I can still remember it like it was yesterday: ripping up the Waterfall Way on a demo Harley-Davidson from this very same dealer some 20 odd years ago. It wouldn’t take too long before my passion for this brand became an obsession and many acquisitions across the marque later, I have been struck by the love bug once again.
After clocking up almost 50,000 km on my own Streety; this is a revolution too good to pass up.
Without trying to sound cliché, the new Street Glide rides like a dream. Every once in a while I find a motorcycle that does exactly what I want it to do when I want it to do it. The previous incarnation was like this for me, after riding it daily for so many years with my chauffeured “A1 Coffs Coast Tours” Harley sightseeing/tour experience.
The 2018 Street Glide Special was like this for me right out of the box. I looked forward to getting on this bike every single stop on my two day tour.
In fact, each time I would park it, I found myself disappointed that I didn’t get to ride longer.
I’ll start with the new Milwaukee-Eight’s 107 cubic-inch engine. Harley-Davidson has improved performance, durability, and styling with its new powerplant. This thing sounds fantastic, idles cooler than previous models, and delivers a fantastic amount of torque – 10 per cent improvement over previous-year models. The power was there whenever I needed it, but it wasn’t too jumpy when I didn’t. It remained smooth and consistent as the tacho climbed and made for a lot of fun whenever I opened it up. The eight-valve engine is counterbalanced to cancel 75 per cent of engine vibration at idle, which has dropped from 1,000 rpm to 850 rpm. I predict the Milwaukee-Eight will fit its way into the legendary category years from now.
Styling is pretty much what we have been used to for a Street Glide. I love the timeless look of this iconic bagger, and if you’ve made it this far into my article, odds are that you do too. But don’t let the classic look fool you; it’s still packing the technological punch Harley-Davidson debuted with its Project Rushmore models: the ride is unmatched, thanks to the fully adjustable rear suspension, responsive front suspension and Reflex™ linked Brembo® brakes. You also get a BOOM!™ Box stereo that pumps out a mean sound, navigation, a fully functional 6” touchscreen, and voice activation for music, phone, and GPS. All the controls are positioned where you would instinctually want them. If you don’t want to toggle a thumb control to make a selection on the screen, you can just touch the damn thing, which doesn’t get much more straightforward than that. The BOOM stereo wails and provides as much sound as you can hope for highway speeds.
The 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special did something for me that I haven’t experienced in a long time. It brought me to a place where regular, daily riding was an adventure. It was that same feeling that that I had all those years ago.
So often while reviewing motorcycles, I struggle to find a good balance between the positives and negatives. I’ve thought about this a lot, and to be perfectly honest, I can’t think of anything bad to say. If there are negatives, I didn’t find them. Harley-Davidson has dialled in this Street Glide to the point where I would personally consider buying one … Oh, I actually couldn’t resist – I did!
Drop into North Coast V-Twins for a test ride or jump on the back with me, and you’ll understand.
For further info/test ride, call 6650 4200.
Driven Harley-Davidson 2018 Streetglide Special
Date 31St October
Dealer North Coast V-Twins
Motor mouth rating 10/10