Although it’s been available for review in the United States for a few weeks now, this week sees the first of the European and Indian test riders out on the new Harley Street Rod.
As has now become Motofire tradition, we’re staying with our feet firmly on UK soil and our eyes glued to the Internet; looking out for feelers across social media and other channels to get a sense of what the lucky journalists make of the new machine.
Thursday 20th April
And now the video verdict from the MCN jury is in:
[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/MotorcycleNews/videos/10154844156853855/” width=”688″ height=”466″ onlyvideo=”1″]
Which is mainly positive, but we can’t help feeling that they’ve slightly damned it with faint praise with the quote of,
“Looks good, handles really well… For a Harley!”
The main feedback though? It’s a good bike, the tyres aren’t great, the footpegs take a while to get used to, but generally Harley-Davidson have done a good job and the MCN pair had a good day out in Spain – which is nice.
We haven’t had to wait too long for an early verdict from British newspaper MCN.
3 hours on the Harley-Davidson Street Rod so far and it’s an easy to ride bike that excels on smooth flowing roads. Decent ground clearance. pic.twitter.com/OFzYNA4hAR
— Motorcycle News (@MCNnews) April 20, 2017
The rider for their test is Adam Child, who is a sportsbike rider by choice, is no stranger to throwing a bike around a twisty road, and he’s not particularly tall either, so if a man with his particular leanings seems impressed, than this can only be a good thing.
Indian site NDTV have posted their early thoughts of the new Street Rod. The full review is up here and worth a read if you’re in the market for the newest Harley-Davidson, but our choice quotes from the write-up are below,
“Apparently there is a customer base which wanted an urban, sporty, entry-level Harley-Davidson. And the result is commendable – it’s a handsome bike from all quarters, and that is reason enough for the aspiring Harley owner to take a second, third, and closer look at the Street Rod.”
“…the Street Rod offers a whole lot of motorcycle, not just for Harley fans, but for anyone who’s looking to get into or get back into motorcycling.”
Which all sounds positive, but there are a couple of downpoints,
“The ergonomics may be sporty, but could have been better. The high footpeg position takes some getting used to and waiting at stop lights, the engine heat gets to you and your right calf touches the exhaust if you’re not careful.”
We’re really looking forward to seeing what the UK journalists have to say about it all.
Whilst we await the thoughts and opinion of the riders on today’s test, we’ve got a little bit of time to read through the US reviews which have already made the rounds.
As always, Cycleworld are as good a place to start as ever, and they’re thoughts as to the new Harley Street Rod – and it’s positioning within the market – are fascinating,
“Is it a perfect package? No. Many may find it uncomfortable, or heavy, but Harley has succeeded in building the Street Rod to attract a customer who wouldn’t look at the brand previously.
From our first ride I can say confidently that the days of waiting for a sport-standard Harley-Davidson are officially over.”
Check out the whole review here, it opens up with the caveat that the bike was tested on the roads around Sturgis, so wasn’t the most dynamic of arenas to ascertain the qualities of the machine.
Will the twisty roads of today’s test route be so forgiving?
It’s morning in southern Spain and everyone is up and about, ready for a good day’s riding by the looks of it.
Plus we’ve got absolute confirmation as to the price – from £6,745 in British pounds. That’s a pretty aggressive price point.
— Visordown (@visordown) April 20, 2017
The first rides will be happening on Thursday, just as soon as everyone has had a decent night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast. That includes us, so we’ll sign off now and pick this all back up again in the morning, once people have had the chance to swing their legs over the machine.
Just in case you’re in the area of Spain that the riders are though, here’s a helpful guide to the route that they’ll be taking… Twisty!
Harley Street Rod launch route. Built by Marquez’s great grandad…probably pic.twitter.com/rJaUygit1q
— Bennetts (@bennetts_bike) April 19, 2017
Wilkins Harley from Vermont, USA have a tidy little walkaround the bike:
[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/WilkinsHD/videos/1468458389851588/” width=”688″ height=”366″ onlyvideo=”1″]
If we were going to trust anyone’s opinion of the new Street Rod, it would be from the British-based magazine, American V. We’re glad they’re out on the launch and are really interested to see what they have to say about the new machine.
A journalist from Overdrive magazine is also out on the Indian launch, and if his opinion is anything to go by, it looks like Harley might just be onto a winner,
— Shubhabrata Marmar (@shumar) April 19, 2017
The chaps from Auto Today are out on the Indian launch and have some interesting updates from the presentation,
— AUTO TODAY (@AUTOTODAYMAG) April 19, 2017
83.9 in. (2,130 mm)
30.4 in. (772 mm)
3.5 gal. (13.2 l)
497 lb. (225 kg)
High Output Revolution X™ V-Twin
46 cu in (749 cc)
47.9 ft-lb (65 Nm)
Wheels & Tyres
Black, 7-Split Open Spoke Cast Aluminum
120/70 R17 V
160/60 R17 V
Vivid Black, Charcoal Denim, and Olive Gold
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Custom of the Week: BMW R100RS by Bolt Motor Company
MOST CUSTOM BUILDERS are juggling careers, building bikes as a side gig. Adrián Campos falls into that category: he’s the sporting director for Campos Racing, the team founded by his father Adrián Campos Sr, the former Minardi F1 driver.
Adrián Jr. is surrounded by high-tech missiles capable of 208 mph (335 kph), but he’s also nuts about motorcycles. So he started customizing classic bikes, as an antídoto to the ultra-modern race machinery that absorbs his working day.
His first build garnered enough interest to turn his side gig into a fully-fledged second business. Bolt Motor Company is now on its seventeenth build, and employs seven team members.
Bolt shares a workshop in Valencia with Campos Racing. But while the race team preps cars for the Formula 2, Formula 3 and GP3 race series, Adrián is swinging spanners on bikes like this stunning 1982 BMW R100RS.
We’ll admit it’s not the wildest custom boxer we’ve seen. But even though the style is well established, the perfect proportions and level of finish are something else. And the client wasn’t even looking for anything fancy; “He wanted a comfortable cafe racer for two people,” says Adrián, “so that’s what we did.”
The donor arrived in a pretty good condition, but it left in an even better state. There’s fresh paint and powder everywhere, from the motor right through to the forks, frame and tank.
Bolt tweaked the airhead’s stance by lowering the front forks internally just over two inches, then installing a pair of Hagon shocks at the rear. The fuel tank is stock, but the subframe and seat are custom made. The subframe’s a bolt-on affair, and the main frame’s been detabbed and cleaned up.
The taillight’s a particularly nice touch. Bolt built it into the seat rather than the rear loop, along with integrated rear turn signals. The whole setup’s barely visible—until it lights up.
They’ve also added some room for the customer to ‘customize’ his BMW at home. There’s a second tank and seat in a different paint scheme, which can be swapped out via four fasteners for the seat, and one for the tank. The second seat has it’s own plug-and-play taillight too.
Bolt have kept things practical too. The BMW’s airbox is still in play, and it’s also equipped with a BMW oil cooler and crash bars. Plus there’s a discreet inner fender at the rear. The exhaust headers have been shortened and run into a pair of generic cone mufflers, with the side stand relocated to work around them.
The cockpit’s sporting new handlebars, grips, bar-end mirrors and Motogadget bar-end turn signals. There’s a new master brake cylinder too, with some really neat plumbing. Up front is an LED headlight, tucked into a custom-made bucket.
Bolt rewired the bike from top to bottom and tucked away as much as they could. A set of Motone switches have their wires running inside the bars, while a Motogadget speedo has its cable routed through the BMW’s hollow steering stem nut.
This sort of consideration is rife, with every last nook and cranny cleaned up. We’ve spotted stainless steel fasteners throughout the build, nifty choke pulls on the carbs and a OEM-looking Bolt Motor Co. plaque on the side of the motor.
The classic white BMW motorsports livery is on point too. And Bolt have shunned the ubiquitous Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, going for the saw tooth tread of Shinko Classics instead.
We doubt that Bolt #17 could lap a track anywhere near as fast as a Campos race car.
But it’s just the sort of simple, classic ride we’d pick for getting to the track in the first place—via some leisurely Spanish back roads.
This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here by permission.
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Video: Watch Sarah Lezito show you how to drift a motorcycle
Yes, drifting on two wheels is possible. Especially if you’re an insanely talented stunt rider from France.
There are a few stunt riders worth following across social media and YouTube but few get the numbers of French stunter Sarah Lezito.
Shot in a cold, wet and snowy location, it’s hardly the easiest of environments for riding a motorcycle – although possibly better for skids! – but the control from Lezito, and her instruction, is captivating.
Why learn how to drift? Well, Lezito says that it might help in learning how to save from slipping, keeping the balance on your bike or just improving your stunting skills.
And her top tips?
- First find a small bike – a 50cc or 125cc machine that’s easy to handle.
- Find a slippery spot, like a wet floor after some light rain.
- Put hard tyres on the rear and more air in the front tyre.
- Protect everything… On you and your bike.
- Prepare to crash. A lot.
We’re hoping she’ll be adding to her channel over the coming months and that this is the start of a series of ‘How To…’ videos from the young stunt rider.