Is the 2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Motorcycle Suitable for Beginners?

The Harley-Davidson Street Glide, a touring motorcycle, debuted in the 1980s featuring the iconic batwing fairing first introduced by Harley-Davidson in 1969. This distinctive design gave the Street Glide a recognizable silhouette on highways, attracting a dedicated fan base.

Updates for 2024

The 2024 model year brings a redesign aimed at improving ride quality. However, the question remains: is it suitable for new riders? Conventional wisdom suggests beginners should opt for lighter, less expensive bikes. Despite some beginner-friendly features, the Street Glide's size and power may be challenging for novices.

Engine Power

The Street Glide is equipped with a Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin engine, boasting 117ci (1,917cc) displacement, 105 HP at 7,600 rpm, and 130 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. While impressive, these specs make it too powerful for most beginners. Alternatives like the Honda Rebel 300 or BMW G 310 R, with around 300cc engines, are more suitable for new riders. Even within Harley's lineup, a pre-owned Iron 883, though not a touring bike, offers a more manageable engine.

Weight Considerations

The 2024 Street Glide weighs 774 lb., 18 lb. lighter than its predecessor but still quite heavy. While the weight provides road stability, it can be difficult to manage for new riders, especially when stationary or maneuvering at low speeds. Lighter options like the Kawasaki Z400, Honda Rebel 500, or Harley-Davidson Nightster, all under 500 lb., may be easier for beginners to handle.

Design and Comfort

The batwing fairing design has been updated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to reduce wind buffeting and improve aerodynamics, enhancing performance and rider comfort. The fairing now includes integrated LED lighting and a split-stream vent, improving visibility—a useful feature for long-distance travel. The 2024 model also includes saddlebags with 2.42 cubic feet of capacity.

Infotainment and Safety Features

The new 12.3-inch TFT touchscreen display provides navigation and entertainment controls, complemented by a 200-watt amplifier and two 5.2" fairing speakers. The 2024 Street Glide includes advanced safety features such as ABS, Electronic Linked Braking, traction control, vehicle hold control, tire pressure monitoring, and drag-torque slip control, offering enhanced safety for all riders, especially beginners.


With a starting price of $25,999, the Street Glide is not a budget-friendly option. Customizations can increase this price further. Given the likelihood of scratches or damage as new riders learn, a less expensive motorcycle may be a more prudent choice financially. Additionally, the high cost may limit flexibility if the rider decides to switch to a different model later on.


While the 2024 Harley-Davidson Street Glide offers several updates that enhance comfort and safety, its powerful engine, heavy weight, and high price make it less suitable for beginners. New riders might find more manageable and affordable options in lighter bikes or smaller-engine models.