A Closer Look at the H-D Street Glide

One of the side effects of being an independent and a guy who has owned the same bike for two decades is that every once in awhile, you finally get around to noticing something. These days, if you’re like me, you might see something that you like and make a mental note to look more deeply into it, but that might take you an awfully long time to actually do.

Case in point – a few weeks ago, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I kept seeing Street Glides that really looked sharp and I just couldn’t figure out why they looked so good.

I’ve seen these bikes since they first got introduced in the 2006 model year and never really gave them any thought. It could have been the fairing, it could have been because they got computerized and fuel injected that I quit caring, or maybe they are just kinda rare in my neck of the woods. For whatever reason, I never gave them a second look until now.

Now, it seems like every time I turn around, I’m seeing a Street Glide that looks sharp. Maybe they all looked great this whole time, but the combination of colors that I keep seeing – blacked out or monochromatic, candy apple reds and dark greys, or completely blacked out – all seem to be grabbing my attention the way girls in my high school did when they wore tight fitting sweaters.

What’s wrong with me?

Anyone who has been around Harleys for any time knows that the Street Glide is really just a cut down Electra with less stuff hanging off of it. Guys have been modding these for years – especially when the fairings got easier to manage in ’98 or so and honestly, Harley just saw what the public wanted, gave them less stuff on the same chassis and charged more for it.

I don’t know why I’ve suddenly gotten hot for them, but done right, they are awesome.

What are the newest ones like? I haven’t been near the dealership in a few months, but I did some creeping around on the website to get my facts straight for the 2017 models (I’ll throw in the Road Glide, too – it’s the same bike fundamentally).

You end up with a big bike with the newest engine, the Milwaukee Eight, fuel injection, a lot of gadgets and gizmos that I can’t pretend to endorse, and a really good-looking ride. Since the chassis is one of the biggest sellers for Mother Davidson, you have a nearly endless stream of ways to customize it from chrome to completely different fairings.

These bikes tip the scales at over 800 pounds, but the torque they produce, along with the six-speed tranny, tells me that it will get up and go if the driver knows what he is doing.

In the end, the Street Glide and the Road Glide may not replace my Sportster, but I’m not the guy that Harley-Davidson is marketing to. I’d say that a value-conscious shopper could score one of these with all the bells and whistles he or she wants for a price in the low twenties – and that includes all the goodies they can grab while they are in the dealership.

I may never ride – or even sit – on one, but you know how things sometimes just grab you. They are awfully good-looking bikes and who knows, if I ever decide to get behind a fairing again, it may be attached to one of these.

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