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Harley Davidson Road Glide

2007 Harley-Davidson
Road Glide®

Thanks to
Buddy Stubbs
Harley-Davidson

for providing
the motorcycle

Harley Davidson Road Glide
Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Motorcycle Test Drive
Harley-Davidson Road Glide®
from Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson

by Kirk Johnson
April 2007

MSRP $18,125

The frame-mount fairing lets this Harley glide!

About the Bike

Road Glide Specs
Bike Model 2007 Harley-Davidson Road Glide®
Motor 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
Brakes
Front 4-piston
Back 4-piston
Wheels
Front & Back Black 9-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Tire Size
Front MT90B16 72H
Rear MU85B16 77H
Rake 26 degrees
Dry Weight
761.0 lbs.
Seat Height 29.5 in.

The Road Glide, along with all of the new touring bikes for 2007, are now fuel injected (carbureted models are not offered anymore) and have the new 96 cu. in. motor. Last year they produced an 88 in. motor with 86 ft. lbs. at 3500. The new 07 with the 96 cu. in. produces 92.6 ft. lbs. at 3500 rpm. They never quote HP.  I find the 92.6 ft. lbs a real reach.  That reading is more than likely at the crank.  If you put these bikes on a Dyno – you will not see any numbers like that at the rear wheel.  By the way, the numbers I have provided are right from the Harley-Davidson Web site.

Although the Road Glide is built on the same platform (same frame and engine) as all of the other Harley Touring models, the Road Glide is unique among Harleys.  It is the only one with a frame-mount fairing.  The Electra glide series does have a fairing, but they are mounted to the triple tree and when you move the handlebars the fairing moves right along with it.

Years ago when I first sat on a Road Glide, I thought the frame-mounted fairing was out of place and it just seemed weird to have the triple tree move back and forth without the fairing moving.  It just seemed like too much extra stuff.  Does it really make any difference?  Read on.

Test Drive

Not to be too surprised, when I first mounted the Road Glide, I noticed that this is no little cruiser.  At close to 800 pounds and with the shark-nose fairing up front and a seat height of 29.5 inches, I knew this was a serious touring bike.  Now, as I gaze at all of the gauges and creature options displayed in front of me, I wish that I had a couple of weeks to get used to all of them. I would enjoy testing this machine by riding it around all of the Western states. 

The stock bike comes with a full set of gauges.  They included an ambient air temperature, oil pressure, battery voltage and fuel gauge and of course it had an electric cruise control and a 40-watt CD/AM/FM/WB/MP3 Advanced Audio System by Harman/Kardon.  The cruise control and audio system also has fingertip controls on the handgrips.  Plus the audio system comes complete with the ability to add XM® Satellite Radio, Bluetooth® Hands Free Cell Phone Interface, CB Bike-to-Bike Communications/Intercom, High Output Sound System/Rear Speakers, GPS Navigation System and on and on.  Okay, enough about all of that stuff, what does the bike ride like?

I put close to 100 miles on the bike in a couple of hours and totally enjoyed every minute of it.  I rode in traffic to back country roads with a lot of twisties and some interstate riding as well. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how nimble the Road Glide was in traffic.  The acceleration was quite good in first and second gears.  As for that big fairing leading the way, I actually began to like it.

While riding on the great twisty road leading to Bartlett Dam, I was again really surprised at how nimble this cruiser was.  It seemed to have more ground clearance then some of Softails that I have rode in the past.  I never touched the floorboards on any of the corners and the bike just seemed to eat up the curves like a true sport.  Now mind you, this is a big bike and you do not get the feel of the road like you do with a sport bike.  But to make up for that, you get the great distraction of listening to the Eagles singing “Hotel California” making the ride a great pleaser.

This bike instilled in me more confidence then I ever thought possible.  It was as stable as any bike that I have ever been on.  That frame mounted fairing really works great.  It seems to penetrate the air ahead of you, allowing you to ride with ease.  The day that I rode there were gusting winds.  With the fairing mounted to the frame you don’t feel any buffeting and the side winds seemed to have little, if any, effect on stability.

After riding for awhile, I noticed that if you let go of the handle bars with the cruise control on, the bike would just keep on going down the road solid straight.  Then, when you want to change directions or even go around corners, all you have to do is lean in that direction.  In fact, it was so stable, that I decided to slide back and sit in the passengers seat.  Wow, how cool is that.  You can sit there and still control the direction of the ride with ease.  This bike is solid.

Finally on the way back to the barn, I got to do some interstate riding.  The bike is a true champ.  I could not believe how well it handled.  It was so effortless, although lacking in acceleration.  But once you get to about 75 and in the tall gear, you are in paradise.  You are in charge.  The stability that the frame-mounted fairing offers is amazing, I love it.

Summary

The Harley-Davidson Road Glide provides precision steering and confident handling.  With more luxury appointments and upgrade options than a lot of cars.  This is a true hardcore touring motorcycle.  I can’t say enough about the ride.  If you have ever wondered about the effect of the frame mounted fairing, put your mind to rest.  It does make a difference and it is truly great! 

There are two small downsides to this great ride though.  First, and this is the case with most of the Harley line, is the lack of power in 5th and 6th gears above 50 mph.  The second is the seat height.  29.5 inches is a little tall for me.  With a heavy bike and a tall seat, it is not the easiest bike to manually move around.  But it is a great trade-off, once you’re running down the road, chasing the sun and wondering what is around the next corner, you are in another world.

Ride safe,

Kirk Johnson

Phoenix Bikers.com

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