Harley Davidson Street 750 is it really a true Bred “Harley” or is it a Chinese knock off?

To give you a brief background I am an automobile nut and love anything and everything on wheels be it a Tractor or a Ferrari. I am a die-hard fan of Harley and since a kid wanted to own a Harley mostly due to po-ta-to. I made up my mind when I was watching the making of V Rod on a National Geographic, The precision, the quality, the checks, the technology, the commitment was simply phenomenal. The game changer for me was when a heard a Harley owner say “You always find people asking why are you so crazy about Harley and I just say Sit on a Harley twist the throttle and you will know”. The moment I heard this, I knew that I had to own a Harley some day.

Well I did not write to you regarding my dream but wanted to let you know the deep fascination and passion I HAD towards Harley. Yes correct I mean HAD as its now past since the day I have got my Street 750 (VIN – MEG4NBBN3FN500325); Pune Chapter; on 13th July 2014. I read about all reviews in magazine post which made the buying decision but I am afraid many, many things even the magazine guys missed.

I am listing down all the basic glitches which Harley India Team did not think of before even putting to design let alone production. I am a Mechanical Engineer and a hard core auto fanatic and I know what I am talking about.

Design – Design I DON’T mean by looks. Design is poor as soon as the user faces difficulty using it. If you place a bolt and a mechanic is unable to open it without opening 3 different components then this is bad design. Harley Street 750 has too many such issues. Too bad to be true in one bike.

  • Driver Foot pegs – firstly this is asymmetrical with the left peg slightly outside than the right. Now during traffic you put your left leg down and if u keep it down it hurts the shins to blue as the peg is protruding so much outwards. Whereas the right is perfect. All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/10 of this Street.
Position of right and left foot pegs. The left protruding way out. Asymmetrical design.
Position of right and left foot pegs. The left protruding way out. Asymmetrical design.
Rear brake lever to right
Rear brake lever to right
Gear Lever left
Gear Lever left
  • Clutch + Front brake – driver has to slant his/her hands downwards to more than 20 degrees to press the clutch or brake. And in traffic its extremely painful to wrists. Attached image for both normal position and the Harley position.

All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/10 of  this Street.

Clutch Lever Position. Position at which the clutch lever was required with Straight Hands and fingers operation
Clutch Lever Position. Position at which the clutch lever was required with Straight Hands and fingers operation
Clutch Lever Position. Position at which the clutch lever was required with Straight Hands and fingers operation
Clutch Lever Position. Position at which the clutch lever was required with Straight Hands and fingers operation
Clutch Lever Position. Its 20 Degrees below. So you actually have to bend you wrist and pull up the clutch.
Clutch Lever Position. Its 20 Degrees below. So you actually have to bend you wrist and pull up the clutch.
  • Headlamp – you give a halogen lamp and no lamp off switch. Day time running lamp is okay for LED. What sense does it make to have halogen lamps and keep it running during broad daylight? When in India during the entire year sunlight is there for 10+ hours during the day as average. (Covered by magazines)

All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/10 of this Street.

Day Time running yellow lamps. Its made for India and Irony is India has an average sunlight for 10 hours a day in the entire year. The dipper light is of no use if you travel anything above 50kmph as the light is not far enough in comparison to the speed.
Day Time running yellow lamps. Its made for India and Irony is India has an average sunlight for 10 hours a day in the entire year. The dipper light is of no use if you travel anything above 50kmph as the light is not far enough in comparison to the speed.
  • Clock – bikes are to be driven with full gear and helmet. Now please tell me if I am going in between cities and I cannot see how much kilometers have covered in how much time. Do you expect people to stop each time and open their watch and see time?

All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/8 of this Street.

  • Fuel Indicator – reserve tank is 3 litres only and its strong point is not average or any buyer will not buy it for average BUT if I am out on highway doing miles on odometer I will have no clue till the time the indicator blinks. It just has 3 litres left when it does. Tell me please in India do you think on we have petrol pump on highways at 50 kms. (Covered by magazines)

All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/10 of this Street.

  • Document holder/storage – please explain me this you make bike for India where will I keep my documents and license. Do you expect drivers to carry the separate bag always with the documents separate than the bike. So even if you take your bike to movies or shopping or office you carry another bag with just its documents

All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/10 of this Street.

  • Pass switch – the bike is 750cc and expected to be driven on highways and city and a simple pass switch is not provided. (Covered by magazines)

All other Indian bikes are better than this which has cost 1/8 of this Street.

  • Handle grip – the handle grip is so hard that post 25kms you have to remove hand and while drive rotate and give movement to hand. Its painful experience.
Grip Quality. Plain Hard rubber grip. Sores your hands.
Grip Quality. Plain Hard rubber grip. Sores your hands.
  • Mirror – I am 5’8’’ and after wearing a jacket I cannot see whats coming from behind let alone what magazine mentioned above 5’10’’. I am not sure if someone has even tested the bike for few miles with prototype before production.
  • Fuel Filler Cap – It has a small arrow on top which is the only indicator to if it’s the right side up. You can also put it the wrong side and then you are stuck. Have you guys heard about Poka-yoke or go-no go gauges. How can someone miss this?
  • Engine Heat – Its liquid cooled and even after 4kms of drive at a sane 40kmph if you halt it boils your inner thighs. Simply imagine doing 50+km. Many air cooled bikes are better than this.

Quality – By quality I just don’t mean the quality of parts but how the bike is put together.

  • Welding – Diploma/ITI holders do better welding than the welding done on this bike. Welding on chassis. Attached is the picture.
Welding on Chassis. Welding is worse than if done by school kids. No buffing no removing additional welding. No effort to level. QC team again busy sleeping. Readers please compare which whatever bike you have parked in your garage.
Welding on Chassis. Welding is worse than if done by school kids. No buffing no removing additional welding. No effort to level. QC team again busy sleeping.
Readers please compare which whatever bike you have parked in your garage.
Poor welding. Welding is worse than if done by school kids. No buffing no removing additional welding. No effort to level. QC team again busy sleeping.
Poor welding. Welding is worse than if done by school kids. No buffing no removing additional welding. No effort to level. QC team again busy sleeping.
  • Sheet metal Work – Again this is work of a school going child. Check the tank in my bike which I have received. How did it pass your quality checks? Or should I ask do you have a quality check for bikes. Attached is the picture
Tank Finish. The sheet metal work on the tank is absolutely pathetic. Check the dents  on the curves. Again QC team???
Tank Finish. The sheet metal work on the tank is absolutely pathetic. Check the dents on the curves. Again QC team???
  • Fuel Tank – there is a clear demarcation of joining of two parts for the tank. No efforts even to disguise the same.
Tank seam
Tank seam
  • Exposed wire and wire harness – attached is the pictures very different than what was captured by magazines and showcased. Many electronic plugs also exposed. Extremely untidy way of putting all harness and wire together.

DSC_0753

More wire
More wire

DSC_0734

Wires
Wires
Wire Harness
Wire Harness
  • Exhaust Fish Plate – the exhaust joined together with fish plate which comes out and attaches to the exhaust. The design itself is untidy here. The exhaust was hanging and just it is supported by a “Jugaad” Very shady job.
Fish Plate holding the exhaust. I think designers thought "Ohh! Now there is no place to hold the exhaust. Lets do one thing take a 30 bucks fish plate attach ist to the chassis and bolt it to exhaust to hold"
Fish Plate holding the exhaust. I think designers thought “Ohh! Now there is no place to hold the exhaust. Lets do one thing take a 30 bucks fish plate attach ist to the chassis and bolt it to exhaust to hold”
Fish Plate to hold exhaust. I think designers thought "Ohh! Now there is no place to hold the exhaust. Lets do one thing take a 30 bucks fish plate attach ist to the chassis and bolt it to exhaust to hold" While the Quality Team were busy sleeping while this passed their aisle for check for the loose wire.
Fish Plate to hold exhaust. I think designers thought “Ohh! Now there is no place to hold the exhaust. Lets do one thing take a 30 bucks fish plate attach ist to the chassis and bolt it to exhaust to hold” While the Quality Team were busy sleeping while this passed their aisle for check for the loose wire.
  • Finish of metals – the assembly of the gear lever and the brake lever the metal used is not finished/ buffed/grinded. It has rough machined edges. The Harley logo on the engine cover is also not buffed or grinded. The metal plate of gear and rear brake lever is extremely terrible quality and hot finished. Attached is the picture.
Even the logo is not machined properly. No buffing nothing. QA team I think was out smoking as no one can be sleeping all the time.
Even the logo is not machined properly. No buffing nothing. QA team I think was out smoking as no one can be sleeping all the time.
Rear Brake lever. Look here at the quality of the holder. Again here the design team thought "Ohhh!! how do we accommodate the rear brake assembly. okay lets take cheap wrought iron lets not even polish it, then lets bolt it to engine assembly beneath and voila its done "
Rear Brake lever. Look here at the quality of the holder. Again here the design team thought “Ohhh!! how do we accommodate the rear brake assembly. okay lets take cheap wrought iron lets not even polish it, then lets bolt it to engine assembly beneath and voila its done “
Finish of rear brake lever hold. Just look at the quality and finish. Do you expect his if you buy a Harley or any bike upwards of 4.5 lakhs?
Finish of rear brake lever hold. Just look at the quality and finish. Do you expect his if you buy a Harley or any bike upwards of 4.5 lakhs?
Gear lever Assembly. Look here at the quality of the holder and how its bolted together.  Again here the design team thought "Ohhh!! how do we accommodate the rear gear assembly. okay lets take cheap wrought iron lets not even polish it, then lets bolt it to engine assembly beneath "
Gear lever Assembly. Look here at the quality of the holder and how its bolted together. Again here the design team thought “Ohhh!! how do we accommodate the rear gear assembly. okay lets take cheap wrought iron lets not even polish it, then lets bolt it to engine assembly beneath “
Gear Lever Assembly
Gear Lever Assembly
  • Join – The handle bar assembly has huge gap which is again poor design and assembly. I think no one in Harley understands concept of tolerance level.
Gaps in front housing assembly - Left
Gaps in front housing assembly – Left
Gaps on front housing assembly - Centre. None of the 3 parts on the housing fit seamlessly. All three side have gaps. (Centre, Right Left)
Gaps on front housing assembly – Centre. None of the 3 parts on the housing fit seamlessly. All three side have gaps. (Centre, Right Left)
Gaps in front housing assembly - Right
Gaps in front housing assembly – Right
  • Indicator Assembly – The rear indicator assembly has extremely poor quality of rubber used as attachment apart from plastic bit. No uniformity. Attached is the picture.
Rear Indicator assembly. Here design team thought "hey! Listen no one looks at the rear lets do one thing lets put the lowest quality rubber housing and stick it to the indicator so that it protrudes out"
Rear Indicator assembly. Here design team thought “hey! Listen no one looks at the rear lets do one thing lets put the lowest quality rubber housing and stick it to the indicator so that it protrudes out”
  • Foot Pegs – the quality of pegs is extremely poor and uncomfortable. Your heels is on the pegs most of the time and not the curved depression of foot and after few kms it’s a real painful experience.

 

There are good things about bike engine performance, handling but due to the rest of the things it just makes the complete package a very horrible product. To make a compact bike the entire design is ruined and to make it cheap the quality is ruined. Still if it costs 4.10 Ex showroom whatever points I mentioned above should have been there. As these things are there in bikes upwards of just 50k INR. I own Karizma and it has none of these issues or niggles. It’s shameful to compare a brand like Harley with Hero but Harley with this product has lowered the entire standard levels to a new low. It feels its Chinese products. L I would really like to ask you why spoil the legacy of the brand Harley with such a terrible product.

I curse that day when I got this HARLEY. Its ruining the brand name and legacy The Name Harley holds.

This bike I am shameful to even call a Harley. All my dreams are shattered by this terrible and disgraceful product.

It just does not stop here. I escalated this to Harley to all below email address but all in vain.

  • mananpatel@2rivers-harley.in
  • pallavi.singh@harley-davidson.com
  • sunilchristian@2rivers-harley.in
  • Rajiv.Vohra@harley-davidson.com
  • Navneet.Banka@harley-davidson.com
  • abhachristian@2rivers-harley.in
  • Vijay.Thomas@harley-davidson.com
  • rideindia@harley-davidson.com
  • media@harley-davidson.com
  • store@harley-davidson.com
  • licensingdept@harley-davidson.com
  • lori.oelhafen@harley-davidson.com
  • harleycustomersupport@harley-davidson-uk.info
  • trademarkenforcement@harley-davidson.com

The funny part though Harley was so blunt they were trying to up-sell me rather than listen and address customer grievance. When I say up-sell I should bear all the losses right from depreciation to again paying road tax for new vehicle also paying a handsome amount for getting choice number.

It is hard to believe that Harley originating in America has come to India but unfortunately the service, the customer satisfaction, the brand Harley and most important the LEGACY of Harley is adulterated here.

So all you people don’t think that if you go for Harley you will get all these things since my dreams where shattered by these guys I do not want others to face the same ordeal as me. Trust me when I say this of all the points I have listed none and I repeat none of them are in my other bike Hero Honda Karizma R (2008 model – it was Hero Honda then and not Hero). Quality, build and finish of my 6 years old Karizma is far superior to this bike. It breaks my heart to say this but its true.

So is it a Harley Davidson Street 750 or Chinese Knock off? You decide before you buy!

 

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