The big Softail line up of Harley-Davidson doesn’t just bring in a new direction in terms of design but also bikes that are fun to ride. And this bike here, the new Harley-Davidson Street Bob could be the most benefited one. The Street Bob is the lowest priced and also the lightest of the HD Softail range. It also is the most stripped down bare bone Harley that you can buy to build your own custom bike. The Street Bob acts as the first step for a customer to step into the big twin league and hence should prove its worth much more than the others.
The minimalist design of the Street Bob is its strength, as it has always been. The new Softail reinvention has given the bike a new chassis that is stiffer, new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine and a new suspension setup. There are the typical Street Bob elements such as the mini-ape handlebars, single seat and rear set foot pegs but the new design philosophy has brought in the blacked-out exhausts, handle bars, engine and forks. The wheels retain the older Street Bob’s 19-inch size at the front and 16-inch size at the rear. But gone is the tank mounted instrument console which has been replaced by a small digital display mounted on the handle bar. The display may seem small but proves to be just enough for displaying speed, gear indicator, fuel lever, odometer, tripmeter and rev counter.
The Daymaker signature LED headlamp found on other HD Softail models is present here too. The tall and wide handlebars and single seat highlight the bike’s cruiser characteristics. That doesn’t mean it cannot be swung around the corners and this is where the chassis proves its worth. The stiffer suspension allows the bike to change directions easily and eagerly. The dual-bending valve front suspension and the mono shock at the rear are also welcome changes in terms of upgrade. You will feel the irregularities of the road when you go over the potholes and bumps but not in a harsh way.
The Street Bob is also fun to ride around a corner as it feels confident during turn-ins and the grip is also amazing. Changing lanes around a bend too is made easier by the mini-ape handlebars and the pegs-grips-seat position, which get a more compact package but offer amazing level of control. The Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine makes a maximum power of 144 Nm at 3,000 rpm in the Street Bob and as we have said earlier, is the best yet from Harley Davidson. The dual internally counter-balanced system helps in controlling the vibrations to a large extent. The oil-cooler has been placed between the frame’s downtubes for better heat management. The 6-speed transmission is smooth to operate. Finding neutral is also an easy chore. The top gear is strictly for the highways, but you can pull in from a couple of gears higher letting the torque drive you away.
Harley-Davidson has given the Street Bob the engine and chassis it deserved finally. The bike is not just a tough-looking vehicle anymore. The Street Bob can handle the streets as good as it looks.