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2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide & Street Glide Launch Ride

It was just over a decade ago when Harley-Davidson last unveiled major upgrades for their touring range with the release of the Project Rushmore models. This year the 2024 Road Glide and Street Glide have been revealed hosting major performance, aerodynamic and technology upgrades ushering in a new era for the motor company’s flagship touring models.

Project Rushmore delivered the Harley touring platform major chassis and handling upgrades with power provided by a mighty 103 twin cam motor back in 2014, the first time a stock standard Harley model would receive a 100 plus cubic inch power plant as standard kit apart from the CVO range.

2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide

The evolution of these bikes would of course see that soul upgraded to the new Milwaukee Eight platform with the introduction of the 107 motor at the end of 2016 (MY17 models) before the last of the Street Glides and Road Glides would finish production of the Rushmore generation with the 114 cubic inch Milwaukee eight power plant.

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The Australian New Zealand media launch of the 2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Road Glide on the Gold Coast would deliver the first taste test of the new touring models in this part of the world and would allow us to get our hands on the bike in the flesh and see if the hype equalled what the American bike builder was able to deliver with these new models.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

The event kicked off with a welcome dinner, where media were gathered and of course shared their anticipation of what the new bikes would be capable of on the road and also afforded a chance to come to terms with the new appearances of the new models.

Of course Harley-Davidson also managed to showcase their Tobacco Fade enthusiast collection touring motorcycles and the most recent addition to the CVO line up for this year the mighty CVO Road Glide ST which we will be reviewing in a few week’s time.

2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide

Both the 2024 Street Glide and Road Glide sport all new fairing, fuel tank, oil tank and saddle bags/panniers depending on what term you prefer. The entire silhouette of the new design on both models increases aerodynamic flow giving both bikes a distinct moving forward design.

The new fairing design looks sharper more modern and the visual impact of the LED lighting package on both models is stunning and far more aggressive especially when looking in the rear-view mirrors back at the bikes following you. There is also significant reduction on head buffeting.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

The tank features more flat surfaces and the traditional tear drop tank design is a thing of the past as is the stretched saddlebags that draped down over the exhaust of the outgoing models. The look of both new models is clearly inspired by the recent success of the King of the Baggers racing series in the States.

Perhaps the biggest aesthetic change though is the introduction of the 12.3-inch TFT display featuring Harley-Davidson’s Skyline IOS system. Gone are the analogue gauges and all of the controls and information including speed, revs, fuel and battery charge etc. which is now displayed via the digital dash, there is even Apple Car Play and Smartphone integration.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Harley had planned the launch route through some mint roads through the Northern NSW and Gold Coast hinterland, giving the media contingent on hand the chance to experience the new models through some brilliant twisty roads, sweeping bends and some nice straight roads to be able to get a good feel for the bikes.

There were also some quality coffee and food stops along the way to ensure that there were no mood swings from those in attendance and that everyone was happy and content aboard the bikes.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Serious kudos to whom selected this route as it was absolutely sensational for riding and piloting the new models and testing their real word capabilities. With good road conditions for the most part and no wet weather to late in the afternoon, it was one of the most enjoyable days of riding yours truly has had in a while.

We began our ride on a Blue Burst Street Glide featuring Black Trim and we must admit it looked pretty mint. The Street Glide, like the Road Glide is available 8 colours for 2024 with most colours being available in either black or chrome trim.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

On the bike we start to investigate what has trickled down from the 2023.5 CVO models and we immediately start to feel familiar. The controls are the contemporary setup featured on the CVO and add to the feel to the flowing lines of the motorcycle.

Simplicity remains key, with buttons that are large and easy to engage. The infotainment joystick is gone, following the introduction of new electronics and touchscreen. These are of course standard on both models.

2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide

We spend the morning aboard the Street Glide and are particularly impressed by how it handles. Both the Street Glide and Road Glide for 2024 score and extra 22mm of rear suspension travel thanks to a new rear Showa suspension setup and it makes a huge difference to how these bikes perform.

Matched to new front end suspension the handling of these big bikes is next level even though they did not score the inverted upside-down forks that were featured on the latest CVO models.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Weight reduction is also an assisting factor with the 2024 Road Glide shedding 7.3kgs and the Street Glide dropping 8.2 kgs due mainly to a new manufacturing process of the steering componentry in the front end.

Performance from the 117 Milwaukee eight motor is also impressive. Packing close to 10% more power than the outgoing motor. Producing 80Kw and 175Nm of torque, power delivery is assisted by four selectable riding modes Rain, Road, Sport and Custom for the first time ever on a standard Road Glide and Street Glide.

2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide

After a delectable lunch stop, we climb aboard the Road Glide. With higher bars the seating position feels a little foreign, but it isn’t long to we find our groove and happy place as we push in and out of some beautiful corners.

Apart from the seating position the big difference between the two models is the front fairing. Although the obvious visual difference is easy to spot it is worth noting the Road Glides fairing is mounted to the frame of the bike, whereas the Street Glides Batwing fairing is mounted to the forks.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Punching in some kilometres on the Road Glide is a pure joy and we soon jump aboard a Road Glide we spotted earlier in the day sporting some significant HD P&A. The Sharkskin Blue Road Glide was an absolute highlight as we spent the last 75klms or so piloting it home on the last leg of our ride.

Featuring a Screaming Eagle Exhaust, Air Cleaner and an aftermarket seat as well as a handlebar setup lifted straight from the highly desirable Road Glide CVO ST, yours truly had found his calling in life, he may have phrased it a little differently to the minister of happiness when he got home, but you get the drift.

2024 Harley-Davidson Touring Range
2024 Harley-Davidson Touring Range

In saying this though Harley-Davidson have put considerable thought into their P&A offerings with the new models offering a host of seats, screens, luggage and performance offerings for both models.

The new generation Street Glide and Road Glide have gone along way to redefining the grand American touring experience and we look forward to testing both models very soon. Both models are priced from $46,495 ride away and are backed by Harley-Davidsons 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

To find out more on both the 2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Road Glide you can visit the website here or visit your local dealer.

Our test bikes were provided by Harley-Davidson Australia as part of the Australian & New Zealand media launch. Pictures courtesy of Incite Images.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkinhttp://twowheeladdicts.com.au
Andrew Jenkin is the founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, a contributor to BikeReview and Drivetribe as well as being a panel judge of Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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