Street Rod’s American Muscle Wows ‘Em in NZ

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Harley Street Rod New Zealand Review

‘Elements of flat-track heritage, streetfighters, and American muscle’ show ‘Harley has done well,’ says New Zealand’s Autocar.

With the Street Rod, Harley-Davidson is hoping to attract new riders to the brand through a bike that mixes the American muscle you might expect from H-D, but with a sportier design. Harley-Davidson has tried this in the past, but it’s clear that the Street Rod is a whole different beast than the previous Street models. Many motorcycle enthusiasts don’t know what to expect when they finally get to ride the bike.

One such enthusiast is Nile Bijoux, a writer for New Zealand’s Autocar. He recently published his review of the Street Rod, and while he was very happy with everything overall, he was a little taken aback by this new-generation Harley. To him, this is definitely not your typical bike from Harley-Davidson.

As Bijoux goes through the design, he’s sure to mention all the changes that Harley made to their Street series of bikes to produce the Street Rod. Along with some cosmetic changes, the immediately noticeable difference is the sitting position, which gives a sportier feel. “Other parts of the design pay homage to classic US-of-A roots and you’ll find elements of flat-track heritage, streetfighters, and American muscle. To behold, it’s quite something, and on that front, Harley has done well,” he says.

Harley Street Rod New Zealand Review

He notes that someone not familiar with riding this type of bike, or someone used to Harley-Davidson’s various other models, might find the ergonomics a bit odd at first, but nothing you won’t get used to. The most impressive aspect, says the reviewer, along with the design of the bike, is the engine used in the Street Rod. “The revised engine is really nice to wind open through the curves of greater Auckland, with a super-wide powerband and revs to burn,” Bijoux notes.

 

‘Other parts of the design pay homage to classic US-of-A roots and you’ll find elements of flat-track heritage, streetfighters, and American muscle. To behold, it’s quite something, and on that front, Harley has done well.’

 

And that’s the whole point of the Street Rod, right? This isn’t a bike that is being promoted as a highway bike. The Street Rod isn’t supposed to be the bike you drive at a slow speed and just feel the wind through your hair. This is a bike that is supposed to hug curves and weave through traffic.

Harley Street Rod New Zealand Review

Bijoux’s review wasn’t without a few issues, however. First, he said that the exhaust is a bit muffled. But he notes that this is a quick and fairly easy fix that most owners who want the loud sound can do with aftermarket parts. Then, he brings up the issue with the feel of the engine. He noticed that the engine has a tendency to jump RPMs and “lurch” at slow speeds.

Overall, these small issues don’t take away from the reviewer’s feelings about the bike. “In a nutshell, the Street Rod is a great start towards something truly brilliant. The looks are right and the engine is willing but cramped ergos and iffy fuelling let the package down… However, we have no doubt that the bar-and-shield brand will get it right. And for the faithful these minor concerns might not even matter,” he concludes.

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Charles Dean is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Rennlist, among other auto sites.


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