Harley-Davidson Grand American Touring Bikes: The Pinnacle of Excellence

It's challenging for companies in the automotive industry, whether they manufacture cars or motorcycles, to create new market segments and even harder to name these segments effectively. Yet, on rare occasions, this is achieved so successfully that these segments become defining traits of the brand. Take Harley-Davidson, for instance, with its Grand American Touring lineup.

Harley-Davidson's Grand American Touring range represents the pinnacle of their offerings in the traditional touring motorcycle segment, distinct from their adventure touring Pan America series. The term "Grand American Touring" was coined to capture the essence of their most powerful, impressive, and expensive bikes. Harley describes this not just as a term, but as a "category we've created from the ground up," a category influential enough that BMW adopted the term for their R 18 Transcontinental.

Harley-Davidson's dominance in this segment is evident both domestically and internationally. Their touring bikes are vital to their success, contributing to a six percent increase in bike sales in North America in the first quarter of the year. These motorcycles are quintessential Harleys, embodying the brand's spirit alongside their other iconic models.

The current Grand American Touring lineup includes eight models, ranging from the entry-level Road King Special to the high-end CVO machines. Here’s a closer look at each model:

Harley-Davidson Road King Special ($24,999)

The Road King Special is the entry point into the Grand American Touring lineup, priced at $24,999. Despite being the entry-level model, it boasts top-tier features. Rooted in Harley's FL model from the 1940s and evolved from the mid-1990s Road King, this bike is designed for dominance on the road. It features impressive bodywork, a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine delivering 95 hp and 122 ft-lb of torque, and a black, dual exhaust system. Safety features include ABS and electronic linked braking. Available in four colors, the base model comes in Billiard Gray, with Vivid Black, Red Rock, and White Onyx Pearl options.

Harley-Davidson Street Glide ($25,999)

The Street Glide, priced at $25,999, is a stripped-down tourer, refreshed in 2024. It features a Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine with 105 hp and 130 ft-lb of torque, improved aerodynamics, a redesigned seat, and increased rear suspension travel. It also introduces the Skyline operating system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen. Available in eight colors, the standard is Billiard Gray, with optional colors adding up to $850 to the price.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide ($25,999)

The Road Glide, also $25,999, is similar to the Street Glide but features a more aggressive, frame-mounted fairing and a rectangular headlight. It shares the same Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine, producing 105 hp and 130 ft-lb of torque, and includes saddlebags and a passenger seat. Like the Street Glide, it comes with the Skyline OS and is available in eight colors.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited ($32,499)

Priced at $32,499, the Road Glide Limited is designed for long-haul rides. It features a larger windshield, a passenger seat with a backrest and top case, and a different handlebar position. It's powered by a smaller Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine with 93 hp and 122 ft-lb of torque. This model is longer, heavier, and has more luggage capacity. It comes in five colors, including an exclusive dual-color option.

Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited ($32,499)

The Ultra Limited, also $32,499, offers similar features to the Road Glide Limited but with a fork-mounted fairing and slightly different dimensions. It uses the same Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and includes the Boom! Box GTS system with a full-color TFT screen. Six colors are available, including an exclusive Tobacco Fade.

Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST ($42,999)

The CVO Road Glide ST, at $42,999, is the entry into the high-end CVO range. Described as the "quickest, fastest, and most sophisticated performance bagger," it features a Milwaukee-Eight 121 HO engine with 127 hp and 143 ft-lb of torque. It includes the Skyline OS and a premium sound system with Rockford Fosgate speakers. Available in Golden White Pearl and Raven Metallic.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide ($44,499)

The CVO Street Glide, priced at $44,499, features the Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 engine with 115 hp and 139 ft-lb of torque. While it maintains a similar design to the standard Street Glide, its performance and components are enhanced. Available in Copperhead and Legendary Orange, with the latter adding $6,000 to the price.

Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ($44,499)

Finally, the CVO Road Glide, also $44,499, shares many features with the CVO Street Glide, including the powerful Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 engine. It includes advanced suspension, combo-cast laced wheels, and the Skyline OS. It is available in the same two colors as the CVO Street Glide.

In summary, Harley-Davidson’s Grand American Touring lineup offers a range of powerful, feature-rich motorcycles that define the brand's commitment to excellence in touring.