Unveiling the 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide: Is It the Epitome of Touring Excellence?

When embarking on a journey down the open road, a standard touring motorcycle simply won’t suffice. You need an engine that purrs with power, a seat built for enduring hours in the saddle, and storage to accommodate all your gear. More than that, you crave a motorcycle with a genuine touring spirit.

Enter the new 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Blending the essence of a cruiser with the functionality of a touring bike, this flagship model from Harley-Davidson’s Grand American Touring lineup beckons adventurers to explore the world. Nearly fifty years since its predecessors first roared onto the scene, the 2024 Road Glide continues to captivate riders, particularly those eager to customize their journey for a one-of-a-kind experience.

But is it truly the ultimate touring bike? That’s a question worth pondering. After all, Harley-Davidson has long been synonymous with touring excellence, and the Road Glide stands as a testament to the brand’s legacy. Let’s delve beneath the surface of the redesigned 2024 Road Glide to uncover its offerings. Along the way, we’ll compare it to rival touring bikes to gauge its standing in the realm of long-haul riding.

A Legacy Reimagined To understand the genesis of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide, one must delve into its storied past. The tale traces back to the 1980 model year when Harley-Davidson introduced the Tour Glide. Notable for being the brand’s first motorcycle equipped with a five-speed transmission, the Tour Glide boasted a Shovelhead engine with three-point rubber mounts, minimizing frame vibration. Over the years, it underwent enhancements such as the Evolution engine in 1984, electronic ignition, a lowered seat, high-performance brake calipers, and luggage locks, solidifying its status as the premier touring bike of its era.

Following a nearly two-decade reign, the Harley-Davidson Tour Glide bid adieu in 1996. Yet, its legacy endured, giving rise to the Road Glide just two years later. Initially sharing a platform with its predecessor, the Road Glide has since carved out its own identity over the past twenty-five years. Now, with the 2024 Road Glide receiving a redesign, riders are treated to the latest iteration of a proven bagger icon.

Unleashing V-Twin Dominance Let’s delve into what sets the 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide apart. Anchoring the lineup is the 2024 Road Glide Limited, which retains the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine from the previous year, renowned for its stellar performance. Boasting a displacement of 1868 cc, this powerhouse delivers 93 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque. However, the 2024 redesign heralds even greater potency.

Stepping up the game is the standard Road Glide equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine. Generating 105 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque with its 1917 cc displacement, this powerhouse features liquid-cooled cylinder heads, a 2-1-2 dual exhaust, and tapered mufflers. While it may not match the sheer brawn of some rival baggers like the latest Indian Challenger or BMW K 1600 B, the Road Glide’s Milwaukee-Eight 117 emanates a quintessential Harley-Davidson rumble, ensuring a commanding presence on the road. For those craving even more power, the 2024 CVO Road Glide ST offers the Milwaukee-Eight 121 High Output engine, delivering 127 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque without compromising on agility.

A Focus on Comfort Comfort reigns supreme when embarking on extended journeys, and the 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide excels in this regard. The redesigned engine boasts a lower profile, offering ample legroom for riders of all sizes. Moreover, the Milwaukee-Eight 117 enhances heat management and vibration dampening, ensuring a smooth, enjoyable ride.

With a seat height of just 26.6 inches, the Road Glide prioritizes accessibility, a stark contrast to competitors like the Honda Gold Wing. Forward floorboards, hand-adjustable rear suspension, and a triple-vented fairing further elevate the riding experience, while swept-back handlebars promote a relaxed, upright posture. Beyond its stock features, riders can personalize their Road Glide with additional accessories such as luggage racks and expanded fairings, creating the ultimate ergonomic touring machine.

Timeless Style Meets Modern Innovation The aesthetic allure of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide is unmistakable, marrying classic design elements with cutting-edge technology. From its iconic shark-nose fairing to enclosed saddlebags and contrast-cut aluminum wheels, the Road Glide exudes retro charm while exuding raw power.

Beneath its sleek exterior lies a host of modern conveniences aimed at enhancing the rider experience. The 2024 Road Glide boasts a new Skyline infotainment system complete with a 12.3-inch full-color touchscreen—the largest in its class—paired with powerful 5.25-inch speakers for immersive sound. Safety features such as anti-lock brakes, all-LED lighting, and electronic linked braking ensure a secure ride, augmented by the addition of standard Cornering Enhanced Anti-Lock Brake System and Traction Control System.

Embrace the Extraordinary with Special Editions For riders seeking unparalleled luxury and performance, Harley-Davidson offers an array of special edition Road Glide models. From the CVO Road Glide ST with its Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 engine to the Road Glide Limited boasting added cargo capacity and comfort features, these variants cater to every preference and riding style.

In Conclusion In the realm of motorcycle touring, the demands are multifaceted, requiring a harmonious blend of power, comfort, and versatility. The 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide embodies these qualities and more, reaffirming its status as the quintessential touring machine. Whether embarking on a cross-country odyssey or a weekend escape, the Road Glide beckons riders to experience the pinnacle of touring excellence firsthand.