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Moto Guzzi MGX-21 and Harley-Davidson Street Glide in comparison

Fat Bottomed Girls – slightly wider at the back

It is not known whether Freddy Mercury was interested in motorcycles. But the musical memorial that he placed on the more powerfully built part of the ladies in the hip area fits the two fat excavators Moto Guzzi MGX-21 or Harley-Davidson Street Glide perfectly.

Fashion waves shape the appearance of women’s outerwear. The dressable fabrics are sometimes short, sometimes long, sometimes tight, sometimes wide. It’s not much different in the motorcycle world, although the periods here are much longer. Tea model range of Harley-Davidson reflects the current trends over the years. Sometimes stripped long forks in easy rider style are more popular, sometimes crisp bobbers with thick front wheels. A relatively new trend in recent years that, like most others in the cruiser sector, spilled over to us from the USA is excavators. These are derived from the large touring cruisers. This is where its name comes from, namely from English bag, meaning suitcase. Even BMW will soon jump on this bandwagon with the K 1600 B..

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 and Harley-Davidson Street Glide in comparison

Fat Bottomed Girls – slightly wider at the back

It starts with the Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Let’s go. First, the Harley-Davidson Street Glide is casually boarded, the most valuable thing can be found at a height of just 695 millimeters, and your hands start looking for the handlebars. In front of him, the road glider in spe will find a formidable collection of analog instruments, at their feet a 6.5-inch touchscreen display. In addition to the navigation system, it also houses the sound system.

On the Moto Guzzi MGX-21 you sit significantly higher at 760 millimeters, the handlebars are also far away. The eye of the beholder falls on two round instruments, whereby the outside speed and speed are displayed analogously as usual. In the digital interior there is information on the on-board entertainment program on the left, the on-board computer is on the right. Unfortunately, both displays are difficult to read due to reflections.

The name says it all for the Moto Guzzi MGX-21

The high weight of over 360 kilograms in each case demands courageous gripping both when balancing in the vertical position and when maneuvering. As soon as the loads start rolling, the mass is quickly put into perspective. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide differs from the Road King ridden in MOTORRAD 22/2016 in that it has different wheels, the Batwing fairing including the inner workings and the bags or cases that give it its name. Whether the higher steering forces and the more sluggish handling are due to the additional weight on the handlebars or the 19-inch front wheel with a flat cross-section, which is quite small for an excavator, cannot be precisely determined. But it doesn’t really bother either.

Things look a little different with the Moto Guzzi MGX-21. The name says it all: the front wheel is 21 inches in diameter. But if it looks great with the wide fender and the inner carbon cover, the big wheel is not good for the Guzzi at all. While the Audace, on which the MGX-21 is basically based, did not show any abnormalities in its driving behavior, on the contrary even easily won the comparison test with Triumph Thunderbird and Victory Hammer S (MOTORRAD 19/2015), the MGX – and huge. Even when maneuvering, the tight steering damper is annoying; when driving slowly, it causes permanent and annoying staggering around the vertical axis. Nevertheless, it cannot prevent the significant tendency to commute on the motorway from 150 km / h. The driver is even grateful that it is cordoned off at 180 km / h. An experimental dismantling of the damper led to the realization that it is not the cause, but without it it is even worse. After all, the brakes with the distinctive red calipers do their job quite well. The air-cooled, lengthways installed V2 also delights the heart. Still wriggling Guzzi-typical when idling, the test machine surprised when driving with a smoothness not known from Guzzi. The gearbox also usually does its job quietly and with sufficient precision.

Both machines are not queens of angular work

In contrast to the Moto Guzzi MGX-21, the Harley-Davidson Street Glide with the 2017 chassis looks heavy, full and relaxed, as is typical for Harley, but moves confidently and stably in all speed ranges and driving situations. A Harley obviously doesn’t care what kind of wheel turns in front, as long as there is one at all! After the four-valve cure, the Harley-Twin is more powerful than ever in terms of torque, pushing ahead with incomparable V2 thrust from idle. His switch box also does its job well, apart from the sometimes annoying idle search.

Both machines are definitely not the queens of Winkelwerk, but prefer well-developed roads with wide arches. Then they can be more weird than you think they are. There is a cruise control here and there for motorway stages, whereby the Guzzi reacts quite abruptly to speed adjustments. Here is also a good opportunity for the windbreak check. Result: What the Guzzi lacks above, it makes up for below. That means: Head and hands are better protected from wind and weather on the Harley. On the Moto Guzzi MGX-21, the mighty cylinders provide more coverage underneath. In addition, it offers the co-pilot a cozy place for a longer period of time, while the tighter-cut armchair on the Harley-Davidson Street Glide falls backwards, which makes the passenger always fearful of doing the same, especially when accelerating. The fact that the Street Glide approved itself in the extremely cautious consumption lap with 5.1 liters / 100 km 0.3 liters more than the identically motorized Road King last, could be due to the sweeping fairing. The Guzzi does it, even gently pulling the gas, not less than 5.8 liters.

Does it really need a radio?

Back to the radio. Basically, the author of these lines is of the opinion that there is no need for music on a motorcycle. On the one hand. On the other hand, a few years ago a Victory Cross Country, also a Trumm von Bike, was in gleaming white in the editorial office, and the author was allowed to take it home with him. It was summer, and so the best of all socias was picked up for a spontaneous jaunt. She was, very unusually, dressed entirely in white. And folks, believe it or not, but just as the sun was going down, Nights in White Satin was on. Kitsch as Kitsch can, of course, but that’s not forgotten until today.

This experience probably would not have happened on the Moto Guzzi MGX-21. Because the radio reception is not great, the sound from the speakers is thin. Likewise, the one from the mufflers, the small V9 has a lot more to offer. Initially, the USB stick could only be listened to in chronological order. Later not at all. We book this as an individual case. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide can do better, the menu navigation goes from the handlebars as well as via the touch screen, and the sound is really a board. Listening to music at up to around 130 km / h is not a thing, with an open visor there are even heights. And stereo! If you don’t want to capture the image as a self-promoter, self-disciplined is the order of the day and the sound must be turned down at the town sign at the latest. And Freddy Mercury? Bikes were probably not his great passion, because he only posed once, in 1979, on a Honda Gold Wing.

Technical specifications

Here you can see an extract of the technical data. If you would like the complete measurement valuesdetermined by us, including all consumption, torque and acceleration values, you can buy the article as a PDF for download.

MOTORCYCLE conclusion

If there was a rating here, the Harley-Davidson Street Glide would have clearly won. Regardless of driving behavior, equipment or entertainment: the Harley is always one step ahead of the Guzzi. The Moto Guzzi MGX-21 leaves you a little perplexed. It scores primarily with its unique design and the cultivated engine. The chassis does not seem mature. But you suspect that there is potential in it.

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