Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750
Built on Harley-Davidson's first new bike platform in 13 years, the Street 500 and 750 are aimed at urban riders looking to throw a leg over their first motorcycle. Featuring a liquid-cooled V-twin motor that operates at four valves per cylinder, the blacked-out cruisers offer a serious ride at a seriously good price.
“Harleys have a lot of power, but it’s very smooth, controllable, predictable power,” AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National champ Brad “The Bullet” Baker explains from Texas. “The 750 is nimble and tight, turns quickly, and would be the perfect bike for someone to start out on because it’s a little bit more forgiving. And it just has a dark, awesome look to it.”
Baker, who started his pro career at 16 and recently became the third youngest series champ in history, rode a slightly beefed-up version of the 750 in an X Games exhibition race last week in Austin, hoping to gain some exposure for his sport and show off the new ride. He and his fellow racers hope to get flat track added to the X Games schedule in 2015.
“Flat track has been a foundation of motorcycle racing since the early 1900s,” Baker says. “You’ve got riders side-by-side at over 130mph pitching it sideways, so it’s pretty intense. I think it would add a different kind of flavor to the X Games.”
Baker also races Harleys across the ice, but recommends new riders leave that to the pros.
“With different types of tires and a different set up you can definitely ride the 750 on all three of our racing surfaces,” Baker says with a laugh. “But Harley Davidson might make you sign a liability waiver before that happens.” [From $6,799; harley-davidson.com]