Pros: Big Beautiful, Sleek, Powerful, Made in USA
2013 Harley Davidson Street Glide
If you are just getting introduced to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, their line consists of large motorcycles in the following categories: Entry level Sportster models; Dyna model Cruisers; V-Rod high performance bikes; and, Touring motorcycles, like the Street Glide, the subject of this review. The Touring models are made for long distance riding with comfort features like fairings and large cushy captain chair seats, some have backrests made of supple soft leather. Further comfort is provided by the easy handling frame since 2009 and improved exhaust system that keeps heat to a minimum for the rider and passenger. Wide tires and Harmon Kardon stereo top off the amenities.
The Street Glide has the bat wing fairing to protect you from the wind and weather and a 40W advanced audio system by Harmon Kardon with front speakers. The fairing protects you from the wind and debris. The lower fairings seen on some of the Harley Dressers are deleted on the Street Glide. The Street Glide is set lower with a 26 inch seat height for shorter individuals who want to ride a Harley.
The bike has hard plastic molded bags finished in the overall body color of the motorcycle. The seats are leather classic seats with a back rest for the passenger that mounts on the Tour Pack.
The 2013 Big Twin motor displaces 103 cubic inches (1690 cc) and has Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and the new 2-1-2 exhaust header that crosses over below the frame to reduce felt heat. This new (2009) header is a big improvement and prevents heat from spoiling all the fun of motoring. The standard 103 engine pulls 100 ft lbs of torque which gives it good pulling power for the 800 pound wet weight of the Ultra Classic. The weight adds stability and ride and the bike carries its weight well.
The transmission is the latest six-speed Cruise Drive which gives a top gear for cruising at 75 mph or above. Just pop it into cruise control when you have it in 5th or 6th and watch the miles roll by. Final drive is by trouble free Kevlar belt that works like a charm.
Aluminum 5 bar mag standard or 28 spoke laced aluminum wheels optional, wide tires (180mm rear, 130 front), and equipped with Brembo 4-piston hydraulic disk brakes (ABS available) fore and aft brings the bike down from speed in a hurry. For a heavy 800 lb bike it has a good balance of brakes and throttle power.
Full instrumentation includes the stereo with CD and AUX inputs and full analog (dial and needle) gauges - speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, volt meter, ambient temperature, and fuel supply all mounted in an attractive instrument cluster in front of your eyes. The gauges have black faces and chrome accents and are easy to read. The instrument cluster is very handsome and adds a lot of pride of ownership to one of the big Harleys.
The six-gallon fuel tank fills through a single lockable cap under a big chrome disk on the chrome tank console top center.
The new frame and exhaust system (from 2009 on) adds handling and comfort above older touring Harleys and is a big improvement with less flexing of the frame and swing arm, less vibration, and less annoying heat from the rear cylinder whose pipe is now routed under the frame. Very much improved from the creature comfort perspective.
The paint job is in traditional Harley-Davidson style, which means it is top quality. Chrome Yellow Pearl (as shown) is one of the new colors for 2013 and it is very attractive. The bike I rode was Vivid Black the base color, the other colors cost about $250 more. The tank medallions say Harley Davidson in two lines of black and chrome very attractively. The rest of the trim is deemphasized with less bling than the other Harley touring bikes giving an understated elegant look to the Street Glide.
The bike starts simply by turning on the large key switch located at the front of the tank. With the handle bar kill switch enabled, it takes a few seconds for the electronic fuel pump to pressurize the injectors and extinguish the check engine light, indicating it's ready to start. Press the start button on the right handlebar and the beast comes to life in about half a crank. With the ESPFI fuel injection, the engine is more tractable when cold and you can ride off without a lot of warm up time.
As the idle lopes along the bike starts out smoothly and is maneuverable at low speeds during parking lot drills like looking for a parking space. The bike handles deceptively well in the friction zone and is as nimble as a cat which is a nice feature of the big Harley-Davidsons.
On the surface streets with the stop and go traffic, stay in the lower gears to keep control and cruise at fourth gear in moving traffic. Once outside the high traffic area I can get it up into fifth and finally sixth gear when there is open space. You need to be going about 70 or above to drive in steadily in 6th. Put it in cruise control when you have the space and try out the advanced audio Harmon Kardon stereo for some good listening. You have a choice of AM, FM, CD, as well as WB for weather reports and auxiliary for your MP3 player.
The bike gets about 42 miles per gallon which is much better than any cage I've ever driven.
I rode this Street Glide at Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson in Conyers, Georgia. I didn't buy this model but always want to know about the latest from Harley-Davidson. If you want a top of the line motorcycle, I highly recommend the Street Glide.
Thanks to Scmrak who posted this item at my request.
© 2013 George Chabot