Harley-Davidson has today (07-11-2017) revealed a new Softail® model at the EICMA 2018 motorcycle show in Italy. The all-new Harley-Davidson® Sport Glide™ is the factory custom that can do it all – cruise, commute or tour. And while it draws classic styling cues from the Harley-Davidson Touring range the Sport Glide outlines a compact and contemporary form all of its own.
Sport Glide™ is a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser outfitted with a detachable fairing and panniers ideally suited for touring, cruising or commuting. The versatile Sport Glide slips stylishly through city streets and is equally ready for short or long-distance weekend runs – an ideal freedom machine.
The ninth model based on the all-new Harley-Davidson Softail® platform and the latest in a line of 100 high-impact motorcycles the company plans to introduce by 2027, the Sport Glide presents an engaging combination of technology and style. Designed to be lightweight and stiff, the new Softail chassis underpinning the Sport Glide delivers agility and handling performance, while the rigid-mounted Milwaukee-Eight® 107 V-Twin powertrain pumps out a mountain of torque for outstanding acceleration and passing power.
Sport Glide’s fairing is shaped to deflect wind away from the rider’s chest while leaving his or her head in a clean stream of air. It’s secured to the fork tubes with quick-release clamps, making removal or installation fast and easy. Sport Glide will be available in three solid colours: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Silver Fortune.
The new rigid, lockable panniers feature a sleek clamshell design. They’re easy to load and unload and can be opened with one hand by a seated rider. Also the bags can be removed in seconds with an internal quick-release mechanism, leaving behind barely visible mounting points. Combined pannier capacity is 25.5 litres.
Additional luggage capacity can be added with an accessory sissy bar upright, luggage rack or Tour-Pak mounting rack, each with the all-new HoldFast™ detachable latch system designed specifically for the new Softail platform.
A broad, supportive seat and forward-mounted foot controls contribute to a rider triangle designed to fit a broad range of sizes; seat height is set at just 652.7mm. The Daymaker LED headlamp is surrounded by a ring of LED signature lighting and complements the bright LED taillight and rear indicators. A USB charging port, keyless ignition and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are standard features.
New 43mm inverted forks deliver precise handling, stability and confident braking performance – which is further enhanced by standard ABS. The Sport Glide rolls on new Mantis cast-aluminium wheels, 18-inch front and 16-inch rear, shod with Michelin Scorcher 31 tyres.
The Sport Glide also features the all-new Softail monoshock rear suspension with remote hydraulic spring preload adjustment, controlled via an exposed knob below the right side cover. It’s thus easy to accommodate the weight of luggage or passenger while maintaining optimal suspension performance and steering geometry.
The blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 107 powertrain brings a new level of performance and sophistication to Harley-Davidson Big Twin cruisers, including the new Sport Glide. The engine is rigid-mounted in the frame, which stiffens the chassis and connects the rider more directly to the powertrain. A 2-1 exhaust, with sweeping rear header and black exhaust muffler contribute to the bike’s sporty style and enhance cornering clearance. Electronic throttle control enables standard electronic cruise control.
Speaking about the new Sport Glide, Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson’s Vice President of Styling and Design said: “The Sport Glide presents the broad influence of Harley-Davidson design in a very contemporary way. In the new fairing, for example, you can see the influence of the iconic batwing fairing from Harley Touring models, but it’s been trimmed back to create a more compact, sporty shape.
“The Sport Glide project offered us a unique opportunity to utilise a directional wheel, the first of its style to come out of the Harley-Davidson factory on a non-CVO model. The spokes sweep from the hub to the rim to create a sense of motion even when the Sport Glide is parked. The look of motion is reinforced with the shape of the fairing and the panniers, and even the slash-cut exhaust tips.”
If you’re planning to visit Motorcycle Live 2017 (18-26th November) at Birmingham’s NEC, make sure you get along to the Harley-Davidson stand (4A10 in Hall 4) where the new Sport Glide will be on display amongst a wide selection of the 2018 range of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Prices starting from £14,995 on the road.