Harley-Davidson Low Rider S versus Low Rider ST: Spotting the Variances

Acquiring a Harley-Davidson can be an exhilarating prospect for many motorcycle aficionados. Yet, navigating through the myriad options can be daunting, given the abundance of new, used, and classic models available today, including some exceptionally rare ones cherished by die-hard enthusiasts. However, if you've already set your sights on a Harley with formidable cruising capabilities, the iconic Low Rider model might just fit the bill.

Even within Harley-Davidson's current lineup, selecting a Low Rider entails further decision-making, chiefly because there are two distinct versions in production: the Low Rider S and the Low Rider ST. While a side-by-side comparison of their specifications might initially appear to reveal little disparity, with both boasting similar dimensions, engines (featuring the Milwaukee-Eight 117), and performance, there are nuanced differences that set the Low Rider S and ST apart, offering contrasting riding experiences.

A notable dissimilarity between the two models is immediately evident upon visual inspection: their front-end fairings. The Low Rider S adopts a sleek, low-profile aesthetic, while the ST opts for a larger, frame-mounted design. Beyond mere cosmetic variance, these fairings significantly influence the rider's experience. The S's open fairing, while exuding West Coast cool and Milwaukee muscle, offers minimal wind protection, ideal for those who relish the sensation of the open road. Conversely, the ST's frame-mounted fairing prioritizes comfort, with a wider design and added windscreen to shield against elements, albeit sacrificing some aesthetic sleekness.

Moreover, the designation "ST" denotes the Low Rider ST as the "Standard Touring" variant, geared towards extended journeys. Drawing inspiration from Harley-Davidson's classic FXRT Super Glide touring bikes, the ST's fairing combines modernity with streamlined design, enhancing its touring capabilities. Equipped with raised rear suspension and dual saddlebags, the ST is tailored for extended road trips, offering ample storage and comfort for riders seeking adventure.

While both models excel in cruising, the choice between the Low Rider S and ST ultimately boils down to personal preference: comfort or style, especially for extended highway rides. Whether you prioritize the exhilarating feeling of the wind or seek additional protection against the elements, each Low Rider model offers a distinct riding experience tailored to different preferences and needs.