First Ride: 2006 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

In a bid to leave no touring cruiser micro-niche unfilled, Harley-Davidson serves up an Electra Glide with a twist



As part of Harley-Davidson's 2006 line-up of revised and new models, the FLHXI Street Glide sits somewhere in the middle. It's billed as a new model, though it's essentially a revised minimalist version of the Electra Glide. In fact, being brutally honest, it is just an Electra Glide wearing a different hat, albeit with a lower seat height and reduced ground clearance.

This is no bad thing though, and only Harley-Davidson can market its brand by offering so many variations to a general theme. The sleek new undressed look is different enough from the Electra Glide to catch the eye and, once again, H-D has hit the spot. By adding a dash more street cool and upping the attitude in the process, the Street Glide will forge itself a place in the touring family by appealing to those who want a less obvious long distance tool.

Once on the move, there is no doubting the potential of this bike to cover very long distances. It's such a relaxing place to be that I could easily imagine spending five or six hours a day in the saddle on a two-week road trip. The Street Glide does everything in its own time, including braking and accelerating, and doesn't particularly like being rushed. In fact, the best way to spoil this rather pleasant riding experience would be by being in a hurry.

The huge cockpit fairing and narrow fly screen create a bubble in which to enjoy the stereo. H-D has made advancements with the clutch action, which is notably lighter. The gearchange is easier too, helped by the convenient double-ended lever, which allows all gears to be engaged using a down-shift. Coupled with foot boards rather than pegs (why aren't all tourers like this?), you avoid the ache in the arch of your foot and can tap along to Chuck Berry until the sun goes down.

VERDICT

Add some bling and this could so easily be a two-wheeled 'Pimp My Ride' candidate. Laid-back tourer with a sound system any Chav boy racer would be proud of.

AS PART OF Harley-Davidson's 2006 line-up of revised and new models, the FLHXI Street Glide sits somewhere in the middle. It's billed as a new model, though it's essentially a revised minimalist version of the Electra Glide. In fact, being brutally honest, it is just an Electra Glide wearing a different hat, albeit with a lower seat height and reduced ground clearance.

This is no bad thing though, and only Harley-Davidson can market its brand by offering so many variations to a general theme. The sleek new undressed look is different enough from the Electra Glide to catch the eye and, once again, H-D has hit the spot. By adding a dash more street cool and upping the attitude in the process, the Street Glide will forge itself a place in the touring family by appealing to those who want a less obvious long distance tool.

Once on the move, there is no doubting the potential of this bike to cover very long distances. It's such a relaxing place to be that I could easily imagine spending five or six hours a day in the saddle on a two-week road trip. The Street Glide does everything in its own time, including braking and accelerating, and doesn't particularly like being rushed. In fact, the best way to spoil this rather pleasant riding experience would be by being in a hurry.

The huge cockpit fairing and narrow fly screen create a bubble in which to enjoy the stereo. H-D has made advancements with the clutch action, which is notably lighter. The gearchange is easier too, helped by the convenient double-ended lever, which allows all gears to be engaged using a down-shift. Coupled with foot boards rather than pegs (why aren't all tourers like this?), you avoid the ache in the arch of your foot and can tap along to Chuck Berry until the sun goes down.

VERDICT

Add some bling and this could so easily be a two-wheeled 'Pimp My Ride' candidate. Laid-back tourer with a sound system any Chav boy racer would be proud of