Cruis­ing for a bruis­ing?

It’s packed with mod-cons but just how com­fort­able is the Street Glide?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

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’

A back­rest will be es­sen­tial to stop pil­lions slid­ing down the slop­ing perch Good vi­bra­tions at cruis­ing speeds but the rear shock trans­fers un­wel­come jolts

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