweight and therefore easily maneuverable.

He then goes on to talk about some problems with the Street 500 in his opinion:

- Riding position is cramped
- Ignition switch is hidden under the handle bars
- awkward controls
- bars are narrow , but the mirror posts need to be longer to put the mirrors out further
- rear brake --> "The worst design flaw I found was the rear brake. I thought it was just me but when we got back from the ride all 8 people got off the bikes and the first thing everyone said was "what's up with that useless rear brake. It is set up level with the foot peg and kind of far forward so there is no way you can press it until it engages without moving forward in the seat - your ankle don't bend that far."

So the first test ride review that we get isn't really the best news. Now this one guy could just be a big douche, or maybe he's right. Keep your ears and eyes open for second opinions. Given that the HD Street is aimed at entry level riders and people who want to spend less, I think there has to be some forgiveness for not having the most high quality engineering. There is a line between poor quality, and affordable quality. We will have to see which side of the line that the Street ends up falling on.

Here is a link to the guy's full review --> HARLEY-DAVIDSON STREET? 750 & 500 MOTORCYCLES - Lucky's blog - CycleFish

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post #2 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 02:06 AM
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Every person who has reviewed the bike has lambasted the brakes and rear view mirror to different degree so don't think they are being a douche.

And at the price point they are selling the bike ( don't know about your place but 4.5 -5 lakhs in india is by no stretch of imagination a budget/affordable motorcycle and is closer to a luxury purchase than a necessity ) , it is expected of them to deliver top quality in performance sectors like braking if not the entire package .
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Every person who has reviewed the bike has lambasted the brakes and rear view mirror to different degree so don't think they are being a douche.

And at the price point they are selling the bike ( don't know about your place but 4.5 -5 lakhs in india is by no stretch of imagination a budget/affordable motorcycle and is closer to a luxury purchase than a necessity ) , it is expected of them to deliver top quality in performance sectors like braking if not the entire package .
I totally agree with you ....

I have only one question for you ,did u test ride the bike yet ???
If not plz do a test ride n update us what u feel after the ride ,it will be interesting as you have done lot of home work regarding this bike ...

Well I guess in my case I don't have any option ,I will just by this bike can't stretch my budget nor I find any other bike interesting below this ,n am not a fan of sports bikes ...

Am in same dilemma as you are ,but am gonna bite the bullet n buy the bike ...
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Yusef View Post
- rear brake --> "The worst design flaw I found was the rear brake. I thought it was just me but when we got back from the ride all 8 people got off the bikes and the first thing everyone said was "what's up with that useless rear brake. It is set up level with the foot peg and kind of far forward so there is no way you can press it until it engages without moving forward in the seat - your ankle don't bend that far."

This was the fault of the dealership - mechanics didn't do a good job of setting these bikes up. The rear brake lever is adjustable. Also, this guy didn't make it clear, but I believe the bike he rode was going to be used in the Rider's Training program. If so, then those bikes are specifically de-tuned for less power and are limited in 1st and 2nd gears.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 10:40 AM
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This guy is a Riders Edge training program instructor. His name is Doug and he is from Prairieville, LA. Here is what he has to say: a HD Shop I teach Riders Edge for has the Street 500 bikes in to replace the Buell Blasts that are getting very long in the tooth.

Have not had a chance to actually ride it yet but I sat on it and gained a feel for the setup.

First, it is physically as large as a Sportster and, in fact, I actually thought that there were two of the 500's side by side until I realized the tank design gave away the Sporty.

The stock seat is comfortable and not quite as tall as the standard sportster. Handlebar reach is comfortable and the pegs are set in a good mid-position.

Clutching was always problematic for new riders on the Blast due to the heavy clutch pull. Ladies will absolutely love the pull on the 500. Very easy and probably no more than 1/3 that of the Blast. No more hand fatigue after three exercises

Shifter position is nice too. The Blast had a strange setup that the spline shaft mounted a smooth round adapter that carried the actual shifter which was friction clamp held by a setscrew. It worked mostly, but got to be a PITA after it had some wear. It would become very difficult to tighten the clamp enough to prevent unwanted creep. This bike has a nice setup for adjustment and should be easy to set for different boot sizes. The same setup is on the rear brake lever.

With the engine running, finding neutral is very easy, and the shifting seems to be very smooth. Since the bike is using a wet clutch, it was hard to shift any until I started the bike.

The V-Twin engine sounds really nice too.

For the old-line HD folks, this bike and the 750 will have a radiator just like the V-Rod, so the old line "It Ain't a Harley" should be heard around dealerships again !

I will post something once I get a chance to ride the break-in periods.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Santosh kumar View Post
I totally agree with you ....

I have only one question for you ,did u test ride the bike yet ???
If not plz do a test ride n update us what u feel after the ride ,it will be interesting as you have done lot of home work regarding this bike ...

Well I guess in my case I don't have any option ,I will just by this bike can't stretch my budget nor I find any other bike interesting below this ,n am not a fan of sports bikes ...

Am in same dilemma as you are ,but am gonna bite the bullet n buy the bike ...
Is India not a popular cruiser market? Not too familiar with what goes on in india.

How new is HD to india?



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post #7 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Santosh kumar View Post
I totally agree with you ....

I have only one question for you ,did u test ride the bike yet ???
If not plz do a test ride n update us what u feel after the ride ,it will be interesting as you have done lot of home work regarding this bike ...

Well I guess in my case I don't have any option ,I will just by this bike can't stretch my budget nor I find any other bike interesting below this ,n am not a fan of sports bikes ...

Am in same dilemma as you are ,but am gonna bite the bullet n buy the bike ...
Not yet , the initial excitement has mellowed down so trying to get multiple work done once I make the 6 hr trip to delhi , infact I may even test ride it at kolkata as I'm scheduled to return there later this month(kolkata being my hometown ). I prefer to own the bike at kolkata because there the roads exist to ride a bike like this , riding in bareilly/UP is downright gambling your life or riding at 30kmph(even then you are not safe) .

We are both in same boat , only one option so like you it is either street or bust. My interest is still very high so i'm prepared to accept a certain degree of risk and a less than perfect product . I'm also against the riding ergonomics of sportsbike as well , pure headache riding them in traffic not to mention you need a high degree of upper body strength especially in your arms and shoulders. I don't think you have any major reason to worry , all things considered you are getting a good product , I'm already stretching my budget by some margin so extra cautious/critical .
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by harleyhoonigan View Post
Is India not a popular cruiser market? Not too familiar with what goes on in india.

How new is HD to india?
here in india 2 kinds of motorcycle market exist -

1. bike as a necessity(like car is abroad ) - anything between 100-250cc single cylinder motorcyles for day to day use for everything from grocery shopping to occasional fun ride. Mass produced and cheap.

1. bike as a luxury product - as in for weekend rides , road trips or for satisfying the urge to own a luxury vehicle .

Certain motorcycles like KTM or royal enfield or cbr 250 can sell in both market.

Bikes from harley davidson or ducati or the 300-1000cc twin/quad from japanese makes are pure luxury vehicles. As such the market is very small if we are taking into account every bike from 100cc - 1400cc sold , otherwise it is growing . Cruiser is a purely luxury product , there are around 4-5k HD sold so far since they setup business in 2010 .
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 02:36 PM
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It seems like the criticisms of the HD Street have been noticed by multiple different sources which makes me think they are real. Is this just something that we should be okay with because it is a cheaper HD, or does this mean that the HD Street is going to end up not being the success that we had hoped for?
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Testiphony View Post
It seems like the criticisms of the HD Street have been noticed by multiple different sources which makes me think they are real. Is this just something that we should be okay with because it is a cheaper HD, or does this mean that the HD Street is going to end up not being the success that we had hoped for?


I am going to reserve judgement until I have a chance to look at one in person. I have watched some videos and read everything I can find from proplr that have ridden and seen these bikes. But I am coming from another perspective. I'm 60 and started riding at 8 years old off road, and on the street starting at 15. I love to ride. Big bikes, small bikes, scooters, you name it. I don't buy into the mindset that you must have an 800 pound machine. I just don't need that kind of power. I've recently owned 225cc and 250cc dual sports and had a great time riding them, both off road and on the street. Unless HD really blew it, a 500cc v-twin should have plenty of power for my riding. We have no freeways here. Main highways are 50-55 mph tops.

And, buying a first year model can be a bit of a risk. I would like to think that HD could pull off making a fine first year all new motorcycle. I've owned 2 Sportsters and liked them both very much. There must be something to the complaints about the rear brakes. HD surely is aware of this by now.

I am antsy to read a full blown road test by one of our US motorcycle magazines, or by a respected online US source (motorcycle.com?). Whats the holdup here?
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