Street 500 First Ride Impressions - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-15-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Street 500 First Ride Impressions

So we currently have one documented test ride of the Street 500 from a small California blog. First impressions were that the 500 looked and felt cheap, main complaints were with the bars

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Now I know Harley wanted to keep them affordable but there is a difference between low cost and cheap. Just simple things like handle bars that look like they came of a bicycle to exposed connectors and wires make it look cheap!
What is refreshing is that this guy is smart enough to tell that benchmarking the Street 500/750 against your favorite Harley is an exercise in frivolity. He loved how nimble the 500 was, saying it was exactly as tossable as you would expect from a 500cc 500 lb bike...

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Now again I am not comparing this to the existing Harley line because I know it is a completely different beast and wasn't meant to be like the current big Harleys. I will first give you the ONE thing I liked... the bike was light and nimble and you could throw it into corners like you would expect from a 500cc 400 pound bike. However, at least in my opinion, the bike is full of design/engineering flaws. It's like they didn't even test ride the prototypes before they went to production with what looked good on paper.
Uh oh, what are these niggles the man speaks of?

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First thing you will notice right off is the riding position is VERY cramped - and I am an average 5'7" guy. Then there is the ignition switch that is hidden under the certer of the handelbars. You can even really see it while sitting on the bike so you have to insert the key by feel and then if you have anyt other keys on the key chain, they will dag and vibrate on the front part of the tank. Then there is the hanlebars and controls... very awkward! The way the brake and clutch are set up you have to kind of reach over the grips and down to get them. You would think you could just loosen the mount and turn them , but because of the mirror mounts, you can't.
That should be easy enough to verify. Can any of our Indian testers confirm similar niggles with the 750s?

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Speaking of the mirrors, you can't see anything but your shoulders. The bars are narrow like on a lot of smaller bikes, but the mirror posts need to be longer to put the mirrors out further. 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 pag and kind of far forward so there is no way you can prees it until it engages without moving forward in the seat - your ankle don't bend that far.
Some of these complaints are of course purely subjective, others are valid, but I would say that most can be remedied through adjustments or aftermarket parts.

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And finally the power... there is none what so ever. I know it is only 500cc, but even mid range in second thru forth gear there is no get up.
This is the only real part that scares me, WTF are people going to do with no midrange? Especially a bike billed for urban warriors, good one harley, sell us a bike for the city and then gear it with no usable in town power....



and God do the red tins ever make the Street 500/750 look low budget...
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 10:32 AM
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power is subjective

everyone has their own preference.

depends what he is comparing the power to
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 10:53 AM
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Red looks horrible to me, all black just looks best, no matter how you look at it



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post #4 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 02:11 PM
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Hmmm, my first two motorcycles were candy red Sportsters so the color remains attractive to me. Depending on the paint quality I don't think it looks cheap at all. It might be a little flashy for someone of my age however. :-)

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-17-2014, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Desert Tortoise View Post
Hmmm, my first two motorcycles were candy red Sportsters so the color remains attractive to me. Depending on the paint quality I don't think it looks cheap at all. It might be a little flashy for someone of my age however. :-)
It's going to be different for everyone, i dislike it, you like it.

I guess you're one of the older riders here?



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post #6 of 14 Old 04-17-2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Desert Tortoise View Post
Hmmm, my first two motorcycles were candy red Sportsters so the color remains attractive to me. Depending on the paint quality I don't think it looks cheap at all. It might be a little flashy for someone of my age however. :-)

If the Red is a nice Burgundy shade, I am going for the red and I'll pull the black bikini fairing off.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-17-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by harleyhoonigan View Post
I guess you're one of the older riders here?
I am old enough to have driven brand new cars with curb feelers, wing vent windows, no air conditioning (not even an option) and AM only radios with a single speaker in the middle of the dash.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-27-2014, 05:00 PM
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On Wednesday my local Harley dealer received one Street 500 (the 750 should be coming soon) and this morning it was out of "prep" and ready to ride. I was the first person to ride it an took it on a short seven-mile ride but it included some local street, back road twisties, and freeway riding.

For a 500cc M/C I found it extremely fun to ride. It handled very well on the turns and accellerated up to 70 mph on the freeway smoothly with more power left if desired. I found no problem at all with the braking or shifting but like any 500cc motorcycle it didn't have a lot of low end torque. No biggie as that wasn't expected and a simple downshift to up the rpm was all that was needed for prompt accelleration when desired.

I wasn't thrilled with the exhaust sound but that is an easy fix but other than that I found it to be an exceptionally good ride. Even the seat was very comfortable although I didn't ride long enough to know how it would be on a long ride.

I'd give it two thumbs up personally.

Looking forward to my 750 arriving and that could be as early as next Wednesday.



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post #9 of 14 Old 06-29-2014, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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its a little disappointing the early reports about a lack of low end twist, for a city bike thats not ideal...
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-29-2014, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Livin On View Post
its a little disappointing the early reports about a lack of low end twist, for a city bike thats not ideal...
Don't worry about performance around town. It's got it in spades. You just can't lug the engine like you can on larger displacement motorcycles.

When stepping down from a larger displacement engine we need to expect less low end torque. There's no way on earth that the Street 500 would have the same low end torque when compared to my 1200cc Sportster and I didn't expect it to have that.

Unfortunately I didn't have a tach but I'd guess that the power I needed started at about 3500 rpm and that's not bad. As mentioned I wasn't disappointed and believe the 500cc motor acted like a 500cc motor should. Even with my Sportster I have to downshift when I want to really accellerate but with the 500 I tended to stay in the lower gear a bit more to keep the rpm's up.



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