2002 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Mini Test

Road Glide revelry

harley-davidson, road glide
Art Friedman finds his new favorite Harley traveling bike, the Road Glide.Andrew Cherney

This article was originally published in the October 2002 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

I was actually hoping for a Road King when I asked Harley if I could borrow a bike for our Reader’s Ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in May. However, as the date approached, Harley asked if I could take a Road Glide instead. I agreed, though when I’d ridden a Road Glide briefly a few years ago, it hadn’t impressed me much one way or the other. I didn’t like the looks of its frame-mounted dual-headlight fairing, so I was disappointed at the time. But after a week and a bit over 2000 miles, my opinion changed. Other than some difference in the wind protection from the larger fairing and the welcome AM/FM/weather band/cassette stereo system, I didn’t expect there to be a noticeable difference in the two bikes.

The ’Glide surprised me. It seems to have more cornering clearance than the ’King, giving it surprising lean angles. It consistently turned in better fuel mileage than Road Kings I have ridden too, perhaps due to better aerodynamics. It always got over 50 mpg, providing better than 200 miles on a fill-up. The low windshield never interfered with my view ahead. The addition of a tachometer is welcome too. The only possible shortcoming was the saddle, which seems softer than the ’King’s. But I’d replace either one if I owned the bike.

Otherwise, the bike was about what I expected: smooth, pleasantly powerful, adequate brakes, and a comfortable ride. It pitched around just a bit on the suspension during hard cornering but never did anything exciting. The heavily stuffed saddlebags kept their contents dry when the Great Deluge struck, and it did not give me any surprises or things to complain about. In fact, I have a new favorite Harley traveling bike.