Harley-Davidson Super Glide and Street Bob Customs : First Ride

Harley-Davidson - just the name evokes a sigh from many and in the metal they command attention like nothing else. The Wisconsin based firm has just brought in two brand new bikes which are sure to blow your mind with their custom allure


Kings of the roads



More than any other brand Harley-Davidson sells a lifestyle and its lineup of heavyweight cruisers, tourers and standards are some of motorcycling’s ultimate status symbols. While those with deep pockets and experience have their sights set on some of Harley’s most sought after bikes like the Fat Boy, the Wisconsin-based manufacturer has not forgotten the little guy (or gal). Harley-Davidson has made a concerted effort to lure new riders into the H-D fraternity by building motorcycles with low seat heights and affordable prices. And what we have here are prime examples of the same.

At the Auto Expo Harley-Davidson announced that they will be bringing in the Street Bob Custom and the Super Glide custom as CKD’s. Now the Super Low, Iron 883 and the 48 are CKD’s as well, but one look at these two big boys is enough to tell you that these are the real deal.



Super Glide Custom



The spirit of the Super Glide lives on

Now the Super Glide might be a new name on Indian shores but the fact is that this name has been a part of Harley-Davidson’s vocabulary for as long as 41 years. For 2012 the Super Glide Custom continues the tradition of representing the core product from the Milwaukee company: a cruiser that sticks to classic Harley styling, has a low seat height matched with an easy-going ergonomic fit and is powered by a 45-degree, air-cooled, pushrod big-bore V-Twin. The Super Glide Custom, in many ways, is Harley-Davidson.




Chrome takes center stage



Chrome has always been a big draw when it comes to Harleys and the Super Glide has oodles of it. In fact there is enough to blind the rider and the traffic around it if ridden in bright sunlight. A typical Harley silhouette with the with the tear drop tank, flat wide handlebar and a the big protruding engine with those twin exhaust means the Super Glide looks stunning to say the least. However let me just mention that the bikes we got were “Customized” to quite an extent. The handle bar, the position of the foot-rests, the wheels and that nice shiny back rest that you see were all part of the bling additions.






Pipe ing hot



Straddling the Super Glide Custom is a snap thanks to its notably low 26.5-inch seat height that should allow almost everyone of at least average height and inseam to securely plant both boots flat. However, our custom foot pegs were planted way up ahead as you can see in the pictures and that did not make riding this hog a comfortable affair.  I mean if you’re anywhere close to 6 feet high, it shouldn’t be a problem but for us average 5’8’s it proved quite a task with the custom foot pegs. However I have tried the bike in stock trim and it’s just perfect that way.


Thumb the starter and the Super Glides 1585cc air cooled twin cam 96 engine rumbles to life. In the Dyna line the TC96 is rubber-mounted, which means there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on, “especially at idle however once under power the big twin smoothens out especially at cruising speeds. It’s quite a modern engine too featuring an electronic sequential port fuel injection because of which the Super Glide has a crackling throttle response. Mated to a six speed transmission, the SGC goes on a rampage when you give it the whip and acceleration is hard enough to make you hold on to those bars for dear life. However get into cruise mode and then this Harley gets into its element. Happily chugging along with 124 Nm of torque at its disposal this limo on two wheels is made for the open roads.



Suspension is STIFF



The suspension is on the stiffer side and really bad roads upset the bike and the rider to quite an extent however ride quality is still pretty decent. This Harley isn’t meant to stitch corners however; the stiff chassis along with the well set up suspension and the brilliant Michelin Scorcher tyres means you can lean with confidence till you hear parts scraping.






The Street Bob Custom looks ight out of the




Street Bob - Bad to the Bone
If the Super Glide is the King of Bling, the Street Bob is the bad boy oozing attitude. The Street Bob that we received was heavily customized as well and need we say looked mean in the metal. Getting to the name, the Street Bob is pretty much based on Bobbers which are usually stripped down custom motorcycles with the front fender removed, the rear fender “bobbed” or made smaller, and all superfluous parts removed to make it lighter.




Skull Fuel cap looks brilliant



Now the Street Bob isn’t really stripped out and weighs in at a burly 305 kg. However the Dyna-platform-based Street Bob manages to pull off the stripped-down look without coming across like a caricature of the real thing. And although the Bob’s appearance straddles the milder side of bobber wild, it also provides a clean, harmonious look rather than the hodge-podge cobble job sometimes seen on true bob-job bikes hand-assembled at the local garages.


Our Street Bob looked especially distinctive thanks to the customized “Ghost Rider” paint job, the “Heavy Breather” air filter and those mental matt black “Screamin Eagle” pipes. No chrome here to grab attention, just plain old fashioned muscle and a lot of noise.



Glove eating grips



While the customized add on’s looked hot, it was more of a case of form over function. The grips on the high rise handlebars were made of aluminium with grooves in them which meant they pinched your hands every time you tightened your grip. The foot rests like in the Super Glide were places way to far to be comfortable for us average height individuals. Like they say, in some cases “Stock Rocks”.






No Chrome here, Black is Back



Powering the Bob is the same block that powers the Super Glide, however, the massive air filter coupled with the Screamin Eagle exhausts gave the Street Bob a lot of extra pep and not to mention a very impressive exhaust note. Even though the engines are the same, both the bikes exhibit and evoke different kind of riding. Where the Super Glide is the chilled out cruiser, the Street Bob is the one makes its attention felt in every way possible. Twist the wrist and this ghost rider goes like no other. The only thing missing is a trail of fire as seen in the movie. If you are looking at performance, this Bob will always keep you smiling. It’s a lot more aggressive and not to mention more demanding of the two to ride as well.


The Bob handles pretty decently too however taking the twisties with those tall bars feels a little awkward. Keeping it “straight” is the mantra here. The Bob however is pretty unkind when it comes to bumps. Even minor bumps unsettle the bike easily and bad roads are a strict no-no. That said, the Street Bob isn’t for everyone. It’s a machine that makes you live on its terms rather than the other way around.



Custom Twins



At 10.10 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) I would love to own the Street Bob just for the way it looks and feels, however if I’m out there for a Harley which I can really go the distance with, it has to be the Street Glide. At 11.65 lakh it’s slightly more expensive than the Bob but it’s also a lot more usable. The Street Glide represents the core of a Harley while the Street Bob is one of the most attractive, emotive and entertaining Harleys out there. Take your pick!





8 Offers Available