The 96ci powerplant backed by a six-speed is the perfect combination of low-end torque for city riding and freeway gearing for touring.
While this wouldn't be our first choice for a touring seat, we found it much more comfortable than most of the other seats we are used to on the Softails we test.
One of the options installed on the bike before we picked it up was this Road Tech XM Satellite Radio receiver that can be found in the Harley-Davidson Parts and Accessories catalog.
The other part from the Harley-Davidson Parts and Accessories catalog is the Detachable Two-Up Luggage Rack that gets used more than not. We have strapped everything from camera bags to spare helmets to that rack. We don't know what we would have done without it!
'07 Harley-Davidson Street GlideRoad Test:
Flipping through the last year of Hot Bike Baggers, you may have noticed a Denim Blue Street Glide in the background of several photos or even a shot or two of the bike loaded down like a movie studio's camera truck. Well now that we have hit the 20,000-mile mark, we can let the cat out of the bag. We picked up the Street Glide from Harley-Davidson with the promise to treat it like it was a rental for the first 20k. That means that we weren't gunna do anything but routine maintenance and keep it clean while we put thousands of miles on it - not adding accessories is actually harder than it looks. Of course when the 20,000 miles was up we were going to have to do a report card on the Street Glide after which we could start bolting on all the performance goodies and accessories from the Harley-Davidson Parts and Accessories catalog that our little hearts desire.
But first the report card. To be fair, when we went down to the Harley-Davidson fleet center to pick the bike up, Alan took the time to fit it with a couple of items before it went out the door. First, he installed a Detachable Two-Up Luggage Rack because he knew we were going to be carrying camera bags that wouldn't fit in the saddlebags and he didn't want us to scratch up the rear fender or bag lids. The second thing he installed was a handlebar-mounted Road Tech XM Satellite receiver for those long trips. We firmly believe that no proper touring motorcycle should be without some form of satellite radio because it keeps the rider from trying to change CDs while he is riding and being distracted from the road. Both items are really common on touring bikes and are official Harley-Davidson accessories available from any dealership for purchase when you buy a new bike, so we didn't pitch a fit. But we did add $249.95 for the Road Tech XM Satellite Radio (PN 76390-05A) and another $205.95 for the Detachable Two-Up Luggage Rack (PN 53743-97) to our cost of ownership - no they weren't a necessity but they made our 20,000 miles fly by. Another thing on our list was the routine maintenance that we did on the bike including five oil changes at $100 each and a rear tire that set us back $300. If you want to include the cost to fix our one and only problem with the bike - we had the five machine screws fall out of one of the hinges on a saddlebag lid we spent $2.92 on screws and a screwdriver at a hardware store to fix the problem while we were on a road trip. Figuring less fuel and insurance because those are two costs we all incur that change greatly with age, driving record, and location (we can't really give an accurate prediction) and our cost of ownership for the past year has been $1,258.82.
When it comes to fuel mileage, we have been keeping pretty close tabs on how many miles we went on a tank and how many gallons of fuel we put back in to fill it back up. An average tankful of fuel has given us a little better than 45 miles per gallon. That is a little more freeway riding than city riding. The best mileage we got was on a trip down the coast with a bunch of guys on older four-speed bikes, and the fastest we could go was 65 mph - where we got 51 mpg. The worst mileage we got was on the way to Laughlin, Nevada, for the River Run where we were bucking a headwind the whole way and trying to keep up with a bunch of guys from one of the local shops exceeding the speed limit, and we only got about 40 mpg.
Overall the bike was very comfortable on long trips, but we discovered a couple things about it that we didn't like. The most noticeable thing was also the simplest problem with the bike. When the tires lose a couple of pounds of pressure over time, the bike begins to get very twitchy and follows the grooves in the road and makes seams between sections of freeway feel like ruts. We're not talking 5psi either, we mean 1 or 2 psi, so you really have to stay on top of the recommended tire pressure that is printed right there on the tire's sidewall. The other thing that we noticed was heat getting trapped right under the seat at the back of the motor that slowly cooking the backs of the rider's legs in traffic. It seems to be a problem that started when they leaned the engine out to pass stricter emissions testing. A lean engine runs hotter and that heat gets trapped under the seat when there is no air moving around the bike. In fact there have been so many people looking for relief from the problem that Harley-Davidson came out with a Mid-Frame Air Deflector set (PN 58022-07A). The kit is $64.95 and keeps most of the heat off the back of riders' legs. That is actually the first thing we have planned to add to the bike now that it has reached the 20,000-mile threshold.
One thing we were asked about is the flat blue paint. It is actually a lot less maintenance because you never have to wax it. It is fairly easy to clean, it is durable, and water spots come right off. We let this bike get dirty before (strictly for scientific purposes we assure you) and it cleaned up very easily. Even the dried bugs that were all over the forks, front fender, and fairing were no match for some soapy water and a wash mitt. We had to clean the chrome like the rest of the bikes on the road, but the flat paint was a breeze. In fact the next time we get a long-term test bike we can only hope it has a low-maintenance flat paintjob on it as well.
Aside from the Mid Frame Air Deflectors, we are planning to do a bunch of hop-up goodies from the Screamin' Eagle performance section of the Harley-Davidson Parts and Accessories Catalog as well as some of the other factory parts and accessories. Who knows what the bike will look like in another 20,000 miles.