2011 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
MSRP: $19,499 ($21,495 with paint, ABS, security)
Measurements: 6 ft./190 lbs./33 in. inseam
Miles Since Last Issue: 3818
Average fuel mileage: 41.7 mpg
In the last cycle, this bike did a lot of sitting around the shop, waiting for parts. This time it did a lot of riding... and using those parts. Editor Cherney usually gets to rack up big miles with a trip to and from L.A. from his Portland home, so I used that same tactic to rack up some real miles on the Street Glide. You might have noticed that the Glide was used in this issue’s test. Not two days after I got back from that I headed north once more.
I took a very scenic route through coastal California and Oregon to Portland, Astoria, Eugene, Eureka and other points north. The 2900-mile trip served as a fairly complete test of my touring-focused mods, and the Glide was a faithful companion, with just a couple of hiccups.
As I mentioned previously, the clutch was engaging abruptly, and it was due for a service anyway. Along with changing all the fluids and filter, the tech also adjusted the clutch tension, and lubed the crap out of the cable. I was dubious that something so simple would clear up what seemed to be a wear issue, but sure enough, the clutch again had a nice light pull and smooth engagement after the service.
For the first 500 miles the iPod unit was a solid addition, as was the speaker and amplifier upgrade, boosting the volume enough to be heard at highway speeds (unless there was a headwind). Then, in the heat of California’s Central Valley, the stereo started to “lose” the iPod occasionally. I checked the connections, but it was just some sort of overheating, which eventually infected the right speaker, causing it to cut out intermittently. The radio still worked flawlessly, but that pales after the personalized, commercial-free experience that is an iPod. The bike is due for another service, so we’ll have it checked out before next issue. The brakes are still awesome, but it seems like the ABS is kicking in easier than previously. I’m going to check the brakes for warping at the next service as well. It could just be that I’m so comfortable on pushing it now that I’m neared the ragged edge on a regular basis.
The suspension that I criticized for harshness last issue, seems to have settled in. Once it was away from the L.A. freeway system, it worked nearly flawlessly. On very rough roads it could be a tad firm, but that’s was small percentage of the surfaces I encountered in my long trek north.
The Garmin Zumo GPS (branded Road Tech by Harley) finally got a workout. It has its good days and bad days. Once I tried four different locations (all wrong) before finding my preferred gas station. Other times, it was spot-on. It gets really annoyed when you leave a prescribed route, but it also saves your recent searches, so you can always cancel and go back later. I like the freedom of travel with one of these on the dash, as it made exploring side routes in rural Oregon and California a breeze.
For my last act with the Street Glide, I’m going to fit in a trip to New Mexico for a final shake down. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll hit that magic 10k mile mark that editors like to try to reach with long term bikes.