2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Street Glide review

two Harley-Davidson motorcycles

Gaining visual and technological updates for 2024, the new Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Street Glide boast more power and less weight

Almost all the bling tech of the CVOs without the price tag!

When Harley-Davidson launched the new CVO models at the tail end of 2023, it was taken as a given that the standard Road Glide and Street Glide models would get a smattering of the same updates when they landed in 2024.

Those updates have now arrived, and to find out how the new models performed, we headed off to Marseille to test both of the new models.

What’s new with the Road Glide and Street Glide

The first and most obvious update is the revised styling for both models, with both the Road Glide and Street Glide picking up the revised front fairings, fuel tanks and bodywork from the top-spec CVOs. The new look modernises both of the bikes, and the fairings, paired with the rest of the tweaked bodywork, give the bikes a more taut and muscular appearance.

The new bikes also gain some of the mechanical updates that headlined the two CVO models, although with a slightly smaller capacity of 117ci while the CVOs boast 121ci (1,977cc). Power for the new engine is a claimed 107bhp at 4,600rpm, while peak torque is a stated 129lb-ft and 3,250rpm. 

The engines of both the Road Glide and Street Glide now gain a new cooling circuit, which cools the rear cylinder head first, and helps to keep engine heat away from the rider. The intake and exhaust have also been refined, along with a new cylinder head and intake ports, all aimed at smoothing out the delivery of the new Milwaukee-Eight engine, boosting performance and improving economy. The new 117ci Milwaukee-Eight doesn’t gain the headline Variable Valve Timing (VVT) tech as is found on the other CVO models, though. 

On the chassis front, the new Road Glide and Street Glide retain the same basic chassis, suspension and brakes as found on the outgoing base models, meaning you don’t get the same USD forks and four-pot Brembo Monobloc calipers as found on the latest-generation CVOs. You do, though, get the same expansive touch-screen TFT dash, and, to be honest, it’s a big deal. It’s a game-changer in the motorcycle sector, because of how easy it is to read, and to use. 

Price colours and availability

The new 2024 Road Glide in its base colour (Billiard Grey) comes in at £27,295. For that, you get the bike and as-standard chrome finishes on the engine and exhaust. If you want to swap out the chrome for a moody black finish on the mechanical bits it’ll set you back £1,800. The Street Glide in base trim (again, Billiard Grey) comes in at £26,795, and as before, the black finish on the engine will cost you a further £1,800. If you want to opt for anything other than Billiard Grey on either bike you’ll be looking at another £500 on top of the base price.

There aren’t many bikes on the market that you can compare the new Harleys against, although Indian’s £27,959 Challenger Dark Horse and £26,395 Chieftain Dark Horse seem to be about the closest from another brand. Comparing the cost to Harley’s own CVOs, bagging either of the stock bikes saves you in the region of £10k, and still gives you almost all of the tech, mechanical, and visual updates, just without the 1,977cc VVT engine and upgraded chassis hardware.

What are they like to ride?

The launch ride of the two new bikes was a fairly chilly affair in the pretty region of the Camargue in southern France. Having spent some time with Harley’s top-spec CVO Street Glide at the end of 2023, I was keen to see how both the modified engine and revised chassis compared to the more exclusive sibling.

Both bikes boast weight savings over the bikes that came before, with the Road Glide tipping the scales at 380kg and the Street Glide coming in at 368kg. The overall weight saving is around 7.2kg for the Road Glide and 8.1kg for the Street, and while that might sound like a small amount in relation to the overall wet weight, Harley has worked hard to trim down the bikes in the areas that matter. The triple clamps, for instance, have lost around 3kg, while the fuel tank and front fairings have also been hitting the Slimfast. That does translate to a bike that’s easier to haul off the side stand, and as with the CVO Street Glide I rode last year, the weight savings don’t take long to spot. Slow speed control is improved, and much of the handlebar wobble you encounter when pulling up to a stop has been almost totally eliminated.

The rear suspension on both models is also new for 2024, meaning you have Showa twin-shocks giving 76mm of travel - a remote preload adjuster can be found if you remove the pannier. While the bike doesn't quite feel as refined over bumps as the latest generation CVOs, the handling once you are up to speed is a step up compared to the previous Grand American Tourers I’ve ridden, and you have more travel than the outgoing models which is always welcome.

Up front, you have non-adjustable Showa forks with revised settings to match the new rear shocks and overall lighter wet weight. Like the shocks, the setup isn’t quite as refined as you get with the CVOs and I get the feeling that the tweaks made for 2024 were more about matching the feel at the front and rear of the bike, and less about making the front end feel quantifiably different from its predecessor. It does, though, handle like a heavyweight American tourer should, and as long as you respect the ground clearance (!) you should have no problems carving a flowing line or leisurely cruising (Route) A66.

The braking system on both bikes is the traditional H-D bar-and-shield-branded four-pot Brembo stoppers hooked up to C-ABS that is linked front and rear. Braking performance is good, and as the weight of the bike piles onto the front end the front tyre buries into the asphalt giving you seemingly endless amounts of dry-weather stopping power. The ABS is adjustable via the riding modes, meaning more intrusion in the wet riding mode, and less in ‘Sport’. With dry but chilly roads welcoming us in France, I left both the bikes I rode in Sport mode, and aside from the odd chirp from the rear wheel when slowing into some of the tighter hairpins, the system doesn’t feel overly intrusive or bothersome. You do, though, need a full four-fingered squeeze on the lever, and that’s not something I needed to do on the CVO I rode last year. I keep coming back to compare these models against the CVOs but I think it’s important to highlight not just where your extra chunk of change goes when you buy a CVO, and conversely what you are missing out on if you go for one of the slightly more cost-effective options.

On the technical side, both of the new ‘Glides’ come very well stocked with the new touchscreen TFT crowning the dash proudly. Both get a stereo system boasting FM, DAB, and MP3 playback options, although to utilise the Apple CarPlay you’ll need a Bluetooth headset - it’s a licensing issue and sadly not something H-D (or any other brand for that matter) can circumnavigate. The full-screen mapping is a big bonus, and whether you have a Bluetooth headset or not it can be linked up to your phone to allow real-time traffic updates on the fly. You can also use the phone’s data to download new mapping - a nice touch should you be planning a cross-continent jaunt on your shiny new Glide.

What’s the new 117ci engine like?

So, it’s got a lot of the updates of the CVO engine, without the VVT, and slightly less power. First impression is that it doesn't feel underpowered compared to the VVT engine of the CVOs. It’s still got oodles of torque, wherever you are in the rev range, and that much-loved lumpy character. Downshifts are still very much an optional activity, and for the most part I can just stick it in third and ride the 129lb-ft out of the endless hairpins.

However, there is a difference between this and the 1,977cc VVT-equipped engine, but it is fairly well hidden, and you really have to focus to pick up on it. It comes down to picking up the throttle from mid-to-low engine speeds and dialling in some forward thrust. While the 121ci VVT engine will just already be ready to go with its sleeves rolled up, the 1,923cc non-VVT takes a split second to awaken. It’s like this tiny, almost imperceptible amount of refinement that the VVT brings to the party, and a bit like the suspension and brakes of the bikes, I’m not sure that it’s a factor that will give many owners sleepless nights.

How’s the comfort?

Armchair-like, uber comfortable, cosseting… very good. Do I need to continue?! As you’d expect, both of the new bikes boast otherworldly levels of comfort, from the plush and supportive revised seat to the very relaxed riding position. Should you have a big day in the saddle planned on one of these, you aren’t going to be spending much time moaning about the seat comfort. The fairings and bodywork have been tweaked for this year, with Harley spending a lot of time in the wind tunnel to help perfect the airflow over and around the ride. While there is a noticeable improvement in the level of buffeting you get around your shoulders on both models, I did still find that to get my head fully inside the bubble I had to stoop slightly, but an aftermarket screen (there are options for both bikes) should help alleviate that. There is a handy fairing-mounted vent on both models, and you can either close it altogether or, as I did, angle it up as far as it would go. I found that by doing this I could help send as much air over my bonce as possible.

Heated grips weren’t fitted to the bikes we rode on the launch, although they come as standard on the CVOs (along with a load of other blingy CNC parts). If you are serious about touring on one of these, they are a very worthwhile addition. The fairings of both bikes do a decent job of keeping the wind and weather off you, but when the ambient temperature gets really low (as it did for us), the cosy warmth of some heated grips would have been extremely welcome.

Which one should I buy?

For most people, choosing between the Road Glide and Street Glide will come down to styling, riding position and cost. For me though, it’s the riding dynamics that would sway me, and I’d be leaning towards the Street Glide. There’s something about having the batwing fairing and infotainment mounted on the bars that makes more sense, and having the entire unit a bit closer than you get on the Road Glide should help if the weather does turn nasty.

This might also be an unpopular opinion, but I also think the Street with its batwing fairing is the better-looking bike. I know the sharknose fairing on the Road Glide is visually more dramatic, but even after the modernisation that has taken place over the last year, I still think the Street Glide is a prettier thing to sit back and look at.


The updates to the non-CVO versions of Harley’s flagship baggers were always going to be an interesting update, and while the change to the styling was always on the cards, what was almost as important was which of the other CVO updates the bikes got. I think on that front Harley has pretty much nailed it. You get a bigger motor, you get more power (than the previous 114ci) and you get more torque. Both bikes are lighter than before, and that does have a positive impact on the handling. The upgrade in tech is very welcome, and that factor alone puts Harley’s two new bikes right at the top of the technological tree.

Granted, they don’t get the suspension or brakes that are found on the CVOs, but I’m not sure that for the vast majority of owners that is really going to be a big deal. And in any case, adding that to these bikes would have lessened the gap to the top-of-the-range models, and in some ways devalued them a little. 

They are, though, still super aspirational bikes, the kind of thing you drop a chunk of your lumpsum pension payment on. And if that lumpsum won't quite stretch to either of the nearly-£40k CVO models, at least now there is an option that offers almost all of the same spec and tech, for a slightly less wince-inducing price.