by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk
A huge engine with oodles of torque on tap, plus all the latest electronic wizardry – including sound system – make this Harley one of the ultimate touring bikes
If your idea of what defines a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a big, powerful, laid-back tourer, this is surely it.
The Street Glide Special is all of the above – and more.
In fact, big and powerful are understatements.
Harley’s best-selling model is driven by the awesome air/oil-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine.
That 1868cc V-twin pumps out 120ft lb of torque.
But this bike is not just about muscle – there’s refinement too.
irst of all it looks stunning, with lusciously deep paintwork (in a range of seven colours) and on-trend blacked-out everything else.
Climb aboard and settle into that plush seat, and you’re presented with a console which resembles something you might find on an aircraft.
Grouped behind the batwing fairing are four clocks, a large touchscreen infotainment display, two speakers and even the two mirrors.
That 6.5in Boom! Box GTS screen has pinch, drag and swipe functions, even with gloves on, so you can move through the navigation, music, communications and weather options.
It’s all connected to your phone via Bluetooth or can be plugged in.
With the key fob safely in your jacket pocket, hit the start button and that V-twin roars into life sounding the way only a big Harley can sound.
For me, the big fairing and console create a psychological impression that the front end is going to be heavy and unmanageable.
The Glide is by no means light and it’s true home is out on the open road as opposed to nipping in and out of traffic around town, but it’s actually more manoeuvrable and controllable than you might think.
That’s helped by the low seat height, which means you can always get your boots firmly planted on the tarmac.
The engine is a delight, with oodles of torque on hand when you twist the throttle in any of the six gears, and shifting smooth but firm.
The suspension is as plush as the rest of the bike looks, with non-adjustable Showa Dual Bending Valve front forks and manually adjustable rear set-up.
At speed, the bike is beautifully stable and through the bends, well, obviously this is no sportsbike, but it performs admirably, holding a line with no cause for concern.
The Glide comes with Harley’s Reflex Defensive Rider System.
This includes ABS and electronically linked front and rear braking, cornering traction control, drag-torque slip control – which prevents the rear wheel slipping under harsh deceleration – hill-start control and tyre pressure monitoring.
As with all Harleys, none of this comes cheap, but it’s a fantastic all-round package and you’ll be riding one of the best big cruisers on the planet.
The Facts: H-D Street Glide Special
Engine: 1868cc V-twin
Max power: 89bhp
Max torque: 120ft lb