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Discussion Starter #1
So some of you may have seen the 500 review thread or even read the entire report on Ride Apart but one thing really did get me thinking. How good will the HD Street (particularly the 500) be for entry level riders, and more importantly what does this mean to Harley Culture?



The first thing that really struck me was that Harley is shopping the Street 500 to Motorcycle Safety Training programs. Obviously the bike is suitable enough for riders with zero experience. Many new riders start low displacement and then start looking to trade up after a few weeks. If the street is suitable for MSF rider training it could be a perfect entry level bike..

Going off the Ride Apart review Braden says instantly the Street 500 instantly feels like a much lighter bike, anyone who has done rider training and spent some time there on a standard or cruiser type bike will know how intimidating a heavy bike can be to a new rider. I mean 480 lbs is not exactly nimble, but compared to the rest of Harleys stable the Street 500 is a featherweight.

From Ride Apart:

handling was, for the most part, neutral. Recreating the swerve and other low- to mid-speed exercises showcased how well the Street 500 performs. In these instances, it handled just as well as any of the other training bikes we use, which often weigh 200 lbs less. The only time you really feel the extra weight is when attempting a very low speed, full-lock u-turn, where that weight wants to pull the bike down. Above about 8 mph, the Street feels as agile as a 250cc cruiser.
Again, nothing overly intimidating for a new rider.

The clutch feel and friction zone was natural and intuitive. As good as most training-oriented bikes I’ve ridden. If the clutch hadn’t been so excellent, I would have been downright uncomfortable pulling full-lock u-turns with the weight issue I mentioned earlier.

The expected low-end V-twin pull is certainly there, but not in a way that will be intimidating for a novice rider. Road feel, power development and throttle response could all be likened to a modern Japanese 250, as would the Street 500’s ability to keep up with traffic. There’s just enough hustle to get you through any situation you might encounter in a frantic rush hour commute.
But where this conversation really takes an interesting turn is when you start to consider Harley culture. First of all the bikes are always heavy and expensive, quite prohibitive to novice riders. BUT, cheaper price, manageable weight, easily maneuverable in town and enough power to keep you interested but not scare you all add up to a big on boarding campaign for Harley Davidson.

I'm quickly reminded of what Mercedes is currently doing with its CLA. Everyone who could own a Mercedes owned a Mercedes, so to grow their client base they offered a cheap Mercedes, cut down on quality, cut down on size and sell it for $30K. No people who could never afford a Mercedes are piling into this vehicle hand over fist. Harley is in a similar boat.

Harley guys already have Harleys and most, if not all are not going to downsize to a Street 500 or 750. While novice riders will typically begin on something Japanese and then when it is time to move up, most will make the move upmarket to a bike commuter friendly. With the Street 500 Harley is offering a package that can be attractive to novice riders as well as something with enough power that they will not feel the need to upgrade to something more powerful.

Its entry level lifestyle.

What do you guys think?
 

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I mean it was a part of the market that Harley wasn't competing in. It makes sense for them to be diving in now. People know the Harley name and now that there is an entry level option for them, I am sure that people will opt for it. If people want to start out with something more powerful than the Street 500 they can always go for the 750.
 

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Any one worried this might bring down harley's culture that we're all familiar with or will it be part of something new for them that has no effect on the culture they built?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any one worried this might bring down harley's culture that we're all familiar with or will it be part of something new for them that has no effect on the culture they built?
I'm not sure. I think it all starts at the dealer level, harley dealers have a rep for poorer customer service than japanese brands so if theres going to be lots of new riders experimenting with the brand the only sure fire way to scare them off is with poor customer service.

But to answer your question, i think it will undoubtedly have an effect on the culture but that's a good thing. Harley people are typically a homogeneous crowd and injecting new blood is never a bad thing...
 

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I'm not sure. I think it all starts at the dealer level, harley dealers have a rep for poorer customer service than japanese brands so if theres going to be lots of new riders experimenting with the brand the only sure fire way to scare them off is with poor customer service.

But to answer your question, i think it will undoubtedly have an effect on the culture but that's a good thing. Harley people are typically a homogeneous crowd and injecting new blood is never a bad thing...
Looks like they should reevaluate how the people at dealers interact with their customers, if people get scared away what good will that be.
 

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Heck with lifestyle or bike culture. If I buy the Street 500 or 750 it will be because I love it.

I would like to end my riding days with a smaller Harley. The 883 Superlow did not impress me when I test rode it a couple of times.

For some years now I've been waiting for a smaller HD. The Buell Blast was fun and the Buell XB9S was a beast. My current ride, a Honda CBR250R, is a great fit. If the Street 500 truly has 25 or so HP, then I won't bite.
 

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Heck with lifestyle or bike culture. If I buy the Street 500 or 750 it will be because I love it.

I would like to end my riding days with a smaller Harley. The 883 Superlow did not impress me when I test rode it a couple of times.

For some years now I've been waiting for a smaller HD. The Buell Blast was fun and the Buell XB9S was a beast. My current ride, a Honda CBR250R, is a great fit. If the Street 500 truly has 25 or so HP, then I won't bite.

@prof_stack I heard a lot of bad things about buell bikes. How was your experience with the ones you had?
I think buell even closed down, but EBR does have some new bikes.
 

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Heck with lifestyle or bike culture. If I buy the Street 500 or 750 it will be because I love it.

I would like to end my riding days with a smaller Harley. The 883 Superlow did not impress me when I test rode it a couple of times.

For some years now I've been waiting for a smaller HD. The Buell Blast was fun and the Buell XB9S was a beast. My current ride, a Honda CBR250R, is a great fit. If the Street 500 truly has 25 or so HP, then I won't bite.
In terms of displacement which HD street will ou be leaning towards?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well if the 500 is going to be half a sportster what do y'all think the Street 750 will be 3/4 of a sportster :D
 

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DO you think that both the Street 750 and the Street 500 are appropriate for beginners? Will I be disappointed I didn't buy the bike with the bigger engine in the end?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
500 is good because most riders start on a 250 and then crave something bigger almost immediately. 500 will keep you tied over for more than a while especially if you're just interested in cruising.

If you're a speed freak than 750 may be more your cup of tea. But then again the 750 is MUCH heavier and could be quite a handful for new riders...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
People who stress being extra safe on a bike won't suggest a 500, more so a 250. But as long as the person buying a 500 as their first bike understands the dangers and eases into the power levels, they should be fine.
thats true for sport bikes, but Street 500 has like 30 bhp and weighs 480 lbs wet, P/W is 15-16 lbs/HP. Some 250cc sport bikes dip below 10 lbs/HP, P/W will get you into a lot more trouble than raw displacement.
 

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DO you think that both the Street 750 and the Street 500 are appropriate for beginners? Will I be disappointed I didn't buy the bike with the bigger engine in the end?
The HD Street 500 would make a decent starter bike and keep it interesting for a while so you don't have to upgrade for a while unliek the 250s. the street 750 might hold a little too much power for any beginner to handle not saying it can't happen but better to be safe then sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The HD Street 500 would make a decent starter bike and keep it interesting for a while so you don't have to upgrade for a while unliek the 250s. the street 750 might hold a little too much power for any beginner to handle not saying it can't happen but better to be safe then sorry.
agreed. The Street 750 will have a P/W closer to 10 lbs/HP...
 
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