Not to be outdone by all the new models debuting at EICMA this week, Harley-Davidson is introducing a new Softail called the Sport Glide, with a Canadian MSRP of $22,299.
All the details are in the press release below, but the important takeaway is that this is a bike intended for both everyday use and “light” touring – which means it comes with a quick release fairing and easily removed panniers.
The 43 mm front forks are inverted and the rear shock has a remote hydraulic preload adjustment, for when you load up with luggage or a partner on the back. All the lighting is now LED, and there’s an electronic cruise control – forget the dangerous little screw that Harley used to fit to hold the throttle open. This is 2018!
TORONTO – November 7, 2017 – The new Harley-Davidson® Sport Glide™ is a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser outfitted with a detachable fairing and panniers ideally suited for touring, cruising or commuting. The versatile Sport Glide slips stylishly through city streets and is equally ready for short or long-distance weekend runs.
The ninth model based on the all-new Harley-Davidson Softail® platform and the latest in a line of 100 high-impact motorcycles the company plans to introduce by 2027, the Sport Glide presents an engaging combination of technology and style.
Designed to be lightweight and stiff, the new Softail chassis underpinning the Sport Glide delivers agility and handling performance, while the rigid-mounted Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin powertrain pumps out a mountain of torque for outstanding acceleration and passing power.
The Sport Glide will be available in three solid colours: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Silver Fortune.
Dave Latz, Harley-Davidson Senior Product Planning Manager:
“The Sport Glide offers the thrilling dynamic capability of the new Softail platform with features that make it suited for both commuting and light touring. Its factory-custom design speaks to modern performance and contemporary style.”
Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling and Design:
“The Sport Glide presents the broad influence of Harley-Davidson design in a very contemporary way. In the new fairing, for example, you can see the influence of the iconic batwing fairing from Harley Touring models, but it’s been trimmed back to create a more compact, sporty shape. The Sport Glide project offered us a unique opportunity to utilize a directional wheel, the first of its style to come out of the Harley-Davidson factory on a non-CVO model. The spokes sweep from the hub to the rim to create a sense of motion even when the Sport Glide is parked. The look of motion is reinforced with the shape of the fairing and the panniers, and even the slash-cut exhaust tips.”
The Sport Glide’s fairing is shaped to deflect wind away from the rider’s chest while leaving his or her head in a clean stream of air. It’s secured to the fork tubes with quick-release clamps, making removal or installation fast and easy. Riders seeking even more wind protection can exchange the standard 1.5-inch-high windshield for a 5.5-inch Light Smoke Windshield available from Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories.
The new rigid (and lockable) panniers feature a sleek clamshell design. They’re easy to load and unload and can be opened with one hand by a seated rider; a damping device allows the lids to open smoothly. Also the bags can be removed in seconds with an internal quick-release mechanism, leaving behind barely visible mounting points. Combined pannier capacity is 1.9 cubic feet (25.5L).
Additional luggage capacity can be added with an accessory sissy bar upright, luggage rack or Tour-Pak mounting rack, each with the all-new HoldFast™ detachable latch system designed specifically for the new Softail platform. Like the Sport Glide panniers and fairing, HoldFast accessories can be installed or removed in seconds to strip the bike back down to its essential cruiser form.
A broad, supportive seat and forward-mounted foot controls contribute to a rider triangle designed to fit a broad range of sizes; seat height is set at just 652.7mm. The Daymaker LED headlamp is surrounded by a ring of LED signature lighting and complements the bright LED taillight (and LED rear indicators). A USB charging port, keyless ignition and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are standard features.
New 43mm inverted forks stiffen the front end and feature a single-cartridge damping system to for precise handling, stability and confident braking performance – which is further enhanced by standard ABS. The Sport Glide rolls on new Mantis cast-aluminum wheels, 18-inch front and 16-inch rear, shod with Michelin Scorcher 31 performance tires.
The Sport Glide also features the all-new Softail monoshock rear suspension with remote hydraulic spring preload adjustment, controlled via an exposed knob below the right side cover. It’s thus easy to accommodate the weight of luggage or passenger while maintaining optimal suspension performance and steering geometry.
The blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 107 powertrain brings a new level of performance and sophistication to Harley-Davidson Big Twin cruisers, including the new Sport Glide. Dual counter-balancers are tuned to eliminate primary vibration at idle while permitting some engine character to reach the rider at speed. The engine is rigid-mounted in the frame, which stiffens the chassis and connects the rider more directly to the powertrain.
Precision oil cooling around the hottest areas of the cylinder heads further enhances rider and passenger comfort. The 2-1 exhaust, with sweeping rear header and black exhaust muffler contribute to the bike’s sporty style and enhance cornering clearance. Electronic throttle control enables standard electronic cruise control.
Riders craving even stronger road-legal Milwaukee-Eight performance for the Sport Glide can turn to Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts + Accessories for Screamin’ Eagle Performance Stage Upgrades, from a Stage I Street Cannon muffler and uprated intake options all the way to a Stage IV upgrade that takes displacement to 114 cubic inches, and power through the roof!