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Old 09-11-2018, 08:41 PM
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Default Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

Spent the day riding a HD "Street 500" motorcycle today.

We are using them as our training motorcycles to get our re-certification for our state motorcycle license. The class is being taught by our local HD dealership, and is done in conjunction with the state BMV so if we pass the class we are exempt from taking both the written and the riding skills test.

I have to say I'm not impressed with these bikes. Ours are outfitted with bike protection in case of a drop ... which has happened to a few people in our class on multiple occasions. So I guess they are necessary. We have 12 in the class, from seriously experienced riders, to modestly experienced (like me) to zero experience.

The bikes sit low like any HD, they have a V-twin like any HD and they are heavy for their size. Featureless too. No tachometer. No anti-lock brakes. No gauges other than an odometer and speedometer. Your inner thighs come in contact wiht the cooling fins on the rear cylinder of the engine, which gets reasonably warm, despite being a water cooled engine. I will say that riding this bike really makes you appreciate ABS brakes as the front brake grabs pretty easily.

I never really felt comfortable on the bike as my butt was low, arms relatively high and stretched out. Legs also felt pretty cramped as they are bent to sit on the pegs. And the pegs are so awkwardly placed and wide that when at rest and your feet are on the ground your legs are extended so far to either side that you risk a groin pull.

Engine, on the bright side, pulls very nicely with tons of torque so it is actually hard to stall if you have any throttle at all. I did find the gear shifter fairly clunky and stiff, but it does work.

All that criticism aside, it was a fun day thrashing these things around. We have 1 woman in class who quite literally dropped her bike in every exercise we did. I think she is a bit too timid, but she is also small and these things are fairly heavy (about 520# with fluids) so I think she would have been better off on a small bike. Had a guy who dropped his bike at least 3 times today. I don't think anyone else in the group dropped their bikes. We have a few in the group who rode in to the class on their big full dressed Indians and HDs. So its a pretty mixed group. We are in a big parking lot, our riding area is easily the size of a couple of football fields and they had us swerving and weaving around cones, panic stopping, doing all sorts of turns, running in formations, etc. Lots of fun and learned a good bit too.

Not looking to by one of these despite the fact that the instructors were pushing them pretty hard to my wife and I. Just not going to happen.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

An old riding friend of mine, who's son bought one, a 750, I believe not the 500 disliked it so much he did not keep it a year. I was not impressed just by looking at it.

I've been flirting with the idea of getting a bike for next summer, but most likely will not happen. If it did, it would NOT be a Harley. I love buying American, and feel guilty every time I do not, but if there is a bike in my future it would be a Kawi. I've ridden Kawasaki's mostly since the 70's. Just a thing of mine.

BTW, I think there is a digital readout tach on the LCD portion of the speedo. Keep pressing a button on the left grip to scroll thorough all the various screens. Maybe these are special training bikes without any bells and whistles?

I love that exhaust and hate that gigantic radiator. Damn, that radiator is bigger then the one on my truck.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

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Originally Posted by TiredRetired View Post
An old riding friend of mine, who's son bought one, a 750, I believe not the 500 disliked it so much he did not keep it a year. I was not impressed just by looking at it.

...

BTW, I think there is a digital readout tach on the LCD portion of the speedo. Keep pressing a button on the left grip to scroll thorough all the various screens.
The STREET 500 and STREET 750 are the same basic bike, same seat, same frame, same wheels ... different engine.

As for the digital tach, possibly an option that is not on these bikes we are using??? No buttons on the left grip on the bike I was using. Its a stripped down model and pretty apparent.

FWIW, my legs are sore as hell. I think from a combination of the cramped riding position and the fact that we had to walk the bikes around a bit and that fat body with wide pegs made for a really uncomfortable position. I suppose for people who really really want a Harley this is the affordable entry-level option but it is not even close to having the comfort or ergonomics of the Honda NC700x we just picked up.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

Looks like riding one of those for any length of time wouldn't allow for very good posture.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

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Looks like riding one of those for any length of time wouldn't allow for very good posture.
I found it rather uncomfortable with cramped legs and a long arm reach
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

I should think so!
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

Back to your Honda, I cannot say I am at all familiar with the term "Adventure Bike". Are these a sort of hybrid on / off road type of machine? Are you planning to see much gravel type roads on your expedition? I noticed there is a lot of clearance between the rear tire and the rear fender, but the front fender seems close to the tire like a road bike. Interesting layout.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredRetired View Post
Back to your Honda, I cannot say I am at all familiar with the term "Adventure Bike". Are these a sort of hybrid on / off road type of machine? Are you planning to see much gravel type roads on your expedition? I noticed there is a lot of clearance between the rear tire and the rear fender, but the front fender seems close to the tire like a road bike. Interesting layout.
The adventure bike category is an offshoot of the "dual sport" category. Generally bigger, generally for touring but in theory for all terrain touring from highway to gravel to whatever. The NC700x is pretty much on the plain vanilla edge of the category and not a hard core variant, far more for roads than not, ideal for city or country but not so for crossing the Gobi. But with proper tires and some changes to the suspension it can handle quite a bit.

Honestly could use a cruiser for the trip we have planned. The riding position of the adventure bikes is just so darn comfortable and set up for maneuverability.

And NOPE we are NOT planning to go off road, we may hit a small amount of gravel on our future trip. But a lot of the roads around us are gravel or chip & seal so we'll see use at home.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Harley Davidson "Street 500" motorcycle ... meh?

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Originally Posted by Melensdad View Post
The adventure bike category is an offshoot of the "dual sport" category. Generally bigger, generally for touring but in theory for all terrain touring from highway to gravel to whatever. The NC700x is pretty much on the plain vanilla edge of the category and not a hard core variant, far more for roads than not, ideal for city or country but not so for crossing the Gobi. But with proper tires and some changes to the suspension it can handle quite a bit.

Honestly could use a cruiser for the trip we have planned. The riding position of the adventure bikes is just so darn comfortable and set up for maneuverability.

And NOPE we are NOT planning to go off road, we may hit a small amount of gravel on our future trip. But a lot of the roads around us are gravel or chip & seal so we'll see use at home.
I'm sure everyone makes their variant of the Adventure bike. They strike me as an ideal bike for commuting as well. May be a nice bike to have along with the cruiser in the garage. Not for me as having two bikes is NOT in my future, but still.........

Seems the boys from Kawasaki make a highly rated one according to Cycle World. https://www.cycleworld.com/2017-kawa...el-bike-season I like that 19" wheel up front and using the Ninja motor, which are just truly incredible motorcycle engines. Hmmmmmmm........

BTW, the gal in the leather tights is strictly optional and Kawasaki does NOT recommend this option for riders in our age group as it may be very hazardous to our health & married life.
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