2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Sport Glide unveiled
New for 2018 the Sport Glide is the factory custom that can do it all – cruise, commute or tour, and while it draws classic styling cues from the Harley-Davidson Touring range, the Sport Glide outlines a compact and contemporary form all of its own.
Harley say the new Harley-Davidson Sport Glide is a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser outfitted with a detachable fairing and panniers ideally suited for touring, cruising or commuting.
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 underpinning the Sport Glide delivers agility and handling performance, 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 will be available in three solid colours: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Silver Fortune.
The Sport Glide’s fairing is shaped to deflect wind away from the rider’s chest while leaving his or her head in a clean stream of air. It’s secured to the fork tubes with quick-release clamps, making removal or installation fast and easy. 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 rigid (and lockable) panniers feature a sleek clamshell design. They’re easy to load and unload and can be opened with one hand by a seated rider; a damping device allows the lids to open smoothly. The bags can also be removed in seconds with an internal quick-release mechanism, leaving behind barely visible mounting points. Combined pannier capacity is 25.5L.
Additional luggage capacity can be added with an accessory sissy bar upright, luggage rack or Tour-Pak mounting rack, each with the all-new HoldFast detachable latch system designed specifically for the new Softail platform. Much like the Sport Glide panniers and fairing, HoldFast accessories can be installed or removed in seconds to strip the bike back down to its essential cruiser form.
A broad, supportive seat and forward-mounted foot controls contribute to a rider triangle designed to fit a broad range of sizes; seat height is set at just 652.7mm. The Daymaker LED headlamp is surrounded by a ring of LED signature lighting and complements the bright LED taillight (and LED rear indicators). A USB charging port, keyless ignition and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are standard features.
New 43mm inverted forks stiffen the front end and feature a single-cartridge damping system for precise handling, stability and confident braking performance – that is further enhanced by standard ABS. The Sport Glide rolls on new Mantis cast-aluminium wheels, 18-inch front and 16-inch rear, shod with Michelin Scorcher 31 performance tyres.
The Sport Glide also features the all-new Softail monoshock rear suspension with remote hydraulic spring preload adjustment, controlled via an exposed knob below the right-side cover. It’s thus easy to accommodate the weight of luggage or passenger while maintaining optimal suspension performance and steering geometry.
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 2-1 exhaust, with sweeping rear header and black exhaust muffler contribute to the bike’s sporty style and enhance cornering clearance. Electronic throttle control enables standard electronic cruise control.
The new Harley-Davidson Sport Glide is priced from $27,750 AUD and will be available in Harley-Davidson dealerships very soon.