Street Glide vs. Road Glide: Which Harley-Davidson to choose?

harley-davidson road glide and street glide

Recently, I had the pleasure of trying out the 2024 Road Glide and 2024 Street Glide from Harley-Davidson thanks to RPM Harley-Davidson. These two superb bikes look very similar. I wondered which one I would choose if I had to choose between the two. So, I conducted a small analysis on each of them in relation to the other.

So, I present this analysis divided into nine points that I consider important:

  1. Engine
  2. Fairing
  3. Trim choice
  4. Navigation system
  5. Suspension
  6. Riding position
  7. Handling
  8. Stability
  9. Storage

My conclusion may surprise you.

Grand Touring Category

First, it is important to know that both the Road Glide and the Street Glide are part of the Grand Touring category. This category includes motorcycles designed for the road and long rides. These are large touring bikes with a range of equipment designed for travel and comfort. But which one to choose?

Engine

Both are equipped with the new Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin engine. It develops 105 HP and features new liquid-cooled cylinder heads that optimize the rider’s thermal comfort, especially during low-speed riding in hot weather.

There was a slight difference with the Road Glide being tested. A “Stage II” had been installed. This makes it more powerful than the Street Glide by about 10 or 15 HP. I can tell you that it makes a significant difference.

So, the Road Glide scores a point thanks to this modification (1).

The front fairing is different on each

The major difference between the two lies in the front fairing. Indeed, it is different on each.

On the Road Glide, the fairing is called Sharknose and it is fixed to the motorcycle frame. It does not move when turning the handlebars. LED lighting is fully integrated into its design. The fin located at the top can be opened to provide more adequate air intake on hot days. I must say it feels a bit special when you are used to a mobile fairing.

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harley-davidson road glide

For the Street Glide, the Batwing fairing is fixed to the fork and moves with the handlebars. It also features adjustable air circulation fins. Therefore, they can also be opened to have more or less air.

harley-davidson street glide

Both are on par in this regard, as they both do the job well on both bikes.

Trim Choice

As we know, chrome has been a part of the Harley-Davidson fashion for a long time. This trend has been shifting towards black trims for some time now. Therefore, we have the choice between chrome and black based on our preferences. However, an additional $1,700 is required for black. Personally, I lean towards the new trend.

Since this element is a matter of aesthetics and thus personal taste, I did not give it a point.

Navigation and Infotainment System

Regarding the navigation and infotainment system, it is comprehensive and easy to use. The screen is touch-sensitive, and we can configure it to display what we prefer.

Both the Road Glide and the Street Glide are equipped with the same system. So, they both excel at this level.

Suspension

The suspension exceeded my expectations. It performs beyond what I expected. Especially at the rear, as it was very easy to adjust according to my preferences on both the Road Glide and the Street Glide.

So, once again, both bikes come out on top.

Riding Position

The riding position is the same on both, but I was more comfortable and at ease on the Road Glide. This is probably due to the changed seat.

So, this is a second point for the Road Glide (2).

harley-davidson road glide

Handling and Stability

Once again, both bikes are very comparable in terms of handling and stability. However, the stability of the Road Glide is better due to the fixed fairing. This ensures that one does not feel the handlebar vibrations caused by crosswinds and air displaced by large trucks encountered.

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On the other hand, I found the Street Glide easier to handle, and I cannot explain why. But I believe that the fact that the handlebar turns independently, without the fairing, for the Road Glide played a role. It seemed as if I was losing sight of where the handlebar was because of that.

In short, it’s peculiar, and I imagine one gets used to it eventually. But for now, I give a first point to the Street Glide (1) for handling and a third point to the Road Glide for stability (3).

Saddlebags for Storage

Both bikes are equipped with two beautiful large hard side saddlebags. It’s a must-have on a motorcycle. The saddlebags detach easily without tools and are well sealed to keep everything dry.

Both bikes are tied again.

Conclusion

So, the final score is three to one in favour of the Road Glide. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the one I would choose. These two bikes are truly like almost identical twin sisters.

And here is where I will surprise you. I felt more comfortable riding the Street Glide, especially for its handling. So, that’s the one I would choose, even though it comes in a close second. I would change the chrome trims to black and add the “Stage II” to the engine to be “in business,” as they say.

As in every purchase, the consumer’s taste comes to the forefront most of the time. We must feel good and comfortable on the machine we buy. Every rider has their preferences. That’s why I’ll give you a little advice in closing: try before you buy!

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