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Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS in the driving report

Bagger-style tourer

In 2015, Harley-Davidson is bringing the Road Glide with the distinctive “shark nose” to Europe for the first time: as a “Special” luxury version with LED headlights and a large GPS. In the Bavarian Alps, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS invites you to make initial contact.

The Road Glide has been around in the USA since 1998, but only tuned CVO versions came to Europe. Only now does it come as a special version – model code: FLTRXS – officially to good old Europe. It is stylistically Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS a tourer in bagger style with a clean custom rear end, technically it is based one to one on the Street Glide. Just with "Shark’s Nose" (shark nose) instead of "Bat Wing" clothing. The typical bat wing of the other touring models, it has been around since 1969, is mounted on the handlebar and swivels with the steering.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS in the driving report

Bagger-style tourer

Road Glide Special FLTRXS mounted fixed to the frame. It remains rigid when the handlebars are turned. Only the speedometer and rev counter swivel in a shaky plastic housing with the handlebars. All other instruments (navigation system with large touchscreen, voltmeter, fuel gauge) are in the cladding. The chrome-plated, inch handlebar is 25.4 mm thicker than the Street Glide (22 mm). He continues to meet the driver, is cranked further back. Good for people with short arms, tall drivers get into a somewhat passive, slightly reclined sitting position.

It is not speed that counts, but pure, sublime driving experience

First of all, the 385 kilograms of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS want to be lifted off the stand; that’s a whopping 13 more than the Street Glide Special. So what? Sheer bulk is part of a men’s motorcycle. Just like this inimitable run of the monument by a motor: potato-potato-potato. Fascinating how the shiny V2 shakes when idling, how it dances up and down in the steel frame. The mighty internal combustion engine stomps and trembles, the entire porch trembles. But when the boat is moving, the elastic suspension calms down: only dosed pulsing penetrates the crew. Good vibrations!

Two pistons with a diameter of 98.4 millimeters whiz up and down a full 111.1 millimeters long. Visually, the towering cylinders are a cathedral of mechanical engineering. With two pairs of crossed bumpers. A small oil cooler ensures reasonably cool (cylinder) heads in the air-cooled cylinder V. Tonk, the first gear engages. What Harley calls "High Output Twin Cam 103" (for 103 cubic inches) is a manageable 87 hp from 1690 cm³. It is not speed that counts here, but a pure, sublime driving experience, movement itself. If the speedometer needle is on "100", the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS tickles the tachometer in sixth gear only the 2500 mark.

Pulling through in sixth gear? It’s pretty bad. Better to switch back to the fifth or fourth. On the uphill stretches of the fantastically beautiful Rossfeldstrasse, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS romps around a lot in the second and third. Noticeable when, depending on the gear, the flap in the right exhaust opens at around 3000 tours (the one with the larger outlet opening). Then the XXL-V-Twin turns more freely and offers noticeable additional thrust. The landscape passes by in the panoramic armchair. There are supposed to be socias who only want to ride on Harleys. However, the backward sloping pillow for the passenger on the Road (and Street) Glide is not very comfortable.

Significantly better wind protection than on the Street Glide

In the first row, on the other hand, you can endure it for hours in the wide leather saddle. Style and feeling go hand in hand! Harley’s typical contrast program: on the one hand easy going, on the other hand the feeling of the massive (and important) is always with you. A real road cruiser, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS. The enclosed space in front of the driver is quite voluminous. The wind protection is significantly better than on the Street Glide. It pulls much more strongly behind the flat disc. With the Road Glide, three flaps can be opened for turbulence-free airflow and locked while driving: left, right and above the wide, bright LED “Daymaker” lights in the shark’s mouth.

The high, wide handlebars offer a large lever arm: The Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS folds out harmoniously, predictably and precisely, and rolls nicely even through tight bends. And hardly stands up when braking in an inclined position. Let it go, then everything will be fine in the wrestling club. Only when throwing back and forth in fast alternating curves does the heavy weight of the front interfere, even if it is supported by the entire motorcycle. Moved appropriately, the lean angle is okay. The two struts get the best out of the ultra-tight 54 millimeters of spring travel. But with rough bumps or holes in the asphalt, they reach their limits, then hit the back hard.

King-of-the-road feeling from 25,785 euros

The telescopic fork glides better over bumps. It hides its mighty 49er standpipes under large covers, and lets its spring work at least 117 millimeters. Brecht was right: "And the shark has teeth …" That is, on the easy-care belt drive. The brakes of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS are not at all toothless: from around 40 km / h the electronic brake force distribution is active, the pedal and hand lever together send around 30 percent of the braking force to the other wheel. Below that, they brake separately. Every parking is a ceremony, you feel like a US cop. Inevitably, the Harley, which is casually placed on the side stand, attracts admirers, especially older people.

It’s just a damn cool excavator, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS. The country road glider pampers you with square meters of chrome, massive metal and many eye-candy details. It offers king-of-the-road feeling from 25,785 euros, including an alarm system, immobilizer and keyless operation. And the way this shark crackles for hours after being parked is really awesome.

Find a Harley-Davidson Dealer near you.

Technical data Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS

engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 45-degree V-engine, two lower, chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, 2 x Ø 46 mm , uncontrolled catalytic converter, alternator 650 W, battery 12 V / 28 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 2.130.

Bore x stroke: 98.4 x 111.1 mm
Displacement: 1690 cm³
Compression ratio: 9.7: 1
Rated output: 64.0 kW (87 PS) at 5010 rpm
Max. Torque: 138 Nm at 3500 rpm

landing gear: Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 49 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, disc brake at the rear, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels: 3.50 x 19; 5.00 x 16
Tires: 130/60 B 19; 180/65 B 16

Dimensions + weight: Wheelbase 1625 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 173 mm, spring travel v./h. 117/54 mm, seat height 695 mm, empty weight 385 kg, permissible total weight 617 kg, tank capacity 22.7 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Colors: blue, orange, black, matt black
Price including additional costs: from 25,785 euros

2015 Harleys


The Street Glide, the most popular Harley in the world, is only available as a "Special" in 2015. Including premium infotainment system with a large touchscreen and navigation system in the Bat Wing panel.

The new models

Harley’s top touring model Electra Glide Ultra Limited is also available in 2015 as a “low” version FLHTKL with a seat height of 685 instead of 740 millimeters. With the same spring travel, the chassis is lowered by around 2.5 centimeters. In addition, the flatter leather saddle and the slimmer engine housing cover (clutch bell!) Reduce the distance to asphalt and running boards. The thinner handlebars (22 millimeters in diameter, no heated grips) are five centimeters closer to the driver. Also on board: slimmer passenger pegs, an extended side stand extension and a hydraulic clutch with reduced manual force. Harley sees as a target group for the "low" riders from about 1.65 meters. In fact, smaller pilots find it easier to turn and maneuver with the 414-kilo colossus (factory specification full tank). However, the Low scratches the curve (s) earlier than the other touring models. Like the standard Ultra, the Low costs from 28,795 euros, depending on the paintwork. Unlike Road and Street Glides, all E-Glides have the 1690 cubic V2 with water-cooled heads; the water coolers sit in the leg shields.

In the USA (and worldwide) the Street Glide is the most popular Harley – a tourer without a top case and with a tinted mini wind deflector on the typical Bat Wing fairing. In 2015 there is only the more expensive “Special” version FLHXS with a large touchscreen for the “Boom! Box 6.5 GT Infotainment “from audio system (radio plus mp3) and navigation system. The Special also adorns pinstripes (decorative lines) on the paintwork and running boards with chrome inlays in the "Aerostream design". Price: from 25,475 euros. For 2015 there is also a “major overhaul” of the braking system on all Softail models.

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