Thanks to its heft and dimensions, you wouldn’t want to find yourself stuck in slow-moving traffic with the Street Glide Special. Manoeuvring it through tight spots needs more than a thought and if you aren’t built like Schwarzenegger, moving it around in parking would be a task too. However, once the Milwaukee 114, 1868cc engine has been ignited and slot into first gear with a distinct thud and on the move, the Street Glide’s weight is manageable. And for a 375kg motorcycle, it handles surprisingly well. Although not sharp, the motorcycle tips in with confidence, the Touring chassis almost flowing along with every direction change.
Adding to the experience is the 1868cc motor growling between your legs with a whole 161Nm available on tap. Plus, with all that torque offered from as low as 3,000rpm all through the rev band, the Street Glide can perform overtakes just as quickly in sixth gear as it does in third. Although, the clutch and the gearbox offer a mixed experience. The lever is heavy to use and left my fingers cramped by the end of the city ride, but the cogs which come with a slip and assist function shifted smoothly. That said, the Street Glide’s heart belongs to the open highways. It begs you to wring the throttle and let the Milwaukee 114 loose for a bit. And when you do its bidding, the motorcycle rewards by surging ahead with its full might, the growl of the exhaust notes in the background,
and the traction control grappling to keep the Street Glide Special in line. Here, when it is given the chance to stretch its legs, you’d forget the pains of riding it in the city. Slot the long-stroke motor into sixth gear and the motorcycle’s rumbling exhaust note transforms into a silent harmony. And from then on, it is willing to cruise at 130kmph all day. There are no vibes as it glides along, only rumbling back with utmost enthusiasm and hitting the rev limiter at 5500rpm when you twist the throttle again. With the relaxed and comfortable riding position it offers, your highway tour will be stress-free…for the most part.
Even with the large batwing fairing and small windscreen, there is quite a bit of windblast pushing it over 150kmph. But since most would not look at chasing top speeds, or competing in King of Baggers, you’d want to take it slow with the Street Glide Special, enjoy the ride and feel the ‘wind in your hair’. What I also liked was the feel of the brakes. The setup offers strong bite and progression bringing the massive motorcycle to a standstill quickly and in a composed manner.