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Harley-Davidson – DRT Thailand Review

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Pratheek Kunder

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Introduction

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View

Whenever I read DRT, my mind automatically translates it to 'DIRT' riding and until a few years ago, Harley-Davidson and dirt riding in a single sentence would seem utterly strange? Now, even though this event didn’t have ‘DIRT’, there was still a lot of dirt riding in it!

The DRT stands for Dirt, Road and Track. For decades, Harley-Davidson was known only for cruisers and sometimes the big baggers. But things changed in the last few years, and now the company has managed to reinvent itself as a brand that is more lively, sporty and also extremely aspirational and to be honest, I love this side of Harley-Davidson.

The DRT experience in Thailand is about showcasing the brand’s entire lineup in a way that is usually not possible. A one-day event, where there is a lot of riding involved, with some of the most exclusive bikes I’ve ever seen. Plus, riding these bikes with another 19 journalists from other Asian countries.

The Plan

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View

The combination of Harley Davidson’s bikes with some of the best roads in Thailand is truly a drool-worthy affair. The day in Thailand was planned in such a way that I could ride some of their bikes in various conditions like race track, roads and also off-road. Different batches were created and I was part of the batch that had an easy start to the hectic but delicious day.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View

The Insanely Smooth 2024 Street Glide

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View

The roads of Thailand are one of the best in the world, and I got to ride the new Street Glide on them. I was possibly the happiest guy in Thailand that day. This new Street Glide is astonishingly beautiful in that light blue paint scheme. The folks at Harley like to call it Sharkskin Blue. The famous batwing fairing of the bike took all my attention and with those new sleek-looking turn indicators, the 2024 Street Glide is weirdly addictive to look at. This addiction also moves towards the performance side of the bike.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View

From the saddle of this bike, the view was something else—that large cluster up upfront and above that I had the beautiful Thailand all to myself. The 50km ride on this bike is something that I would never forget. The 2024 Street Glide has gotten so much more refined and also churns out a bit more power. Even with its massive weight, that 117 Milwaukee motor delivers instant power. In fact, that surge in torque is what riding this beast makes it an instant love affair. Within a few seconds, I was hitting speeds that would be considered extremely illegal, at least in India.

The Ultra Exclusive 2024 CVO Road Glide ST

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Left Front Three Quarter

One of my dreams when I got into the world of motorcycle journalism was to ride a CVO. Eleven years later that dream finally came true when I got a brief moment to spend with the 2024 CVO Road Glide ST. But being a bagger, I wished I had those sweeping American roads to ride on. Instead, I was on a race track – a bagger like the Road Glide ST on a race track is a one-of-a-kind experience. However, it rained so bad that my confidence in taking possibly the most expensive bike I’ve ever ridden had reached the lowest point of that day. Yet, I rode it and was glad I did.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Left Front Three Quarter

This Harley gets a motor that makes 200Nm of maximum torque and that meant, on a rainy racetrack, I had to respect that throttle a little extra. With the rain riding mode activated, I rode for almost three laps, and the entire time, there was a massive grin on my face. This CVO Road Glide ST with all its bodywork and performance is meant to give you a feeling that you are riding something truly special. Things like the overall refinement and NVH of that engine blew my mind. In fact, at idling, you won’t even know that the motorcycle is on. Then that throttle response, the way the motorcycle tips into the corner and moreover, its ability to show you the extremely fast side of it will leave you in awe.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Left Front Three Quarter

To be honest, I never thought a Harley bagger would make me feel alive and so excited. Even though I had two more laps to be done, I decided to come back to the pit and cherish one of the best three laps of my life. The 2024 CVO Road Slide ST is truly something – and I wish at least a few units of this make their way to India because a few Indians deserve to experience a motorcycle like this CVO.

And if you are wondering where is the 'DIRT' experience, well, there will be a dedicated story for that as the bike I rode was the new Pan America.

Gallery

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Left Front Three Quarter
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Left Front Three Quarter
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Left Front Three Quarter
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Right Side View

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