Harley Davidson Street 500 (XG500)

Harley Davidson Street 500

The Harley Davidson Street 500 (XG500) is a cruiser style motorcycle built for those on a budget. Incidentally the Street 500’s engine falls under the LAMS formula so it also becomes a learner cruiser motorcycle. There aren’t many cruiser motorcycles in the entry level class and this is a first Harley Davidson so worth a look if you this style or motorcycle and a learner. The Street 500 is built in India hence the lower price tag but to me it’s not a real Harley Davidson as they need to be made in the US purely due to their marketing and branding.

Technically the Street 500 uses a new engine design called the Revolution X for HD that is focused on low revs and power but high torque. In fact the only performance figure they boast is the 40Nm of torque at a low 3750 RPM and that would be impressive in 1997 not 2017. Apart from the new engine everything as is pretty much extremely normal and a little cheap, witness the solo speedo and switches. The most disappointing and unfortunate omission is the trademarked Harley Davidson sound is missing sounding noticeably Japanese.

In terms of design the Street 500 has blacked out engine and ancillary parts to look completely modern, no retro design touches, it is best described as a step backwards  of the now production axed HD V-Rod. I think it will appeal to the younger riders although the same riders will be buying the badge as it doesn’t look like or sound like any Harley Davidson model. Maybe they are hoping to sell the growing range of custom and performance parts? The marketing of the Street 500 claims it is a cafe racer but that is a stretch. In the end though the Street 500 looks incomplete and a little awkward and definitely looks like a learner motorcycle.

The Harley Davidson Street 500 has an inroad price of just under $10000 so if you need a Harley Davidson then this the cheapest model to buy. However before you buy you must know that it is slow, rather basic and not particularly Harley Davison.

Harry Davidson Street 500 Key Specifications (2018)
Engine: V-Twin cylinder 4 valve SOHC (EFI)
Capacity: 494cc
Power/Torque: xxKw @ xxxxRPM 40Nm @ 3750RPM
Gearbox: 6 speed
Kerb Weight: 233Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 13 litre fuel tank
Approx 4 litres per 100km
Seat height: 720mm
Dimensions: L2215 x W840 x H1105
Recommended Retail Price: $9,990 (2018)

2018 Yamaha MT-07 LA

Yamaha MT-07 LA

The Yamaha MT-07 LA is a custom built learner motorcycle and this one is based on the regular full power MT-07. Yamaha claims that THE MT-07LA version has been specifically designed for the learner market. I like the look of the MT-07 as it is a good looking modern motorcycle design that is similar yet different from the rest of the naked motorcycle class.

Technically the MT-07 is a power restricted version of the regular by reducing engine capacity and ECU modifications. The MT-07LA is the only learner motorcycle I know that uses a full 180 width rear tyre fitted as standard (180-55-17) so no one but keen motorcyclists will know the difference which is arguably the key selling feature of the MT-07.  The engine has been reduced in capacity and retuned for torque and there 68Nm is very high for a reasonably weighted approx 200kg motorcycle.

In terms of design the MT-07LA uses the latest Yamaha styling themes which means it looks good and different to other motorcycle brands. Picures on the internet do not do it justice so check one out in the showroom of not the street.

The Yamaha MT-07LA costs $9999 AUD on the road so it is a little more expensive than the popular LAMS or learner motorcycles like the Kawasaki Ninja 300 but the MT-07 is a more modern motorcycle with more expensive parts. Although it shouldn’t matter the most important and key selling points are: the MT-07LA is arguably the fastest LAMS or learner motorcycle you can buy and it looks exactly like the full power motorcycle.

Yamaha MT-07 LA Key Specifications (2018)
Engine: IL2 cylinder (EFI)
Capacity: 655cc
Power/Torque: 38Kw @ 4000RPM 68 Nm @ 6500RPM
Gearbox: 6 speed
Kerb Weight: 182Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 12 litre fuel tank
Approx 4 litres per 100km
Seat height: 805mm
Dimensions: L2085 x W745 x H1090
Recommended Retail Price: $9,999 Ride away (2017)