THE KISS principle, for those who are not familiar, stands for keep it simple stupid. And that is exactly what Harley-Davidson have done with the 2021 Street Bob, taking one of their most popular lightweight Softail models, and adding a mouth watering 114 motor.
The package forms a winning combination that will attract new and returning buyers to the brand, by providing a rejuvenated and fresh new take on a Harley Favourite. It sports a range of unique colour schemes that may well polarise some buyers.
It also represents the lead bike in Harley-Davidson’s 2021 model range, taking centre stage at its launch earlier this year. Well, at least until the arrival of Pan America in July; the American bike maker’s first foray into the adventure market.
But enough about that other bike, we’re here to review the Street Bob, and what a good thing it is. Priced at $23,995 ride away for Vivid Black or $24,340 ride away for any of the other three colours in the range, it offers exceptional value for money.
It’s also available in Stone Washed White Pearl, Baja Orange and Deadwood Green. Aimed specifically at younger buyers that are new to the Harley-Davidson family, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Street Bob 114 top the brand’s local 2021 sales figures.
Adding to the appeal of the Street Bob is the endless possibilities for customisation, its light weight (at 299kg the Street Bob is close enough to the Softail Custom to claim the crown as Harley-Davidson’s lightest Softail), and its low stance.
With a seat height of 680mm, the Street Bob is nice and low to the ground, which enables easy manoeuvrability for tall and short riders alike. It feels nimble and compact as well, especially when thrown into corners aggressively.
Offering 125mm of ground clearance and lean angles to the right and the left of 28.5 degrees, the 2021 Street Bob certainly allows you to move along through the corners and gives you the ability to surprise some sports bike riders along the way.
Ergonomically, it is a good fit too, with its 14-inch mini ape hanger handlebars and mid-mounted foot pegs. The latter’s positioning will cause some conjecture, with taller riders most likely opting for forward controls.
Shorter riders will make the most of the mid mounted controls. The Street Bob is also fitted with a pretty uncomfortable (even with a sissy bar) pillion seat as standard for 2021, meaning it’s no longer marketed as a solo rider freedom machine either.
Being a little smaller than some of it’s Softail siblings also lends the Street Bob to being good in the city hustle as well. As it is reasonably narrow for a Harley-Davidson it is great for lane filtering and beating the city traffic too.
The addition of the 114 cubic inch power plant, the same one fitted on some of the more expensive Softails in the line-up, is going to attract a lot of attention. Especially with it’s significantly lower price point.
In standard guise, the 114 Milwaukee Eight produces 155Nm of torque, which falls into line with how we felt when we rode the bike. An aftermarket exhaust and air cleaner wouldn’t go astray though, just to help the motor breathe a little better.
In the hands of a tuning house, this engine, and this bike’s lightweight characteristics could make for some seriously impressive numbers. Aesthetically too, everything on the 2021 Street Bob 114 looks the goods, with a blacked out colour scheme.
The lack of chrome means it stands out, in its own way. The digital tacho mounted on the handlebars is a nice touch too. It’s simple, yet functional, giving all the info you need, clearly. It’s easy to scroll through using a switch located on the left bar switch block.
The 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob works well as a package. It is user friendly, light for a big V-Twin, and now with its upgraded power plant, offers a little extra oomph and street cred.
With its lower price point in the Softail model range, this could well be the bike that’s going to steal the crown as the best selling Harley-Davidson cruiser of 2021 from its highly lusted after sibling, the Breakout 114.
Our test bike was provide by Harley-Davidson Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114, contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer.