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5 Reasons to Buy a Harley-Davidson Street Glide

I absolutely love motorcycles. I have owned 39 of them, and my Harley-Davidson Street Glide is one of my favorites.

2012 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Side profile with drivers backrest, passenger backrest.

Side profile with drivers backrest, passenger backrest.

Owning and Riding a Street Glide

I have owned 39 motorcycles over my lifetime; this number includes three Harley-Davidson motorcycles. After researching what the Harley-Davidson Street Glide was about, I realized that although the most popular model Harley sells, the truth is the bike has a lot more going for it than anyone talks about.

Here are the top five reasons people purchase the FLHX Street Glide:

  1. It is a Harley!
  2. You can go touring on it.
  3. Not too heavy for around town traffic.
  4. Great wind protection.
  5. Cruise control and a stereo.

Ok, so we all know about these five items, but what about the real top five reasons this bike is so popular.

  1. It is a Harley, so what does this mean? It means that you will have thousands of ways to customize the motorcycle. A Harley is a classic modern motorcycle, and part of this cult following is that you can customize it for your style. Like chrome? You can put it on the fenders, handlebars, luggage rack, etc. And the clincher? You can find these on e-bay with many parts second hand and cheap!
  2. The seat height is low, so the bike feels light and maneuverable. Not the lightest bike on the market, but with luggage and a fairing, the bike feels lighter because of the low back end for that low and lean look.
  3. The motorcycle does great out on the highway, with a 6-speed transmission and available electronic cruise control, you can cover the miles. Even if you never go touring, you will find the motorcycle is very comfortable with floorboards and a heel/toe shifter. It tracks the road very true, even in crosswinds, it is one of the most stable motorcycles out on the open road.
  4. It isn't a full touring motorcycle! In other words, you don't have the weight of having a trunk on the bike that is out in the wind and brings the center of gravity up higher. The Street Glide also doesn't have the leg protectors that add weight and don't have the same airflow for keeping you cool on those warm days.
  5. It rattles, pukes, stumbles, and at idle vibrates like the engine is falling apart...but is so smooth and has the right rumble as you go down the road. The most impressive part of the Harley and the Street Glide is the engine has the character of an old school motorcycle, in that it makes mechanical noise. Once underway, it smoothes out to be the modern motorcycle that is pretty much trouble free with normal maintenance.

The Street Glide is truly a great motorcycle, with the bagger offering practicality as a daily commuter, to the classic look and feel of a real motorcycle. I think the one aspect of owning a Harley is the feel that these bikes give you. The handlebars are made of steel, with the rest of the bike having heavy duty engineering built for easy maintenance and toughness. This is because the architecture of the engine and frame come from an era of design that required this durability and toughness.

Out on a Sunday drive...beautiful day just cruising the open highway of South Dakota

Out on a Sunday drive...beautiful day just cruising the open highway of South Dakota

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 Mike Dempsey


HARLEYGUY 44 on February 04, 2017:


D Michael Dockery on November 25, 2016:

My last six bikes were Harley's and I will never ride anything else only punks talk shit about Harley's

Aex on November 07, 2016:

Lmao those are the 5 main reason ppl get it.... and your grammar is terrible man, like wtf lol

If you want to talk street glide and sound impressive, speak about tuorque. Let ppl know about the new engine, 1 cam vs the old 2 which makes the engine much smoother and the 8 valves instead of 4 (which haven't been done since the early 50's) gives it more power and gas efficiency. Counter balanced plus new hydrology rear shocks ..... I mean really.....

Mike Dempsey (author) from Sioux Falls SD on September 16, 2016:

Depends on how slow you are going. The two bikes share the identical frame, you just don't have the handlebars having to move the fairing.

My understanding is the Road Glide is better in crosswinds, it cuts the air without moving the bars since the fairing is mounted to the frame.

Mark on September 15, 2016:

The Road Glide is easier to operate at slow speeds.

Mike Dempsey (author) from Sioux Falls SD on September 04, 2016:


You may have a poor dealer in your area, but my experiences with the dealer network have been very positive, especially if I need services while on the road.

I know the bikes may not be the performance edge, but go buy a BMW sometime and see how many problems you can encounter and a dealer that really cares!

Rob Roth on September 01, 2016:

After almost 50 years and 60 bikes- if you want a great ride,True DollarValue,great reliability and great dealer network, "Just Buy

a Harley"! (You'll See)

Mike Dempsey (author) from Sioux Falls SD on June 06, 2015:


Yeah...just about every motorcycle will have a problem now and then. I had a Yamaha FJR 1300 that I rode very gently, and had a transmission problem that I believe the first owner had brought on. I never looked at it as a brand problem, but that motorcycles are high performance engines and if you ride them hard, just like anything, you may have to fix them now and then :)

kerry on June 05, 2015:

I have owned one bike so far. A 2005 FLHRS. Replaced chain tensioner seven years ago. Bike runs like a champ and still gets compliments.

Euzinha on December 12, 2014:

Although I have to say, honestly and sadly: parts of that area do have a post-apocalyptic look about them these days. Fifty or sixty years ago (when I was a child), it was a nice midlde-class neighborhood.

Mike Dempsey (author) from Sioux Falls SD on September 24, 2014:


Yeah...they sure are built like a real bike was made. Not a lot of plastic to be found, I enjoyed the miles I put on the bike and always gave me attitude on the ride. Attitude? Yeah, just leave me alone and let me do my own thing!

William on September 24, 2014:

Just got one all the chrome is real steel not like my old vox 1300 the chrome was plastic

Mike Dempsey (author) from Sioux Falls SD on July 18, 2014:


Yeah, Harley's are ok bikes, not the BOMB necessarily, but they have a distinct heritage and feel that makes them special. The improvements made with the Rushmore series makes them even better, but I can see Harley is going to have to get on game since Indian has come along.

I probably will own a Harley again someday, just want them to keep making the air cooled engine!

Tombo Fajardo on July 18, 2014:

I have an FLHX2oo8, prior to that had a VTX1300 and a Kawa 750. The minute I got on my FLHX I felt the difference, this bike is made though and is a very smooth ride once you get going and it can take you far. like any motorized equipment you have to do the routine maintenance and it will last you a while. The only people that talks crap about Harley are the ones that never owned one.

Mike Dempsey (author) from Sioux Falls SD on January 19, 2014:


They take a lot more abuse than you think. I have owned 33 motorcycles, currently not a Harley but a BMW and a new Yamaha Bolt. As much as they shake and rattle, you can ride them hard if you want, and they seem to do ok...maybe not as much abuse as other bikes, but if you ride them like normal, they do well.

My Street Glide, when I sold it, had 7,500 miles on it, in temperatures over 100 degrees F, and the bike never burned a teaspoon of oil between oil changes.

JC on January 18, 2014:

Harleys tough? LMAO! They break down if the wind blows on them. That's not tough!

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