The New Generation Of Hot-Rod Baggers

Harley-Davidson rolled out the newest generation of its hot-rod bagger, the Street Glide, last year when it shoehorned one of its brand-new 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight engines into the frame, and that more or less carries straight over into MY2019. Updated suspension components join the new powerplant and recently-revised bodywork to make this latest boulevard bruiser one of the most popular models to come out of Milwaukee right now. Today I’m going to dive into this newest version and see what other yummy-goodness the MoCo has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide,

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Design

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
- image 731491
All in all, a very bagger-tastic ride that hits all the important design high points and shows that H-D has still got what it takes to blend historical design with modern performance.

Like all of Harley’s more traditional bikes, the Street Glide can trace its roots back to antiquity. It all starts with the wide, “FL” chassis and front end that will be familiar to any longtime fans of the brand. The front fender is a full-length unit that sports relatively high sides to leave most of the front wheel visible and shuns any sort of chrome accoutrements for a nice, clean look.

Chrome fork skirts bring the bling alongside a similarly shiny fork brace that mounts the front turn signals, but it’s the Batwing fairing and whacked windshield that really defines the front end and gives the “SG” its stoplight-burning bent. Windtunnel-tested and proportioned for reduced drag and better penetration, the front fairing houses a cyclops headlight below the vents that shunt some of the incoming air to the protective pocket behind the glass to provide a low-buffet margin where pocket and slipstream meet.

Up top, a smoked and chopped windshield defines the rather clean upper lines that are made so by the fact that the mirrors are tucked away behind the tips of the bat’s wings where they won’t clutter up the flyline. The inner fairing mounts a quartet of round analog gauges with the usual array of indicator lights to handle the bulk of the instrumentation, but the Boom! Box 4.3 is the real showpiece here with its color touchscreen interface that lets you pinch, swipe and drag your way through the various menus and selections that deliver critical bike metrics alongside entertainment options. A pair of speakers deliver the tunes from the AM/FM receiver, Weather Band or SiriusXM, or pipe your own jams in from your mobile deviced via USB connection. A bluetooth connection ties your helmet into the network for hands-free mobile phone functionality with voice recognition capability so you can safely field a phone call whilst underway.

The six-gallon fuel tank rocks a round, lockable fuel door with a chrome panel that divides it all the way back to the saddle that actually rides up over the trailing edge of the tank so as to cushion your junk under heavy braking. It’s a nice, plush seat that forms a comfortable scoop to cup and cradle your derrière at a low 26.1-inches off the ground. Not only does this put you “in” the bike more than “on” it, but it makes for an easy shot from hip to ground when you go to deploy your Fred Flintstones in spite of the SG’s wide girth. There’s a nice jump up to the p-pad, so your passenger gets the benefit of stadium seating even though the padding kinda’ tapers down almost Mustang style, so it’s more about looks and less about comfort.

Hard-side bags provide the storage with one-touch operation that makes it easy to open, even with gloves on, so you don’t have to lay your groceries on the ground to get the lid off. The trailing edge features a full rear fender with fillers to kill the gap between the bags and the back end with a whiskerbar for the winkers and a plateholder mounted low in the center. All in all, a very bagger-tastic ride that hits all the important design high points and shows that H-D has still got what it takes to blend historical design with modern performance.

Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 107, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 3.937 in. x 4.375 in. (100 mm x 111 mm)
Displacement: 107 cu. in. (1746 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Engine Torque (per J1349)(North America): 111 ft. lb. @ 3,250 rpm (151 Nm @ 3,250 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 32/68 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate wet, Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall)(U.S.): 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Chassis

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
- image 731489
The Street Glide has quite a bit of stability with good high-speed tracking.

Tubular-steel members make up the double-downtube/double-cradle skeleton that fully supports the drivetrain and derives much of its strength from a heavy backbone. Still no adjustable values in the front suspension components, but the Showa Dual Bending Valve technology does deliver a ride that’s far superior to plain vanilla for an acceptable compromise.

Out back, a set of emulsion shocks provide a cushy ride with a handwheel for quick and easy preload adjustments without benefit of tools or even dirty knees; just reach down under your right thigh from the pilots seat and dial it in right where you want it. As much mass as the SG carries — both visual and actual — you’d think it would qualify as a “big” bike, but the contact patch centers fall on 64-inch centers which is roughly the same as the Softail range.

A 19-inch front wheel creates a nice visual offset against the 16-inch rear with a 130/60 and 180/65 hoop, respectively, to round out the rolling chassis. The steering head sets a rake angle of 26-degrees with a whopping 6.7-inches of trail to give the SG quite a bit of stability with good high-speed tracking. You can tuck into the corners with 31-degrees of lean to the right side, and 29-degrees to the left, and that should be enough for most of us. If it ain’t, you’re looking at the wrong genre.

The brakes reflect the mass they need to control with dual, four-pot calipers up front and large rotors, but ABS is a $795 option on this bike, so keep that in mind if you’re counting on that safety net.

Frame: Mild steel; tubular frame; two-piece stamped and welded backbone; cast and forged
junctions; twin downtubes; bolt-on rear frame with forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm: Mild steel; two-piece drawn and welded section; forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks : Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension
Suspension Travel: Front: 4.6 in. (117 mm), Rear: 2.15 in. (54.6 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 31°, Left:29°
Wheels: Enforcer Cast Aluminum
Front Wheel: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (483 mm x 89 mm)
Rear Wheel: 16 in. x 5 in. (406 mm x 127 mm)
Front,Brakes: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear Brakes: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm) fixed rotor, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers
Anti-Lock Braking System:Optional
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall
Front Tire: D408F 130/60B19 61H
Rear Tire: D407T BW 180/65B16 81H

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Drivetrain

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
- image 799916
It's torque that launches you out of the hole, and the SG has plenty of that.

The biggest improvement with this ride lies in the engine, namely the fact that Harley finally dumped the Twin Cam and designed the Milwaukee-Eight to return to the single-cam valvetrain, and you can go ahead and pencil me in as a fan. Bore and stroke measure out at 100 mm and 111 mm, respectively, for a whopping 1,746 cc (107 cubic-inch) displacement. Yeah, that’s quite a bit of mass thrashing around down there, but Harley tuned much of the typical V-Twin shake out of it to make it the smoothest generation of engine ever to come out of Milwaukee.

Compression is in the midrange at 10-to-1, so you can disabuse yourself of the notion that you’ll be feeding it at the cheap pump but that’s the price you pay for the 111 pounds o’ grunt the thing churns out at a low 3,250 rpm. H-D doesn’t publish horsepower, but rumor has it that metric is something in the 80s, not that it matters; it’s torque that launches you out of the hole, anyway.

Electronic fuel injection helps to meet emissions and hit the 43 mpg mileage rating, but unfortunately, H-D hasn’t quite caught up to the common engine control tech like ride modes or traction control. (To be fair, it’s coming, but it hasn’t trickled down from the trikes just yet.) A six-speed transmission crunches the ratios to provide low-stress highway speeds, and power goes to the rear wheel via a quiet and low-maintenance belt drive.

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Pricing

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
- image 799912
MSRP is a skosh over $21k, which isn't bad considering that H-D was never one to use price as a selling point.

The Vivid Black Street Glide rolls for $21,289. As usual, the prices go up with the color choices to make for a $21,789 “color” package and a $22,489 “custom color” package. Cruise control and security are standard, and our brothers and sisters in California can expect a $200 emissions hit.

Standard Equipped: Security System Option, Cruise Control Option
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors:
2018: Vivid Black, Black Tempest, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked red, Electric Blue, Silver Fortune, Hard Candy Shattered Flake, Hard Candy Chameleon Flake, (115th Anniversary: Legend Blue/Vivid Black)
2019: Vivid Black, Wicked Red, Midnight Blue, Kinetic Green, Blue Max
Price:
2018: Vivid Black: $20,999, Color, $21,499, Two-Tone Custom Color: $23,999 (115th Anniversary: $22,799)
2019: Vivid Black: $21,289, Color: $21,789, Custom Color: $22,489

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Competitors

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
- image 731501
2019 Indian Chieftain
- image 794502
They look to be brothers-from-another-mother with only historical brand elements separating them.

Indian’s Chieftain looks to the the most direct competitor for the Street Glide, so let’s get to it. Indian redesigned its front fairing for this year, and the new one is rather slim and trim, similar to Harley’s Batwing. In fact, they look to be brothers-from-another-mother with oodles of that bagger-tastic look that is so popular now, and the main differences in the look fall to brand history. Specifically, the Chieftain rocks the iconic war bonnet and the rear body panels that tie in directly with the designs of old, so even though it’s a brand-new Indian, its roots are on full display.

Infotainment systems are neck-and-neck with the capacity for rocking out or yakking on the phone while you head down the road on both models, so neither gain anything here. The powerplants are both large-displacement V-twins, though Indian spent considerable resources to make its Thunder Stroke 111 look like an old flathead engine with faux cooling fins on top and parallel pushrod tubes that are just like an old sidevalve mill. As cool as it looks, power is still the main thrust, and the Thunder Stroke churns out more torque at a lower rpm with 119 pound-feet that come on at three-grand even.

When we head to the checkout counter, the Chieftain rolls in Steel Gray with ABS as standard equipment at $21,999, right in the middle of Harley’s Street Glide range.

He Said

“Brand loyalty will be a big factor, given how close the two competitors are, but color selection will be a factor too. The King of Paint upholds its reputation for fabulous color selections, much to its credit, and although Indian is trying to run a close second, single-color models like its Chieftain mean the factory ultimately shoots itself in the foot.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “You know, for what might be considered a big bike, it really can handle the twisties with aplomb. I’ve never been a fan of the FLTs, I like the look of the FLH better, however, looks aside the Street Glide is a nice tourer for the money.”

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 107, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 3.937 in. x 4.375 in. (100 mm x 111 mm)
Displacement: 107 cu. in. (1746 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Engine Torque (per J1349)(North America): 111 ft. lb. @ 3,250 rpm (151 Nm @ 3,250 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Paper, washable
Exhaust: Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 32/68 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate wet, Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall)(U.S.): 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875
Chassis:
Frame: Mild steel; tubular frame; two-piece stamped and welded backbone; cast and forged
junctions; twin downtubes; bolt-on rear frame with forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm: Mild steel; two-piece drawn and welded section; forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks : Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension
Suspension Travel: Front: 4.6 in. (117 mm), Rear: 2.15 in. (54.6 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 31°, Left:29°
Wheels: Enforcer Cast Aluminum
Front Wheel: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (483 mm x 89 mm)
Rear Wheel: 16 in. x 5 in. (406 mm x 127 mm)
Front,Brakes: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear Brakes: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm) fixed rotor, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers
Anti-Lock Braking System:Optional
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall
Front Tire: D408F 130/60B19 61H
Rear Tire: D407T BW 180/65B16 81H
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 96.5 in. (2450 mm)
Overall Width: 37.8 in. (960 mm)
Overall Height: 53.1 in. (1350 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 26.1 in. (664 mm), Unladen: 27.4 in. (695 mm)
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in. (135 mm)
Wheelbase: 64 in. (1625 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal. (22.7 l) (warning light at approximately 1 gal.)
Fuel Economy (Estimated City/Hwy): 43 mpg (5.5 l/100 km)
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 5.2 qt. (4.9 l)
Transmission Capacity: 1 qt. (.95 l)
Primary Chain Case Capacity: 1.1 qt. (1 l)
Weight As Shipped: 796 lb. (361 kg)
Weight In Running Order: 829 lb. (376 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1360 lb. (617 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating: Front: 500 lb. (227 kg), Rear: 927 lb. (420 kg)
Luggage Capacity: 2.3 cu. ft. (0.064 m3)
Electricals:
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 28-amp/hour, 405 cca
Charging: Three-phase, 48-amp system (600W @ 13V, 2000 rpm, 625W max power @ 13V)
Starting: 1.6 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation):
• Headlamp: (Dual Halogen) 55-watt 625 lumen low beam, 65-watt 1,570 high beam
• Tail/Stop Lights: 8W/28W
• Front Signal Lights: 8W/28W
• Indicator Lamps: High beam, running lights, directional lights, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, neutral, cruise control, speakers, accessory, battery, gear indication, security system7 (optional), 6-speed, low fuel warning, ABS (optional), miles to empty display, fog/aux lamp indicator
• Rear Turn Signals: 27W
Gauges: Gauges styled to complement each vehicle. Display features odometer, trip A, trip B, range to empty and gear indicator; and larger tell-tale indicators
Electric Power Outlet: Electric power accessory port in fairing
Details:
Standard Equipped: Security System Option, Cruise Control Option
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors:
2018: Vivid Black, Black Tempest, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked red, Electric Blue, Silver Fortune, Hard Candy Shattered Flake, Hard Candy Chameleon Flake, (115th Anniversary:Legend Blue/Vivid Black)
2019: Vivid Black, Wicked Red, Midnight Blue, Kinetic Green, Blue Max
Price:
2018: Vivid Black: $20,999, Color, $21,499, Two-Tone Custom Color: $23,999 (115th Anniversary: $22,799)
2019: Vivid Black: $21,289, Color: $21,789, Custom Color: $22,489

Further Reading

Indian Chieftain

2019 Indian Chieftain
- image 794499

See our review of the Indian Chieftain.

Harley-Davidson Road King

2018 Harley-Davidson Road King / Road King Special
- image 733244

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Road King.

50 New Harley-Davidson Models In Five Years?
- image 788828

Read more Harley-Davidson news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: harley-davidson.com, indianmotorcycle.com

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