Low Rider, Road Glide and Street Glide All Get 117cu.in. Motorby Harry Fisher, on
For 2022, Harley Davidson is going all out for performance with a 117cu.in. engine, coupled with custom-scene inspired paint jobs on the CVO models.
Harley Davidson Aiming high for 2022
When Harley Davidson teased new-for-2022 models with the tag line, ’Further, Faster’, it might have seemed a bit vague but, as it turns out, it was pretty accurate.
In an online event, H-D has revealed uprated Street Glide ST, Road Glide ST and the new Low Rider ST models. All will be fitted with Harley’s new 117 cubic inch Milwaukee Eight engine, previously only seen in the high-end, hand-built CVO models. Three of the new models are baggers, reflecting the popularity of the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers race series that has proved to be such a hit in the U.S.
Harley PR manager Paul James explained the growth in demand for baggers with better performance and handling, saying: “It’s a generational shift. These customers have a different mindset, many of them coming off sportbikes. They’re aggressive riders. They want a bagger but they’re performance-minded and they’re riding baggers in that way.”
With the changes, Harley is definitely aiming at a younger audience who demand performance over practicality. To that end, the three ST models are all single-seat, solo rider bikes, which add cornering clearance through the use of longer rear shocks.
The Low Rider ST is the ‘newest’ model. Essentially, it’s an updated version of the Low Rider S. The 117cu.in. motor pushes out 103bhp and 125lb.ft of torque. The ST features a frame-mounted nose fairing and hard panniers. The fairing can accommodate a Rockford Fosgate audio system.
Paul Wiess, lead product development technical cruiser engineer, said: “The fairing has been very functionally designed. It’s informed by CFD (computational fluid dynamics) for the placement and size of the ducts. We have a center duct directly above the headlight and two side ducts straddling the headlight, directing flow to minimize head buffeting.
“From day one we’ve had Parts and Accessories guys on the team with us, co-developing the Rockford Fosgate infotainment system. The bike comes without infotainment but the inner fairing is designed so it can drop right into place. The fairing harness accommodates the connections, so there’s no need to run wiring.”
The Low Rider S, the ‘naked’ version, gets a new single handlebar-mounted clock which is an analogue rev counter with an incorporated digital speedometer.
The Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST models will run alongside the existing Street Glide and Road Glide models. The ST name signifies the use of the 117cu.in. engine, rated for 106bhp and 127lb.ft.
Other differences are the use of a slimmer front fender and bronze-coloured Prodigy wheels and matching bronze detailing on the engine. Single seats and no pillion pads are again features of the bikes, along with panniers for that bagger look.
Although Harley also unveiled the 2022 CVO models, they have lost the advantage of the larger power plant with the arrival of the models details above. Instead, the differences between the standard and CVO models will now be down to the high-end, hand-crafted detailing available on the latter, including some pretty cool paint jobs.
The 2022 CVO line includes the CVO Street Glide, CVO Road Glide and CVO Tri-Glide models, although the 2021 CVO Limited is gone, replaced by a new CVO Road Glide Limited that will function as the most effective touring model in the range.
New models, more power, less practicality: Harley is definitely trying to lure a new, younger audience but only time will tell if its enough. With the Pan America and Sportster S showing what they can achieve, how long can H-D rest on its traditional laurels?