2022 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Performance and Capability
The biggest improvement with Street Glide lies in the engine. Harley finally dumped the Twin Cam and designed the Milwaukee-Eight to return to the single-cam valvetrain, and you can go ahead and pencil me in as a fan.
Bore and stroke measure out at 100 mm and 111 mm, respectively, for a whopping 1,746 cc (107 cubic-inch) displacement. Yeah, that’s quite a bit of mass thrashing around down there, but Harley tuned much of the typical V-Twin shake out of it to make it the smoothest generation of engine ever to come out of Milwaukee.
Compression is in the midrange at 10-to-1, so you can disabuse yourself of the notion that you’ll be feeding it at the cheap pump. The Street Glide produces 111 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,250 rpm. H-D hasn’t published horsepower, but rumor has it that metric is something in the 80s, not that it matters, it’s torque that launches you out of the hole.
Higher-level electronic systems, in general, have trickled down from the trikes and CVO models, but if you want all of the electronic goodies that fall under the RDRS umbrella, you’ll have to buy it off the optional equipment list. Electronic Linked Brakes are the only real bit of fandanglery on the stock machine.
- Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking (C-ELB)
- Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS)
- Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS)
- Cornering Enhanced Drag-Torque Slip Control System (C-DSCS)
- Hill Hold Control (HHC)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Electronic fuel injection helps to meet emissions and hit the 43 mpg mileage rating. A six-speed transmission crunches the ratios to provide low-stress highway speeds, and power goes to the rear wheel via a quiet and low-maintenance belt drive. The Street Glide top speed is 110 mph, governed.
Like all of Harley’s more traditional bikes, the Street Glide traces its roots back to antiquity. It all starts with the wide, “FL” chassis and front end familiar to any longtime fans of the brand. The front fender is a full-length unit that sports relatively high sides to leave most of the front wheel visible and shuns any sort of chrome accouterments for a clean look.
Chrome fork skirts bring the bling alongside a similarly shiny fork brace that mounts the front turn signals However, it’s the Batwing fairing and whacked windshield that really defines the front end and gives the “SG” its stoplight-burning bent.
Wind tunnel-tested and proportioned for reduced drag and better penetration, the front fairing houses a cyclops headlight. Below the headlamp, vents shunt some of the incoming air to the protective pocket behind the glass providing a low-buffet margin where pocket and slipstream meet.
Up top, a smoked and chopped windshield defines the rather clean upper lines made so by the mirrors tucked away behind the tips of the bat’s wings. Here they won’t clutter up the flyline.
A quartet of round analog gauges in the inner fairing combine with the usual array of indicator lights to handle the bulk of the instrumentation. The Boom! Box 4.3 is the real showpiece here with its color touchscreen interface that lets you pinch, swipe, and drag your way through the various menus and selections presenting critical bike metrics alongside entertainment options.
A pair of speakers deliver the tunes from the AM/FM receiver, Weather Band or SiriusXM, or pipe your own jams from your mobile devices via a USB connection. A Bluetooth connection ties your helmet into the network for hands-free mobile phone functionality with voice recognition capability so you can safely field a phone call while underway.
The six-gallon fuel tank rocks a round, lockable fuel door. A chrome panel divides the tank all the way back to the saddle.
The saddle rides up over the trailing edge of the tank to cushion your junk under heavy braking. It’s a nice, plush seat that forms a comfortable scoop to cup and cradle your derrière at a low 26.1-inches off the ground.
Not only does this put you “in” the bike more than “on” it, but it also makes for an easy shot from hip to ground when you go to deploy your Fred Flintstones in spite of the SG’s wide girth. There’s a nice jump up to the p-pad, so your passenger gets the benefit of stadium seating even though the padding kinda’ tapers down almost Mustang style, so it’s more about looks and less about comfort.
Hard-side bags provide 2.3 cubic feet of storage with one-touch operation. One-touch makes it easy to open, even with gloves on, so you don’t have to lay your groceries on the ground to get the lid off.
The trailing edge features a full rear fender with fillers to kill the gap between the bags and the back end. A whiskerbar for the winkers and a plate holder mount low in the center.
All in all, a very bagger-tastic ride that hits all the important design high points. It shows that H-D has still got what it takes to blend historical design with modern performance.
Tubular-steel members make up the double-downtube/double-cradle skeleton on the Street Glide that fully supports the drivetrain and derives much of its strength from a heavy backbone. Still no adjustable values in the front suspension components, but the Showa Dual Bending Valve technology delivers a ride that’s far superior to plain vanilla for an acceptable compromise.
Out back, a set of emulsion shocks provide a cushy ride with a handwheel for quick and easy preload adjustments without benefit of tools or even dirty knees, Just reach down under your right thigh from the pilot’s seat and dial it in right where you want it.
As much mass as the SG carries — both visual and actual — you’d think it would qualify as a “big” bike. However, the contact patch centers fall on 64-inch centers which is roughly the same as the Softail range.
A 19-inch front wheel creates a nice visual offset against the 16-inch rear. The 130/60 and 180/65 hoops, front and rear respectively, round out the rolling chassis.
The steering head sets a rake angle of 26 degrees with a whopping 6.7 inches of trail to give the SG quite a bit of stability with good high-speed tracking. You can tuck into the corners with 31 degrees of lean to the right side, and 29 degrees to the left, and that should be enough for most of us. If it ain’t, you’re looking at the wrong genre.
The brakes reflect the mass they need to control with dual, four-pot calipers up front and large rotors. ABS, which was standard for 2021, is back as an option for 2022 that’ll tack $819 onto the price. Keep that in mind if you’re counting on that safety net.
2022 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Price
The Vivid Black 2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide costs $21,430. As usual, the prices go up with the color choices to $22,005 for Midnight Crimson or White Sand Pearl. Cruise control and security are standard, and our brothers and sisters in California can expect a $200 emissions hit.
Indian redesigned its front fairing, and the new one is rather slim and trim, similar to Harley’s Batwing. In fact, they look to be brothers-from-another-mother with oodles of that bagger-tastic look so popular now.
The main differences in the look fall to brand history. Specifically, the Chieftain rocks the iconic war bonnet and the rear body panels that tie in directly with the designs of old, so even though it’s a brand-new Indian, its roots are on full display.
Infotainment systems are neck-and-neck with the capacity for rocking out or yakking on the phone while you head down the road on both models, so neither gain anything here. The powerplants are both large-displacement V-twins, though Indian spent considerable resources to make its Thunder Stroke 111 look like an old flathead engine with faux cooling fins on top and parallel pushrod tubes that are just like an old sidevalve mill. As cool as it looks, power is still the main thrust, and the Thunder Stroke churns out more torque at a lower rpm with 119 pound-feet that comes on at three-grand even.
When we head to the checkout counter, the Chieftain rolls in Thunder Black with ABS as standard equipment at $22,499. This is right on par with the Street Glide after you add the ABS option.
“Brand loyalty will be a big factor, given how close the two competitors are, but color selection will be a factor too. The King of Paint upholds its reputation for fabulous color selections, much to its credit, and although Indian is trying to run a close second, single-color models like its Chieftain mean the factory ultimately shoots itself in the foot.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “You know, for what you might consider a big bike, it really can handle the twisties with aplomb. I’ve never been a fan of the FLTs, I like the look of the FLH better, however, looks aside the Street Glide is a nice tourer for the money.”
Read more Harley-Davidson news.