Harley-Davidson’s Street Glide Special flows into corners and is ideal for a grand tour – or popping to Tesco
HARLEY-DAVIDSON are going through an American revolution that may just challenge everything you thought you knew about the brand.
This year they will become the first big motorbike manufacturer to launch an all-new electric bike.
The seat is all-day comfortable and the fairing keeps the wind blast at bay[/caption]
The Livewire, available in the UK this September, puts the Milwaukee brand at the cutting edge of future bike technology … and that’s a phrase you possibly won’t have heard before.
Plus there’s a whole raft of new models in the pipeline, including adventure bikes.
And recent models like the FXDR 114 and English custom builders like Charlie Stockwell at Warr’s in London are helping to give Harley sex appeal again.
But fans of their traditional tourers can relax, because they’re not throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Harley’s touring range has been brought bang up to date for 2019 with a significantly upgraded infotainment system and the adoption of the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engines.
I rode the Street Glide Special, a dictionary definition Harley with the famous batwing fairing.
Throw your leg over the low 690mm seat and you’ll find yourself in front of a cockpit featuring the new infotainment system called Boom! Box GTS.
The home touch screen features three icons for music, maps and phone connectivity. And it works with or without gloves.
Meanwhile, the stretched saddlebags flow with the long, low profile of the bike, giving it that practicality that may just help you persuade your other half that this is in fact, actually, a very sensible purchase. Honest.
Small details are important of course. But this bike is all about the big picture.
About how it makes you feel as you pull away, change up through the gears and head out on to the open road.
Anyone nervous about how a big bike like this handles shouldn’t be. It flows into corners and devours roundabouts with an assured ease that belies its size.
The extra capacity 114 engine gives it enough torque and power to cruise comfortably or gas it, as and when desired.
On mile after mile of flowing roads you can easily just stay in third gear. And the satnav will give you a twisty route all the way to your destination if you desire.
The seat is all-day comfortable and the fairing keeps the wind blast at bay. This really is a bike for a big tour.
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Or even for popping down to the shops if you just want to make the run to Tesco a little bit more memorable.
The Street Glide Special starts at £22,495. Not cheap. But console yourself with the fact that Harleys have the lowest depreciation in the business.
And you’ll look cool.
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Faster than an F1 car
MY standout car at the Geneva Motor Show this week, without a doubt, was the Pininfarina Battista, writes Nick Francis.
Ferrari’s stablemate has developed an electric supercar packing – wait for it – 1,900BHP.
All those horses can catapult the Battista from 0-62mph in less than two seconds.
That is faster than an F1 car.
You won’t hear it coming thanks to the fully electric powertrain . . . and, at that speed, you probably won’t see it coming either.
Have a good gander when it is standing still because it’s fit as a butcher’s dog.
It is unmistakably from the house of Pininfarina, with the look of the Ferrari 488 from the front.
Pininfarina says there are design nods to cars including the Ferrari Modulo and Dino Berlinetta Speciale.
Powering a motor on each wheel, the 120kWh battery will apparently go for 280 miles on a full charge.
Price? No word on that yet . . . but you had better start saving up now.
Only 150 will be sold when the Battista arrives in 2020.
So don’t expect to see one going for a song on Auto Trader.
The home touch screen features three icons for music, maps and phone connectivity – and it works with or without gloves[/caption]
Harley’s touring range has been brought bang up to date for 2019 with a significantly upgraded infotainment system[/caption]