First impressions: Harley-Davidson Street 750 review

So far Harley's new entry-level cruiser seems easy-going and fun - but it could do with some hero blobs

I'M on the launch of Harley-Davidson's Street 750, the firm's new entry-level cruiser which is set to cost £5,795 on-the-road.

Visordown doesn't normally bother with mid-ride first-impressions, preferring to focus on testing the bike while the opportunity is there so we can bring you a full and considered review later.

But Harley-Davidson took the unusual step of letting journalists have a go on the bikes on arrival in Barcelona last night, ahead of the main ride today, so I thought I'd make an exception.

What's immediately clear is that the Street 750 feels like a more accessible machine to the average rider than a traditional Harley cruiser. It's easy to control and user-friendly, with a wide steering angle and tight turning circle.

The riding position is less extreme too. It seems odd at first. The pegs a far apart, typically of cruisers, but they feel higher than usual and they're not way out in front of you. They're closer to the middle of the bike. With the low seat, that means your knees are bent and your bum and feet quite close together, a bit like sitting on a small toilet.

I'm exaggerating though. Taller riders may find it cramped. I'm about average height and was generally comfortable. The bars are in a natural position, not too high or far away.

The engine – Harley's second liquid-cooled one after the V-Rod – is torquey and likeable, delivering an instant spurt of acceleration when you twist the throttle. It doesn't sound like a Harley though. There's no distinctive 'potato potato' noise. It just sounds like a V-twin and not a very loud one.

The brakes are uncomplicated, with a twin-pot sliding caliper on a single disc at the front and no ABS option. They seemed capable in the city.

The Street 750 feels physically smaller than a typical Harley, and lighter, turning easily through Barcelona's busy streets. There's a little more ground-clearance too, enough to have fun scraping the hero blobs rather than worry about grounding on every corner.

At least that's what I thought until our urban ride ended and I noted the Street 750's pegs don't have hero blobs and what I'd scraped was the exhaust heat shield. Surely you'd want some blobs on there to give you warning before that happens? The machine grounds easily enough.

Often there's beautiful attention to detail in Harley-Davidson styling and I think this may have been sacrificed somewhat in the drive to keep the Street 750's price low. The logo on the tank, for example, feels cheap and plasticy, bending when you press it.

Generally though, the Street 750 so far seems like a bike that could broaden the appeal of Harleys to many of the uninitiated, especially with the current popularity of traditional, custom-style machines (according to Harley the styling is 'cafe racer inspired').

It's fun and easy-going. There might even be a little wind protection from that fly-screen on the headlight, which seemed to be at about chest height for me. I'll reserve judgement on that until we've done the main road test today, including some faster roads.

Read the full review.

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