Born to glide

It’s a long-dis­tance propo­si­tion

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Two Wheels -

as spot­lights. And don’t for­get the cig­a­rette lighter, although there is no ash tray!

TECH­NOL­OGY

At its heart is the big 1690cc fuel-in­jected en­gine which is now used in all Tour­ing, Sof­tail and most Dyna mod­els.

Cruise and ba­sic au­dio con­trols are on the han­dle­bars but some of the au­dio con­trols such as sta­tion pre­sets are on the con­sole, which is a bit of a reach for­ward for the rider.

There is a ‘‘ nav’’ but­ton on the con­sole, but sat­nav is only avail­able on CVO mod­els.

The sound sys­tem has an aux­il­iary socket for an MP3 player, but only the CVOS have ipod con­nec­tiv­ity. A 12-volt out­let to power an ex­ter­nal au­dio de­vice is un­der the left weather-proof glove­box.

DE­SIGN

Styling is po­lar­is­ing. Some may think the nose looks a bit too prom­i­nent from the side an­gle but the twin head­lights pro­vide an ap­peal­ing front-on look.

With a lot of sur­face area on the bike, es­pe­cially the fair­ing, it is a blank can­vas cry­ing out for cus­tom paint­work. There are lash­ings of chrome in the en­gine, forks, ex­haust pipes and pro­tec­tion bars.

There are weath­er­proof and lock­able hard-plas­tic pan­niers. The rider gets a full floor­board, while the pil­lion gets pegs.

The matt-black rub­bery sur­face on the con­sole is claimed to with­stand crack­ing in the sum­mer heat and is a nice con­trast to the six sil­ver and chrome in­stru­ments, in­clud­ing am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture (in Fahren­heit).

The bars aren’t ape hang­ers but the rid­ing po­si­tion is sim­i­lar with the arms out straight.

SAFETY

All Har­leys, ex­cept Sport­sters, get anti-lock brakes. It is a smooth and ef­fec­tive sys­tem that uses light sen­sors rather than an ugly me­chan­i­cal ring around the brake disc that would have spoilt the clean look of the five-spoke al­loy wheels. The brakes also have pow­er­ful Brembo calipers de­rived from the V-rod fam­ily.

RID­ING

The key to the han­dling is the fair­ing is at­tached to the chas­sis, not the forks, like the other Tour­ing bikes.

Ad­van­tages are that the steer­ing is lighter for low-speed ma­noeu­vring and the bike is more sta­ble at high speed. Wind blasts from pass­ing trucks also don’t cause any os­cil­la­tion through the bars.

The short wind­screen can be re­placed with a higher screen but I pre­fer the look-over screen with re­duced buf­fet­ing. The air­flow un­der the fair­ing blows en­gine heat away from your legs. As in all Tour­ing $31,995

2yrs/un­lim­ited km, road­side as­sist 1600km/8000km 1690cc V-twin

5.6L/100km 22.7L

belt-drive

VER­DICT

6-speed,

367kg (dry) mod­els it also has an en­gine cut-out sys­tem to switch off the rear cylin­der while wait­ing in traf­fic so your legs don’t siz­zle.

Rid­ing po­si­tion is com­fort­able, although shorter peo­ple may find the reach to the bars, es­pe­cially to the front con­sole con­trols, a lit­tle too far. The Road Glide’s prom­i­nent nose and twin head­lights make a bold state­ment on the road.

On the prac­ti­cal side, it is a com­fort­able way for two peo­ple to see a lot of Aus­tralia.

Tank

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