Why The 2024 Low Rider ST Is All About West Coast Style And Attitude


Summary

  • The Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST stands out with its West Coast style.
  • It combines style with practicality, offering a jacked-up suspension setup, fairing for wind protection, and raised handlebars for versatile handling.
  • The Low Rider ST is a motorcycle that excels in city riding, long-distance touring, and twisties.



It’s time you picked a motorcycle that looks the part on the streets without any aftermarket modifications. A motorcycle that is badass and can make you feel like a part of Sons of Anarchy, and embodies the custom cruiser styles of the West Coast. We’re talking about the Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST. But its style isn’t its only pro. The Low Rider is also an incredibly versatile motorcycle that you can ride around the town and even take on a long cruise.


In a crowd of beefy baggers (packed with luggage options and tech features), the Low Rider ST stands out as a fresh and trimmed-down semi-bagger. And in a crowd of street-friendly cruisers, it stands out by offering a bit more in terms of handling and practicality. But if we picked this motorcycle for one reason, it would be its style, the West Coast style. Let’s check it out.


In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from
Harley-Davidson
, and other authoritative sources, including Motorcycle News. We have referenced stunting as a part of the West Coast cruiser culture, but we do not condone stunting on public roads in any way.


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10 Cheaper Alternatives To The Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST

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California Tall Bike Movement-Inspired Style


West Coast and East Coast styles are fairly distinguishable. Riders on the East Coast prefer their motorcycles to be low and stable with large fairings, probably to keep the bugs off and be cozy on the long highways. On the West Coast, the scene is different. Here, bikers like to customize their bikes with jacked-up suspension to handle the twisties and an occasional stunting session — there’s no shortage of highway stunting videos in the California region — and the fairings are small to allow Cali riders lane-split.


This California Tall Bike movement began in the ‘80s with custom motorcycles, and the Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST pays homage to that tradition. As a result, the cruiser features a jacked-up suspension setup, tall saddle, frame-mounted shark nose fairing, high-set saddlebags, and raised handlebars — very unlike full-dress cruisers. It also looks stylish in the process (riding it around town will certainly make you feel like a cast member of Sons of Anarchy.)


That’s the beauty of the Low Rider ST. It takes the traditional Softail platform and adds SoCal charm to it, making the style functional (as much as it can be on a cruiser motorcycle, anyway). The tall dimensions make the bike feel direct and responsive, the fairing is functional yet won’t get in the way of lane-splitting, and the ergonomics allow you to cruise at highway speeds or tackle switchbacks at high speeds.

Design Highlights

  • Gets a blackout treatment with a few touches of chrome — quite tasteful
  • Looks aggressive and stout
  • Does not look out of time in 2024 — it’s contemporary with various callbacks to the West Coast custom heritage
  • Perfect authentic “bought, not built” West Coast cruiser

Sleek On The Streets, Ferocious In The Twisties

Torque Output: 125 LB-FT @ 3,500 RPM (J1349 Testing Method)


Harley-Davidson describes this motorcycle as a sports tourer, but does it have what it takes to be one? We haven’t ridden the 2024 model, but it’s not different from 2023, so the basics stay the same. And they are promising. Although the ST might look like a typical cruiser with a bit more oomph, it’s got you covered in terms of performance as well.


Straddled in the Low Rider’s chassis sits the mighty Milwaukee Eight 117 V-twin. It was once reserved for the CVO models, but now also finds a home in the ST. The under-stressed, air/oil-cooled engine promises to be thrilling, with enough torque to satiate your thirst for performance. If you want more performance, you can even strap on the Milwaukee Eight 135 Stage IV upgrade!


As for on-road performance, this midsize cruiser will surprise you with its composure. It is one of the sportier Harley-Davidson models, thanks to its relatively short wheelbase. So, before you know it, you’ll be dragging the pegs on the twisties, and the bike will allow you to drag some metal bits too. No, not because the bike lacks cornering clearance, but because it’s so capable and confident in the corners. With the Low Rider ST’s agile handling, it can be your companion in the twisties.


Adding a cherry to this American Pie is the braking system. The bike features a dual disc setup on the front and a single disc on the back, with braided lines. The bite is hard and reassuring, as Motorcycle News reports. Since the 2024 model is the same, you can expect the same stopping power.

Performance Specifications

Engine

Milwaukee Eight 117, push-rod operated V-twin

Displacement

1,923cc

Compression Ratio

10.2:1

Frame Type

Mild steel tubular frame

Max Power

103 HP @ 4,750 RPM

Lean Angle

31.3 degrees, both sides

Fuel Economy

47 MPG

Weight

721 pounds (in running order)

Service Interval

5,000 miles


(Specs sourced from Harley-Davidson)

From Commutes To Long Distance Cruises, The Low Rider ST Can Do It All


You won’t be tackling corners or pulling wheelies every day, right? Most of the time on the saddle will either be spent in traffic or on the highways — it’s a cruiser, after all. The Low Rider ST shines here as well. It is an excellent, versatile motorcycle that can handle all kinds of duties, although it may not be the best in some of them.


Let’s talk about long-distance tours — the Low Rider ST will surprise you with its comfort despite being more aggressive than the usual H-D offering. The Milwaukee 117 settles in at highway speeds, the ergonomics are comfortable (once you get used to the high-set pegs), and the fairing does a decent job at keeping wind buffeting off you. Thanks to counterbalancers, the engine doesn’t rattle you, either. All the benefits of the Road Glide but in a lighter package, right?


The panniers further add to the touring aspect of this motorcycle. While not as big as we’d like, the combined capacity of 53.8 liters is decent enough for short tours. Plus, they come with an internal release mechanism, so you can completely remove them from the bike. Once you do that, the ST turns from a semi-dress bagger to a street cruiser!


And the Low Rider ST will yet again surprise you. Thanks to its light dimensions, the motorcycle is easy to ride in the city. You certainly won’t feel like you’re fighting a massive cruiser around in the tight confines of the urban jungle. You’ll also appreciate the features, namely LED lights, self-canceling indicators, cruise control, and ABS. Traction control is a bit of a miss, though.

Pros

  • A high-performance engine and suspension setup make the Softail chassis feel exciting in the corners (far more agile than you’d think)
  • Saddlebags can be popped off easily, turning this sports tour into a city bike
  • Did we mention how gorgeous this motorcycle is?
  • The shark-nose fairing is compact but quite effective
  • Thanks to the hydraulic self-adjusting lifters, there are no valve clearances to check

Cons

  • Not a cheap motorcycle
  • For the price, you don’t get many features
  • For the amount of torque it unloads right off the bat, traction control would’ve been a great addition
  • Saddlebags are a bit small

2024 Low Rider ST: Price, Colors, And Rivals

Starting MSRP: $23,399

Related
Another Quarter, Another Plunge In Harley-Davidson Sales

The Motor Company sold only 17,500 motorcycles in North America in the last quarter of 2023

The Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST is not cheap. With a price tag of $23,399, it’s expensive for a bike that doesn’t exactly offer anything mind-blowing in a particular way. It’s neither the fastest cruiser nor the best handling, and the storage leaves much to be desired. But hey, at least you get three cool color options: Red Rock, Billiard Gray, and Vivid Black.

2024 Low Rider ST Rivals: Indian Sport Chief And Honda Rebel 1100T

No other cruiser comes close to the Low Rider ST when it comes to West Coast styling. But there are a few market rivals. The biggest one is the Indian Sport Chief, which has been a hit among Indian fans. It has set itself firmly in the sporty cruiser segment with its sweet V-twin engine, ravishing design, and modern features. Between this and the Low Rider ST, the choice narrows down to preference — do you want a Harley-Davidson or an Indian?


Another close rival is the Honda Rebel 1100T, a metric bagger with a characterful parallel-twin engine (sorry, no V-twin here), terrific handling, and a neutral riding position. It is much better value for money than its American rivals, especially when you consider the hard bags, windscreen, and electronics (adjustable power delivery, TCS, and engine braking). But it’s only available with a DCT transmission (goodbye, rev-matching) and the luggage is as good as a daily pack.


2023 BMW R 18 Roctane Full Left-1


If you don’t mind choosing a non-traditional cruiser, you can also consider the BMW R 18 Roctane unveiled last year. This motorcycle brings a sporty touch to the R 18 family, evident from its unique frame (front half comes from R 18, rear one is from the R 18B). It isn’t as exciting as the Low Rider ST, though, as there’s no punchy V-twin thrill here. The Roctane has a boxer engine, for your reference.


Now, if you are looking for a sporty cruiser but don’t bother about the West Coast styling, consider the renowned Harley-Davidson Fat Bob. It’s a radically different cruiser that shares the same chassis as the Low Rider but with a Milwaukee Eight 114 engine. The mill is smaller and has a little less grunt, but can still reach some serious speeds. The difference also comes in its tire dimensions and ergonomics. So if you want a big, thumping cruiser, the Fat Bob might be for you. But if you want style and sportiness, the Low Rider takes the cake.



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