Revolutionary and defiant in all the right ways, Harley-Davidson has carved its niche in the motorcycle industry since it first opened its doors in Milwaukee in the early 1900s. Over the last century, Harley-Davidson has established itself as an industry titan renowned for building powerful bikes with iconic styling. Stopping at Republic Harley-Davidson, your Katy Harley-Davidson dealer, showcases as much and gives you a front-row seat to the brand’s remarkable impact on the American motorcycle industry.
This impact is most notably linked to the rise of the chopper and the brand’s ongoing work to give riders more opportunities to customize their bikes. But it’s also tied to Grand American Touring bikes like the Road Glide lineup. This family of bikes blends the legendary performance of the Harley-Davidson name with a distinct style and plenty of comforts that give riders more opportunities to discover the open-air freedom that only comes from sitting in the saddle. Here’s everything you need to know about these Grand American tourers that serve as luxurious chariots navigating your next adventure.
Setting the Standard: The Road Glide
The Road Glide sets the benchmark for the Road Glide family, beginning the lineup of long-distance touring bikes. Designed for riders looking for adventure, comfort, and affordability, the Road Glide undeniably rises to the occasion. It immediately distinguishes itself from other Grand American Tourers like the Street Glide with its frame-mounted shark-nose fairing. The fairing and other features, like the upright riding position, floorboards, and infotainment system, are staples across the Road Glide family, laying the foundation for every model from the Road Glide Special to the Limited and ST.
Just as its fairing distinguishes the Road Glide in the Grand American Touring segment, the bike’s Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine differentiates it from its Road Glide siblings. The iconic V-Twin engine gives the Road Glide its throaty rumble and crisp throttle response as it churns out 111 lb-ft of torque. Harnessing this power in the 855 lb bike isn’t difficult with the upright riding position and 25.9-inch seat height.
As a touring bike, it’s only appropriate that the Road Glide comes with saddlebags, a plush passenger seat, and a responsive suspension that makes it easy to navigate long distances and ride two-up. For example, the saddlebags offer 2.3 cu.ft. of space that can accommodate travel necessities and other gear. In addition, the easily adjustable rear shocks give you more control over the ride, allowing you to tailor the suspension when you’re riding solo or with a passenger.
Taking It Up a Notch: The Road Glide Special
Thinking of the Road Glide as the entry-level trim positions the Road Glide Special as the next step up in this family of touring bikes. Priced slightly higher, the Road Glide Special lives up to its name and exchanges the base model’s three-color palette for a dozen paint options that include many new two-tone paint schemes for 2022. Riders looking for more opportunities to customize their bikes to their unique style now have that option, with the Road Glide Special offering the most color options in the family.
Beyond its expansive color palette, the Road Glide Special distinguishes itself by its bigger engine. It swaps the Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin for the 114 V-Twin that churns out 118 lb-ft of torque. With enough power to chase the horizon, the Road Glide Special also gives you everything you need comfort-wise. The 853 lb bike is equipped with a passenger seat and stretched saddlebags that offer 2.7 cu.ft. of space and open with the touch of your hand for near-effortless accessibility, a notable upgrade over the slightly smaller bags of the Road Glide.
Next-Level Comfort: The Road Glide Limited
The Road Glide Limited takes the Grand American Touring bike to a new level of comfort, giving you every opportunity to chase your next adventure in style. Harley-Davidson accomplishes this feat in several ways, like adding heated hand grips with six settings and a backrest for the passenger seat for enhanced comfort when riding two up. The saddlebags are also noticeably larger, offering 4.7 cu.ft. of space to accommodate all the necessities and more in conjunction with the Premium Tour-Pak luggage carrier that can fit extra gear for you and your passenger.
These additions account for the broader length and heavier weight of the Road Glide Limited. The Limited is 6.5 inches longer than the Road Glide and has a running weight of 932 lbs. Naturally, a bike of this size demands more power, and Harley-Davidson delivers by equipping the Road Glide Limited with its Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin. The power plant offers the most displacement in any standard touring bike in the Harley-Davidson lineup and produces 122 lb-ft of torque, making the Limited incredibly responsive and agile to maneuver for a motorcycle of its stature.
Delivering Plenty of Thrill: The Road Glide ST
While the Road Glide Limited lets you chase the horizon on your own or with a passenger, the Road Glide ST is strictly designed for solo rides. Its focus is purely on performance. Fortunately, that performance comes with a signature style that makes this top-of-the-line bagger stealthy, lean, and sleek.
Hungry for speed, the Road Glide ST is the lightest and shortest in the Road Glide family, with a running weight of a mere 842 lbs and a length of 94.7 inches. Harley-Davidson trims the bike’s size but keeps its functionality, equipping it with saddlebags that offer 2.3 cu.ft. of space. The sleek and lightweight design is especially impressive since this bike comes with the Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain. The V-Twin engine delivers 127 lb-ft of torque, making the Road Glide ST incredibly responsive, whether you’re trekking across the country or testing its street-scorching power around Katy and the Greater Houston area.
Custom Rides: The CVO Road Glide and CVO Road Glide Limited
Harley-Davidson gives you more opportunities to take the Road Glide up a notch with its Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models. Exclusive by design and only available in limited numbers, the CVO Road Glide and CVO Road Glide Limited are remarkable. The bikes are powered by the proven Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine and boast unique details and advanced features that give these custom baggers a distinct appeal. For example, the CVO Road Glide offers custom paints and finishes, Cast/Laced combination wheels, and heated Kahuna Collection hand grips that match the Kahuna shifter pegs, muffler end caps, brake pedal cover, and rider and passenger boards. You’ll find the same Kahuna Collection details on the CVO Road Glide Limited, along with distinct Tomahawk wheels.
The Road Glide Standard of Excellence
Whether you choose the standard Road Glide, the comfort-oriented Limited, the performance-focused ST, or a unique CVO option, you’re investing in a Grand American Touring bike that makes any time you spend in the saddle a thrilling adventure. The Road Glide family lives up to the Harley-Davidson reputation for breaking the rules and setting new standards of excellence. These baggers offer something exceptional and genuinely rare––a no-compromise approach to delivering sleek style, incredible performance, and high-value features. It’s an approach only the Road Glide has mastered, making it the benchmark in an industry where fellow baggers can’t compete.