MCN Fleet: Hankering for a Harley

Published: 23 March 2017

I’ve always had a soft spot for a Harley, so I was really excited to find out that I’d be testing a Street Glide.  The 2017 Street Glide is fitted with a Milwaukee-Eight, H-D’s first new big-twin engine for 18 years. I can’t really explain what it is I like about a Harley, maybe it’s that big chug of those thudding engines that draws me in or perhaps it’s because they’re the bikes of the Terminator, Robocop, Captain America, Wolverine, Rocky Balboa and Indiana Jones. Hell, maybe I just like to think I’m in Easy Rider.

Although I’d ridden a few H-Ds, I’ve not had a great deal of experience with the tourers, so I swung my leg over a Street Glide for the first time at the MCN London show. Wow. I mean this thing looks big then when you get up close it’s huge, but in a good way. The fairing is all encompassing, the seat is voluminous and the tank looks like it could drain the pump.

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I looked at the KTM 1290 Superadventure and the Ducati Supersport, as I do a lot of miles so I wanted something that would comfortable over distances but still fun for the weekend. The Street Glide certainly ticks the comfort box, so now it’s a case of finding exciting ways of using the bike.

I’ve got some tours planned both home and abroad, as well as my fairly hefty commute (180 miles round trip), so it should be a decent test of how well the bike handles the mileage. The only concern I have is the weight. I own a GS so I’m used to big heavy bikes, but the Harley is 376kg, which is heavy however you look at it. I also live in London, so it should be a good test of how the bike is at low speed (both from a handling perspective and its heat management).

I’d also like to see what the engine is capable of. Out of the crate, H-D engines are often in quite a low state of tune but Harley offers various kits that go up in stages. While Stage 1 might be simple items like air filters and free flowing exhausts, Stage 3 can involve radical cam profiles and new pistons. With some work they can pump out some serious power, so Santa Pod here we come…

Specifications

Dimensions  
Length (mm) 2425
Seat Height (mm) 685
Fuel Capacity (litres) 22.7
Dry Weight (kg) 361
Power Train  
Engine Milwaukee-Eight 107
Displacement (cu.cm) 1745
Engine Torque 111ft-lb
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Tyres  
Front 19"/D408F 130/60B 19 61H
Rear 16"/D407T BW 180/65B16 81H

 

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