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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been riding scooters for a while (150cc, automatic trans) but want to get into motorcycles (have never shifted before).
I have the chance to buy a 2015 H-D Street 500 with 5500 miles on it for around US $4,000.
Looks very clean, some cosmetic mods, plus new battery and tires.
This is marketed as a good beginner's bike but there's a lot of negativity out there on it.
I accept the Honda Rebel may be a more reliable bike, but I love the look of the 500.
I am not much of a wrencher and do not want to have to take it in a lot beyond regular maintenance.
I'll be riding it recreationally for now but at some point as a daily commuter.
Would you advise against buying a 500? How bad are the reliability issues?
 

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2016 Harley-Davidson Street 750 in Sunglo Velocity Red
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I stumbled into my Street 750 after being fairly set on buying a Honda Forza. The 750 is identical to the 500 except for displacement. I'm certain that I'm much happier on a full sized motorcycle than I would have been on the maxi scooter.

My bike has been ridden just over 13K trouble free miles since 2017. It's kept garaged, and has been on a battery tender over the winter the past couple of years. There was a brake recall in 2019 and the tires wore out at 11K miles. Other than that, it's just received scheduled maintenance and the occasional bolt on accessory.

I don't know that these bikes have received a lot of bad press so much as some derogatory comments on some forums. The press mainly focusses on the lackluster braking of the first year bikes. The forum comments are mostly from the Harlier Than Thou crowd who don't consider anything smaller or more modern than a turn of the century Dyna to be a "Real Harley". I'll dive into this a bit more with a follow up post, but have to run now.
 

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"Loose Nut" from Houston, Texas
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I do not own a 500, but have ridden them. It's a great bike. Maintenance should not be a problem. The local Harley dealers use 500 in thier safety courses. These bikes are dropped on a regular basis, clutches abused really bad, sit and idle for long periods of time and just down right beat up. They have a fleet of about 20 and other than regular maintenance and fixing what students mess up they never have issues. I had a discussion with the parts guy the other day and he said there are years of parts out in the market. If I was in the market for a smaller bike the Street 500 would definitely be on my short list.
 

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2016 Harley-Davidson Street 750 in Sunglo Velocity Red
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A lot of negativity about H-D reliability goes back to issues the company had when it was owned by AMF in the 1970's. At that time half of the bikes coming off the assembly line needed some rework to fix issues. Dealers would keep stacks of cardboard in the back room to put under the bikes each night to keep oil off the showroom floor. That was 40-50 years ago, though, and quality has improved considerably.

These bikes had a fuel pump issue in the 2015 model year and some engineer figured out the very minimum brakes to equip these bikes with. The fuel pump got fixed in a recall and the later bikes got larger brake rotors, which can be retrofitted. There doesn't seem to be any particular pattern of failures with these bikes.
 
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So I have an xg 750 because we (Germany) don't have a 500. I am very satisfied with the HD and will not sell it or exchange it for another. I have owned the HD for over 4 years (NEW with 5km) and have not had any problems to this day. The HD was always at the service. So a SUPER entry-level motorcycle ... best regards enRico
 
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