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2011 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Review

11-9-2010

by Pascal Bastien , moto123.com

Inheriting the redesigned frame and suspension, and reduced engine vibrations of the 2009 Touring family, the new and improved 2011 Street Glide returns decked out in White Hot Denim and ever more improvements for our pure cruising enjoyment.

The base Street Glide offers a simple machine, ready to customisation by the new owner, without having to put up with an uncomfortable saddle or a scratchy radio. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)

The best H-D engine of the lot?
Neither the largest nor the most powerful, the Twin Cam 103 (TC103) offers a blend of torque, power and smoothness that sets it above the every engine out of Milwaukee save for the CVO-only TC110. Torquey at low rpm and potent at higher rpm, the TC103 effortlessly propels the stout Street Glide forward and proves incomparably smooth for such a beefy pushrod Twin, an essential quality for a Touring bike and one of the brand’s real strong suits.

Several key measurements distinguish the TC103 from the older TC96: larger bore, higher compression ratio (9.6:1 vs. 9.2:1), revised injection mapping and improved camshafts. Power climbs from 72 to 75 hp, and torque goes up from 95 ft-lb at 3,500 rpm for the TC96 to 101 ft-lb on the big brother. And like Harley’s other mills, that extra torque start coming in en masse from 2,000 rpm, with enough of it to get you out of virtually any sticky situation, either solo or fully loaded, guaranteeing safety in a world saturated by poorly-driven four-wheel boxes.

The well-spaced ratios in the six-speed let you enjoy all that torque to the fullest, as well as reduce the number of shifts required. And like all the other big H-Ds, the revised-for-2010 tranny is all about precise, effortless shifting.

Rock solid
The 2011 Street Glide’s frame is based on the revised one we first saw on the 2009 Touring line-up: redesigned and much more solid frame and rocker arm, wider 18-inch wheels (16 inches pre-2008), a beefier rear tire and three 300-mm discs with optional ABS.

Great saddle for the driver, not so for the passenger unless you upgrade it from the generous H-D accessories catalog. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)
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