By Trevor Hedge
Harley-Davidson this morning in Melbourne invited journalists to a reveal event of the new Harley-Davidson Street 500. The first all new Harley platform for 14 years.
Harley describe this new learner legal model as a ‘cool, urban, dark custom’.
While both 500cc and 750cc models will be released in most countries at this stage Harley-Davidson Australia are only planning to bring the learner legal 500cc model Down Under.
Featuring a new 60-degree, liquid-cooled, four-valve, SOHC, 500cc engine dubbed ‘Revolution X’ the new Street is expected to be priced between $10,000 and $12,000 ride away in both Australia and New Zealand.
Tipping the scales at a reasonable 217kg wet and presenting a very low 645mm seat height the Street should prove amenable to new riders.
Mid-mount controls positioned slightly forward offer cruiser style ergonomics and a small screen should provide some protection at speed.
Braking is provided by a single disc up front squeezed by a twin-piston caliper.
The new Street rolls on a 17″ front rim and 15″ rear. Drive is a via toothed belt.
Fuel capacity is 12.5 litres, identical to the 883 Iron, and significantly larger than the modest 7.9 litre capacity of the Forty-Eight.
Harley-Davidson personnel that have heard the machine in person described the sound of the machine as ‘a cross between v-rod and our big-twins’.
“This new bike is leaner, yet still has a mean streak – it’s the real deal, made of real steel.” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “It’s designed to handle the abuses of urban environments and provide authentic opportunities to customize.”
Huge range of optional customisation accessories will be ready to go by the time the machine hits the Australian market in January, 2015. The engine design can support capacities of up to 900cc via aftermarket big-bore kits.
The machines will be made in both the Kansas City plant, where Sportsters are also built, and a supplementary plant in India. It is unclear as yet which plant will provide Australia and New Zealand’s machines.
Service intervals will be 8000km and Harley will back the machine with a two-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
“This is the newest motorcycle to join our Dark Custom line-up, which helped make us the number-one selling brand to young adults in the U.S. for the past five years,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “The Street 500 was designed with thousands of hours of input from young adults in cities around the world. This input guided both the attitude and capabilities of these motorcycles. They are proof that being customer-led continues to be a core driver of our product development process.”
NB: Many of the images below feature the 750 sticker on the air cleaner but apart from the colouring of the cooling fins and the air cleaner insert, the 500cc model coming Down Under will be visually identical to the machines pictured here.