Revolutionizing The Freeway: Explore The Superiority Of H-D Road Glide and Street Glide - SUV VEHICLE

Revolutionizing The Freeway: Explore The Superiority Of H-D Road Glide and Street Glide

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Summary

  • The 2024 Road Glide & Street Glide got a major upgrade, from fairings to performance, setting new standards in Harley touring bikes.
  • A 12.3-inch touchscreen dash, Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine, and enhanced riding experience make these bikes a must-have for Harley fans.
  • Improved aerodynamics, digital features, and top-notch safety enhancements make the 2024 Road Glide & Street Glide the future of touring bikes.



For the longest time, Harley-Davidson riders have been locked in a debate over which touring model is the superior motorcycle. While some of you might say all are equally popular among avid Harley fans, there’s no denying the Road Glide and Street Glide hold a special place in the lineup. Throughout the years, both have received equal upgrades in power, technological features, and performance.

But their biggest update came recently at the beginning of 2024. The Motor Company took the motorcycling world by surprise with the release of the revamped versions of the Road Glide and Street Glide, completely different from their predecessors. Following in the footsteps of the ground-breaking designs of the 2023 CVO duo, the 2024 versions took on a more modernized approach that made them superior to the previous generation in nearly every facet.


That included a full redesign from front to back, more high-tech features, improved safety, enhanced performance, and an overall heightened riding experience. So let’s take a closer look at the ways the next generation of Road Glides and Street Glides set the standard for Harley-Davidson’s touring class, and how they differ from previous models.

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 sales reps from local dealerships.

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More Aerodynamic And Flow State Design


Given the Road Glide’s Shark Nose fairing and the Street Glide’s Bat Wing fairing, wind protection has always been a big factor for riders of either model. The 2024 redesigns of the Road Glide and Street Glide feature more evolved versions of their fairings, all while staying true to their DNA that makes them recognizable. Following the efforts of the R-and-D team with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel analysis, both bikes’ fairings have enhanced the rider’s comfort for those long stretches of the highway by reducing helmet buffeting by 60 percent and using adjustable air vanes to redirect airflow. This design upgrade is especially vital to loyal Street Glide riders, who have had to deal with unpleasant handlebar vibrations at high speeds.


The redesign didn’t just stop at the fairings. Those same visual elements can be found from the front to the rear. Body lines seen in the fenders, fuel tank, and saddlebags all follow the same dynamic theme as the fairings. This serves as a reminder these touring bikes are the new-and-improved versions of their predecessors, which followed a more curved and rounded design approach. Some might even say these new body styles follow a design similar to the Pan America Special 1250.

This fresh take on the Road Glide and Street Glide may not come as a big surprise to major Harley-Davidson fans, as the company recently revamped its Sportster line to favor technology and performance over affordability and easy handling. If anything, this new take on the duo could pave the way for the future for other members of the touring class, including the Road King Special, Road Glide Limited, and Ultra Limited. That’s something only time will tell, but we’re surely looking forward to it.

The Fully-Digital Touchscreen Dash


High-tech upgrades are always a huge selling point for new vehicles. So the 2024 Road Glide and Street Glide undergo a huge upgrade here. Harley-Davidson has tossed out the analog dials in favor of a 12.3-inch touchscreen TFT (Thin Film Transistor) that takes up the center stage now. Even though the previous generations were also equipped with touchscreen displays, this is a new fully customizable infotainment system with detailed specs, turn-by-turn navigation, Bluetooth compatibility with smartphones, and five selectable ride modes (Road, Sport, Rain, two Custom) to set a new benchmark. By transitioning over to the fully digital dash, the lack of physical components inside the fairings actually assists in reducing the overall dry body weight of the motorcycles by 31 pounds (among other things, of course).


This push into an even more technology-focused touring line is reminiscent of Harley-Davidson’s approach to both the Adventure Touring class and the more recent Sportster class. Given that nearly everyone on the planet owns a smartphone, and that they are viewed as vital accessories in our cars, trucks, and SUVs, it only makes sense that Harley-Davidson established itself to be more tuned in to the digital age. The remaining members of the Touring class should adopt similar systems in the coming years, right?

The Mighty Milwaukee-Eight 117 Powers The Tourers

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Milwaukee-Eight 117 Engine

In the 2023 touring line, the Road Glide and Street Glide were available in four trims: Standard, Special, ST, and CVO. Each of these models was equipped with a Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin ranging in displacement from 107 cubic inches to 117 cubic inches. Rather than have too many models taking up too much space on showroom floors, Harley-Davidson did away with the Specials and STs and kept it simple by keeping the CVOs around and raising the bar for the “base” model. Accordingly, the torque-heavy centerpiece of the new generation Road Glide and Street Glide is the mighty Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin engine.


It’s the standard engine for these two touring bikes going forward, and customers are already singing praises. Aside from having more horsepower and torque than the 114, the 117 has liquid-cooled cylinder heads to actively regulate the engine temperature. This feature is exceptionally useful in riding conditions that involve low-speed travel in warm climates. It should also be noted that while 117 cubic inches is the engine’s default displacement; Harley-Davidson does offer a 135 cubic-inch Stage 4 upgrade if you want to go overboard.

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In the meantime, both the CVO Road Glide and Street Glide feature the Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 ​​​​​V-Twin engine, which features liquid-cooled cylinder heads and variable valve timing (VVT). This, along with a new airbox, an improved shift drum, a new intake tract, and a new exhaust system, gives it even better performance. Given the heightened amount of displacement and torque over the Milwaukee-Eight 117, the VVT helps widen the overall powerband and make sure you get as much mileage as you can out of these bikes.


Engine Specs

Milwaukee-Eight 117

Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121

Displacement

117 cubic inches

121 cubic inches

Horsepower

105 HP

115 HP

Torque

130 lb-ft

139 lb-ft

Improved Riding Experience

Let’s be honest, a major reason a large majority of Harley-Davidson riders love the touring class is because of how they handle themselves, how comfortable they are, and how well they perform in any setting. It is because of this kind of adaptability that touring bikes like the Road Glide and Street Glide have remained so popular over the decades. With the long list of improvements that the 2024 iterations have seen, riders are able to tackle turns and curves with confidence, as well as take it easy and steady for those long stretches of highway.


Of course, stopping power is also important, and it’s been addressed, too. This is evident by the new 1.3-inch 4-piston brake calipers located on the front wheel–an improvement made over the 1.25-inch 4-piston calipers used in the 2023 models. Likewise, the rear shocks have progressed beyond the previous low-height hand-adjustable suspension system, now featuring a 3-inch Dual Outboard Emulsion shock with preload adjustability. This modification results in a notable 50 percent travel enhancement, elevating the rear-wheel stroke from 2.1 to 3.0 inches.

2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide front wheel close-up detail
Harley-Davidson


Meanwhile, one massive advantage the 2024 Road Glide and Street Glides have over their predecessors is the extensive rider safety enhancement kit included as standard equipment. The 2023 Road Glides and Street Glides only listed Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) and Electronic Linked Braking (ELB) as standard gear, while additional features like Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Cornering Enhanced Anti-Lock Brake System (C-ABS) were optional. In 2024, new Road Glide and Street Glide riders won’t have to worry about bringing their bikes in to have these safety features installed, because they’re already there out of the box. While 2024 customers are more than thrilled at this prospect, 2023 customers may be kicking themselves for not waiting an extra year to have the entire safety package included. With these dramatic improvements being made to the touring class, let’s hope Harley keeps the trend going into 2025!

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