The Harley-Davidson Street 500 is, in many ways, a new and improved generation of the 49-95 Sportster the automaker offered in the 1990s. Both are entry-level bikes with affordable pricing designed to get people interested in riding a motorcycle. The Street 500 and the Street 750 aim to deliver the basics in a package the average person can afford. Don’t be concerned about quality, however; the Street 500 comes with an excellent finish, premium paint, and quality materials you want from a Harley.
Making a First Impression
When you first see the Street 500, you will notice the steel teardrop tank as well as the fenders, both of which have a rich, deep color and flawless finish. The tank has a raised chrome badge and lets you know right from the start that Harley Davidson put a great deal of care into this vehicle. As a stripped-down model, the Street 500 has plenty of black, keeping it simple as well as stylish. The front end is almost entirely blacked out, including the lowers, fork gators, and pullback handlebars. Moving backward, other features with a black Dark Custom finish include the exhaust, air cleaner, and engine. The black exhaust is eye-catching, going from the LED taillight to the front fender. Interestingly enough, this is the first all-black exhaust found on a Harley-Davidson since the original Café Racer in the 1970s.
Keeping It Simple
To keep costs down, the Street 500 has fairly basic instrumentation, although you don’t need anything more. There is a 3.5-inch electronic speedometer sitting on the handlebars. This displays readings the LEDs, the trip meter, and the odometer. Other than this, you also get a warning light for the coolant temperature.
The Harley Davidson Street 500 doesn’t require a great deal of upper body strength since it is light and has a conveniently low center of gravity. Since the seat height is only 28 inches, those who are slightly shorter than average will be more than happy; other riders can still manage in a pinch. The Street 500 is also passenger friendly with the two-up seat combined with the passenger foot pegs.
Riding the Street 500
When it comes time to ride the Street 500, you will appreciate the ergonomic positioning of the clutch lever and brake. Since the manufacturer designed the bike for daily city driving, the convenient placement of the lever will come in handy when you find yourself having to use it every few blocks. This motorcycle runs on a 60-degree V-twin that is liquid cooled and only displaces 30 cubic inches. That lets it earn the title of smallest Harley production engine, but the 29.5 pound-feet of torque is enough for regular use. If you want more than that, consider the Street 750 instead, which is incredibly similar other than its larger powertrain. The Street series offers new riders an entry-level Harley-Davidson with serious style.