Hog boast Own­ing new Street Glide

New Har­ley Street Glide has plenty of low­down punch, laps up big miles and even stops on a six­pence MILES

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn -

oin­ing the MCN long-term test fleet this year is the Har­ley-david­son Street Glide, a true rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Amer­i­can bag­ger. In truth I’ve al­ways quite fan­cied a big Har­ley but I’ve never been quite sure why. Is it the noise? The look? The fact it’s the ride of the Ter­mi­na­tor? They’ve al­ways stirred some­thing in­side me, so I’m rel­ish­ing the prospect of cruis­ing around on one this year.

Out­side the ba­sic task of sur­viv­ing my 172-mile com­mute, the Har­ley will be taken away on trips to see long lost friends, cov­er­ing dis­tances that have never felt com­fort­able un­til now. So Nick, you may have moved to Ger­many but you can’t es­cape that eas­ily! On top of that, we’re go­ing to try and de­mys­tify the Har­ley tun­ing process and see just how much un­tapped po­ten­tial is hid­ing in­side the new en­gine.

Hold on, I’m comin’

It’s fair to say that when it comes to new en­gines, Har­ley-david­son are not ones to be rushed. In over 100 years Har­ley have only re­leased nine big-twin en­gines, so the new Mil­wau­kee-eight has a lot to live up to, tak­ing over from the Twin Cam’s 17-year reign. What’s new ex­actly? Well most im­por­tantly power is up 11% over the pre­vi­ous model due to a higher com­pres­sion ra­tio and an in­crease to four valves per cylin­der.

The new ver­sion also runs a lot cooler than the outgoing model, as the en­gine has oil-cool­ing in the heads to com­ple­ment the usual air-cool­ing, plus the idle speed has been dropped to 850rpm. Ad­di­tion­ally the rear ex­haust pipe has been repo­si­tioned to move heat away from the rider and pas­sen­ger.

The Mil­wau­kee-eight is also more eco­nom­i­cal, trans­mits less vi­bra­tion and has a qui­eter driv­e­train, but most im­por­tantly of all, the en­gine weighs the same as the Twin Cam it re­places. This means, in the­ory at least, that it should be quicker off the line than the old model and thank­fully the the­ory holds out. In fact it more than holds out, the Street Glide has some se­ri­ous punch.

The mo­tor pulls re­ally hard, even from as low as 2000rpm, be­fore reach­ing its peak power at around 5000rpm. You can tear away from the lights to your heart’s con­tent, be­fore slam­ming the gear­box into sec­ond at which point you re­alise the only thing that can keep up is your thun­der­ous ex­haust note. Charg­ing the bike through the midrange is in­cred­i­bly ad­dic­tive at all speeds and in nearly ev­ery set­ting but the bike is wasted on the ur­ban sprawl – get it out into the sticks and it has a few more sur­prises wait­ing for you.

Them’s the brakes

Har­leys are fa­mous, per­haps even in­fa­mous, for hav­ing poor brakes but that’s all changed now. The brakes on the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of tour­ers come from Brembo and they’re re­ally im­pres­sive. The front discs alone will stop this 376kg bat­tle cruiser in fairly short or­der but if you chuck in the rear (which is ab­so­lutely fear­some), you can pull up in a heart­beat. Take that Har­ley bash­ers – what’s next on the list? “It can’t go round cor­ners”. We’ll see about that…

‘The brakes are re­ally im­pres­sive and you can pull up in a heart­beat. Take that, Har­ley bash­ers’

More power

While the torque fig­ure of the Street Glide is im­pres­sive, the peak power isn’t. There’s a lot of po­ten­tial in the en­gine, with sto­ries cir­cu­lat­ing of peo­ple get­ting 130bhp out of them, so the bike will go un­der the span­ners to see what’s achiev­able.

More com­fort

The low back end gives the Street Glide very lit­tle sus­pen­sion travel mean­ing speed­bumps and pot­holes take their toll. The shocks are ad­justable, so that will be the first step and if that doesn’t help then I’ll look for an up­grade.

More noise

Swap­ping out the air fil­ter and the pipes means al­lows the en­gine to breathe more freely and is the first step for many Har­ley own­ers. It also has the added ef­fect of giv­ing the bike a tastier ex­haust note, which is what Hog own­er­ship is all about.

More grip

The stock tyres are great for cruis­ing the open road and have no prob­lem get­ting the power down in the dry but in the wet they’re quick to spin up. Con­ti­nen­tal have re­leased two new big cruiser tyres this year that will get a closer look once the stan­dard tyres are fin­ished.

Roomy pan­niers all add to mak­ing the Street Glide a lux­u­ri­ous mo­tor­cy­cle

dis­tance with ease the Street Glide soaks up big Sit back and en­joy the ride as A lovely mo­tor makes the Street Glide a joy on the open road That flam­ing red paintjob is a bit OTT, but Jor­dan bloody loves it

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