Legend has it that Harley’s former design chief Willie G Davidson designed the Street Glide for himself, and it’s easy to understand why. The Special’s popularity reflects its ability, in best bagger style, to provide luggage capacity and a touch of luxury without the bulk of a giant tourer. Its broad, handlebar-mounted fairing gives useful wind protection although, as with most baggers, the low screen generates turbulence that tends to drown out the sound system at highway speeds.
Harley’s large, colourful infotainment screen allows effortless operation of satnav and audio systems. The respectably roomy panniers open with one hand, and close with a reassuring clunk. Long-distance riders will appreciate the cooler-running engine, 200-mile fuel range and extra charging capacity for heated clothing. The Street Glide Special’s style might be as determinedly old-school as ever, but this more powerful, smoother, better suspended Harley is a lot more refined than it looks.
Price of our bike: £21,045 (base model in black £20,695)