“Wow.” This is the first word I can murmur as I ride out of the Harley-Davidson Gent parking lot on a cold Saturday morning on the new 2018 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide.
The Sport Glide is the latest addition to the HD 2018 Softail line and is also a versatile bike. With the removable fairing and cases, I have two motorcycles in one: one for touring and the other for cruising.
Powered by the new 107 ci Milwaukee Eight engine, I don't lack power with loads of torque. I shift smoothly thanks to the accurate gearbox. There is no shortage of information – an analog counter indicates the speed. I also have a digital view of the mileage, two day trips, remaining kilometers that I can still travel with the petrol in the tank, clock, gear indicator and speed, as well as a separate digital fuel gauge. This engine is also equipped with cruise control as standard.
I immediately notice the major innovation in the Softail line at the first round. The engine steers very sharp and the ground clearance is also fine. Everything runs smoothly and without having to give extra power. I take every turn with great ease. This engine is extremely tractable and immediately feels familiar. Potholes, bumps, railway crossings, ... are effortlessly digested with the excellent suspension. At the back, this suspension is easy to adjust with the handy rotary knob.
The sitting position is fine. With the low saddle, the forward controls that are not too far forward, and the handlebars that fall into my hands of course, I can cover a lot of kilometers effortlessly. The small, detachable screen directs enough wind away from my upper body. Riders taller than myself (1m72) will probably catch more wind, but a larger screen is already available as an accessory.
With regret in the heart I deliver the 2018 Sport Glide back to the dealer.
This engine really surprised me. The torquey Milwaukee Eight engine, the neutral seating position and the great handling make this a very accessible bike for me. With the screen and cases on it, I can easily get out and about - without these accessories I have a beautiful cruiser. I bet this 2018 HD Sport Glide is going to be a hit.
For more information, feel free to drop in at Harley-Davidson Ghent. Ann and Stijn will be happy to help you... So definitely do it!
Michel Bogaert traveled half the world on a motorcycle. He is a regular customer at Harley-Davidson Ghent and was one of the first people to test the Softail Sport Glide