The years go by and the custom market continues to be one of those that brings together the most loyal and proud users of their frames. A world in which passion moves each and every one of the crazy for the chrome, the wide handlebars and the frames with character and personality. A world that captivates and to which more and more users sign up eager to enjoy the pleasures and satisfactions that driving this type of motorcycle brings them.
When it comes to taking our first steps in this world, we have infinite options. We can do it even with the help of our humble A1 card, getting the services of one of the many 125 cc that a large number of manufacturers have in their ranges. But perhaps one of the most interesting ways to do it is, if our license allows it, through the displacement range that includes 650 and 800 cc. A segment in which the possibilities of choice are endless; from the economic and affordable Asian brands, through the reliable Japanese, and even enjoying one of the mythical and fireproof machines of Milwaukee.
Taking advantage of the latest Honda launch, the versatile VT 750 S, we wanted to carry out a comparison in which, as almost always, the reference and main rival to beat comes from the ranks of the quintessential custom brand; Harley-Davidson. And it is that despite the exclusivity of the American firm, in its catalog we can find affordable models such as the sober and impressive Sporster Iron 883 (below there is only the Sportster 883 Low). A full-fledged custom despite being powered by the 45 ° V-twin 4T SOHC 4V air-cooled, injected and with five-speed transmission, the most small and docile (47 hp at 5,800 rpm) of the great Milwaukee Evolution family.
Knowing the fame and unconditional support that many users profess towards Harley’s creations, the firm of the golden wing has focused its expectations on a custom Light with its own character and style. And it is that the VT 750 S, with a design that, in several aspects, is inspired by the naked philosophy motorcycles, aims to capture not only that large percentage of people who are looking for a motorcycle at a better price, but also those who are looking for a custom with a behavior more than … motorcycle? Yes, motorcycle, because we are not fooled, since, for many, a Harley goes beyond what a motorcycle is, it is a world apart …
Honda knows that it is very difficult to compete with it, and although it is also based on a twin V engine at 52 ° SOHC 6V, cooled by liquid and with electronic injection -with a power of 44 CV at 5,300 revolutions-, around it it has made a cycle part that, saving the distances, allows us to face our movements in a different way, more similar to how we would do it with a naked.
The main key to the originality of the VT is its driving position, it is true that it is similar to that of a custom due to its concise seat and wide handlebars, but on it we will notice that it is somewhat different due to the placement of its seat (quite height) and the footpegs, and the triangulation of both with respect to the handlebar. In short, it has very little to do with the Iron that maintains the usual position in custom, although with a slightly narrower handlebar and closer to us.
Another aspect that differentiates the VT 750 S is its height, both seat and bottom, which allows us to enjoy a sportier ride (to call it somehow), by being able to tilt much more degrees without dragging the footpegs. on the ground, as in black 883.
Overall, the VT enjoys a very correct cycle part. In suspensions, a good level of comfort is chosen, with a smooth hydraulic behavior and with enough progressivity. The Sportster is not so careful, it behaves in a more rude way, we would dare to say that it is abrupt, transmitting to the driver each and every one of the incidents of the terrain with total fidelity. Luckily, at least as standard, the Iron arrives in the single-seater version, which will save us more than one complaint from a disgruntled passenger tired of fitting, in each and every one of its vertebrae, rebounds and the bad milk of the pair of rear shock absorbers. If despite this we do not want to give up being able to be accompanied, Harley sells a kit that includes the missing portion of the seat, some rubber-lined footrests and the necessary anchors and screws for about 500 euros of price.
In the Honda, we will be able to enjoy the pleasure of being accompanied without paying a euro more, although if the routes are considerably long, the passenger does not have it very easy either. Its seat is tiny, and the shapes (and the elevated position of the footpegs) make us move towards the rear wheel when accelerating, something bad enough if we take into account that the driver will be the only point to hold on …
First of all, a lot of calm
In brakes, both comply with the ballot with solvency. The Iron relies on two 292mm discs (the two-piston calipers) with discreet but sufficient power for the use they will receive. The Honda, which a priori arrives worse prepared than its opponent (296 mm front disc and 180 mm rear drum), turned out to be the best in this section, especially thanks to the great contribution made by the two-piston Nissin caliper. that accompanies the front disc.
As for the engines, we can have little complaint. In the case of the Sporster, the touch and character of the Evolution twin-cylinder is still a selling point, although, in this version, “so standard”, the sound so characteristic of the Harley is missing. improved.
For its part, the engine of the Honda is a precision watch. The whole package, including the gearbox and clutch, works with exquisite smoothness even when we push the rhythm a bit and stretch the gears a little more or start to play with the gearbox. It is true that the VT will allow us some joy, even to the point of having a lot of fun on the road, but the power soon runs out and the limitations, obviously, are many. So the best thing is to take life with philosophy about any of our two guests and enjoy, at the pace of a walk, what the landscape offers us, enjoying, especially on the Harley, the exclusivity of our mount.
There is no doubt that every person who is made with a custom has a point of exhibitionist within; he feels proud and comfortable with his motorcycle, and it is logical that he likes to be observed and admired.
There is nothing better than a custom one so that people turn as they pass, especially in front of the Iron, which despite the matte black color makes it one of the most discreet models in the range, it is truly spectacular. The VT is simpler, more attractive, but less conspicuous than its intimidating rival. It has a more conventional aesthetic, with a greater number of chrome, and although it also uses black for some components, it is nowhere near the dark Iron.
As is always said, exclusivity is paid. That is why the Sporster Iron 883 costs, despite being the second cheapest model, about 8,300 euros. As with all Harley, this is nothing more than a reference, since it will hardly be possible to remove it from the dealership without mounting some extras such as those that were equipped with the test unit used for this comparison.
The VT 750 S follows another path, less elitist and exclusive than that of the Iron, hence its price is almost 1,500 euros below that of the American one – it costs 6,813 euros – and with a much lower possibility of transformation, given the little number of extras supplied by the Japanese firm.
In spite of everything, both have their audience, perhaps, with a greater variety and number in the case of the new VT 750 S, which, although it is true that it militates in the custom category, by concept and philosophy can become a motorcycle for every day.
You have the last word.
– Harley-price ratio
– Authentic HD character
– Aesthetics and finishes
– Motor touch
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