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Harley Street Bob review

Harley-Davidson FXDB Street Bob
Harley-Davidson FXDB Street Bob

Harley riders love a bargain, so it seems as the FXDB Street Bob is one of its top sellers at the moment, probably because it’s only $21,495 (plus on-road costs).

It’s good buying at the moment because it’s one of the few models left with the 96 Twin Cam engine.

As such, sales have boomed by 160% to 254 in the first half of this year.

When Harley announces its 2014 range in about 50 days, we may see the Street Bob inherit the 103 Twin Cam engine like the bulk of the range.

The Street Bob is a classic ‘70s-style minimalist bike.

The Dyna range was created by now-retired Willie G Davidson in the early ‘70s. His intention was to ride the growing wave of chopped “Easy Rider” bikes.

A few years ago, the Dyna range added the raw and ready Street Bob to its naked ranks and it became an instant classic.

The bobber has since been slightly restyled and, ahem, modernised with the ignition moved from the side to the centre console which is also more practical.Street Bob
It still features the mini ape hanger handlebars, chopped rear fender, rubber-mounted engine and black laced wheels.

But it also has a re-designed solo seat that is a bit harder, a new streamlined taillight assembly, more gloss blacked-out bits and the triple clamps are now separated into two parts. This make it easier to swap handlebars for even more customisation.

There is also a new Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint option.

The Street Bob might seem a little cramped in the rider position than many Harleys with its mid-controls but it is an “involved” ride that makes the pilot feel more connected with the machinery.

Those mid-controls also mean the linkage for the gearshifter is shorter which makes it less clunky and more positive.

The stone look of the satin black console and engine are a nice touch.

I also like the gear indicator and revs on the LCD screen even though traditionalists may cringe at such “techno” features.
Street BobThe toggle switch on the left handlebar allows you to scroll through the various LCD displays that feature such useful info as a clock, trip meters, fuel range etc.

Even though this is one of the last bastions of the 96 engine, it is such a light bike it still has more than enough grunt for plenty of boogie.

It pulls healthily from 22000rpm which just happens to be 100km/h in sixth so it’s ok for passing. But it really gets in the zone around 4000 revs.

At 120km/h your arms feel like they are going to fly off the bars and it takes a little extra grip to hold on.

Imagine how much more muscle you will need to hold on if it goes up to the 103 engine? Meanwhile, it is a good time to go out and get one of the last of the 96-powered Street Bobs.


  • Price: $21,495 ($500 for two-tone paint, $1000 for custom paint) – $23,495 in NZ
  • Engine: Air-cooled, Twin Cam 96™
  • Torque: 125Nm @ 3250rpm
  • Bore: 95.3 mm
  • Stroke: 111.1 mm
  • Displacement: 1585cc
  • Compression: 9.2:1
  • Transmission: 6-speed Cruise Drive, belt drive
  • Brakes: 4-piston fixed front caliper, and 2-piston torque-free floating rear
  • Lean Angle: 30 deg (right), 31
  • Fuel: 5.5L/100km, 17.7-litre tank
  • Length: 2355mm
  • Seat: 680mm
  • Clearance: 120mm
  • Rake: 29 deg
  • Trail: 119mm
  • Wheelbase: 1630mm
  • Tyres: 100/90-19 57H; 160/70-17 73V
  • Wet weight: 304kg