A Harley Street 750 Goes Off-Road

StrretRick11StrretRick22StrretRick33When Harley-Davidson introduced its 2 Street models (750 & 500), the maker described them as “coming from the street, born out of the custom tradition of tearing down a motorcycle to its raw, minimal essence and letting the pure rebellion inherent in the lines of the machine come screaming through”…

Corporate narrative aside, it’s true that the Harley Street is designed mainly for city quick moves and tight turns and for such purpose features a lean and narrow chassis, tires for easy handling, a super low seat (women welcome) and a suspension tuned for the roughest urban roads. So, you could suppose like me, that the customized versions of the Harley Street would emphasize its vocation of being a street bike for youngsters. This feature to prove you that the Street can have a different personality.

StrretRick8bisStrretRick5The story of this makeover going in the off-road direction is the involuntarily result of a competition currently organized by Harley-Davidson among all its european official dealers. Each of them must customize a Street (no constraints imposed by H-D), with each european country winner selected for a final competition where the Street “Custom King” champion will be announced during the “Wheels and Waves“ weekend June 11-13, 2015 in Biarritz, France.

StrretRick6StrretRick7No doubt that many Harley dealers are currently customizing their Street to give it a stronger urban personality to please Harley and our youth. , Germany went the complete opposite way, trying to demonstrate to Harley-Davidson corporate and its own clients that the Street can be much more that a city bike. And to be credible, Rick’s felt it was necessary to go beyond bolt-on customization and rethink the Street’s factory driveline and riding characteristics.

StrretRick8StrretRick9The most radical modification is the chain conversion. (good-bye the stock plastic pieces that cover the stock belt drive.) The Rick’s team CNC-machined their own sprockets and covers for protection of the rider. The swingarm was strengthened with shock mounts modified to authorize 3 pre-set height configurations via a pair of Öhlins shocks. The factory front end received Rick’s covers with the Street now rolling on their proprietary custom “Y-Spoke” wheels (in sizes 19” x 2.15 front, 5.5 x 18 rear) replacing the factory 17” front and 15” rear to which are now bolted Rick’s rotors (11.5” front, 10” rear). Results are a significantly higher riding position and a much improved lean angle. Wheels are wrapped in dirt-profile Heidenau “Dual Sport” tires offering great riding fun and an adequate compromise for on and off the road riding.

Rick15#_0062-V_BIKE_RIGHTMost visible modifications also include Rick’s own sheet metal, such as the modified gas tank using a cap from W&W, Rick’s GFK front and rear steel “Tailfender” and a prototype Rick’s cooler cover. Other replacement custom parts used on this project are the Superbike handlebars, the Spiegler grips, the Kellermann indicators in front and those from Rizoma in the rear. Rick’s kept Harley-Davidson forward controls and the stock headlight whose glass is now protected by a stone guard. The new seat is mounted to a Rick’s prototype frame extension.

StrretRick12What contributes to make Rick’s Street different is the lighter engine appearance versus Harley factory deep sinister treatment. The motor went through a distinctive tumbler machine “vibration finish” on heads and side covers. The 750cc is now breathing through a Rick’s ”Good Guys” air filter. Exhaust pipes are one-off and end with the Supertrapp racy mufflers. No doubt that youngsters want to go off the beaten path. They can do it on this type of bike. /. (Photography @ for Patumwan)

25 Responses to “A Harley Street 750 Goes Off-Road”

  1. 1 Rodent Apr 13th, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Nice, except for the ugly radiator

  2. 2 TJ Martin Apr 13th, 2015 at 8:18 am

    This one begging the eternal question for the 2010’s . That being ;

    How many motorcycles can custom builders ‘ scramble ‘ before Scramblers finally go out of fashion ?

    The wishful thinking answer being … hopefully .. not many more 😉

  3. 3 Drake Apr 13th, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Very nice job

  4. 4 zipper Apr 13th, 2015 at 9:58 am

    The work is great, the end product is not. Take a bike designed to be quick on the city streets and modify it to run off road? Now you have a bike that is a marginal on the street and dirt. ..Z

  5. 5 P. Hamilton Apr 13th, 2015 at 10:37 am

    like it better this way.

  6. 6 Boomer Apr 13th, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I wouldn’t take it motocrossing but rough dirt roads and a few inches of snow should be a breeze with it. I like that back tire. Sure wish there was a pic of it directly from the back. It must be at least a 200 width.

  7. 7 Ronnie Apr 13th, 2015 at 11:28 am

    You could think that the radiator should be “hidden” as much as possible by painting it in grey. I think it’s better to show it in contrast like the builder did it. First custom H-D Street that I see and I like.

  8. 8 Greeko Apr 13th, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Cyril, it would be nice if you could feature together all the custom Streets built by the dealers for this Custom King competition.

  9. 9 ozzie21 Apr 13th, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Blahblahblahblah…….looks better than stock but there’s better and cheaper out there……

  10. 10 Mdkuder Apr 13th, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Wrong mirrors and wow it sure looks like a TT500 Yamaha!

  11. 11 Trenz Apr 13th, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Pretty good in my opinion. Much, much, much better than stock.

  12. 12 John Apr 13th, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I’d love to have one as my second bike, Hotrod SuperGlide is what I ride.

  13. 13 Seymour Apr 13th, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    uh oh I’m the second person who thought it looked like a Yamaha!

  14. 14 Dave Blevins Apr 13th, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I rode a TT500 Yamaha from 81-84 before going to blacktop forever, this bike does NOT look at all like a TT500.
    Not even a little. Please Google what a TT500 looks like.

    I do like the bike, although a big radiator and bush riding don’t mix well. And no mirrors please.

  15. 15 James just another Crazy Kiwi Apr 13th, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I would of left the radiator black so it blended in more.
    But it does look cool.
    Wonder if someone will come up with a smaller more efficient radiator ?
    I’m sure if the market demands it , it will happen.
    Personally, I think scrambler come flat track based customs are timeless and will always look good.
    They also appeal to the younger generations.
    Unlike the cartoon penny farthing baggers that are the current bilious fad.

    Wonder if HD will do a scrambler AKA Ducati style bike.
    If Ducati see a market I am sure there is one.

  16. 16 Lyle Landstrom Apr 13th, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Hey man, that’s not a radiator. It’s a rock guard to protect the engine. Anyone knows a real off road bike would have fenders long enough to protect the rider and engine but these dudes were thinking out of the box by installing the rock guard in front of the engine. I’m sure there’s another one hidden behind the dummy exposed air filter element too!

  17. 17 Zenaldo Apr 13th, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    High speed off roading with some road manners too…might be fun..

  18. 18 Johnny Gypo Apr 14th, 2015 at 10:50 am

    As a Harley AND KLR650 owner, any dual sport or adventure bike gets my attention. This bike has some good stuff, but needs more. When thinking about using off the pavement, function over form (look at KLRs!) must prevail. With the right gearing, a more serious handlebar setup with some lever/control protection, realistic mirrors, this bike would be a hoot. They need to discard the “form” efforts and realize that with putting together a dual sport that function IS the form. I think the moco should take this build seriously.

  19. 19 Drew Apr 14th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Looks way fun! BTW-These XG750 engines have the potential of 100+HP. So, that would make it all the more fun. 🙂 For the nay sayers, I don’t believe the purpose of design was to compare it with modern day MX or Enduro machines, BUT out on some winding dirt/gravel roads it would have to a blast to ride. 🙂

  20. 20 nicker Apr 14th, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    “Off-Road to me means Fire Trails.

    And that scooter looks to be just the ticket for such excursions.
    (for those who still know how to ride and don’t yammer for any-lock brakes)


  21. 21 Biker Bob Apr 14th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    looks great, but to think this bike can compete with any real dual sport or dirt bike is absurd. So then, why build it?

  22. 22 Blackmax Apr 14th, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    This bike is very cool & a different take on a “street” (are you kidding me) bike
    Euro style, for sure, but definitely out of the box.
    Kudos !!!

  23. 23 Mark Apr 15th, 2015 at 9:49 am

    The stock HD is not too exciting, looks a bit Asian. Maybe they should “buy” rights to this design and build it. Take a page from Ducati, and make short runs, versions of the model from the “parts bin.” Even if it’s not a real off-road bike, we have enjoyed our dual sport touring bikes like the BMW GS models which are fine on dirt roads, not much else.

  24. 24 domino Apr 15th, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I like this … I think it would make a great urban assault bike … Like for the streets of San Francisco, where you have to get on and off sidewalks, etc. a lot

  25. 25 Dan May 12th, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    This is the style of bike I would ride if I could get one. I ride 2 miles of dirt and gravel road on my way to pavement and have a lot of chip and seal roads (crappy pavement) that I could use this exact set up. I wish I could get a recipe for the mods and I would customize one myself. I may still try!

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