Also new for 2017 are ‘big piston’ Showa forks which are claimed to deliver improved damping with both rear shocks now adjustable via a single knob on the left-hand unit. The result, again, is not radically different, but definitely more refined, assuredly plush, seemingly in control and pleasingly more easily adjustable than ever – but don’t expect a big difference.
Now badged the ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ Harley’s traditional 45º V-twin is bigger (1745cc from 1690cc) and gets new heads featuring four-valves and either oil (as here) or liquid (on the full dressers) cooling. Torque is up a claimed 11%, power is boosted and it’s also smoother and more economical. It is punchier, smoother and better sounding, but not by as much as you might expect.
The design may be conservative and some of the engineering slightly, er, rustic (although now it’s much better than most realise) but the quality in terms of thick chrome and beautiful paint etc is as good as ever. With the new engine there has to be a slight question mark over reliability, but we’ve no reason otherwise to anticipate any concerns.
Harley ownership never comes cheap and with prices starting at over £20K – or over £1000 more than the old Street Glide – that’s certainly not changed here. On a positive note, however, running costs are more affordable, the economy of the new engine is claimed to be improved and residual values are the envy of the whole motorcycle industry so what goes around comes around…
Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
Apart from the suspension and engine, the rest of the Street Glide is unchanged. That said, most of it was completely overhauled under the Project Rushmore revisions to Harley’s touring range in 2014 and all of it – new bodywork, uprated Brembo brakes and suspension, LED lights, and, on some models, Harley’s impressive, new touchscreen ‘Infotainment’ system – was, despite only subtly changed styling which gives an impression of status quo, a genuinely big leap forward, and the same is true now.