Road Tested | 2010 Harley Davidson Road Glide Custom
Love It, Or Hate It The '10 Road Glide Custom
By Ernie Lopez, Photography by Ernie Lopez
2010 Road Glide Road Tested
What is it about the FLTRX Road Glide Custom that really grabs me and puts this H-D touring model at the top of the food chain? Oh ya it's the frame mounted aerodynamic tapered fairing also know as the "Shark-Nose". With dual headlights, and a low-profile dark windshield that creates even more of a sleek shaped look up front. When it comes to Touring bikes the Road Glide has been my favorite for so many reasons. One is the way the bike handles; with the fairing mounted to the frame getting the bike to turn from side-to-side in the corners is noticeably easier. To me it just feels like the bike is lighter. The thing is that if you ask anyone about the Road Glide you will get mixed responses to the bike. I've heard as many guys say that they don't like the bike as guys who do. It all comes down to the fairing; the rest of the bike's style is the pretty much the same as the Street Glide.
So when I was given the call to head down to the H-D Fleet center and pick up the new '10 Road Glide it made me happy, the timing couldn't have been better. I was riding around on the old man's Road King doing some tech installs and had to drop it off over to his place (he wanted to ride it, the nerve of some guys). So I was down a Touring bike the weekend some friends were heading out to the Colorado River to check out the boat races in Havasu. So the timing was perfect for a little test ride. Once I left the fleet center I headed to the house to pick up my camera bag and a change of clothes and then we were out. The ride out to the river is through the California desert into the Arizona desert. The good thing is that this time of year (April) it was not as hot as it could be. At high noon the temps hit 80-degrees; not bad. We were more concerned with all the big rigs we were passing. The bike with it 96ci motor and six-speed transmission had plenty of power and with the aerodynamic fairing offering outstanding weather and wind protection it made the ride smooth and easy to pass all the trucks. The riding position felt good with my feet flat on the Streamliner footboards and my arms at the right height to my shoulders, I was very comfortable. This coming from a guy (me) who likes to put ape-hangers on everything. I would have liked to sit a bit farther back in the seat. The shape of the seat was a bit off for me (seemed too wide), the back pad pushed a bit forward and it was as if I could feel where the rider's backrest mounts were. Not sure if that's what it was, but if the bike had a deeper seat I don't think I would have felt anything. As we were trucking down the highway the other thing I could notice was the sound of the exhaust. The Road Glide Custom has a new 2-into-1 exhaust, with a 4-inch diameter chrome muffler mounted on the right hand side of the bike. The exhaust system was designed to minimize heat exposure to the rider and passenger. This new pipe replaces the previous dual muffler exhaust system that so many guys like the looks of regardless of performance. The new 2-into-1 exhaust had a good rumble without numbing your head or blowing your eardrums out. While we are on the discussion of sounds, to help keep us in the right state of mind while riding through this boring scenic route (I did say the desert), the cockpit is filled with a 40-watt audio system by Harman/Kardon. This is something I would up-grade-it's not the loudest radio with all the wind noise. But enough to hear your favorite road songs if you don't have a full-face helmet on. The bike rolls around on a set of black slotted cast aluminum wheels: a 16 for the rear and an 18 for the front. Combined with a lower-profile, 130/70B18 Dunlop tire, the new wheel updates the frontend and offers enhanced handling.
By Ernie Lopez
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