Motorcycles

Published on January 21st, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Harley-Davidson Touring Models Updated With A New Frame

Some new exterior tweaks also makes its way to a trio of Harley-Davidson baggers for 2021. 

While Harley-Davidson’s H-D 21 event was primarily focused on its Softail range, with the launch of the new Street Bob 114 and updated Fat Boy 114 getting most of the media limelight, the American motorcycle manufacturer has also announced some pretty significant updates for its touring models for 2021. 

The biggest news here for these Touring bikes will be the new Touring chassis that will be making its way on the 2021 Road King Special, Road Glide Special and Street Glide Special. Designed specifically for long-haul riding in mind, this new frame is has been touted to be the perfect fit for the stock Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine that is to be found within each of these trio of hot rod baggers.

Featuring a rigid backbone architecture to better sustain both the weight of the passengers and luggage, this updated chassis has been claimed to also makes those long rides easier, thanks to comfortable dampers and standard-fitment ABS. An optional RDRS Safety Enhancements package, which includes linked braking, traction control, drag-torque slip control, a tire pressure monitoring system and vehicle hold control, is also available on this ‘trio of hot rod baggers with fresh swagger’. 

Speaking of swagger, it has to be noted too this new Touring chassis comes standard with a lowered rear suspension and a low-profile engine guard. This is of course all in the effort to give it that slammed stance that is synonymous with this sub-category of Harley-Davidsons. 

Adding to that slammed stance are the standard Prodigy wheels. Measuring in at 19-inches up front and 18-inches out back, these highly polished cast-aluminium wheels are exclusive to these Special models. 

To further yet distinguish the Special models from its normal counterparts, a new low-profile centre console tops a new 6-gallon fuel tank with a side fuel fill. A new tank medallion based on the Bar & Shield logo is also to be featured on these trio of baggers. 

And just to top it all off, 2021 Street Glide Special and Road Glide Special models now opt have a greater variety of new two-tone paint options, to match with a choice of a blacked-out or bright chrome styling treatment. There is also a new Daymaker LED headlamp available for the Road King Special and Street Glide Special.

Further detailed information about these new trio of Harley-Davidson Touring models can be found in the press release below. 

PRESS RELEASE: A trio of hot rod baggers with fresh swagger and new features is part of the collection of special Harley-Davidson motorcycles for 2021. With a slammed stance and muscular Milwaukee-Eight 114 power, the Road King Special, Road Glide Special and Street Glide Special models combine commanding street presence with the long-haul capabilities of the Harley-Davidson Touring chassis. These bikes are designed to rule the boulevard on Friday night and run for the border at daybreak. 

For 2021, the Street Glide Special and Road Glide Special models are offered with new two-tone paint options, and with a choice of a blacked-out or bright chrome styling treatments, giving the customer a choice of a look that’s dark and sinister, or brilliant and more traditional. All Special models are now equipped with the high-performance Ventilator air cleaner with a washable filter element, and a new low-profile engine guard. 

Milwaukee-Eight 114 Power 

Each Special model is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine, the most displacement and power offered from the factory for Harley-Davidson Touring model motorcycles. In the Touring chassis, the rubber-mounted and counter-balanced Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine delivers inspiring performance and classic Harley-Davidson look-sound-feel. 

  • Displacement: 114 cu in (1,868 cc) 
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1 
  • Torque: 118 ft. lb. @ 3250 RPM 
  • Four valve cylinder heads (two exhaust and two intake valves per head, eight total); improved airflow through the engine contributes to power output. 
  • Dual spark plugs for more complete combustion of the air/fuel charge and maximized power
    and efficiency. 
  • Single camshaft reduces mechanical noise so a richer exhaust tone can predominate. 
  • Advanced cylinder head design, dual knock sensors, and precision cooling allow a higher
    compression ratio for increased torque output and strong acceleration. 
  • V-Twin design with 45-degree cylinder angle maintains classic Harley-Davidson look-
    sound-feel. 
  • 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission reduces engine RPM at highway speeds to enhance fuel economy and rider comfort. 
  • New Ventilator high-performance air cleaner with a washable filter element improves air flow to the engine and adds performance styling. 

Harley-Davidson Touring Chassis 

The Harley-Davidson Touring frame is designed for the long haul, with a rigid backbone design to sustain the weight of passengers and luggage and to support current engine power.

  • Front suspension with dual bending valve internal technology for linear damping performance and a smooth ride. 
  • Emulsion technology rear shocks are calibrated for touring and feature a single-knob pre-load adjustment that does not require tools or maintenance. 
  • Lowered rear suspension gives Special models a slammed stance. 
  • Prodigy cast-aluminum wheels (19-inch front, 18-inch rear) are exclusive to Special models. 
  • Standard Reflex Linked Brembo Brakes with ABS (Antilock Braking System) is
    designed to help prevent the wheels from locking under braking to assist the rider in maintaining control when braking in a straight-line. ABS operates independently on front and rear brakes to help prevent uncontrolled wheel lock in urgent situations. 
  • Optional RDRS Safety Enhancements (formerly known as RDRS) – A collection of technologies designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking. Includes linked braking, ABS, traction control, drag- torque slip control, tire pressure monitoring system, and vehicle hold control. 

Street Glide Special Model 

The original hot rod bagger rolls behind the classic Harley-Davidson batwing fairing. Authoritative power meets long-haul comfort and custom style. 

New Features for 2021

  • Chrome Option: The Street Glide Special model may be ordered with either Chrome or Dark styling. Chrome replaces these black components: Powertrain covers and trim, front end, handlebar, exhaust, tank console and other details. When the Chrome option is selected, the Prodigy wheels are finished in Gloss Black with machined highlights. 
  • Two-Tone Paint Option: For the first time a two-tone paint option is available for the Street Glide Special model: Gauntlet Gray Metallic / Vivid Black with either Chrome or Dark styling. Other color options include:
    Chrome Styling (Gloss Black Prodigy wheels with machined highlights) Solid Color: Vivid Black, Black Jack Metallic, Billiard Red
    Custom Color: Snake Venom
    Dark Styling (Gloss Black Prodigy wheels)
    Solid Color: Vivid Black, Gauntlet Gray Metallic, Billiard Red, Deadwood Green Denim Custom Color: Snake Venom 
  • Low Profile Engine Guard: Designed to emphasize the slammed, low lines of the Street Glide Special model, this 1.25-inch diameter engine guard mounts 11 inches lower than the standard Touring engine guard and features a slightly forward sweep that provides plenty of room around the brake and shift levers. 
  • LED Headlamp: The Street Glide Special model is now equipped with a Daymaker LED headlamp, replacing the previous dual-halogen headlamp. The Daymaker LED headlamp pushes out an impressive punch with a bright-white beam that lights up the road and makes the motorcycle more conspicuous in daytime. 
  • Console: A new low-profile center console tops a new 6-gallon fuel tank with a side fuel fill, to further lower the motorcycle profile and distinguish the Street Glide Special from standard Touring models. 
  • Tank Medallion: A new tank medallion is based on the Bar & Shield logo.

Key Features

  • Batwing Fairing with a splitstream vent to reduce head buffeting, and a low-profile sport windshield. 
  • Stretched locking saddlebags extend below the mufflers to lower the motorcycle profile. One-Touch latches are easy to open with one hand. 
  • One-piece, two-up seat shaped for long-range rider comfort. 
  • Exclusive Special details: Color-matched inner fairing, fascia panels between the saddlebags
    and rear fenders, and a low-profile front fender. 
  • Low-profile license plate holder and combination stop/tail/turn rear lighting. 
  • Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with color touch screen, advanced navigation, hand and voice commands (when paired with compatible headset), and two-speaker audio.
    Android Auto application compatibility is new a feature of the Boom! Box GTS system, which also supports Apple CarPlay software compatibility. With a wired connection to a compatible smartphone the rider may access media, streaming services, communication and navigation on the road while minimizing distractions.

Road Glide Special Model

This performance bagger combines menacing style with aerodynamic comfort and the power of the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. 

New Features for 2021 

  • Chrome Option: The Road Glide Special model may be ordered with either Chrome or Dark styling. Chrome replaces these black components: Powertrain covers and trim, front end, handlebar, exhaust, tank console and other details. When the Chrome option is selected, the Prodigy wheels are Gloss Black with machined highlights. 
  • Two-Tone Paint Option: For the first time a two-tone paint option is available for the Street Glide Special model: Billiard Red / Vivid Black with either Chrome or Dark styling. Other color options include:
    Chrome Styling (Gloss Black Prodigy wheels with machined highlights)
    Solid Color: Vivid Black, Billiard Teal, Midnight Crimson
    Custom Color: Snake Venom
    Dark Styling (Gloss Black Prodigy wheels)
    Solid Color: Vivid Black, Billiard Teal, River Rock Gray Denim, Midnight Crimson Custom Color: Snake Venom 
  • Low Profile Engine Guard: Designed to emphasize the slammed, low lines of the Street Glide Special, this 1.25-inch diameter engine guard mounts 11 inches lower than the standard Touring engine guard and features a slightly forward sweep that provides plenty of room around the brake and shift levers. 
  • Console: A new low-profile center console tops a new 6-gallon fuel tank with a side fuel fill, to further lower the motorcycle profile and distinguish the Street Glide Special from standard Touring models. 
  • Tank Medallion: A new tank medallion is based on the Bar & Shield logo.

Key Features

  • Distinctive sharknose fairing with a low-profile sport windshield presents menacing style. Triple splitstream vents reduce head buffeting. Wind tunnel designed and tested, this frame- mounted fairing minimizes the influences of cross winds on motorcycle handling. 
  • Dual Daymaker LED Headlamps blast through the darkness for enhanced visibility at night, and make the motorcycle more conspicuous in daytime. 
  • Stretched locking saddlebags extend below the mufflers to lower the motorcycle profile. One-Touch latches are easy to open with one hand. 
  • One-piece, two-up seat shaped for long-range rider comfort. 
  • Exclusive Special details: Color-matched inner fairing, fascia panels between the saddlebags and rear fenders, and a low-profile front fender. 
  • Low-profile license plate holder and combination stop/tail/turn rear lighting. 
  • Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with color touch screen, advanced navigation, hand and voice commands (when paired with compatible headset), and two-speaker audio.
    Android Auto application compatibility is new a feature of the Boom! Box GTS system, which also supports Apple CarPlay software compatibility. With a wired connection to a compatible smartphone the rider may use either app to access media, streaming services, communication and navigation on the road while minimizing distractions.

Road King Special Model 

Tradition with muscle. A Harley-Davidson icon is transformed by custom bagger style and Milwaukee-Eight 114 power. 

New Features for 2021

  • Low Profile Engine Guard: Designed to emphasize the slammed, low lines of the Street Glide Special, this 1.25-inch diameter engine guard mounts 11 inches lower than the standard Touring engine guard and features a slightly forward sweep that provides plenty of room around the brake and shift levers. 
  • LED Headlamp: The Road King Special model is now equipped with a Daymaker LED headlamp, replacing the previous dual-halogen headlamp. The LED Daymaker headlamp pushes out an impressive punch with a bright-white beam that lights up the road and makes the motorcycle more conspicuous in daytime. 
  • Tank Medallion: A new tank medallion is based on the Bar & Shield logo.

Key Features 

  • Dark Styling: Black powertrain covers, mufflers and exhaust shields, headlamp nacelle, front forks, engine guard, saddlebag rails, handlebar, mirrors, foot and hand controls, console, foot boards and passenger, rear light bar, front turn signals. 
  • 2021 Color Options
    Solid Color: Vivid Black, Black Jack Metallic, Deadwood Green
    Custom Color: Snake Venom 
  • Mini-Ape Handlebar: A 9-inch tall, 1.25-inch diameter mini-ape handlebars puts the rider in an assertive position and adds custom style. 
  • Commanding Headlamp Nacelle: Holds the brilliant Daymaker LED headlamp front and center. 
  • Stretched locking saddlebags extend below the mufflers to lower the motorcycle profile. One-Touch latches are easy to open with one hand. 
  • Exclusive Special details: Color-matched fascia panels between the saddlebags and rear fenders, and a low-profile front fender. 
  • Low-profile license plate holder and combination stop/tail/turn rear lighting.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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