Online: Spook, beaglebasher, Far Canal

Half arsed review of a Sport Glide.

  • Far Canal
    Far Canal
    23 days ago
    After posting a couple of pics in the "Pictures for no reason" section recently regarding visiting an old cobber in QLD who had a spare bike, It was suggested a review of a late model Sport Glide might be worthwhile.
    So here goes;
    Old mate very recently bought this 2019 model Sport Glide with just under 8000klm on the clock, it had been fitted with a stage 4 kit to boot!. Not sure what sort of cam had been fitted but the exhaust was a Bassani 2 into 1 with a 114ci motor (originally 107). Aside from that everything else was stock.
    For the record I own a 2008 FXST with a stage 4 kit so you could say I'm comparing it to that. Not a great comparison, a twin cam vs a M8 but better than comparing it to a postie bike.
    When Harley release a new motor there always seems to be instant suspicion, uncertainty and a general thumbs down attitude to the new offering amongst the diehard.
    In my mind the M8 motors were repulsive in the extreme at first mainly because of the oil sumping issues with the touring models. I had heard of guys who bought the big tourers that had disintergrated quickly. Apparently this did not happen with the softail framed ones but bad press is bad press. On top of that early reports of the M8 motors on this forum had people saying things like,
    "They just don't feel like a Harley motor anymore", "Too revvy", "Too smooth" etc.
    I really liked riding this bike from the start. Did several hundred kilometers on it, mostly rural roads in the sunshine coast- Gympie hinterland. I did not find it too smooth or too revvy but bear in mind my 2008 FXST has the balanced motor not the rubber mounted dyna type that jumps around in the frame like a speed freak in an AA meeting.
    The stock seat was very comfortable (unlike my FXST). The handlebars were also comfortable and a sensible design (unlike my FXST, whose handlebars were better suited to a wheel barrow). So no need to change either of them.
    The wheels of the Sport Glide are front 18inch with a 130 wide tyre and rear 16 inch with a 180 wide tyre.  It is a good combination, nice to see things moving leaner than 200 for the rear, which to my mind is too fat and makes a bike harder to wrestle around sharp corners or make it need a bit of the old counter-steering. I have heard some folk say they think the cast wheels on this bike were designed by someone who had a pencil in one hand and a crack pipe in the other but when it boils down to it they are cast wheels, tubeless, so if you get a puncture out there in the never never at least you may be able to fix it with one of those plug kits with the little gas cylinders, not an option on spoked wheel bikes. At any rate, they are an unusual design but they seem to work well as wheels. No one approached me in the street to say "Hey!, they are fucken ugly wheels you have on that bike mate"
    The front brake is only a single disc but seems very adequate (unlike the FXST whose front brake was pissy), I did not measure the disc on the Sport Glide but it looked bigger in diameter than the old type ones plus it was the floating type and had ABS. So that might be the kicker.
    The Sport Glide also has upside down type front forks, I have no idea what advantages they have over regular right the way up forks but the whole package combined to give a really well handling bike that was just a joy to ride.
    The Sport Glide also comes standard with the quickly detachable mini batwing type fairing and a pair of panniers. I cant comment on what sort of protection or "fairing" qualities the fairing does because I did not try the bike without it however I gotta say I don't mind the look of it and if you are not satisfied with the 2cm windscreen on top of the fairing there are taller ones available that might take some more wind off your face if that is your ideal.
    I was doubtful about the panniers before seeing the bike in the flesh as they hinge from the bottom and was not sure how that would work as most panniers I have encountered are the top loading type but these ones seemed pretty good. They had a strap so the side opening lid would not just fall to the ground when opened, they were quite roomy, lockable, looked waterproof, easily detachable and you can get pannier inner bags as well if you want them.
    These bikes have an oil cooler on the front of the frame, no doubt a good thing particularly in a hot climate, they also have a easy rear suspension adjuster set up knob thing just above the gearbox on the right hand side. Also a good thing. They do however (as well as other bits) seem to make the bike very fricken fiddly to clean and my old mate was a bit OCD for cleaning.
    To sum up, this bike is a great all rounder. It goes like the clappers, handles very well, has panniers and a fairing which you can take off in no time if you want to ride around town in skimpy mode. Is a lot cheaper off the shelf than a Road/Street Glide or the full blown tourer one tonner whatever they are with the couch for your missus. Plus it's a lot lighter in weight to move round the shed and pick up off the ground when shit happens.
    If I did not already own a HD (with lots spent on it) I would certainly buy a bike just like this, I don't know how they go bog standard off the shelf but you blokes know about that, you know, you always have to do something with a new HD unless you are happy to put up with the stock offerings.
    On the old forum format you could insert pictures between the text to make a nice seamless text to picture story. If you can now, I don't know how to do it so excuse me for dumping all the pictures together at the end.
    Oh yeah, one other thing. My mate up in QLD also had a BMW R9T Racer. I always hated BMW's just because they are so ugly and Germans are mostly cunts. Well anyway, did several hundred ks on his BMW. Got cramps in my left leg and hand as soon as I got on this bike with the sporty riding position, but once they wore off......well I hate to say it but this bike was fun to ride and a hoot.
    One more thing, I really liked the "Burnt Orange" colour this year bike came out with. It has the "candy" type flakes in the finish and it beats me why Harley only did the colour for a year. Reminds me of the old Jaffa Kwaka Z 900'S that are so collectable now.

  • B0nes
    B0nes
    22 days ago
    Never really liked the look of the sport glide until brother bought one. Seeing it in the flesh changed my mind and I quite like the look, it grows on you after a while.
  • GGUser260
    GGUser260
    22 days ago
    Quoting Far Canal on 04 Oct 2021 10:26 AMedited: 04 Oct 2021 10:54 PM

    After posting a couple of pics in the "Pictures for no reason" section recently regarding visiting an old cobber in QLD who had a spare bike, It was suggested a review of a late model Sport Glide might be worthwhile.
    So here goes;
    Old mate very recently bought this 2019 model Sport Glide with just under 8000klm on the clock, it had been fitted with a stage 4 kit to boot!. Not sure what sort of cam had been fitted but the exhaust was a Bassani 2 into 1 with a 114ci motor (originally 107). Aside from that everything else was stock.
    For the record I own a 2008 FXST with a stage 4 kit so you could say I'm comparing it to that. Not a great comparison, a twin cam vs a M8 but better than comparing it to a postie bike.
    When Harley release a new motor there always seems to be instant suspicion, uncertainty and a general thumbs down attitude to the new offering amongst the diehard.
    In my mind the M8 motors were repulsive in the extreme at first mainly because of the oil sumping issues with the touring models. I had heard of guys who bought the big tourers that had disintergrated quickly. Apparently this did not happen with the softail framed ones but bad press is bad press. On top of that early reports of the M8 motors on this forum had people saying things like,
    "They just don't feel like a Harley motor anymore", "Too revvy", "Too smooth" etc.
    I really liked riding this bike from the start. Did several hundred kilometers on it, mostly rural roads in the sunshine coast- Gympie hinterland. I did not find it too smooth or too revvy but bear in mind my 2008 FXST has the balanced motor not the rubber mounted dyna type that jumps around in the frame like a speed freak in an AA meeting.
    The stock seat was very comfortable (unlike my FXST). The handlebars were also comfortable and a sensible design (unlike my FXST, whose handlebars were better suited to a wheel barrow). So no need to change either of them.
    The wheels of the Sport Glide are front 18inch with a 130 wide tyre and rear 16 inch with a 180 wide tyre.  It is a good combination, nice to see things moving leaner than 200 for the rear, which to my mind is too fat and makes a bike harder to wrestle around sharp corners or make it need a bit of the old counter-steering. I have heard some folk say they think the cast wheels on this bike were designed by someone who had a pencil in one hand and a crack pipe in the other but when it boils down to it they are cast wheels, tubeless, so if you get a puncture out there in the never never at least you may be able to fix it with one of those plug kits with the little gas cylinders, not an option on spoked wheel bikes. At any rate, they are an unusual design but they seem to work well as wheels. No one approached me in the street to say "Hey!, they are fucken ugly wheels you have on that bike mate"
    The front brake is only a single disc but seems very adequate (unlike the FXST whose front brake was pissy), I did not measure the disc on the Sport Glide but it looked bigger in diameter than the old type ones plus it was the floating type and had ABS. So that might be the kicker.
    The Sport Glide also has upside down type front forks, I have no idea what advantages they have over regular right the way up forks but the whole package combined to give a really well handling bike that was just a joy to ride.
    The Sport Glide also comes standard with the quickly detachable mini batwing type fairing and a pair of panniers. I cant comment on what sort of protection or "fairing" qualities the fairing does because I did not try the bike without it however I gotta say I don't mind the look of it and if you are not satisfied with the 2cm windscreen on top of the fairing there are taller ones available that might take some more wind off your face if that is your ideal.
    I was doubtful about the panniers before seeing the bike in the flesh as they hinge from the bottom and was not sure how that would work as most panniers I have encountered are the top loading type but these ones seemed pretty good. They had a strap so the side opening lid would not just fall to the ground when opened, they were quite roomy, lockable, looked waterproof, easily detachable and you can get pannier inner bags as well if you want them.
    These bikes have an oil cooler on the front of the frame, no doubt a good thing particularly in a hot climate, they also have a easy rear suspension adjuster set up knob thing just above the gearbox on the right hand side. Also a good thing. They do however (as well as other bits) seem to make the bike very fricken fiddly to clean and my old mate was a bit OCD for cleaning.
    To sum up, this bike is a great all rounder. It goes like the clappers, handles very well, has panniers and a fairing which you can take off in no time if you want to ride around town in skimpy mode. Is a lot cheaper off the shelf than a Road/Street Glide or the full blown tourer one tonner whatever they are with the couch for your missus. Plus it's a lot lighter in weight to move round the shed and pick up off the ground when shit happens.
    If I did not already own a HD (with lots spent on it) I would certainly buy a bike just like this, I don't know how they go bog standard off the shelf but you blokes know about that, you know, you always have to do something with a new HD unless you are happy to put up with the stock offerings.
    On the old forum format you could insert pictures between the text to make a nice seamless text to picture story. If you can now, I don't know how to do it so excuse me for dumping all the pictures together at the end.
    Oh yeah, one other thing. My mate up in QLD also had a BMW R9T Racer. I always hated BMW's just because they are so ugly and Germans are mostly cunts. Well anyway, did several hundred ks on his BMW. Got cramps in my left leg and hand as soon as I got on this bike with the sporty riding position, but once they wore off......well I hate to say it but this bike was fun to ride and a hoot.
    One more thing, I really liked the "Burnt Orange" colour this year bike came out with. It has the "candy" type flakes in the finish and it beats me why Harley only did the colour for a year. Reminds me of the old Jaffa Kwaka Z 900'S that are so collectable now.

    I was just going to click "like" but you put a lot of effort in and it was a great read! Well done FC
  • bloodog
    bloodog
    22 days ago
    I agree great read FC
  • fatbat
    fatbat
    22 days ago
    Great “Half arsed” review FC. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a proper moto journalist. I particularly liked the way you describe the wheels (people didn’t come up to you in the street) and how you don’t like German stuff (cunts)…..haha 

    So does it handle and go better than your stage 4 fxsts?
  • evo94
    evo94
    22 days ago
    entertaining read....tnx for making the effort !
  • WideglidingNZ
    WideglidingNZ
    22 days ago
    it's actually nice to hear something positive about the M-8 bikes for a change cheers
  • steelo
    steelo
    22 days ago
    Really appreciated your time interest and coherent review fc. Good work
  • steelo
    steelo
    22 days ago
    Quoting fatbat on 04 Oct 2021 07:19 PM

    Great “Half arsed” review FC. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a proper moto journalist. I particularly liked the way you describe the wheels (people didn’t come up to you in the street) and how you don’t like German stuff (cunts)…..haha 


    So does it handle and go better than your stage 4 fxsts?

    That’s part 2 of the review fb. I hope. 
  • Far Canal
    Far Canal
    22 days ago
    Quoting fatbat on 04 Oct 2021 07:19 PM

    Great “Half arsed” review FC. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a proper moto journalist. I particularly liked the way you describe the wheels (people didn’t come up to you in the street) and how you don’t like German stuff (cunts)…..haha 


    So does it handle and go better than your stage 4 fxsts?

    Yes it does handle better than my FXST! and I have put progressive shocks on the rear and those gas cartridges on the front plus changed the ridiculous 90mm wide front rim to a 130mm wide one. As well as putting triple piston Performance Machine calliper and a bigger brake rotor on the front however the Sport Glide stops just as well if not better bog standard.
    I would seriously consider buying this bike.

  • Benno
    Benno
    22 days ago
    Good onya FC, that's a good write up, "German Cunts", Bahahaha.
  • Humbug
    Humbug
    22 days ago
    Thanks for the review.
  • leachy
    leachy
    22 days ago
    One of the reason I haven't ridden that bike otherwise the Dyna might be up for sale.
  • imoo6170
    imoo6170
    22 days ago
    Great review FC - loved it
  • Wideglider
    Wideglider
    22 days ago
    Yes, could be a bike for some not wanting to go down the Street or Road Glide route.
    Great review FC, but half-arsed, maybe be a bit more thorough next time.
    And those Germans - they lost the war anyway 
    (PS; my other bike is a GS)

  • GGUser260
    GGUser260
    21 days ago
    Quoting Wideglider on 05 Oct 2021 10:17 AMedited: 05 Oct 2021 10:19 AM

    Yes, could be a bike for some not wanting to go down the Street or Road Glide route.

    Great review FC, but half-arsed, maybe be a bit more thorough next time.
    And those Germans - they lost the war anyway 
    (PS; my other bike is a GS)

    "GS" the other twin.
  • Far Canal
    Far Canal
    21 days ago
    I thought a GS was always a Suzuki.
    Shows how much I know about Suzuki's, and BMW'S.
    Corblimey!, can't believe the ugly Helga (surprise hornbag R9T Racer) has made me have second thoughts about BMW. The only other 2 bikes of that brand I have ridden were very unremarkable to ride and of course to the eye.
  • fatbat
    fatbat
    21 days ago
    The colour of that sport glide you rode is horn too. No doubt you had chicks flinging their knickers at you which never gets tiresome even when hitting you at speed 
  • Far Canal
    Far Canal
    16 days ago
    Here is a three quarter arsed review by someone else of the same bike....well maybe seven eighths.