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First Look: 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Road Glide Special

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If 2014 was the year of the naked superbike, 2015 may be the year of the touring cruiser/bagger. Earlier this week it was time for Indian and Victory to show off their new dreadnoughts, but now the Motor Company got back in the spotlight with its new-for-2015 Road Glide and Road Glide Special.

The big news about these two new models is the RG’s distinctive fairing. The new one is wind-tunnel tested and uses a “triple splitstream” vent to improve aerodynamics and reduce buffeting. The styling may prove…controversial, but its inarguably bold and distinctive, from its high, angular profile to the dual Daymaker LED headlamps peering angrily out of the rectangular housing.

The fairing isn’t just there to look angry. It contains Harley’s Boom! Box 4.3 “infotainment” system to help while away those long Interstate miles. The system is controlled by twin joysticks located on a new swept-back handlebar and uses twin 25-Watt speakers to slather the rider with tunes.

There are some mechanical upgrades as well. The front end rides in stiffer triple clamps and the air-cooled Twin-Cam 103 cubic-inch (1690cc) engine is labeled “High Output,” indicating a claimed 5 percent boost in power over the 103 we tested in 2011.

For an extra $2300, Road Gliders can opt for the Road Glide Special. That model gets an even fancier fairing, equipped with the Boom! Box 6.5GT system, which includes a touch screen and GPS and a security system with proximity-based key fob. Mechanical upgrades include  linked brakes with ABS and low-profile rear suspension with a hand-adjustable remote preload knob. You also get hand-applied pinstriping and a painted inner fairing.

Pricing on the Road Glide starts at $20,899 in black—add $500 for colors. The Special starts at $23,199. (Note—at press time, we could not confirm pricing from H-D. These prices were reported on a rival website and may not be accurate). Both motorcycles will start arriving at dealers in late August.

Read the full press release here:

MILWAUKEE (August 1, 2014) – Harley-Davidson® (NYSE:HOG) has more rush in the tank. Spy photos, gossip and wild speculation are flooding the Internet as Harley-Davidson fans around the globe anticipate the return of the Road Glide® motorcycle. The wait is over and the Road Glide is back. 

Weeks before the announcement of its complete 2015 model line-up, Harley-Davidson is previewing the Road Glide and Road Glide Special, two of its new 2015 motorcycles. Infused with DNA of the customer-led product development effort Project RUSHMORE, the two sleek, shark-nose Touring models are being revealed today during special events at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., and at the National Bikers Roundup (NBR) in Tulsa, Okla. 

2015 Road Glide Special

“Road Glide has always had an incredibly passionate following, which is why its return to the model line-up is exciting for our customers and our company,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “With Project Rushmore technology, intuitive features and great new styling, we’re delivering an improved ride for the Road Glide faithful and the many others looking for more cool Project Rushmore motorcycle options.” 

One look at the new contour of the famous Road Glide fairing is all it takes to see past form and convention were put aside and a new rebellious design emerged. The Road Glide motorcycle earned its status satisfying the hard core and now it is back. From the wicked new Dual Reflector Daymaker™ LED headlights to the combination stop/turn/taillights, the Road Glide motorcycles set out to make the ultimate statement in custom, high-mile aggression and back it up with all the function riders demand. 

“The Road Glide has always been a bike for a rider who’s cut from a different cloth, a person who wants to make a statement as they chase the freedom of the road,” said Michael Goche, Product Planning Manager. “This new model respects that spirit while offering a significant improvement in aerodynamic and ergonomic comfort, LED lighting and the full suite of Project RUSHMORE features that have been such a huge hit with touring riders around the world.” 

Road Glide

Shaped by countless hours of wind tunnel testing, the new frame-mounted Road Glide motorcycle fairing features a triple splitstream vent that significantly reduces head buffeting while still providing  comfortable airflow around the rider. The brilliant white beams of the Dual Daymaker Reflector LED headlamp blasts through the murkiest of nights. Centered in the inner fairing is the color screen of a Boom! ™ Box 4.3 infotainment system controlled by twin joysticks located on a new swept-back handlebar that puts the rider in a commanding, comfortable position. A High Output Twin Cam 103™ V-Twin engine burbles through two chrome mufflers, its abundant torque always on tap with just a twist of the throttle. Touring features include One-Touch hard saddlebags, cruise control, easy-to-read gauges, adjustable air-ride rear suspension and new ergonomic hand controls with intuitive design and improved tactile feel. 

Road Glide Special

Select premium features elevate the performance and style of the Road Glide Special from the base model. These enhancements include the premium Boom! Box 6.5GT infotainment system with touch screen and GPS navigation, Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS and hand-adjustable low-profile rear suspension. An exclusive painted inner fairing and hand-applied pinstriping move the styling up a notch. 

The public will have an opportunity to see and test-ride the new 2015 Road Glide and Road Glide Special models at Harley-Davidson locations in Sturgis Aug. 2-9 and in Tulsa on Aug. 2. They then start arriving at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships on August 26, 2014. Visit www.h-d.com/roadglide for more information.

62 Comments

  1. ff says:

    been riding for 60 years and have owned every marque ………..favorite was the buell for its handling but tiresome on long 5 week trips………same for the bmw k bike . new bmw’s have soooooo many problems that i will not touch one……….seems like they are in a rapid reliability decline………the olld beemer air cooled, i still have one 26 years old and the only other bike i will take on very long trips……………….the v strom…great bike but the new one ,well,i passed on it ,the old one just grows on you…….the honda f6b……….great what i always wanted on a goldwing and only because of that hreat jet like motor …………the victory and the indina …..they just do not attract me …………………..the harleys………………well, these are very special bikes ……….i have ridden the street glide for weeks at a time,poor handlers and do not even think of hitting curved roads over 75 mph,but my second favorite tot ake on a road trip for its comfort, rider back rest, great heated grips, great fairing with curved ceebailey windscreen and sos so radio (if you need one )…..the new road glide…….????????i will test ride it soon ,as soon as it gets to my dealer,and will do so for a full day…….chances are it will be my next bike…….it disposes ft eh heaviness of the handlebar mounted street glide fairing ,but it is still a heavy,very heavy bike but soooooo comfortable that in my old gae it is the way to go right after the f6b………………

  2. Kevin says:

    So these are TOURING bikes, no? Designed to for two-up riding with luggage over long distances and whatever kind of pavement the trip throws at it? Yet they have TWO INCHES of rear suspension travel. Is this enough to provide a smooth ride over bumpy pavement, and absorb big bumps without a painful jolt to the rider? No, according to every moto-mag test published in recent years. However, because the Harley Mystique dispenses with logic and reason, these bikes continue to fly off the showroom floor. People who ride Harleys are different from you and me. They have more money and no sense.

  3. boscoe says:

    Harley has copied a Honda – the Goldwing F6B/Valkerie! Who’da thunk it?

  4. Bill says:

    I remember thinking the Gen 1 V-Strom was the ugliest motorcycle ever. It was rash of me to rush to judgement — this is the ugliest motorcycle ever.

  5. kawzies says:

    It’s got Bender-Eyes

  6. Jamo says:

    The fairing grows on you. (Literally – it keeps getting bigger and bigger until you are enveloped)

    No, really. It works very well. You can’t see it, but the dash panel is all laid out for you behind the fairing and it gives you a pleasant living room feel. You’ll get to like it.

    But I am going to wait for Twin Cooling. I don’t get introducing a new touring model in this day and age and still using air cooling. Even for Harley, especially after they came up with such a neat system on their lower-fairing-ed models. And you do know that the Ultra is yet to be introduced, right?

  7. Chris says:

    To answer groupw yes I have ridden and raced in all kinds of weather for over 40 years and yes some of it was on Harley’s but I quickly realized they are not up to being pushed hard (anemic engine performance poor brakes lousy cornering ability) ,Harley had a very good bike the XR1200x but most of their so called riders never gave it a second look ,it is by far the best handling best air cooled engine they ever made I have one ,the only problem is it is too heavy.You should try riding a BMW touring bike or Gold wing or even Victory the performance of those bikes will simply embarrass the road glide.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    How do they manage to keep selling such ugly bikes at such a premium year after year? Indian couldn’t have chosen a better time to come to market.

  9. groupw says:

    ……… have any of you ‘motorcyclists’ ever ridden a Road Glide ?
    …… have you ridden a motorcycle all day, day after day, on the slab, or backroads, in head winds and cross winds and any/all other conditions you’ll encounter when yer way, waay out there ?
    …. well, it’s like somebody said, somewhere along the line… ‘ if i have to explain, you wouldn’t understand ‘
    ……….. oh & btw ……. we B proud of ‘fugly’.

    • Matric says:

      I did ride a Road Glide once. But for all day riding on all types of roads and i say all. A v_Strom is way better than this big boat. But we’re lucky we have several choices. It’s just that i don’t answer Harley’s call.

    • mickey says:

      Believe it or not some of us who don’t ride Harleys are real enthusiasts. I have missed riding 2 days in the last 2 1/2 months, rode from Ohio to the Pacific ocean and back in 11 days, spent 5 days exploring the back roads in West Virginia, ride in every month on Ohio, even in winter. Have ridden over 15000 miles in the last 7 months. There are other bikes that will ride as long, as far and in any conditions that a Road Glide will. You need to expand your world a little bit.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Q: “have any of you ‘motorcyclists’ ever ridden a Road Glide ?”

      A: Yes. Rented one for a week-long, 2600-mile trip once in the northeast.

      Q: “have you ridden a motorcycle all day, day after day, on the slab, or backroads, in head winds and cross winds and any/all other conditions you’ll encounter when yer way, waay out there ?”

      A: Yes. Comfortable bike, though there are far more comfortable bike available. Backroads? This is not a backroad bike. Period. End of sentence. And it is soooo slow. And it doesn’t stop particularly well. Or lean over very far before making sparks. It goes in a straight line well and is good for that sort of thing so long as you don’t get your jollies from the thrill of acceleration.

      I thought there was no uglier bike available on the market, but guys living vicariously from the front seats of there SUV’s at gas stations kept telling me what a beautiful bike it was, so what do I know? You are right: I don’t get it. I am glad it is available for guys like you, and I am glad there are alternatives for guys like me.

    • Hair says:

      Many would say the exact same thing about the BMW R1200 GS Adventure.

  10. Chris says:

    I sure hope that there will be more forward thinking from H.D. to go along with the Live Wire electric bike instead of there out dated under performing bikes they have been making . I know that many are saying that the same old ,same old is what keeps there customers coming back but it is that exact same reason that many would never buy a Harley I for one will not support a company that keeps looking back in stead of forward .

  11. Bob L. says:

    I keep trying to think of something to say about this fairing design…..I’m speechless.
    The rest of the bike is ok.

  12. Chris says:

    How many will that “forward cabin” sleep?

  13. Matric says:

    That’s one of the ugliest fairing.

  14. VLJ says:

    This thing and the Morbidelli V8 = separated at (after)birth.

  15. BLH says:

    A lot of people will be saying 2013 is the last year Harley made a Road Glide.

    We will be keeping our 2013!

  16. Bobby Bee says:

    All Harley needs to do to complete this bike is add a boattail and slap an AMF badge on it.

  17. Rennie says:

    And I thought Honda stylists had lost it. Waste of steel.

  18. TF says:

    “High Output”……LMAO!

  19. Texinohio says:

    It looks like there should be some video monitor housed in the dash on which to play an old arcade style motorcycle game.

  20. motowarrior says:

    H-D is laughing all the way to the bank. Let’s face it, there are Bikers and there are Motorcyclists. Apparently in the good old USA there are more Bikers than Motorcyclists. I like for American companies to succeed, and with the LiveWire H-D showed some engineering chops. Maybe, like BMW in recent years, they are ready to branch out and do more than this. I sure hope so.

    • TF says:

      It seems to me like the market is flooded with cruisers and baggers. I keep thinking the bottom is going to fall out eventually. Nine out of ten bikes I pass on the road look exactly the same. How much more demand can there be?

      I think it’s funny that they all look the same, dress the same, ride the same bike. It seems now like the true one-percenter nonconformists are the young guys on sport bikes.

  21. mechanicus says:

    I dunno. Being a batwing guy it just looks weird to me. I might test ride one to see what the hulabaloo is all about…

  22. Dave says:

    I just don’t care

  23. mickey says:

    I keep waiting for the headlights to blink.

  24. KenHoward says:

    ‘Looks like the fairing will offer good upper-level weather protection, with “Laminar-Lip”-style windscreen. The twin LED headlights would have to be a huge improvement over my Bonneville’s pathetic unit. I would want the standard RG (withABS) and only insist on a 1″-2″ raised rear, with more-useable suspension travel. The price seems right to me (yes, it’s a lot more than an FZ-07).

  25. xlayn says:

    Honda DN07 built by HD, comments war on this one it’s going to be epic.

  26. beasty says:

    Nice looking bike. Not as porky looking as the new Indian.

  27. Bukemoto says:

    Harley bashing…how predictable. The reality is Harley will sell every one of these they make in the model year in which it is intended. How many 3 year old, or more (insert name of your favorite brand here) models are collecting dust on your local dealers showroom?

  28. Tom R says:

    “Boom Box 4.3″ and “Boom Box 6.5″. Do they pick these numbers out of a hat? What quantifies the 2.2 jump from one to the next??

  29. Tank says:

    “twin joysticks” on a Harley. Things sure have changed.

  30. bennie says:

    Starting to look like Victory, very fugly indeed.. And the price. Are you serious?

  31. Norm G. says:

    pretty sure I could recycle my “Bender from Futurama” observation that I used in the Bell Bullit thread, but that’d be too easy right…?

  32. Clasqm says:

    A touring bike with a special “SlideOff” pillion seat?

  33. marloweluke says:

    Ugly has a whole new look. The fairing is the obvious one, but even the front mudguard is hideous. The front wheel is OK. I just don’t get it I guess, and I’m OK with that.

    • DucSSsp says:

      Ugly front fender takes some of the fugliness away from that gawd-awful fairing! What….no factory leather tassles to match the owners black pirate suit? Kinda want a Dyna myself, just hate the HD stigma/culture that goes with…

  34. Montana says:

    Perfect response Joe.
    I haven’t been this excited since the postal rates went up.

  35. joe b says:

    Prince has a new ride.