Home / 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob Review – A Powerful Motorcycle for Beginners

If you’re looking for a fast, agile ride that can get you around town or out onto the highway in blazing style, you’ve probably heard of Harley-Davidson’s Softail series. You may even know something about the history of the series and why these bikes are so popular, especially for beginners. But there is so much to learn about the improvements – our Harley-Davidson Street Bob review for the new 2021 covers all the detail. They’ve bolstered a truly great motorcycle and made it even more unique in the process. So without further ado, let’s take a brief guided tour to get an idea of what the new, updated version of this already great ride is all about. 

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob is a softail motorcycle because of its rear suspension system.

Framing the Softail Concept

The motorcycle world is full of misconceptions about the specifics of Softail and hardtail bikes, so let’s start there. The basic concept has to do with the suspension, which received vital improvements in the 2021 Street Bob

Technically, all motorcycles with a rear suspension are classified as Softail bikes. To further break it down, though, the Softail frame typically consists of two pieces, and the suspension system can be broken down into a swing arm and shock absorbers.

Is a 2021 Harley Street Bob a Good Starter Bike? 

What all this suspension talk boils down to with the Street Bob is a smoother ride. The front forks may not be adjustable, but the Showa dual bending valve delivers a damping effect that makes the ride feel a lot plusher than you’d expect—making this a great bike for beginner motorcyclists

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob features the powerful Milwaukee Eight 114 engine for more power.

Pure Power with a Satisfying Rumble

As important as a stellar suspension system is, the heart of any superb motorcycle is its combination of fun and power, and that combination is definitely juiced up with the Harley-Davidson Street Bob 2021.

Simply put, the old Milwaukee Eight 107 engine has been replaced by the more powerful Milwaukee Eight 114. This new engine brings some serious improvement in 0-to-60 performance and a street bike that can still sprint when it gets out on the highway. 

For some more specific numbers, consider these: The Milwaukee Eight 114 engine produces 119 foot-pounds of torque at just 3,000 rpm. The fact that the Street Bob weighs in super light at 659 pounds soaking wet makes the extra performance seriously noticeable. 

The 0-to-60 translation is that the Street Bob is now almost 10% quicker in that range, and it’s also 13% faster in the 60-80 mph range when the bike is in fifth gear. So maybe the description of the Street Bob as “fast and agile” doesn’t quite do justice to the truly impressive power of this machine. 

Braking is an essential element in the power equation, and you’ll also need a strong grip with the new Street Bob. A lot of Harley-Davidson motorcycles rely on rear brakes to decelerate, but the Street Bob uses 300-mm disc brakes on the front wheel. Downshifting is a good idea, too, and the Cruise Drive transmission is designed to provide plenty of flexibility, even though the clutch lacks a slipper function. 

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob is available in colors like vivid black, deadwood green, and the pictured baja orange.

Beauty and Brawn

All you need to remember with this 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob review is that this motorcycle retains the classic touches this iconic bike has always been known for.

The bike features chopped fenders, a mini-ape handlebar, wire-spoke front wheel, and a small but sleek 3.5-gallon teardrop fuel tank, all of which give the new 2021 Street Bob a look that’s seriously on the edgy side. 

Color options like vivid black, deadwood green, stone-washed white pearl, and baja orange paired with the combination of the vivid black rims and steel lacing give the Street Bob a custom look, and the offset-shotgun exhaust system is covered by a shield that adds another custom touch. 

The LCD instrumentation is carefully hidden from view in the clamp, which comes with a thumb-selected addition that will add odometer, trip meter, time rev count, and range, in addition to the standard speed, fuel level, and gear position info.

The warning lights are also unobtrusive just below the clamp, which means the riding experience can be stripped down to the basics of you, the motorcycle, and the pavement. 

One interesting update is the addition of a passenger seat. It’s small to the point of being almost tiny—arguably much smaller than a standard passenger seat—but for those who prefer the solo look, it’s easy to use the pegs to take the seat out. 

How Much is the New 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob?

With the engine upgrade, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob has earned a new place in the Harley-Davidson Softail family. At a price of $15K, it’s now the least expensive 114, and it’s just $1,400 more than the Softail Standard. 

Riders think it’s worth the upgrade. Initial comments include things like “amazing bike,” “you can’t go wrong with this bike,” and “The nicest Harley on the road.” And on and on. 

So why get the upgrade? The Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 offers more power along with the same kind of precise handling the other Softail family members provide, so if a more powerful version of the classic Softail experience is what you’re after, this is the motorcycle for you.

Take a ride to the showroom at Harley-Davidson of Kingwood were you can find new and preowned bikes including the Street Bob

Houston’s #1 Softail Motorcycle Destination—Harley-Davidson of Kingwood

If this Harley-Davidson Street Bob review does not convince you that it is on its way to becoming one of the greats, don’t just take our word for it—come visit our showroom at Harley-Davidson of Kingwood to check it out for yourself or schedule an appointment take this powerhouse out for a spin. Or, if you’re in the market for a used bike, shop our pre-owned inventory for a new-to-you Harley that’s guaranteed to fit the bill for even the pickiest Harley-Davidson aficionados.


Harley Davidson of Kingwood blog author
Harley Davidson of Kingwood

Harley-Davidson of Kingwood is your #1 Texas Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealer. Our full-service facility offers new and pre-owned motorcycles, parts, maintenance, riding apparel, and everything else you need to get your Hog on the road. As a winner of the Harley-Davidson Gold Bar & Shield Circle of Excellence, we’re committed to providing top-notch customer service every day of the week. Stop by and visit the Harley-Davidson of Kingwood Showroom on Northpines Drive in Kingwood, TX!