Below, we unpack the mystery of the ninth all-new Softail® motorcycle to arrive from Harley-Davidson. The 2018 Street Glide® is here, and we detail the crisp throttle response of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine, removable mini-batwing fairing, and usefulness of the quick-detach saddlebags. Of all the new Softails out there, is this the bike for you? Keep reading to find out and discover how this bike satisfies two types of rider. Visit Gateway Harley Davidson in St. Louis, MO, to see this rolling sculpture in person.
The Swiss Army make their knives to offer as many solutions as possible. The new Softail Sport Glide® is also built to give its rider options. With its quick detach fairing and detachable, locking saddlebags, this new Softail® offers versatile options for any stretch of road. Choose between a custom touring bike or a stripped-down cruiser with ease. Pack your riding essentials and devour endless roads, or enjoy a quiet night on the town. The 2018 Sport Glide® is two bikes folded into one machine.
The heart of every Harley-Davidson is her engine. In the case of the 2018 Softail Sport Glide®, the heart is a Milwaukee-Eight® 107 V-Twin. This icon of American engineering pumps life through the veins of this new Softail® and her rider. The soul-satisfying rumble will get your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing. The crisp throttle response will be appreciated by riders who demand street carving agility as well as long-haul capability. The strong and even pull through the rev range delivers precisely that. In short, this V-Twin is for riders who enjoy having an escape plan.
2018 saw a new direction from The Motor Company. The Dyna platform was terminated and an era of all-new Softails® was introduced. With their external preload adjustment and inverted front forks, riders will enjoy a lightweight and nimble ride that is adjustable personal preference and payload. This new Softail® is the tool riders need to devour canyons and chew up endless highways. Toss your laptop into the bags and inject your morning commute with a shot of adrenaline from a bike that is the multi-tool for every road.
The centerpiece of Thanksgiving is the turkey and the centerpiece of any Harley-Davidson is the engine. In the case of the SG, the engine is a blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight® 107 V-Twin. The black mufflers along with the black and silver cast, "Mantis," wheels give the Sport Glide® the look of a stealthy predator. Harley-Davidson has given the SG a shrunken version of its signature Batwing Fairing for reduced wind fatigue and added style. Take a ride through the streets of Chesterfield and Arnold on a bike that offers modern conveniences with classic looks. Riders who climb into the saddle of this kinetic sculpture enjoy today's leading features such as an LED forward-lighting system, USB port, and keyless ignition. Drop your right hand and attack the horizon while your smartphone stays fully charged.
When the long-haul is over and you've reached the canyons, remove the quick-detach front mini-fairing and let the wind fill your soul. Our sales associates are knowledgeable about the entire line of all-new Softails® and will gladly review these features with you in greater detail. Shop your 2018 Harley-Davidson® Softail Sport Glide® at Gateway Harley-Davidson® in St. Louis, MO.
In what could be the biggest undertaking in the Motor Company's history since the launch of Harley-Davidson® itself, the Softail® and Dyna have merged into a single platform. For nearly thirty years, Harley-Davidson® riders have been divided. You were either a Softail® or a Dyna. Now, the best of both platforms have come together to form one perfect union. That classic hard-tail aesthetic with a hidden suspension is injected with premium handling to form a singular architecture. Now, in this marriage of history and technology, riders have the best of both worlds with eight distinctive new Softail® platforms. The next generation cruiser from Harley-Davidson® is here. Which model will you take home? Here they are. Each with their unique fit and feel.
For nearly thirty years, Harley-Davidson® riders have been divided. You defined yourself as either a Softail® or a Dyna. Well, the times they are a changing. In what could be the biggest undertaking in The Motor Company's history since the launch of Harley-Davidson® itself, the Softail® and Dyna have merged into a single platform.
The best of both platforms have come together to form one perfect union. That classic hard-tail aesthetic with a hidden suspension is injected with premium handling to form one architecture. Harley-Davidson® wanted to mount the Milwaukee-Eight® engine onto their Big Twin Cruiser lineup, but the Dyna chassis was not capable of accommodating the performance demands of the modern M8 engine. The Milwaukee-Eight® engine had simply outgrown the Dyna chassis. H-D had to develop a frame that could replace the Softail®.
The goal was to improve handling, dynamic capability, and payload capacity in a bike that could handle the increased torque of the dual-counterbalanced Milwaukee-Eight® 107 and 114 engines. To accomplish this, the significantly stiffer frame offers a fifty percent reduction in parts and a twenty-two percent trim in weld points resulting in a bike that is twenty-two to thirty-three pounds lighter depending on the model. In this marriage of history and technology, riders have the best of both worlds with eight distinctive Softail® platforms. Which model will you take home? Here they are. Each with their unique fit and feel.
When you need to get away from the mundane or the coming zombie apocalypse, the 2018 Fat Bob has you covered. By carrying her weight low, the center of gravity drops for agility in the chicanes. Find your favorite canyon and make the most of the 16/16-inch wheels, with rapid-fire beach-cruiser tires that give provide 31-degree right, and 32-degree left lean angles. Aesthetically, the pipes are not chrome or black. Instead, these pipes warm to a golden glow. This bike is thirty-three pounds lighter than its 2017 predecessor and built to have agility in the corners and massive torque in the straightaways. Particularly in the 60-80mph range. Fill the 3.5-gallon tank to capacity and attack the horizon on a 27.7-inch seat height.
Just like any piece of art you create with your own hands, you want it to be seen. That's why the heads on the Milwaukee-Eight® are the center piece. To give the rider access to this viewing pleasure while in motion, H-D narrowed the 3.5-gallon fuel tank. Other styling points include bare bones frame with pushrod tubes and a single headlight bezel. This one-soldier revolution's mantra is attitude. Pure and simple. Stripped down to minimal fenders, seventeen pounds were removed from its 2017 predecessor. Throw your right leg over the 25.8-inch saddle and throw a fist towards the sky.
If you have sided with the Dyna camp, this is the 2018 Softail® for you. The slim, short-arc fender and bobbed rear let you lean this bike how you've never known you wanted. Infinitely customizable, this bike gives you the freedom to make the nine-spoke Black Radiate cast wheels with machined highlights, and dark cylinder fins your own. Check the option box for ABS and experience the ride feel a 26.2-inch seat height provides.
In tribute to the iconic Panhead from 1949, the Heritage Classic includes PD-style windscreen, dual chrome pipes, fat tires, and a Hydra-Glide-look fork. The unifying them of all eight 2018 Softail® models is the single rear shock. This design change allows for weight reduction and an efficient load direction that travels through the triangulated rear frame directly to the steering head in a nod to a different design icon -- the groundbreaking 1937 DL with its hardtail design. Lock your gear in the bags-without-sags, fill up the five-gallon tank to capacity, and give some throttle to the 16-inch wire-spoke wheels.
By increasing the compression and valve area by up to fifty percent, the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 reduces 0-to-60 time by ten percent. Then, when you increase the displacement from 107 to 114, you grow nine percent faster in 0-to-60 time. With the 2018 Fat Boy, riders will get to experience the 114 engine while riding on 160F/240R lowest-profile tires mounted to 18-inch disc wheels. Even with the 1949 Panheadesque “boulder-sized” headlamp and bobbed rear fender you still come in 31-pounds lighter than its predecessor. Where will the 5-gallon tank take you? Wherever you want to go.
When it comes to performance, suspension tops just about everything. By mounting high-performance front suspensions with easily adjustable hidden rear mono-shocks, the 2018 Softail® motorcycles handle better and go faster than their ancestors. Styling cues on the Softail® Slim include a single headlight, a gloss-black Hollywood handlebar, and dark engine cylinders. Even with its blacked-out fork and bobbed rear, the H-D made the Slim slimmer by reducing the weight by thirty-five pounds. Tick the option box marked ABS and empty the 5-gallon tank.
For someone who enjoys spending their weekend afternoons with a tin of Nevr-Dull in their hands, this is the motorcycle you'll enjoy. Chrome is in abundance on this bike with 16-inch drop-center wire-spoke wheels. Riders with long legs will appreciate the 25.9-inch seat height the 2018 Deluxe offers as well as the quicker-responding Softail® chassis. This bike is 33 pounds lighter than the 2017 model even with added features like its Daymaker LED forward lighting, keyless ignition, and USB charging port.
The Breakout 114 has only been around since 2013 making it the youngest of the lot. And like anyone trying to get noticed by their peers, this bike commands your attention with a unique personality. The backward thrust from the acceleration will make your teeth rattle as if you were strapped into an Apollo rocket. This long and low bike sits on low-profile tires mated to 20-spoke, 18/21-inch wheels. When you consider the 35-pound weight reduction from the 2017 model, you'll appreciate agility the Breakout 114 delivers at low speeds. Not that you'll want to take advantage of the bottom end of the speedo. Fill up the 3.5-gallon fuel tank and ride hard against the wind.
Since the beginning, Harley-Davidson® has symbolized freedom. This company does more than manufacture high-quality motorcycles in the USA. The Motor Company offers freedom from the grind, freedom from the every day, from the mundane, and now, with eight new models to choose from, Harley- Davidson® gives us all the freedom of choice. By merging the Softails—Slim, Deluxe, Breakout, Heritage Classic and the Fat Boy with the Street Bob, Low Rider, and Dyna line—Fat Bob, they have eliminated the twin-shock Dyna platform. The frame has been reinvented to harness the powerful torque of the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 and 114 engines engineered exclusively for the Softail® models. In 1903 they began a revolution, and as we enter 2018, they just gave the wheel one big spin. Are you ready to join the revolution? Come to our Harley-Davidson® dealership to test drive each of the new 2018 Harley-Davidson® models.
It's that time again. The event we've been waiting for all year is nearly here. An event that needs no fanfare or soliloquy. In fact, this festival of riding, food, shopping and live music spanning ten days and nights is summarized in a single word. What's a seven letter word for awesome? Other than awesome? The answer of course is Sturgis! From August 3rd to August 12th you can experience all that this motorcycle rally has to offer. Half a million motorcycle enthusiasts, live music fans, and street-food lovers will converge on the Black Hills of South Dakota to experience and behold this iconic rally.
It's that time again. The event we've been waiting for all year is nearly here. An event that needs no fanfare or soliloquy. In fact, this festival of riding, food, shopping and live music spanning ten days and nights is summarized in a single word. What's a seven letter word for awesome? Other than awesome? The answer of course is Sturgis! From August 3rd to August 12th you can experience all that this motorcycle rally has to offer. Half a million motorcycle enthusiasts, live music fans, and street-food lovers will converge on the Black Hills of South Dakota to experience and behold this iconic rally. In a part of the country that offers scenic rides like no other, you are invited to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Devil's Tower and Crazy Horse as you ride through South Dakota back country and consume all that is Sturgis.
Motorcycle enthusiasts and Harley-Davidson lovers from around the globe anticipate Sturgis every year, and the team at Gateway Harley-Davidson is no different. Riders from the West and East gather in the center of the continent to participate our community. We go to visit with friends and family we haven't seen since the last Sturgis we attended. As lovers of all things kinetic on two wheels, we understand the necessity of proper maintenance and attention to detail. While you are preparing your bike for the ride, you'll also want to prepare for how to enjoy the festival. As the team at Gateway Harley-Davidson anxiously awaits the coming rally, here are a few of the hacks we've gathered on how to enjoy Sturgis to the fullest.
Four organized rides happen during the rally. Let us help you narrow down which is right for you, so you don't miss out on what you came to see. First up is Devil's Tower. Throw your right leg over a low-slung saddle and leave the town of Sturgis for Aladdin. Population: 15. As you pass through Beulah, the population rises to 33, and the elevation drops to 3,510 feet. As the day winds on, be sure to stop for lunch at the Ponderosa Cafe near Belle Fourche. Are you ready to salute your favorite president? Then the Custer State Park ride is the one for you. Ride through Mount Rushmore and see where Cary Grant saved Eva Marie Saint in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, "North By Northwest" then pop over to Spring Creek Traders for refreshments.
Are you in need of some Hunting and Fishing supplies or General Merchandise? Then the Deadwood & Vanocker Canyon ride is the trip for you. Secure your dry goods at the Nemo Guest Ranch Store then wind through the Vanocker Canyon and break for lunch at Boondocks. Bear Butte & Beyond is the second ride on our list. Here you leave Sturgis and head to the Geographic Center of the Nation. Once you're there, take in Bear Mountain first hand on this iconic loop through Fruitdale, Vale, and Whitewood.
In addition to the spectacular scenery, there are events such as the Street Food Throw Down, Mayor's Pub Crawl, and a Police Bike Giveaway. Do you have a tattoo? Then the Tuesday Tattoo Contest is the event for you. Have you stopped growing your beard and mustache yet? If so, maybe you think you have what it takes to win the Beard & Mustache Contest. But that's not the only contest to bring a crowd at Sturgis. Who will win the Miss Buffalo Chip Beauty Pagent? Stop into The Chip for three rounds of this iconic pageant and wrap your pipes as you cheer on the contestants.
Don't miss the Spirit of Sturgis Vintage Bike Show and the Spirit of Sturgis Vintage Bike Show Industry After Party. SRF is an all-star band composed of former members of Gregg Allman Band, Molly Hatchet, Pure Prairie League, David Allen Coe Group and the Allen Collins Band. Closing night of the rally brings the Insane Clown Posse. If you've never seen them before, now is your chance to experience the face painted duo that rose from the darkness of Detroit's underground music scene with a hardcore, hip-hop style.
If it's been a while since you've taken a ride that has required more than one fill-up, the team at Gateway Harley-Davidson suggests you build your endurance. Take some longer rides between now and Sturgis to refamiliarize yourself with multiple days of riding.
Since 1936, Sturgis has grown from a single Indian Motorcycle Franchise to, when in 2015, over 750,000 people attended the rally to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Sturgis symbolizes participation. There is a love of motorcycles and all things Harley-Davidson that we all share, but more than that, Sturgis celebrates the people the community we belong to. Both as bikers and as people. At Gateway Harley-Davidson we are honored to share this community with you and are proud to be your Harley-Davidson retailer. Please say hello when you see our team at the rally and ride safely.
Bucking the wind is a natural part of riding and while the idea of a little wind in your face ins romantic and enjoyable, a steady barrage of the gusty element can be downright tiring. A proper windshield helps manage airflow around the front of the motorcycle tames wind blasts and creates a pocket of still air for improved rider and passenger comfort. To help you determine which windshield is best for you, here’s some Windshield 411 on going from windblown fatigue to easy aerodynamic riding by selecting the right windshield.
Windshields are available in multiple styles and heights to accommodate your individual needs. The trick is to select the right size and style of windshield for your bike, riding style and conditions. Proper height allows you to look over the windshield while the airflow rises up and over the top of your head. To avoid looking through bug spats and road grime, choose a windshield that tops out just below your line of sight. To further protect you from the elements, create an air management system by combining windshields with air deflectors. All Harley-Davidson windshields are made from hard-coated polycarbonate – a tough, resilient material that resists abrasion and scratching and offers protection from rocks and other road debris.
Fork Mounted Windshields
They are available in both detachable and quick-release designs. Quick-release windshields attach to a bike’s front tubes with a stylish die cast lever locking clamps that result in a clean custom look without the leave behind docking hardware. Fork Mounted shields are quick to attach or detach, and the transition requires no tools.
The next options are windshields that offer protection and style for bikes with a fixed fairing.
Air and Wind Deflectors
Deflectors are designed to maximize rider comfort by extending the windshield’s coverage for superior protection in any weather.
Remember: Gateway Harley-Davidson offers demo rides for windshields in our Windshield Demo Program, so you can try before you buy to avoid purchasing a windshield that doesn’t fit your needs.
Twenty-two bikes were on display at the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee Tuesday morning as part of the announcement of the multi-year partnership between Harley-Davidson and Sailor Jerry's Spice Rum.
Sailor Jerry's had artists from all over the country design and paint the bikes. Sailor Jerry -- aka Norman Collins -- was a tattoo artist who lived in Hawaii from the 1930s until the 1970s and is widely considered one of the godfathers of modern tattoo art.
"This partnership between Sailor Jerry and Harley-Davidson was such a no brainer. These two iconic Americana brands really make sense to come together," said Ashley Marsh, a brand ambassador for Sailor Jerry’s. "Between the artistic-ness (sic) of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins and the straight art and freedom of Harley-Davidson."
The bikes will be available for viewing at locations around the country throughout the summer and will later be available for ownership through a sweepstakes thrown by Sailor Jerry Spice Rum.
Harley-Davidson's Big Twin is the heart and soul of America's most famous touring bikes. As Cycle World put it: "If ever an engine inspired religious fervor, this is it." This fall the icon gets an upgrade.
Last week Harley unveiled the ninth iteration of the Big Twin, named the Milwaukee-Eight for Harley's hometown and the eight valves on the new engine (four in each cylinder). With 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow and a revamped cooling system that allows the engine to work harder without overheating, the Milwaukee-Eight produces 10 percent more torque than its predecessor, the Twin Cam, according to Harley.
The 107-cubic-inch (1,750cc) Milwaukee-Eight is replacing the Twin Cam on Harley's 2017 touring bikes, including the Street Glide, Road Glide, Road King, and Electra Glide models. They will start arriving at dealerships around the country this week. The CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide will get the massive 114ci (1,870cc) version of the Milwaukee-Eight, and there is speculation that the 107ci engine will eventually become the standard on other bikes such as the Heritage Softail. That would be the first rubber-mounted engine on that classic design.
2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide with the 107ci Milwaukee-Eight.
"We want all riders to save the date of Sept. 23," said Dino Bernacchi, Director of U.S. Marketing at Harley-Davidson, in a press release. "That weekend, Harley-Davidson dealers across the country will host open house events so riders can throw a leg over our Model Year 2017 touring motorcycles and feel the difference of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine for themselves."
The primary upgrade to the Big Twin is "strategic cooling" technologies, the result of thousands of hours of predictive computer modeling. The engine will produce more power, so it's going to generate more heat, thus the need for clever cooling tricks. Coolant is pumped through a heart-shaped passage that wraps around the "exhaust bridge" that separates the valves of each cylinder head—a small metal section that is heated from both sides of the combustion chamber.
In addition, the shallow, four-valve combustion chambers of the Milwaukee-Eight absorb less heat than the deep, two-valve, modified hemi chambers used on the Twin Cam. The new shallow valve design combined with faster combustion from two spark plugs per cylinder keeps some heat from being absorbed by pistons and heads. This traps the hot gas in the combustion chamber where it translates to power and torque. A redesigned exhaust system and large-area cooling fins displace that heat away from the rider and passenger.
The new engine also cuts down on mechanical noise by replacing old gear configurations with a drive that uses a chain and automatic hydraulic tensioner. The reduced number of moving parts means less noise and lower friction, and it also means the engine will have a slightly different sound. As Harley told Cycle World, "We're killing the noise so we can keep the music."
A challenge for large-displacement two-cylinder engines has always been smoothing the short bursts of torque into a steady rate of acceleration and a smooth ride. To accomplish this, the electronic control module (ECM) of the Milwaukee-Eight was reprogrammed to interpret different throttle positions as calls for various amounts of torque output. Harley says it also used a counter-rotating internal balancer to negate 75 percent of the engine's shaking. When Harley cut down the engine shaking even more, test riders rejected the new completely-smooth idle, prompting engineers to purposefully retain some of that idle vibration that lets you know you're riding a Harley.
Thanks to those upgrades, the Milwaukee-Eight can ran at high compression ratios—as high as 10.5:1. As a result, bikes equipped with the new Big Twin are two to three bike lengths quicker in a 0-to-60 mph sprint and one to two lengths quicker when accelerating in top gear from 60 to 80 mph, according to Cycle World.
The new engine is being rolled out with a revamped suspension system that uses "dual bending valve fork technology" for a smoother ride without compromising control. When the fork is at rest, the damping fluid is partially blocked by a thin washer to keep the suspension more rigid for enhanced control. But when the suspension is compressed, damping fluid gradually moves the free edge of the washer out of the way to increase the volume of the flow path to allow more absorption of bumps in the road.
The end result of all this engine tech is Harley striving for the best of both worlds. The smoother ride quality should appeal to a wider range of riders, though the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer intentionally retained some of the V-twin rattle that longtime Harley-riders have grown to know and love. With the entire touring line upgraded to the Milwaukee-Eight Big Twin, and an electric motorcycle on the horizon, what it means to be a Harley is something that's roaring into the future.