For riders looking for something more substantial than a Sportster, but eschewing a big touring bike, the Sport Glide has a split personality. Like a big bike, it comes complete with a fairing and saddle bags, but both are small and detachable.
It is a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser suited for touring, cruising or commuting, said Dave Latz, senior product planning manager at Harley-Davidson. Sans the extra components, the Sport Glide is more like a bobber, ready for darting around town. It can fulfill a rider’s whims for both cruising and touring without the garage space or cost of two machines.
The ninth model based on the all-new Harley-Davidson Softail® platform and the latest in a line of 100 high-impact motorcycles the company plans to introduce by 2027, the Sport Glide presents an engaging combination of technology and style. Designed to be lightweight and stiff, the new Softail chassis delivers agility and performance that will exceed the expectations of the most demanding cruiser riders, while the rigid-mounted Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin powertrain pumps out a mountain of torque for outstanding acceleration and passing power.
“The Sport Glide offers the thrilling dynamic capability of the new Softail platform with features that make it suited for both commuting and light touring,” said Dave Latz, senior product planning manager at Harley-Davidson. “Its factory-custom design speaks to modern performance and contemporary style.”
The new fairing is shaped to deflect wind away from the rider’s chest while leaving the rider’s head in a clean stream of air. The fairing is secured to the fork tubes with quick-release clamps, making removal or installation fast and easy.
“The Sport Glide presents the broad influence of Harley-Davidson design in a very contemporary way,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling & Design. “In the new fairing, for example, you can see the influence of the iconic batwing fairing from Harley Touring models, but it’s been trimmed back to create a more compact, sporty shape.”
Riders seeking even more wind protection can exchange the standard 1.5-inch-high windshield for a 5.5-inch Light Smoke Windshield available from Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories.
The new lockable, rigid saddle bags feature a sleek clam-shell design. The bags are easy to load and unload, and can be opened with one hand by a seated rider. A damping device allows the saddlebag lids to open smoothly. The bags can be removed in seconds with an internal quick-release mechanism, leaving behind mounting points that are barely visible. Combined saddlebag capacity is 1.9 cubic feet.
Additional luggage capacity can be added to the Sport Glide with an accessory sissy bar upright, a luggage rack or a Tour-Pak mounting rack, each with the all-new HoldFast™ Detachable latch system designed specifically for the new Softail platform. Like the Sport Glide saddlebags and fairing, HoldFast accessories can be installed or removed in seconds to strip the bike back down to its essential cruiser form.
A broad and supportive saddle sets the Sport Glide’s seat height at just 25.7 inches, with forward-mounted foot controls contributing to a rider triangle designed to fit a broad range of riders. The brilliant Daymaker LED headlamp is surrounded by a ring of LED signature lighting and complements bright LED tail/brake lamp and LED rear turn signals that provide enhanced visibility. A USB charging port, keyless ignition and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are standard features of the Sport Glide.
The Sport Glide features the all-new Softail mono-shock rear suspension with remote hydraulic pre-load adjustment, controlled with an exposed knob below the right side cover, to make it easy to accommodate the weight of luggage or a passenger while maintaining optimal suspension performance. New 43mm inverted forks stiffen the front end and feature a single-cartridge damping system to keep the front wheel stable over changing road conditions for precise handling, a controlled ride and confident braking performance, which is further enhanced by the standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). The Sport Glide rolls on new Mantis cast-aluminum wheels, 18-inch front and 16-inch rear, shod with Michelin Scorcher 31 performance tires.
“The Sport Glide project offered us a unique opportunity to utilize a directional wheel, the first of its style to come out of the Harley-Davidson factory on a non-CVO model,” said Richards. “The spokes sweep from the hub to the rim to create a sense of motion even when the Sport Glide is parked. The look of motion is reinforced with the shape of the fairing and the saddlebags, and even the slash-cut exhaust tips.”
The blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 107 powertrain brings a new level of performance and sophistication to Harley-Davidson Big Twin cruisers, including the new Sport Glide. Dual counter-balancers are tuned to eliminate primary vibration at idle while permitting some engine character to reach the rider at speed. The engine is rigid-mounted in the frame, which stiffens the chassis and connects the rider more directly to the powertrain. Precision oil cooling around the hottest areas of the cylinder heads further enhances rider and passenger comfort. The 2-into-1 exhaust with a sweeping rear header and a black muffler contribute to the bike’s sporty style and enhance cornering clearance. Electronic throttle control enables standard electronic cruise control on the Sport Glide model. Riders craving even stronger street-compliant Milwaukee-Eight performance for a Sport Glide can turn to Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts + Accessories for Screamin’ Eagle Performance Stage Upgrades, from a Stage I Street Cannon muffler and enhanced intake options all the way to a Stage IV upgrade that takes displacement to 114 cubic inches and power through the roof.
The Sport Glide is offered in three solid colors: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Silver Fortune.