Sunday, 8 June 2014

Harley 750 Street + Vance & Hines = X Games Flat Track?

This is exciting on a couple of levels. Harley are pushing both their new, entry-level Street 750 (built, at least in part, in their new Indian factory) and also putting flat track in front of a new audience, while commissioning a handsome race bike from one of the most respected tuning houses in the USA.

1. Harley are really pushing to get flat track included in X Games (the Olympics of extreme sports). Having rally involved didn't do a lot of the WRC, but it couldn't help but raise profile, attract sponsors and pay some of the riders a little more. It would be a great spectacle too.
I'm sure supermoto was involved a few years ago and it didn't help that sport in the long-term, but flat track has more history, is more American, is due a comeback. It feels like the right time.

2. These bikes aren't XR750s, they're flat track versions of the new liquid-cooled 750 Street. The bikes were prepped by long-established, multi-faceted tuning house and race team (drag, road, whatever) - Vance & Hines.
Only the engine remains, but that doesn't mean a bike with a similar look couldn't be created further down the line. Certain sections look like the XR1200R (a bike I thought was a massive missed opportunity). XR750R anyone?
There is a current XR750 in one of these photos and it doesn't jump out. Vance & Hines have done a great job with this concept. G
This is the 750 Street 750 in the foreground (looking like a cross between an XLCR, a V-Rod and a 2014 'club' bike).


Harley said...

I do wonder if the urban hipsters these bikes seem to be aimed at will care about the heritage of an XR750 if, as HD are hoping, they also aren't bothered by the fact that the bikes are being built in India?

Sideburn Magazine said...

Hi Harley Why is the 750 Street aimed at Urban hipsters? There aren't enough of those for a brand like H-D to launch a whole brand new bike at. It's just an entry level Harley for people who want to enter the Harley world. It's also, I'm guessing, looking to a future where the air-cooled Sportster might not pass tighter noise regs.

Also, if you'd been in Royal Enfield factory, like I was lucky enough to, you'd know that made in India is no bad thing. You'd be surprised where some bikes you expect to come from one place (Hinckley for instance) come from another (Thailand, for example).

And history and heritage is (nearly) EVERYTHING for the hipster market. They won't need to see many photos of Springer, Mert, Parker et all to 'get it'.

Additionally, the X Games crowd aren't hipsters, just young(er) consumers. Very few road bike companies are really going after young adults. H-D are serious about it. KTM too. The rest seem to just want the comparatively wealthy 40-plus market.

More power to H-D I reckon.

Unknown said...

I can't wait for this bike to make an appearance, I have never been a big Harley fan. The XR's look good but are a fortune. I am no hipster but I do love a good tracker. All I do hope is that HD turn something like this into a street legal bikeand its less than 42 Gazillion pounds.

Anonymous said...

Three years on and the XG750 simply isn’t cutting the mustard, having been outflanked by Indian - who have produced a PROPER flat track bike and gone out there and WON, whilst pretty much creating the Hooligan brand out of whole cloth and making it their own.

Harley need to think hard and fast...