Cruising for a bruising?
It’s packed with mod-cons but just how comfortable is the Street Glide?
The Street Glide forms a big part of Harley’s touring range, so people always want to know if the comfort lives up to the billing, especially after a few hours. Thankfully, it’s remarkably refined.
Despite the big twin rumbling away, vibrations through the bars and the pegs are minimal. It’s not as smooth as a modern four but the vibes are gentle enough that I don’t notice them at all anymore. Interestingly they are quite pronounced at idle, giving the Glide the classic Harley shudders but as soon as you pull away they all-but disappear. There are a few points in the rev range where they return, but cruising at motorway speeds the bike is pleasantly smooth.
The big seat is as comfortable as it looks. I’ve clocked countless hours in the captain’s chair and not suffered even the slightest discomfort. The only thing that might be uncomfortable for some people is the width, as the back of the tank and engine are big old things to wrap your knees around. I’ve got a few long trips on the horizon as the ultimate test, but I’m expecting saddle bliss.
The same can’t be said of the pillion perch, however. To keep things looking slick, the rear seat on the Street Glide slopes off towards the back, so passengers slowly slide backwards – a sensation the hand strap does little to prevent. The big wide stance over the panniers doesn’t help either, so the two long rides I’ve done with passengers have resulted in a lot of awkward shuffling. It should be a fairly easy fix however as Harley sell a large range of backrests.
Meanwhile the suspension is still causing a fuss. The short travel rear end means it jolts over bumps and it’s worse for passengers who sit right above it. Quick riding soon makes the back end wallow, but stiffening it up to account for that worsens the jolts. Is it a price you have to pay for the look? I’m going to investigate.
‘Despite the big twin rumbling away, vibes through bars and pegs are minimal’