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Street Glide Special First Impressions

  1. #1
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Street Glide Special First Impressions


    I managed to get about 50 miles on the Street Glide yesterday. Got so damned ramped up about it, I didn't even realize I forgot to grab my helmet until I was about 15 miles from home. Good stuff...

    Remember, after essentially not riding street for about five years I went out and bought a Low Rider towards the end of last summer. Fun bike, took some getting used to, but I only logged about 600-700 miles on it. The first time I put Big Shirl on the back, I knew I made the wrong choice. But in my defense, she originally said she had no interest on being on the back of a motorcycle any longer when I was looking. The only other complaint would be lack of luggage options that appealed to me. Almost immediately, I was keeping my eyes open for something more tour worthy. If nothing else, that Low Rider definitely put the spark back in me that I REALLY needed to get back on the street. No bad memories there.

    The Milwaukee-8 107 pulls like a tractor. From the moment the clutch is engaged to as high as I desired to stretch the RPM's, that fucker just pulled & pulled. Not that I was setting to break any land speed records or win any holeshots, but the torque curve is amazing (claimed 110+ lb. ft.) and didn't really hit a flat spot in any RPM range I took it. Very impressive.

    The hydraulic clutch is very abrupt. There's no in between, it's either engaged or not. And once you release that lever, you're well underway. The slipper clutch is a nice touch and should help avoid that typical dickhead crackling and popping on downshifts, not to mention control any wheel chatter. Clutch feel is great though and even though hydraulic, it still takes a bit more effort than I would have expected.

    Throttle response is spot on. No choppiness at low speeds and super responsive. The fuel injection was seemless throughout, even when trying to fuck with it a bit by chopping it, rolling on sharply, etc. Very impressed at the low end response and lack of jerkiness. It seems to pull through the RPM range with little effort.

    I didn't really get to put the linked ABS Brembos to any real test, but I couldn't really feel the linking. The duel discs up front have pretty fuckin' good stopping power, and the single disc out back compliments the fronts perfectly. Rather than rely on simply using one lever over the other, I preferred to use both as usual. Maybe that's why I couldn't really feel the linked characteristics? I dunno, maybe that's the point of linked brakes. I have never really looked into it.

    Acceleration was tons more than I could have ever expected. Again, I wasn't going for the holeshot into turn 1, but I got a chance to launch from one of the few traffic lights in my area. By the time I was mid-range in 3rd gear, I actually laughingly yelled out loud "holy fuck!". It wasn't earth shattering by any means, but it was incredibly impressive. Sure, maybe I was expecting less. But it accelerates much stronger than I was expecting. On the roads I was on, 5th gear at 60MPH was effortless. Pop it into 6th at that speed and you've just wasted your time - kick it back down to 5th.

    Much like the brakes, I didn't really get to put the suspension nor handling in general thru any real test. I guess the suspension was one of the things that got the work-over for my year. Hydrualic preload for the rear and Showa's then new valving for the front. I did get to hit one of our traffic circles at a decent speed in 2nd gear. Truth be told, I was curious as to whether I could scrape the floorboard. Nope, not this time. Other than that, not much to report. Although maneuvering at low speeds is going to take some work and getting used to.

    The ergo's are almost perfect for me. It's an easy reach to the stock handlebars, and combined with the seating position keeps my back nice & upright. The floorboards are just about just where I need them to keep my knees bent to a comfortable position. The rear brake lever is a bit awkward though and you really need to bend your ankle at a weird angle if you leave your heel on the floorboard. The front portion of the heel/toe shifter is a bit long for me. I may have to look into something shorter, time will tell.

    Even at my height, I'll be installing a taller windscreen soon. I was kind of expecting the worse, but buffeting wasn't bad. I only got it up to about 80MPH for a short stretch, but given the speed limit was 40-50 I figured I wouldn't push it just yet. But a taller windscreen is a must. I found it incredibly comfortable, although I fully expected that.

    I didn't really bother fucking around much with the radio/infotainment/nav/blah-blah-blah. Honestly, that's at the bottom of the list. But it seems comparable to any car or truck system I've used, so other than getting used to the thumb controls, it should be pretty self-explanatory.

    All in all, I'm happy with my choice. It'll definitely take some getting used to - it ain't no daisy. This thing weighs about double of any sportbike I've ever owned, so I definitely need seat time. Big Shirl already bought her backrest and is looking at tour packs. She actually had A LOT to do with my choice this time - yeah, she decided she liked being on the back again. I was originally looking at used Sport Glides, but she hated the passenger seating position - it does kinda leave her up there,so this is where we're at.

    Will it keep the spark going? Absolutely. Comfort is huge for me and not being sore or in pain means the world. This puts my back where I need it, with very little feedback up through the chassis. With my knees at a comfy greater than 90 degrees, I can last all day on it. Can't wait for the weather. That little blast yesterday has me wanting more, and I mean NOW.

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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    You should take my buddy’s M109R for a spin, I would love to know how they compare

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  3. #3
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    I didn't really get to put the suspension nor handling in general thru any real test.
    whaaaa ? this is best time of year with frost heaves sinking and growing at same time. I didn't find any smooth roads on my K-Pipe ride yesterday, but then again, I was sticking to back roads

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  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    I think the slow-speed handling is one of the standout features of my RK. I can't get over how low the center of gravity is. Drag a little rear brake and the bike stands up nicely. Lock-lock 8's are way easier than I ever expected.

    I occasionally drag a floorboard. Usually when I get sloppy and don't alter body position when riding harder. It is forgiving. Just a little grind. The bike hardly twitches. I demo'ed a couple Star cruisers back in the day that were far more clearance deficient. The Bolt especially. If you put a peg down on the Bolt (and it ain't hard to do so) it really upsets the apple cart.

    I think there is a reason you see those cops doing those slow-speed exhibitions on Harley FLH's.

    Sky is the limit if you find something on that bike that you don't like, either aesthetically or ergo-wise. Mine is a cop bike and came with the farm-tractor style solo cop-seat. What I didn't really realize is that cop seat is like 2-3" higher than stock. Really strange sensation of sitting ON the bike rather than IN it. I struggled to get feet down with that seat. I borrowed a stock seat for a couple weeks and it is amazing how different it is. Flat foot with knees bent, like on the pooper. Way more confidence heaving it out of a parking spot. In the end I didn't like the knee angle and sprung for an aftermarket solo seat instead. Split the difference right down the middle; higher than stock, lower than cop. Bucket style pan like the cop seat. But better styling, fit and finish. Also firmer padding with a much better foam design. And there were a gazillion other options out there as well.

    Do you have any idea how tall the screen you have on is?

    I have a 7" on my Memphis shades fairing. I don't know if that figure is comparable to the OE batwing. I also tried a 5" and a 12". (Guy at work had bought them all.) The 12" is just dorky tall. Total cone of silence feeling. Like the stock fairing/screen on a Gold Wing. You won't feel a thing bombing down 93 at 75 MPH. The 5" is nice in the hot weather. But a little noisy. The 7" is the just right porridge. With the hollow memphis shades fairing I can tilt the whole thing forward or back to dial in the bubble. I have mine set to drop air right at eye-height. I think it is perfect. The big fairing makes for really clean air on the helmet. Nice and smooth through 80+.

    You should have the little flapper to screw with too.

    I also installed the "fangs". Got them for cheap from a friend of a friend. I'm torn on the looks. But they have a really noticeable (and good) impact on turbulence on the helmet.
    Cat @ work has the little extension things off his bat-wing instead. I hear those do a similar thing.

    You are going to love that thing. I threw a quick run around town at mine on Sunday. Every twist of the throttle reminds me how great of a package it is. Harley did really well with these FLHs.

    The biggest problem I have is the chrome looks like ass when dirty. And it is not an easy bike to clean. I really wish I had the budget to black mine out.

    Oh, and the paint is nice but fragile. Mine has a bunch of chips already. Spend a Saturday with a q-tip and your favorite wax. Hit every crevice and screw head with wax or it will rust. That is a lot of real steel.. not plastic or aluminum.

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  5. #5
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    ...I didn't even realize I forgot to grab my helmet until I was about 15 miles from home. Good stuff...

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  6. #6
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    You should take my buddy’s M109R for a spin, I would love to know how they compare
    My guess is they wouldn't compare much at all. Tourer vs. power cruiser? I've heard great things about the motor, but...

    I *DID* check one out before I bought the Low Rider. I can't remember the year, but it was the Limited blue with white stripe. Loved the looks until I saw it in person. Not gonna fuck it if I can't stand to look at it, right? I've heard great things about that motor though.

    I also came REALLY close to buying a Yamaha Road Star Warrior instead of the Low Rider too. It was set-up just the way I would have wanted it, and I've ridden one. They were incredible machines.

    All moot points though now, I guess.

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  7. #7
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    whaaaa ? this is best time of year with frost heaves sinking and growing at same time. I didn't find any smooth roads on my K-Pipe ride yesterday, but then again, I was sticking to back roads
    Ha ha! I tended to stick to more comfortable roads as this was basically my first time taking a 900lb. bike for more than a spin around the neighborhood.

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    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
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  8. #8
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I think the slow-speed handling is one of the standout features of my RK. I can't get over how low the center of gravity is. Drag a little rear brake and the bike stands up nicely. Lock-lock 8's are way easier than I ever expected.
    I'll be spending time at the high school parking lot working on that. Areas to work on such things are pretty sparse up by us!

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I occasionally drag a floorboard. Usually when I get sloppy and don't alter body position when riding harder. It is forgiving. Just a little grind. The bike hardly twitches. I demo'ed a couple Star cruisers back in the day that were far more clearance deficient. The Bolt especially. If you put a peg down on the Bolt (and it ain't hard to do so) it really upsets the apple cart.
    It's not really a goal of mine. I was more curious at that point. Although I'm sure it'll happen when it's all loaded up and I get cocky on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Sky is the limit if you find something on that bike that you don't like, either aesthetically or ergo-wise. Mine is a cop bike and came with the farm-tractor style solo cop-seat. What I didn't really realize is that cop seat is like 2-3" higher than stock. Really strange sensation of sitting ON the bike rather than IN it. I struggled to get feet down with that seat. I borrowed a stock seat for a couple weeks and it is amazing how different it is. Flat foot with knees bent, like on the pooper. Way more confidence heaving it out of a parking spot. In the end I didn't like the knee angle and sprung for an aftermarket solo seat instead. Split the difference right down the middle; higher than stock, lower than cop. Bucket style pan like the cop seat. But better styling, fit and finish. Also firmer padding with a much better foam design. And there were a gazillion other options out there as well.
    Yeah, the aftermarket is more than overloaded for ANYTHING you could possibly think of. Holy fahk!

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Do you have any idea how tall the screen you have on is?

    I have a 7" on my Memphis shades fairing. I don't know if that figure is comparable to the OE batwing. I also tried a 5" and a 12". (Guy at work had bought them all.) The 12" is just dorky tall. Total cone of silence feeling. Like the stock fairing/screen on a Gold Wing. You won't feel a thing bombing down 93 at 75 MPH. The 5" is nice in the hot weather. But a little noisy. The 7" is the just right porridge. With the hollow memphis shades fairing I can tilt the whole thing forward or back to dial in the bubble. I have mine set to drop air right at eye-height. I think it is perfect. The big fairing makes for really clean air on the helmet. Nice and smooth through 80+.
    I haven't measured it yet, nor have I figured out the one I need. That's one of the things I'll be figuring out this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    You should have the little flapper to screw with too.
    No idea what this is.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I also installed the "fangs". Got them for cheap from a friend of a friend. I'm torn on the looks. But they have a really noticeable (and good) impact on turbulence on the helmet.
    Cat @ work has the little extension things off his bat-wing instead. I hear those do a similar thing.
    Are those the wind deflectors?

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    You are going to love that thing. I threw a quick run around town at mine on Sunday. Every twist of the throttle reminds me how great of a package it is. Harley did really well with these FLHs.

    The biggest problem I have is the chrome looks like ass when dirty. And it is not an easy bike to clean. I really wish I had the budget to black mine out.

    Oh, and the paint is nice but fragile. Mine has a bunch of chips already. Spend a Saturday with a q-tip and your favorite wax. Hit every crevice and screw head with wax or it will rust. That is a lot of real steel.. not plastic or aluminum.
    Yeah, I'm limiting chrome on mine. There's a touch, but not a helluva lot. I had more on my Low Rider actually. Most of the chrome will be limited to below the seat line. Although black is a bitch. At one time I had three black vehicles (Corvette, pick-up & bike), and I swore I'd never do that again. I got rid of everything except the Corvette and avoided black vehicles at all cost because I HATE cleaning them. Fast forward and I'm back to all three black vehicles again. Fuck me...

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  9. #9
    Lifer JohnnyV's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Jay I hate to break it to you, but you bought a Street Glide not a Road Glide

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  10. #10
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyV View Post
    Jay I hate to break it to you, but you bought a Street Glide not a Road Glide
    Ha! Yeah, I explained why to you already but I'll recap here: it goes back up a couple posts - if you can't stand to look at it, how am I supposed to fuck it? LMFBO! Not a fan of the sharknose, and I don't like the look of the handlebar mirrors on 'em.

    Besides the looks that I really don't like, the instrument layout, the stock ergo's, the reach to the infotainment, etc. are far more to my liking than the Road Glide. I see far too many people spend a shit ton on these things then just pile up the mods simply to make them more comfortable for them. Fuck that! I'll find something that fits and spend my money on convenience features & such, thankyouverymuch.

    I'm sure they have other differences and characteristics that I'll probably never really know. I've only really taken a Road Glide for a short 5-10 mile spin. And honestly, I was too fuckin' timid to really notice anything other than "holy fuck, this thing is a boat!"

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  11. #11
    Dic on
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    I'm actually in mourning.

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  12. #12
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Degsy View Post
    I'm actually in mourning.


    Dude, trust me. If I could ride a sportbike for more than 10 minutes, I'd only be adding them to the stable. With me knees as bad as they are and my back as fucked up as it gets, I had to do what I had to do. I couldn't take NOT having a bike anymore.

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    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
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  13. #13
    Dic on
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post


    Dude, trust me. If I could ride a sportbike for more than 10 minutes, I'd only be adding them to the stable. With me knees as bad as they are and my back as fucked up as it gets, I had to do what I had to do. I couldn't take NOT having a bike anymore.
    I hear you. I really do.

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  14. #14
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Oh, the Rinehart slip-ons sound amazing - or so I'm told. Can't really hear them while on the machine. After all, they exit about a block behind me. And the sound is a bit muffled by the saddlebags. Yeah, I got to listen to them while not ON the bike, but hardly got a feel for the sound when I was riding it.

    A buddy saw me go by while I was out & about. Said he absolutely loved the sound. Not too loud, definitely not stock but not even close to obnoxious.

    My boy told me at what point he could hear me coming up route 28. Up in our neck of the woods it's a fairly rural (but heavily travelled) two lane "highway". I know where he picked me up. Ironically you could pick me up a helluva lot earlier on my TL-R and my old beast of a truck, and it's about where you can pick me up in the Corvette. The slipper clutch does a lot to quell that ridiculous popping & crackling on downshifts that so many Harley owners adore.

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  15. #15
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    I'm in that "typical dickhead" crowd as I like a little fart or two on decel.
    I blip on downshifts too. I know that pisses a lot of people off.

    I am on the opposite side of the vessel with regard to noise though. I have no problem hearing the exhaust with STOCK pipes, cat intact, etc, etc. Even with a full-face helmet on and some tunes rolling from the sena.
    The only reason I would consider an aftermarket exhaust setup would be to cut heat. The cat is obscenely hot and right under your leg.

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  16. #16
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I'm in that "typical dickhead" crowd as I like a little fart or two on decel.
    I blip on downshifts too. I know that pisses a lot of people off.

    I am on the opposite side of the vessel with regard to noise though. I have no problem hearing the exhaust with STOCK pipes, cat intact, etc, etc. Even with a full-face helmet on and some tunes rolling from the sena.
    The only reason I would consider an aftermarket exhaust setup would be to cut heat. The cat is obscenely hot and right under your leg.
    Blipping on the downshifts with this slipper clutch is a moot point. It's hard to explain, but it just doesn't matter if you do that with the new clutch.

    With the 107 M8, they moved the cat and reduced the exhaust temps by a whopping 100 degrees. Double spark plugs, oil cooled aluminum heads & aluminum block are some of the things they've done to combat the heat hitting the rider & passenger.

    There's tons of info about the new set-up, I just can't remember it all. A quick Google search will fill you in on how drastically they've dropped the heat.

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  17. #17
    ....................... PinHead's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Hey Jay, it was mentioned but I don’t think it clicked. You bought and road a “Street Glide” not a Road Glide as the title of this thread states.

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  18. #18
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    I'll be spending time at the high school parking lot working on that.
    Billy fuckin Madison.

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  19. #19
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    A quick Google search will fill you in on how drastically they've dropped the heat.
    Oh, I know. I've read most of it. I demo'ed a new M8 right before I shook the mans hand over my used '14. And a friend traded his '14 for a new M8 about 10 minutes after I told him I'd bought a RK like his.
    I've ridden the M8 and the heat issue is a lot better, but somehow not as good as the specs suggest. YMMV. And really, every little bit helps.

    I only brought it up because that is my only objection with the sound of the stock pipes. Otherwise I think the sound from stock is just fine. I'm that guy.

    What I didn't realize was that the newer bikes had a slipper. I did not notice that when I demo'ed at all. Like you mentioned, I was kind of shocked at how much effort the clutch pull was even though the had gone hydro. In the end it seems a stiff clutch lever is just a trademark HD thing. Honestly I'm okay with it. It doesn't bother me until the end of a very long day of twisties. And with this much torque shifting is optional.

    What I really realized was how much better the newer suspension is vs my '14. The air-over-oil rears on my RK could be a lot better. Forks are just okay. The bike handles better than I think it ought to. But the ride blows. M8's are better here by a mile. I just didn't feel they were >$8k better! One of these days I'll visit mr Ohilns, do something dumb and make it all better. One of these days.

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  20. #20
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyV View Post
    Jay I hate to break it to you, but you bought a Street Glide not a Road Glide
    220, 221... whatever it takes.

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  21. #21
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Y'all use a clutch? What for?

    I don't touch that shit unless I am coming to a stop in 1st gear, starting out in first gear, or gettin' a lil yuuuut-uhhhhhhh on.

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  22. #22
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by PinHead View Post
    Hey Jay, it was mentioned but I don’t think it clicked. You bought and road a “Street Glide” not a Road Glide as the title of this thread states.
    Doh! Fixed!

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    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
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  23. #23
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyV View Post
    Jay I hate to break it to you, but you bought a Street Glide not a Road Glide
    Quote Originally Posted by PinHead View Post
    Hey Jay, it was mentioned but I don’t think it clicked. You bought and road a “Street Glide” not a Road Glide as the title of this thread states.


    Quote Originally Posted by gixxer72 View Post
    Billy fuckin Madison.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    220, 221... whatever it takes.

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  24. #24
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    Soooo...I've got a tick over 300 miles on it, and it just keeps getting better. I've been trying to hit all kinds of conditions: back roads, main roads, sandy parking lots, and even a little dirt road action.

    It really didn't take long to start feeling comfortable on it. Worked A LOT on low speed maneuvering, but not quite doing the lock-to-lock 8's. LOL! The toughest part was getting used to leaning the thing and flopping it over at creeping speeds. Watched a ton of videos on that sort of thing and put 'em to the test. Besides our own Ken Condon, that "friction zone" guy proved to be incredibly helpful in that department.

    While the buffeting is there with the stock windscreen, it's still quite dealable. It's one of those things that's at the top of my list, but those things are going to have to wait until this whole pandemic thing settles down. No head shake at the 100MPH speeds I hit with it.

    I'm more amazed at how well it handles now that I've had more seat time and gotten more cozy. It's hard to believe how much this thing weighs and just how big it is considering how nimble it really is. Even with Big Shirl on the back, it's a breeze to ride and get about. I said it before, but I never expected that.

    I'm learning just how good the brakes are too and I've learned at what speeds you can feel AND HEAR the linked brakes doing their thing. Had one panic type braking situation and that pig just up and scrubbed the speed right off. Impressed.

    FINALLY figured out why I couldn't get the Nav to work. There's NO software loaded for it! LOL! Fortunately, it's covered and they'll be taking care of that once they open their service doors again. Unfortunately, the only thing available online is updates to existing software. Ah well, they know and they've committed to correcting it.

    In a nutshell, I'm loving it. Once on it, I don't want to get off it. And when I'm not on it, it's about all I think about. I just want to ride now, and I've turned back into the weather forecast junkie I used to be. My cut-off morning temp for commuting used to be 60 degrees. When I got this, I told myself it would now be 55 degrees. When I left for work on it the other morning, it was 43 degrees. So there's that now too...

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
    Or did you lisp it all hangfisted like a fuckin' flower?

  25. #25
    Dic on
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    14,445

    Re: Street Glide Special First Impressions

    I have heard from many people over the years that the biggest thing that can catch you out when you transition from sport bikes to big cruisers is braking in a turn if you need to. The front wheel resistance to sliding in turns even at slow speed is so different. Be careful with that. I'd hate you to get any scratches on that chrome.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Too bad ponies are assholes."

    OXX

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