Reviewing Kyle Wyman's Harley-Davidson Screamin Eagle Road Glide

The excitement surrounding MotoAmerica’s King of The Baggers series has surged, and recently, Harley-Davidson graciously allowed us a few laps on their championship-winning Road Glide. The buzz still lingers.

“What are you lookin’ at?” This might just be the most significant road racer ever crafted.

“I know it sounds strange, talking about riding a bagger on the track,” remarks Bjorn Christensen, Harley-Davidson’s Manager of Vehicle Dynamics, perfectly echoing my sentiments for the day. But this isn’t any ordinary bagger—this is the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide, steered by Kyle Wyman to victory in the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Championship last season.

MotoAmerica introduced the King of the Baggers series in 2020 with an exhibition race at Laguna Seca, catching many by surprise and prompting some to mock the idea. Paul Carruthers, MotoAmerica’s Communications Director, confessed, “I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to road racing, so I was scratching my head at the Laguna Seca Invitational.” However, he recognized its potential post-event, acknowledging that it attracted a new audience to the sport.

Impressed by what they witnessed, MotoAmerica expanded King of the Baggers into a three-race series the following year. In the debut season, Harley-Davidson fielded a factory-backed team with Kyle and later Travis Wyman. Travis finished fifth overall, stepping in mid-season, while Kyle clinched the championship, securing a place for his bike in Harley’s museum. But before that, Cycle News had the privilege to ride it. No pressure, right?

Both Wyman brothers were present to enlighten us on the modifications Harley-Davidson made to transform a Road Glide into a racer. As Kyle aptly described it, “we’re developing superbikes, just starting with a much different platform.” H-D was forthcoming about certain specs while remaining secretive about others. However, they made it clear that this bike was of paramount importance—it was bound for Harley’s Museum in Milwaukee immediately after our session.

Their seriousness seems fitting because there’s nothing subtle about this bike. From the moment you straddle the 36.4-inch-tall seat—good luck reaching the ground—you're confronted with the imposing presence of the Screamin’ Eagle pipe. Heat management, a challenge with large-displacement V-twins, is addressed with extended fins for more surface area and an additional oil cooler.

As you hit the ignition, the exhaust bellows, living up to its "Screamin’ Eagle" moniker. Shifting down requires a firm hand, as advised by Travis Wyman.

Navigating the Inde Motorsports Ranch, the Road Glide's sportbike-like ergonomics juxtaposed against its bagger profile is a curious experience. It features adjustable bars and pegs, with the left peg welded to the engine case for stability. The bike's weight and wheelbase ensure stability and ample engine braking, complemented by impressive Brembo hardware.

Surprisingly, the Road Glide handles exceptionally well, offering ample lean angle on both sides. Mid-corner corrections demand effort, but Öhlins superbike forks and custom shocks make it manageable.

Riding this championship-winning bike was a memorable experience—one that underscores the importance of having the right equipment for the task. It's a testament to both hyper-specialization and adaptability, ultimately drawing new enthusiasts to the sport we cherish.