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2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide vs Street Glide Comparison

May 15, 2024 Comments Comment

The Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® and Street Glide® models are designed for riders who respond to the call of the open road. In 2024, Harley-Davidson reinvented its Grand American Touring motorcycle portfolio with the introduction of new Street Glide and Road Glide models. Each motorcycle offers dramatic new visual design, enhanced comfort and advanced infotainment technology. While these new bikes share many features, there are some key differences between the Road Glide and Street Glide models. Let’s compare these two iconic touring motorcycles.

2024 Road Glide & Street Glide Common Features

The new Road Glide and Street Glide models share a number of features designed to enhance the riding experience, whether you are headed across town or across state lines.

  • The Harley-Davidson Touring frame with a welded single-spar backbone serves as a foundation designed to sustain the demands of long-haul touring riders and the bike’s powerful engine.

  • The new Milwaukee-Eight® 117 V-Twin engine features a new liquid-cooled cylinder heads cooling system which further optimizes thermal comfort for the rider, especially in low-speed riding situations and hot weather.

  • Both motorcycles offer selectable Ride Modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle and the level of technology intervention: Road Mode for daily use, Sport Mode for maximum performance, Rain Mode for greater confidence when traction is compromised and Custom Mode that can be programmed by the rider.

  • A full suite of Rider Safety Enhancements that includes Cornering-Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking (C-ELB), Cornering-Enhanced Anti-Lock Brake System(C-ABS) Cornering-Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS), Cornering Drag-Torque Slip Control System (C-DSCS), Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) and Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPMS).
  • Infotainment technology is powered by the new Skyline OS and presented on a 12.3-inch TFT color touch screen display that replaces all analog instrumentation and most switches as found on previous Street Glide and Road Glide models. This is the most tech-forward display ever offered for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. 
  • Wi-Fi connectivity to a rider’s device enables wireless Apple CarPlay and provides live services like traffic, weather and map updates. A Bluetooth® receiver for wireless headsets is also built into the system.
  • A new 4-channel, 200-watt amplifier delivers outstanding sonic performance through two 5.25-inch fairing-mounted speakers. Harley-Davidson Audio powered by Rockford Fosgate®  speaker and amplifier upgrades are available through Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories and can be easily installed by the customer.
  • All-new fairings are an element of an aerodynamic system designed to deliver outstanding aero comfort for the rider. The addition of adjustable air vanes and a new control vane in the fairing center vent offers the rider the opportunity to fine-tune airflow for ideal comfort based on rider stature, riding gear choice and prevailing conditions. In wind tunnel testing, subjective helmet buffeting is reduced by an average of 60 percent compared to equivalent 2023 models.
  • All-LED lighting is designed to deliver style, outstanding lighting performance, and to help make the Street Glide and Road Glide models conspicuous to other motorists.
  • Redesigned one-piece seat shape and padding materials offer a significant improvement in long-range comfort for most riders. The seat is shaped to rotate the rider’s hips to a neutral position relative to the spine. This helps reduce the effort required to maintain a comfortable riding posture, which can help limit fatigue on a rider’s back and neck.
  • New rear suspension components are designed to promote confident handling and provide a dramatic improvement in rider comfort. Rear suspension travel is 3.0 inches (76mm), a 50 percent increase in travel compared to previous models. Hydraulic pre-load adjustment can be made without tools to accommodate up to an additional 100 pounds of cargo or passenger loading.
  • Two pre-wired connection points for heated gear are provided, located below the seat.

2024 Road Glide & Street Glide Differences

The design of the fairing is the key design difference between a Road Glide model and a Street Glide model. In each case the fairing influences both the look and feel of the motorcycle.

The Road Glide model fairing is attached directly to the motorcycle frame. It does not move as the handlebar and front end of the motorcycle are steering. This gives it a lighter feel than the Street Glide in both low and high-speed maneuvers. The Road Glide model is also less influenced by cross winds and passing traffic.

The Road Glide fairing presents an aggressive update to the menacing, distinctive “sharknose” visage. Comprehensive testing of the shape in combination with new adjustable deflectors results in outstanding aero comfort. A single LED headlamp has a wide, horizonal shape and appears to have twin elements, recalling a key feature of all previous Road Glide model fairings. The “W” shape of signature forward lighting provides instant recognition. Orange turn signal lamps are integrated within the outer portions of the signature lighting, eliminating the previous bullet turn signals.

The Road Glide model inner fairing incorporates left and right-side media storage, each sized to hold most phones and is equipped with a USB connection point.

The Street Glide model fairing is attached to the motorcycle forks. This allows the fairing to be fit as near as possible to the handlebars and places the display screen close to the rider.

The new Street Glide model fairing represents an evolution of the iconic Harley-Davidson “batwing” fairing, perhaps the most-recognizable motorcycle profile on the road. While the iconic “T” shape of the batwing fairing is retained, the silhouette and graphic outline have been modernized. LED “omega-shaped” signature lighting is a distinctive design element. Orange turn functions are seamlessly integrated into the left and right lamp elements and separate bullet turn signals are eliminated, resulting in a cleaner over-all look.

Street Glide model inner fairing incorporates a single media storage drawer located directly below the infotainment display screen. It opens and slides out at the push of a button, has a premium liner to protect mobile devices from scuffs and is designed to hold most current mobile devices in a case. It is equipped with a USB connection point. 

What kind of rider might prefer a Road Glide model?

The Street Glide and Road Glide models offer similar aero comfort for the rider, but the lighter feel of steering inputs and the fact that the fairing is fixed makes the Road Glide model more appealing to performance-oriented riders and to those transitioning from a sport motorcycle who are used to a fixed fairing. The position of the Road Glide model fairing moves the infotainment display and speakers further away from the rider, creating the feeling of a more-expansive cockpit, which may appeal to some taller riders. The 2024 Road Glide model features a new handlebar with a flatter bend that is more comfortable for taller riders, and that handlebar can be easily adjusted to fine tune the fit for personal preference.

What kind of rider might prefer a Street Glide model?

The Street Glide model appeals to the traditionalist. It has the iconic profile that most riders, and the non-riding public, associate with Harley-Davidson. While the 2024 model offers a fresh interpretation of the classic batwing fairing, it retains that obvious Harley-Davidson DNA.

For many owners, the choice between a new Road Glide and a Street Glide model comes down to personal preference in both styling and fit. The best way to judge these touring motorcycle is to visit your local authorized Harley-Davidson dealer to see both in person and schedule a test ride.

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