Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Harley-Davidson has taken its inoffensive Indian-built, entry-level Street 750 by the scruff of its neck and given it a serious attitude adjustment.
The new XG750A Street Rod gets revised cylinder heads, more compression and two 42mm Mikuni throttle bodies in place of the Street’s single 32mm spritzer, and redlines at 9000rpm instead of 8000.
The result is 49.5kW 8750 revs (up from 42 at 8000) and 65Nm (up from 59) at the same 4000rpm torque peak. Which points to a prime mover with a wider spread of torque and noticeably stronger top end - about on a par with a Kawasaki 650 Vulcan S.
But this is not, repeat not a cruiser. Milwaukee has steepened the head angle from 32 to 29 degrees for quicker steering and fitted 43mm upside-downies in place of the previous 37mm conventional forks, with dual 300mm front discs to help you modulate the extra momentum.
A longer swingarm, with longer, piggyback dampers lends sorely-needed extra suspension travel at the expense of extra wheelbase - despite the sharpened front end it’s only 25mm shorter at 1509mm - and a 17 inch rear rim in place of the Street’s 15 incher jacks the seat height up to 765mm.
But that’s not a problem because they’ve moved the foot-pegs back to what Harley-Davidson calls ‘rear-set’ - in reality they’re a few millimetres forward of the standard street-bike position, directly under the lowest point of the saddle
Nevertheless, in conjunction with straight drag bars, they’ll place the average 1.75 metre rider in a balanced, slightly forward-leaning stance that should make this one one of the most chuckable Harleys yet - if I’m allowed to use that term in reference to a 749cc streetbike that weighs in at just 16 kilograms less than a quarter of a ton ready to go.
The body parts feed into that urban attitude, with a little flyscreen in front of the single analogue speedometer (what rev-counter?) a stepped saddle and blacked-out engine, with just the edges of the fins machined off for a flash of silver.
The standard colour is a dark satin-finished metallic grey; if you want gloss black or the distinctive pale satin-finished metallic green Milwaukee calls olive gold, it’ll cost you R3000 extra.
The Harley-Davidson XG750A Street Rod will be released in South Africa in late April or early May - expect to see it on display at Africa Bike Week in East London - at an indicative starting price of R115 000.
Harley-Davidson XG750A Street Rod
Engine: 749cc liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin.
Bore x stroke: 85 x 66mm.
Compression ratio: 12.0:1.
Valvegear: SOHC with four overhead valves per cylinder.
Power: 49.5kW at 8750rpm.
Torque: 65Nm at 4000rpm.
Induction: Mikuni single-port electronic fuel-injection with two 42mm throttle bodies.
Ignition: Digital electronic.
Clutch: Cable-operated multiplate wet clutch.
Transmission: Six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by toothed belt.
Front Suspension: 43mm inverted cartridge forks.
Rear Suspension: Dual hydraulic shock absorbers adjustable for preload.
Front brakes: Dual 300mm discs with dual-piston floating callipers.
Rear brake: 260mm disc with dual-piston floating calliper.
Front tyre: 120/70 - 17 tubeless.
Rear tyre: 160/60 - 17 tubeless.
Seat height: 765mm.
Kerb weight: 234kg.
Fuel tank: 13.2 litres.
Price: R115 000.