Rear suspension duties are handled by twin air-adjustable shocks that do a decent job of controlling the bumps. The FLHX comes with 1-inch shorter shocks than its more dressed up siblings. While the lowered springs help the bike look good and are more manageable for shorter riders the shocks can be on the harsh side, especially two up. There's only 2 inches of travel for the rear wheel. Up front a pair of 41.3mm traditional, telescopic forks do a nice job of handling the bumps providing over 4 1/2 inches of travel. Dive is minimal even with the Batwing fairing and all of the associated electronics attached to the forks.
On the cosmetics side the most obvious change on the bike is the new 2-into-1 exhaust system. There's no longer a crossover or a pipe on the left side of the bike; all exhaust passes through a four-inch muffler. One point that was overlooked by H-D was keeping the left-side exhaust hanger bracket that resides under the saddlebag. It looks cheap and serves no purpose. On the plus side of that is if you decide to go with a traditional 2-into-2 system the hanger is already there. But it bugged me. Another exhaust/emissions change are new heated oxygen sensors and their new home at the base of the headpipes (under the transmission side cover). The new sensors are much smaller than the old units and not as visible. The engineers were able to move the sensors out of the way because they are electrically heated compared to the old sensors that needed the exhaust heat for proper operation. The bike's computer uses information from the O2 sensors (and others on the bike) to maintain the proper air:fuel for efficiency, power, and emissions. H-D's closed-loop feedback-controlled fuel injection varies the fuel output according to real-time sensor data. The system works flawlessly and is very welcome when encountering bad gas or changes in altitude. Returning is the electronic throttle control that operates the throttle body through wires and a motor instead of the traditional cable operated throttle.
Out on the road the Street Glide is a fun bike to ride. It has ample power right out of the box and the gearing seems spot-on. One notable change to the transmission was the addition of a helical-cut Fifth gear inside the transmission. The previous straight-cut fifth gear had an audible whine to it (only while in Fifth gear). This situation seemed to vary between different bikes and models and even depended upon what kind of pipes were on the bike. Gear-whine never seemed like much of a problem but sometimes sounds can be amplified and reflected back at the rider by the fairing.
Sheetmetal on the '10 is the same as the previous model year with the deep, trimless front fender, six-gallon fuel tank, and wide rear fender. Harley cleaned up the rear fender by pitching the traditional tail-brake light setup. Two small lights that sit above the license plate now handle all of the stop/turn/tail light duties. The chrome bracket holding the lights together conceals the license plate light. At the bottom of the rear fender the LED Tri-line provides additional illumination.
All in all the 2010 FLHX delivers a slightly upgraded touring package compared to the '09 model. The Street Glide has been such a good and popular bike from the beginning and was exponentially improved upon last year so it's not surprising that changes were kept to a minimum. From a rider's perspective the Street Glide delivers one of the best all around Touring bike experiences. It's a great commuter, looks good parked in front of your favorite pop and suds establishments, and is a better than average long-distance rider. While not as plush as its taller Ultra sister the tradeoffs are worth it in our opinion.