The Hot-Rod Bagger Is Hotter Than Ever

Harley-Davidson revamped its Street Glide Special yet again for the 2019 model year in an effort to keep it “special.” First, the factory stuffed the largest non-CVO engine into the frame. Then it boosted the infotainment potential with the new Boom! Box GTS system. Color choices span the spectrum so there should be something for everyone on the palette.

  • 2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
  • Year:
    2019- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 114
  • Displacement:
    114 cc
  • Top Speed:
    105 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    27299
  • Price:

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special Design

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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The Special just exudes all that is badass about baggers.

The Special just exudes all that is badass about baggers. It starts with the 19-inch front wheel and naked fender down low and the chopped-down smoked windshield up top. Add the blackout treatment that ties right into the custom culture, and you have a solid start on a proper boulevard bruiser.

The relatively new Batwing fairing provides better penetration than did the old barndoor fairing, but of course, this makes for a diminished protective pocket for the rider. That said, I love how the mirrors ride just inside the wingtips where they won’t clutter up the flyline one little bit. Inside the fairing, a row of four analog gauges displays the critical metrics along with a handful of indicator lights and LED screens, but the real star of the show here is the new infotainment system.

The Boom! Box GTS rocks a 6.5-inch “Gorilla Glass” screen that delivers pinch, drag and swipe functionality so you can quickly navigate through the navigation, weather, communications, and music options. Brought your music on a device? Plug it in. Want to talk on the phone? Use the Bluetooth. Share your music with the neighbors? You betcha. Whatever you want to do, within reason, the Special probably has it covered.

The blackout treatment continues across the instrument panel that bifurcates the six-gallon fuel tank. It continues all the way down to where both meet the deep-scoop saddle that slings the rider’s butt at a low 26.1-inches high, providing you have the requisite 180-pound body mass to compress the suspension that far. There’s a nice rise to the p-pad so your passenger can enjoy some increased visibility, but the saddle tapers off to nothing over the full rear fender and won’t be quite as tour-friendly as a full dresser.

A pair of hard bags provide a total of 2.5 cubic-feet of storage with some more custom flavor that shows in the stretched-and-dropped trailing corners. All told, the Special hits all the visual high points you’d expect from from the MoCo, and I’d put it as one of the best-looking in the world.

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special Chassis

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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You can count on a certain amount of stability and tracking, even at highway speeds, but the trade off will come in the corners, as usual.

Mild steel tubing makes up the double-downtube/double-cradle frame. The structure fully supports the engine to spare the mill from having to pull double duty as a stressed member. Of course, this adds a bit of weight, but at 836-pounds wet, a few pounds here or there will have little impact; it’s still going to be a heavy machine.

Steering-head geometry measures out with 26 degrees of rake and 6.8 inches of trail. That means you can count on a certain amount of stability and tracking, even at highway speeds, but the trade off will come in the corners, as usual. Ride quality is fixed in the front forks, but Showa’s Dual Bending Valve technology make them as plush as a non-adjustable unit can be. An emulsion shock takes care of the rear end and comes with a handwheel that allows for easy adjustments so you can quickly dial in for changing passenger/cargo loads sans tools or dirty knees.

New for 2020, a pair of Gloss Black Prodigy wheels (2019 was cast-aluminum Black Talon) mount the 19-inch front hoop and the 18-inch rear with 64-inches between contact-patch centers, so as “fat” as the bike looks, it’s no larger than the average Softail unit. Dual front calipers provide 70 percent of the stopping power with the balance coming from the rear, and the factory makes sure you can use it safely by making the ABS feature part of the standard equipment package.

The tires are pretty fat at 130/60 up front and 180/55 out back, so you’ve got plenty of traction to work with, and at least one safety net to protect it. Perhaps next year we’ll see the traction control and drag-torque features on the Special, though the systems are included in the whole Reflex™ Defensive Rider System (RDRS) that is a $1k option for 2020.

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/Wheel Travel: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve/4.6 in. (117 mm)
Rear Shocks/Wheel Travel: Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension/2.15 in. (54.6 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.8 in. (173 mm)
Lean Angle, Right/Left (per J1168): 32°/31°
Front Brakes: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper
Rear Brakes: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm) 32 mm, fixed rotor, 4-piston fixed caliper
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheels: Gloss Black Prodigy
Front Wheel: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (483 mm x 89 mm)
Rear Wheel: 18 in. x 5 in. (457 mm x 127 mm)
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall front and rear
Front Tire: D408F 130/60B19 61H
Rear Tire: D407T 180/55B18 80H

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special Drivetrain

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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The power figures seem to point to the Special's true purpose in life, that of a hot-rod.

Also new for MY19 is the Milwaukee-Eight 114 that is an upgrade from the 107 cubic-inch version in last year’s model. The mill carries itself with the same old-school look as the rest of the Mil-8 lineup that benefits from the return of the single cam valvetrain and convergent pushrod-tube geometry. This also returns the nosecone area to a more traditional shape than the Twin Cam ever had, and you can go ahead and pencil me in as a fan.

A pair of four-valve heads cap the 102 mm bores with a 114 mm stroke to give the engine a total displacement of 1,868 cc and compression ratio of 10.5-to-1. Oh yeah, as usual it’s air-cooled, so there’s no radiator to try and hide. The power figures seem to point to the Special’s true purpose in life, that of a hot-rod. Full power develops at a low 3,000 rpm, and there’s plenty of it according to the claimed 122 pound-feet of torque. That’s right, even with its great mass, this bike will come out of the hole like a champ.

Power flows through a chain-drive primary, a standard clutch and a six-speed transmission before heading to the rear wheel via belt drive. Between the electronic throttle body and the gearing, you can expect something in the neighborhood of exactly 43 mpg; less if you insist on treating every stop sign and red light as an opportunity to practice your holeshot.

Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 114 cu. in. (1868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Engine Torque (per J1349) (North America): 123 ft. lb. @ 3,000 rpm (167 Nm @ 3,000 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: Black, 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) (US): 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special Pricing

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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Harley presents the Street Glide Special as a premium ride, and the price tag reflects that.

Harley presents the Street Glide Special as a premium ride, and the price tag reflects that. The Vivid Black model rolls for $27,299 and rests at the bottom rung of the ladder. Colors runs $27,799 and custom colors go for $28,499. At the top of the list are the two-tone custom color packages at $29,399.

Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors:
└ 2019: Vivid Black, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked Red Denim, Barracuda Silver, Billiard Blue, Scorched Orange/Black Denim, Silver Flux/Black Fuse
└ 2020: Vivid Black, River Rock Gray, Billiard Red, Barracuda Silver Denim, Scorched Orange/Silver Flux, Zephyr Blue, Sunglo
Price:
└ 2019: Vivid Black: $27,089, Color: $27,589, Two-Tone Custom Color: $29,189
└ 2020: Vivid Black: $27,299, Color: $27,799, Custom Color: $28,499, Two-Tone Custom Color: $29,399

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special Competitors

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
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2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse
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Really, it seems like the biggest difference between them is in the engine aesthetics.

Since Indian Motorcycle has once again become a great domestic threat to the reigning King, Harley-Davidson, I thought it would be fair to pick one for this head-to-head. It didn’t take long to settle on the Chieftain Dark Horse, so let’s get to it.

Indian pared down its front fairing and gave it a more-modern panache overall with increased penetration befitting its hot-rod attitude. Blackout is prevalent, and it even touches on the iconic war bonnet on the front fender, so there’s plenty of that custom vibe to match the Special in this category.

The rear body panels are another clear reference to the Indian models of old, but even with the hard bags, the Dark Horse never looks cluttered or busy, just like the Special. Infotainment is a wash as both bikes bring enough to share with the class with all the navigation and trip-planning yummy-goodness you could want.

The anchors and ABS are also constants across the board, and really, it seems like the biggest difference is found in the engine aesthetics. Indian goes for broke with a flathead-style engine that simulates cooling fins in the rocker-box covers with the old parallel pushrod tubes to reinforce the side-valve vibe. Indian picks up a few cubes with its new, punched-out Thunder Stroke 116 against H-D’s 114, and that shows up in the power figures with 126 pound-feet against the Special’s 122 pounds o’ grunt, but the difference isn’t noticeable on even the most sensitive the ol’ heinie dyno.

Price is a wash this year with Indian raising MSRP to $27,999 on the Chieftain Dark Horse. That’s right in line with the Street Glide Special in Vivid Black Special at $27,299. Honestly, though, when you’re spending this much for a bike, if a few hundred bucks makes that much difference to your wallet, you really can’t afford it anyway.

He Said

“At the end of the day, there is little to choose between the Street Glide Special and the Dark Horse. The price margin is too slim to really change someone’s brand loyalty, though it could certainly grab a few who are on the fence. As for the Special, I’m definitely feelin’ it. Gotta’ be one of my favorite bikes right now.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The contrast on the new Boom Box system is significantly better than previous gens. I usually don’t like digital displays, but these new systems are changing my mind. In the lower rpm range, you don’t feel the difference with the new Mil-8 engine, but the true test is on the superslab. The bike is surprisingly nimble for its size. It’s a comfortable seating position with smooth performance.”

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 114 cu. in. (1868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Engine Torque (J1349) (North America): 123 ft. lb. @ 3,000 rpm (167 Nm @ 3,000 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Paper, washable
Exhaust: Black, 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) (US): 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/Wheel Travel: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve/4.6 in. (117 mm)
Rear Shocks/Wheel Travel: Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension/2.15 in. (54.6 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.8 in. (173 mm)
Lean Angle, Right/Left: 32°/31°
Front Brakes: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper
Rear Brakes: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm) 32 mm, fixed rotor, 4-piston fixed caliper
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheels: Gloss Black Prodigy
Front Wheel: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (483 mm x 89 mm)
Rear Wheel: 18 in. x 5 in. (457 mm x 127 mm)
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall front and rear
Front Tire: D408F 130/60B19 61H
Rear Tire: D407T 180/55B18 80H
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 95.5 in. (2,425 mm)
Overall Width: 37.8 in. (960 mm)
Overall Height: 52.6 in. (1,335 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 26.1 in. (664 mm), Unladen: 27.2 in. (690 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 in. (125 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: 818 lb.
Weight In Running Order: 853 lb.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1360 lb.
Gross Axle Weight Rating: Front: 500 lb., Rear: 927 lb.
Luggage Capacity: 2.5 cu. ft. (0.071 m3)
Top Speed: 105 mph (est)
Electric:
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 28-amp/hour, 405 cca
Charging: Three-phase, 48-amp system (600W @ 13V, 2,000 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 lumen high beam
Tail/Stop Lights: 8W/28W
Front Signal Lights: 8W/28W
Indicator Lamps: High beam, running lights, directional lights, low oil pressure, neutral, engine diagnostics, battery, cruise control, speakers, accessory, security system, gear indication, low fuel warning, ABS, 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
GPS System: New Boom!™ Box 6.5GT audio system with GPS and touchscreen
Details:
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors:
└ 2019: Vivid Black, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked Red Denim, Barracuda Silver, Billiard Blue, Scorched Orange/Black Denim, Silver Flux/Black Fuse
└ 2020: Vivid Black, River Rock Gray, Billiard Red, Barracuda Silver Denim, Scorched Orange/Silver Flux, Zephyr Blue/Sunglo
Price:
└ 2019: Vivid Black: $27,089, Color: $27,589, Two-Tone Custom Color: $29,189
└ 2020: Vivid Black: $27,299, Color: $27,799, Custom Color: $28,499, Two-Tone Custom Color: $29,399

Further Reading

Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse

2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse
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See our review of the Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse.

Indian Motorcycle Chieftain

2019 Indian Chieftain
- image 794499

See our review of the Indian Motorcycle Chieftain.

Harley-Davidson

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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