Is the anticipated 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special shrouded in the same mystery and speculation as its rumored counterpart, the 2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide 121? Though neither model has an officially confirmed release date or price, whispers of their impending arrivals are fuelled by sporadically leaked images surfacing through new certification filings.
Thanks to an insightful new render, conjectures about the 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special abound, hinting at an evolutionary design poised to redefine the next generation.
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2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide Specs & Performance Details
|Engine Type||Milwaukee Eight VVT 121, Liquid-Cooled, 8v, Pushrod V-Twin|
|Frame Type||Steel Tubular Backbone with Twin Downtubes and Bolt-On Rear Subframe|
|Fuel Capacity||22.7 Litres|
|Front Suspension||47mm, Inverted Showa Fork, Non-Adjustable|
|Rear Suspension||Twin Shocks, with Main and Remote Preload Adjuster, Rebound Adjustable|
|Front Brake||2 x 320mm Discs with 32mm Brembo Four-Piston Radial Calipers|
|Rear Brake||300mm Single Disc with Four-Piston Brembo Caliper|
|Front Tyre Size||130/60 x 19|
|Rear Tyre Size||180/55 x 18|
|Average Fuel Consumption||43.7 mpg|
|Annual Road Tax||£111|
|Warranty Term||Two Years, Unlimited Mileage|
|Maximum Power||115 bhp|
|Maximum Torque||139 ft-lb|
|Top Speed||110 mph|
|Tank Range||218 miles|
Expectations for 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide: Elevated Design
Enhancements and Refinements:
The Road Glide Special is set to continue its legacy with notable design refinements, allowing it to distinguish itself as a future classic, retaining its premium H-D features. The iconic shark fairing is speculated to receive a premium overhaul from the adept hands of H-D designers. An upgraded Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin Engine signals attention to power and performance.
Introducing a distinctively innovative paint scheme preserves the old-school ambiance while embracing the intrinsic Harley Davidson aesthetic. Upon examining the speculative design, alterations in the headlights are apparent, offering a deviation from its predecessor—albeit unofficial and purely conceptual based on circulating rumors.
Color Palette Evolution
The 2023 model had made its mark with ten exquisite and exclusive color variants. The question remains: which luxurious and premium color will grace the 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special? Though unconfirmed, the expectation is to integrate an unforgettable color to enhance the next-generation palette.
Power and Speed: A Refined Beast
How does the 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special measure up in terms of speed and power? It is anticipated to set high standards for the touring class, potentially reaching speeds between 105-120 mph and delivering engine torque of 118 ft-lb. It is estimated to generate between 86-90 hp, a testament to the capability of the MILWAUKEE-EIGHT 114.
Distinguished Design Features
The iconic shark-nose fairing is slated to maintain its integral structure, with subtle modifications in curvature mounted on the frame. It has a triple split stream ventilation system to enhance comfort during high-speed travel.
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- Upgraded Suspension: Enhancements to the responsive Suspension fore and aft suggest a more controlled ride, promising steadfast stability well into the new model’s inception, complimented by adjustable rear shock absorbers.
- Refined Braking System: Adopting the REFLEX LINKED BREMBO BRAKES WITH STANDARD ABS indicates a continuation of the commitment to secure and precise braking, allowing riders to maintain control during straight-line braking and preventing uncontrolled wheel lockups during unforeseen circumstances.
- Revolutionized Comfort and Ergonomics: The Road Glide Special, synonymous with long-distance travel excellence, is speculated to receive further enhancements from H-D engineers in the relentless pursuit of market superiority. The hope is to include more value-added features to augment the existing comfort-oriented specifications. Adjustable seats, handlebars, and footrests accentuate the ergonomic design, making lengthy travels less cumbersome.
- Protection and Entertainment: The fairing is meticulously designed to shield riders from harsh winds, which is essential for long journeys. A premium audio system is a much-anticipated feature, allowing riders to revel in their musical preferences during travel. The integration of ample storage space in the form of hard saddlebags and travel packs ensures riders are well-equipped for long-distance excursions.
Anticipation Surrounds Release and Price
The air is thick with anticipation as the official price and release date remain elusive. If patterns hold, the unveiling may be at the tail end of 2023. This leaves fans speculating about the price tag of the new 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special, estimated to have an MSRP of $28,499.
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Elevated Riding Experience & Enhanced Braking System
Advanced Riding Quality
In the refined 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide, advancements are noted in every aspect, but the ride quality conspicuously stands out. Historically, these machines needed help managing their weight, often resulting in a less-than-smooth ride, particularly on less-than-ideal roads. These roads transformed rides into a symphony of aches, with every bump sending shudders through the chassis.
However, the latest model tells a tale of transformation. The new 47mm diameter Showa forks are exceptional, handling the worst of roads with unprecedented ease and maintaining an undisturbed journey through corners, even when challenged with sharp bumps. The journey is so seamless that it creates an illusion of traveling on perpetually smooth roads, even when reality states otherwise.
Weight & Control
The structural enhancement resulting in a loss of about 3.2kg in the front end significantly mitigates the top-heaviness, allowing more control and steadiness despite the sharp, unexpected turnings. A set of Showa shocks fortify the rear end at the back, maintaining optimal support through the city’s diverse terrains, from pot-hole-laden streets to twisted back roads. Adjustments can be made easily, allowing riders to modify settings without a halt facilitating uninterrupted rides.
The advanced bump management is manifested in both high and low-speed damping, providing surprisingly effective stability and composure. It has impressively improved the cornering composition and balance in the new 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide, allowing the rider to experience heightened control and improved direction changes, emanating an air of balletic agility.
Braking in the new model, furnished with openly branded Brembo hardware, offers marked improvement, with expanded front disc sizes and four-piston Brembo radial monoblock calipers enhancing the braking experience. The adjustability in the front brake lever accommodates different hand sizes, allowing all riders to experience optimal pulling power and secure halts. The tangible difference in braking firepower is noticed by integrating the rear brake, providing forceful but well-controlled brakes even in slow rides.
The new CVO 121’s 1977cc engine in the 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide is likely to be the center of attention, with its promising power and advanced refinements. From its idling to its surges into the limiter, the engine’s advanced technology, featuring Variable Valve Timing (VVT), orchestrates a smooth, glitch-free performance, meeting the riders’ expectations of power and control.
Enhanced Efficiency & Performance
This model doesn’t merely boast raw power; it’s a tale of enhanced efficiency, promising fuel economy improvements between 3 and 5% compared to its predecessor. The refined engine and the upgraded components ensure smooth, efficient, and straighter flow, aligning with Harley’s claims of improved performance significantly.
However, the power delivery, as tremendous as it is, may deceive those expecting the raw brutality traditionally associated with a big V-twin. The 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide does pack a punch. Still, it’s delivered with refined excitement rather than uncouth drama, allowing the riders a connection and a drive that’s seamless, responsive, and precisely what’s asked for at full lean.
Transmission & Sound
The upgraded transmission is compliant, ensuring that the riders face no struggle with neutral selection, regardless of engine temperature. However, the Engine Idle Temperature Management System (EITMS) has its rough edges, making it a point of contention, considering its apparent lack of significant benefits in temperature reduction.
The alterations in the engine have produced more pleasant rides. The refined flexibility in the engine performance is laudable, enabling clean pulls in any gear from 1750rpm and reducing frequent gear changes. The noise level is tuned down to a more pleasant and refined station, creating a less dominating and more pleasing auditory experience.
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Advancement in Riding Technology and Aids
A Leap into Modern Electronics
In 2024, the Harley Davidson Road Glide embraces a profound integration of modern electronics, propelling it seamlessly into contemporary times. The visual spectacle of this digital elegance starts with a notably expansive 12.3-inch widescreen dash. This impeccable display offers the rider varying dash configurations, one being the ‘Cruise’ mode. It reflects the classic two-clock analog arrangement while enhancing it with numerous panels and widgets, including a nautical window, which riders can customize.
The ‘Sport’ option provides a refined appearance, removing unnecessary fields and presenting a focal dial exhibiting rpm and speed. Another significant configuration is the ‘Tour’ view, highlighting a substantial navigation map and eliminating the hassles of manual folding post-utilization.
Operating primarily through switchgear cubes, it also incorporates touchscreen capabilities, although manipulating the switches proves more convenient during motion. The many buttons may seem daunting initially, but they are well-organized and manageable with gloved hands. The indicators sustain their position on each bar and feature a self-canceling mechanism.
The menus’ interface and the buttons’ functionality are remarkably user-friendly, allowing seamless navigation without delving into manuals or online tutorials. It also accommodates Apple CarPlay for iOS users and supports basic media connectivity for Android users, while Android Auto is not supported. Being Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled enhances the utilization of connected services for traffic and weather updates and removes the necessity for an additional Bluetooth module for voice services.
Voice Interaction and Connectivity
Conversational voice functionality allows more natural interaction, enabling users to command actions with phrases like, ‘Direct me to the nearest fuel station.’ In some regions, pairing with an electric garage door opener is feasible. All these functionalities are cohesively integrated via Harley-Davidson’s proprietary H-D App.
- Diverging from the dash, the rider has five distinct modes: Rain, Street, and Sport, each equipped with specific electronic aids and power delivery characteristics. Additionally, two customizable options are available for riders.
The Street mode retains a softer touch without compromising the riding zest, and while the Rain mode’s real-world efficacy remains untested, it’s presumed to optimize performance in wet conditions.
Comprehensive Electronic Integration
Beyond the visual aesthetics, a comprehensive electronic inventory is at the rider’s disposal, including Cornering Electronically Linked Brakes (C-ELB), Cornering ABS (C-ABS), Cornering Traction Control (C-TCS); Cornering Drag Torque Slip Control (C-DSCS); Enhanced Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). These innovative additions significantly enhance the riding experience, with the VHC function performing exceptionally well.
The illumination for the bike is purely LED, embracing the signature ‘W’ shaped headlamp, taillight, and integrated turn signals. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this new signature lighting remains unexplored in nocturnal riding conditions.
Premier Audio Experience
For enthusiasts of mobile music, a robust Rockford Fosgate Stage II audio system is embedded, backed by a potent 4-channel, 500-watt RMS amplifier. It offers an immersive auditory experience at varying speeds and can provide ample volume to entertain and astonish at lower rates.
Exquisite Build & Reliability
Harley Davidson’s 2024 models exhibit impeccable assembly quality, emphasizing fit and finish. Some traces of American engineering simplicity linger, but they are subtle and less overtly noticeable. The newly introduced VVT-enabled 121 is a testament to reliability; its architecture is based on the proven Revolution Max engine found in the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250.
Attention to Detail
The exemplary paintwork on the standard Dark Platinum model shows no inconsistencies, offering a rich and luxurious feel. The premium Whiskey Neat paint job, meticulously hand-painted, airbrushed, and pinstriped, renders each model unique, albeit at a substantial premium.
Every interaction point on the 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide displays meticulous engineering, from the robust switchgear to the precise remote preload adjuster. The only element falling short of the premium feel is the doors on the cubby holes, which feel somewhat elementary.
Price and Competition: Balancing Value
For anyone eyeing the 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide, it’s pivotal to consider its value and the ongoing expenses. At the pinnacle of its price range, insurance and maintenance costs are evidently on the higher spectrum, yet for someone investing a substantial amount in a premium motorcycle, this might not serve as a deterrent.
At a starting price of £38,795, the standard model is available in a single hue, Dark Platinum, providing an option for those who prefer simplicity. However, there’s the Whisky Neat paint job for those desiring a more vibrant and detailed appearance. It comes with a premium, escalating the total cost to £45,195.
In perspective, the starting prices for the Road Glide Special and the Road Glide Limited are £27,795 and £28,995, respectively, while the Road Glide ST is available from £29,895. For those exploring the Harley Davidson’s offerings, the 2023 Honda Gold Wing DCT commences at £25,249, and the BMW R18B is priced at £22,450. In pursuing authentic American craftsmanship, the Indian Challenger Elite is another contender starting at £38,495.
Maintenance and Service Intervals
For the 121 platform, the initial service is due at 1000 miles, followed by periodic services every 5000 miles or annually. While this may appear conservative to touring enthusiasts, especially in 2023, it’s a norm, considering that many manufacturers have now doubled the service intervals and provide extended warranty cover. The CVO 121 Road Glide warranty is two years with unlimited mileage.
The silver lining for H-D aficionados is the affordability of their PCP deals, owing to strong residual values, minimal depreciation, and the dealer’s willingness to restock well-maintained bikes. The initial investment might be substantial, but the value retention is remarkable, and many buyers choose never to own the bike.
Customization and Equipment
Being the proprietor of a 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide is not just about ownership but the limitless possibilities of customization and personal touches. The brand presents an extensive array of options to tailor the Road Glide, ensuring each rider can imprint their individuality on their bike. Opting for genuine H-D parts is prudent as it doesn’t depreciate the residual value, unlike aftermarket additions.
If the high standard spec doesn’t resonate with your taste, there’s room for enhancements. There’s no need to worry about additional pannier specifications as they are included and have undergone significant redesigns. They are now positioned higher, have enhanced speaker capabilities, and offer an increased carrying capacity of 31 liters on each side. Compatible top boxes are available for those needing more storage, providing 54 and 70 liters of additional storage space.
Historical Overview and Versions
Tracing back to 1998, the Road Glide debuted, succeeding the Tour Glide, featuring a frame-mounted fairing. It initially housed a 1340cc motor, which was swiftly replaced with a 1450cc twin. The journey saw the introduction of various variants like the Road Glide Ultra and Road Glide Custom in 2010 and a redesigned Road Glide Special in 2015. As years progressed, the model witnessed multiple upgrades in motor capacity and cooling technologies, leading up to the 2023 Road Glide Limited Anniversary Edition, commemorating Harley’s 120th birthday.
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Final Thoughts on 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide
The 2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide stands out as a symbol of luxury and customization. From its initial price to customization possibilities, it offers an experience for those who value authenticity and personalization. The competition is varied, but the Road Glide holds its ground with its rich history and the promise of individuality. The investment may be hefty, but the value it retains and the experience it offers make it a noteworthy contender in the premium motorcycle segment.