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2009 Street Glide ™

2009 Street Glide

Thanks to
Hacienda
Harley-Davidson

for providing
the motorcycle

2009 Street Glide ™
2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Fat Bob ™
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Hacienda Harley-Davidson
2009 Street Glide

by Kirk Johnson
Oct 2008

MSRP as tested $18,999


About the Street Glide
2009 Street Glide Specs
Engine Rubber Mounted 96 cu. or 1584cc HD Motor
Engine Torque 92.6 ft. lbs. @ 3,500 rpm*
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Fuel System Electronic sequential Port Fuel Injection
Primary Drive Chain
Final Drive The New Carbon Fiber Belt

Tire Size

Front 130/90B16 67H
Rear 180/70B16 77H

Rake 26°
Running Weight
773 lbs.
Seat Height 27.3 in.
*They never quote HP. I find the *92.6 ft. lbs a stretch. That reading is more than likely at the crankshaft. If you put these bikes on a Dyno – you will not see any numbers like these at the rear wheel. The numbers are from the Harley-Davidson Web site.

At first glance, the all new Street Glide and all motorcycles in the touring lineup, appears very similar to the 2008 models, but the changes lurking beneath the surface are massive. The frame and swingarm have been completely redesigned to make them much stiffer and stronger. These bikes can now support much higher passenger and luggage loads. The way the engine is mounted in the new touring chassis has also been revised slightly to reduce vibration at idle.

Except for the Road King Classic, which continues to feature a 16 inch front wheel (that permits the wide white sidewall), all sport the new 17 inch front wheels for 2009 with lower profile rubber. The rear wheel on these models is now much wider to accept a 180/65-16 tire. The wider rear tire not only adds visual impact, it contributes to the handling improvement brought about by the stiffer frame and swingarm. Suspension has been re-tuned to work with the new chassis, wheels and tires.

The exhaust, a new 2-1-2 exhaust system with a one-piece front exhaust shield, has been re-routed to reduce heat exposure to both the rider and passenger, and all the bikes receive a lower final drive ratio to improve acceleration.

The rear end of the touring bikes was slightly redesigned to accommodate the much wider rear wheel and tire. While designing a wider rear fender, Harley decided to clean up the look by eliminating the rear "hoop" visible on models not equipped with a Tour-Pak.

The fly-by-wire throttle and isolated drive system from last year were included as standard equipment; the optional ABS brakes were not included on this motorcycle.

One thing that sets the Street Glide™ apart from the rest of the Touring models is the short smoked windshield on the fork mounted Batwing fairing. This is a great way to protect you from the wind and provide the engine, fuel, speed and tach information at a glance while not obstruction your view. Included in this cluster is also an am-fm stereo and cruise control. What more could you want?

Test Ride

The street Glide has always been one of my favorite rides from the Harley line. Now it just got better. I rode two other Harleys today and as I now climb on the Street Glide; I could not get over how nimble it felt as I put the parking lot in the mirror. I try to be objective when test riding motorcycles, sometimes the relationship is blurred when your base line evaluation is disturbed. Having just ridden the Rocker, with the extended forks and a wheel base that is 6 inches longer then this Street Glide, it felt more like a Sportster. Slight exaggeration, but you can see where I’m going.

I can’t believe there is that much improvement with the 2009 Street Glide, but this was a killer ride. The solid little 96 inch V Twin rubber mounted engine is and always has been a smooth and quiet power plant. It doesn’t vibrate as much at idle now, as it did in the past, because of the four motor mounts as opposed to last year’s three motor mount configuration. When underway, this V-Twin is very smooth and solid.

Mingling with traffic was a breeze. This Street Glide’s ability to change lanes in traffic and scoot around slower moving cars fun and exciting. Now with the lower gearing, it seemed a little more responsive. I could not believe this was a touring bike that crosses the scales wet at 810 pounds.

Equally fun was riding around some of the long smooth corners on back desert roads. I found the Street Glide predictable and exciting. I never even scraped a floor board. Dips, bumps and pot holes in the road were easy to power over or avoid.

With the deep pockets of torque, it was fun powering around corners. It was about as stable as any ride that I have been on, with the exception of maybe the V-rod or Sportster in the Harley lineup. No, it was not meant to carve out canyons, but with the casual ride through the canyons, you feel very comfortable. Braking was as expected, smooth, solid and dependable without any surprises.

Exercising the V-Twin as I headed down the on-ramp to the interstate was fun. It had plenty of pep to get you to the merge area at just about any speed you want. After you find a comfortable speed, it is nice to grab number six and settle in for a very smooth low RPM cruise. I would have no problem spending a day or a week on this fine machine.

While cruising down the highway you get great protection from the wind with the friendly and informative Batwing fairing. Included along with all of the protection is a full set of gauges that provide all of the pertinent information needed to check engine, speed and battery functions with an ease and at the same time provide you with the stereo music you desire. What more could you want?

Summary

It’s hard to imagine, but the all new frame, motor mounts and lower gearing made this Street Glide a more fun machine to ride. I can’t say enough about the improvements to an already great motorcycle, while at the same time not distracting from the cruising and touring assets that it already possessed. If you like the big bikes in the Harley lineup, don’t, miss this great find. You will not regret it.

Ride safe,

Kirk
Phoenixbikers.com

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