*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
The new 2010 Road Glide® Custom motorcycle is a tougher, younger vision of the shark-nose Harley-Davidson classic. Some call it the hot rod look or the bad boy touring bagger. Here’s a bagger, and the only one in the touring line, with a frame-mounted fairing that offers that clean and lean look similar to the Street Glide. To achieve this profile, the new 2010 Road Glide® Custom leads with a new big 18-inch front wheel draped with a clean FL fender, follows with a 2-into-1 exhaust, feeding a long chrome muffler and exits with a smooth new tail light assembly.
That aerodynamic fairing offers outstanding weather and wind protection and holds a cockpit-style array of instruments. Noticeably different this year is the low-profile dark wind deflector, similar to the Street Glide™.
Other key features for the new 2010 Road Glide® Custom include saddlebags with color-matched latches, 18-inch black slotted disc cast aluminum front wheel combined with a lower-profile, 130/70B18 tire (up from 17-inch last year). Plus, new head lamp trim replaces the clear cover used on previous Road Glide® models made the rear suspension has been lowered by one inch. And lastly, the 6-speed Cruise Drive® transmission is fitted with a new helical-cut fifth gear.
Standard and included are the hard shell saddlebags and the 40-watt Advanced Audio System by Harman/Kardon. Optional are the ABS Brakes, cruise control, chrome aluminum profile laced wheels, smart security system and color options that include three solid colors to choose from, Vivid Black, Scarlet Red and Black Denim.
How exciting is this, the new Road Glide® Custom in Bad Boy Street Glide™ clothing. What a great combination. I have always liked the bad boy look of the Street Glide™, but loved the solid ride provided by the Road Glide®. To me, that frame mounted fairing really makes a big difference. It appears that mounting the fairing to the frame allows the bike to penetrate the air without being influenced by turbulence and buffeting wind gusts or other trucks and cars that we have to deal with on the highways. In fact, you can literally take your hands off the handlebars and move back into the passenger’s seat and control the bike with ease by leaning to the left or right. That gives you a lot of confidence and at the same time gives you an idea of just how easy the motorcycle is to control.
I have mixed emotions on the new bad boy look of the low cut wind deflector. Being 5 foot 8 inches, I do not sit very high in the seat, but at speeds above 50 mph, I did notice that the wind was hitting me about chin to nose high. The good thing about that is there was no turbulence. The air was very clean and because I wear a full face helmet, it was not a problem. If you are a person who likes to wear a hat on your bagger, you may find this distracting.
After stopping at several lights, I noticed that I could sit with both feet flat on the ground. With the new 2010, you sit a little lower to the ground and that may make it easier to move the bike around in parking lots. I also noticed that this Road Glide® seemed a little peppier than what I remembered in the past. Could it be the 2 into 1 exhaust? According to the specs from H-D, they are the same. At least the published torque rating is the same, they never publish HP. Again, I was somewhat surprised at the increased performance on acceleration. It made riding in traffic, on-ramps and scurrying up hills a little more fun.
I noticed on other thing about the bike while sitting at the red light. The motorcycle seemed to vibrate a little more then I remembered in the past. It was in 2008 that they changed the frame, swing arm and motor mounts. In the past, that rubber mounted motor looked like it was going to vibrate right out of that motorcycle. With the new stiffer frame and motor mounts, the bike vibrates a little more while at idle and the motor itself does not look like a washing machine that is out of balance.
When cruising down the highway you have the great feeling that you are on a magic carpet. After reaching 60 mph and grabbing 6th gear you are in the Road Glides sweet spot. Now for passing and hills, you may want to grab the new helical-cut 5th gear. Yes, it was quiet and smooth. Some claim that the 5th gear is noisy on the older models. The trade off with the new helical-cut gear and the straight cut is less noise versus strength. I don’t remember the old straight cut being that noisy.
Being a sport rider at heart, I did take the Road Glide up South Mountain. Now this is not your Yamaha FJR or Kawasaki Concourse 14, but I was greatly surprised at how well it did handle. With the new 18 inch low profile tire on the front and frame mounted fairing made this Road Glide a great handler. With the high floor boards in the front and passenger road pegs in the rear, this bike has a pretty good lean angle capability. Not surprisingly, this trip up the mountain was a lot of fun and I never even scraped the floor boards to the ground once.
To me, this is the top of the line in the Harley line up. Fun riding and the king at cruising down the highway. The bad boy looks makes this motorcycle a machine that you want to be seen on. I did notice the Spartan accommodations for the passenger. The new look does get some of the feel from the diminished seat thickness for the passenger and there are no longer floor boards for the passenger. They have replaced them with foot pegs. The new 2 into 1 exhaust seems to have enhanced the performance and at the same time it gives the rider the ability to back the machine right to the curb without crunching the exhaust with the kickstand down.