Harley Davidson holds the top position in the production of motorcycles globally, being an iconic brand with a rich heritage and customs. The motorcycles produced by the company are exceptionally impressive, making it challenging for an ordinary person to decide on the ideal motorbike that fits their preference.
Glides are one of the most popular HD motorcycles. It’s always been a tough decision for me to choose between Road Glide and Electra Glide.
The origins of the Glides trace back to 1941 when the motorcycling realm was introduced to the FL series. Although the FL series remained largely unaltered until 1948 and featured a 74 cu-in V-twin engine, the arrival of the Panhead engines marked a significant shift. Following the integration of the Panhead V-twin motor the previous year, the very first Glide was created in the form of the Harley-Davidson Hydra Glide. The name bestowed upon the Hydra-Glide was inspired by its first-ever hydraulic front forks.
The Hydra-Glide stayed in production until the end of 1957 with the same 1,200cc engine that delivered 50 hp and gave the motorcycle a top speed of 100 mph. This was later tuned in 1952 when the engine had a higher compression ratio to deliver 5 hp extra and go up to 105 mph.
In 1958, Harley introduced the second generation of the Glide model, which featured an updated frame. The new frame comprised a swingarm that was attached to a pair of coil-over-shocks that offered three distinct levels of adjustment, while the sprung seat provided added comfort for riders. The fully suspended chassis of this bike was a huge milestone for Harley, so they named it the Duo Glide to honor its hero.
However, Harley wasn’t satisfied with just that and sought to make further improvements. They added an electric starter to the Duo Glide and rebranded it as the Electra Glide. This name change was necessary to differentiate between the newly electrified version and its predecessor. The addition of the electric starter meant that the bike’s frame had to be altered to accommodate these changes.
The reason for replacing the six-volt battery with a bigger 12-volt one on the Electra Glide was to support the new starting mechanism, which also necessitated relocating the oil tank to the left side of the motorcycle. This modification, along with the addition of a 22-liter ‘Turnpike’ fuel tank, made the 1965 Electra Glide one of the most iconic Harleys ever made.
In 1979, Harley introduced the Tour Glide, which featured a larger frame, a five-speed transmission, and an 80 cubic-inch Shovelhead engine that was rubber-mounted for less vibration. This engine remained in production until 1983 when it was replaced by the rubber-mounted 80 cubic-inch Harley Evolution engine, which continued until the release of the Twin Cam 88 engine in 1999 for the 2000 model year. The Tour Glide was eventually phased out in favor of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide in 1998.
The Harley Davidson Road Glide and Electra Glide are both touring motorcycles designed for long-distance rides and are part of the Harley Davidson Touring line. The Road Glide has a distinctive shark-nose fairing that provides better wind protection, while the Electra Glide has a fork-mounted fairing. Both motorcycles have powerful engines and comfortable seating for the rider and passenger, as well as ample storage space for luggage. The Electra Glide also features an air-adjustable suspension system, while the Road Glide has a frame-mounted fairing that reduces vibration and improves stability. Overall, both motorcycles are reliable, comfortable, and well-suited for long-distance touring.
Road Glide vs Electra Glide Comparison Table
|Specification||Road Glide||Electra Glide|
|Engine||Milwaukee-Eight 107||Milwaukee-Eight™ 107|
|Cooling System||Twin-cooled||Air cooled|
|Exhaust||Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers||Standard – FLHT Exhaust|
|Seat height||25.9 in.||55.3|
|Power||100 hp||92.5 HP|
|Top Speed||168 kmph||160 kmph.|
|Speaker Size||5.25 inch speakers||5.25 inch speakers|
|Price for Used||$18,000|
Road Glide vs. Electra Glide – Detailed Comparison
Introduction – 1998
The Harley Davidson Road Glide was introduced in 1998 as a touring motorcycle and has since become one of the company’s most popular models. The Road Glide was an instant hit, thanks to its distinctive frame-mounted fairing, dual headlights, and shark-nose design. The fairing provided excellent wind protection, and the bike’s powerful engine and comfortable seating made it ideal for long trips.
Over the years, the Road Glide continued to evolve. In 2001, it received a new Twin Cam 88 engine, which increased its power and torque. Then, in 2006, Harley Davidson introduced a redesigned fairing that improved wind protection, a new six-speed transmission, and a new chassis. These improvements made the Road Glide more comfortable and easier to ride than ever before.
In 2010, Harley Davidson launched the Road Glide Custom, which featured a new frame-mounted fairing with a lower profile and a new paint scheme. The Road Glide Custom was an instant hit, and riders loved its sleek, modern look.
But perhaps the biggest change came in 2015 when Harley Davidson completely redesigned the Road Glide. The new model was called the Road Glide Special, and it featured a new fairing that was mounted to the fork instead of the frame. This new design improved stability and handling, making the Road Glide even more comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
Today, the Road Glide remains one of the most popular touring motorcycles on the market. With its rich history of innovation and improvement, it’s no wonder that riders continue to choose the Road Glide for their long-distance adventures.
Model Trim Levels
Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra
The Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra was first introduced in 2010 as a part of the company’s touring lineup, and it has since become one of the most popular and iconic touring motorcycles in the market. The model has undergone several updates and improvements over the years, with the latest version featuring the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and a range of advanced touring features.
The Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra is a premium touring motorcycle designed for riders who crave long-distance rides in comfort and style. It features a powerful Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine that delivers 121 ft-lb of torque at 3000 RPM, providing smooth and effortless acceleration on the highway. The Road Glide Ultra also comes with advanced features such as Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) and an electronic cruise control system, which enhances the safety and convenience of the rider during long-distance rides.
The motorcycle is equipped with a full complement of touring amenities, including a spacious Tour-Pak luggage carrier, and a premium infotainment system with a BOOM! Box GTS touchscreen display, and a dual-zone air-adjustable suspension system that ensures a smooth and comfortable ride on all types of roads. Additionally, the Road Glide Ultra has a distinctive shark-nose fairing design that reduces wind resistance and enhances the bike’s aerodynamics, providing an unforgettable riding experience for the rider and their passenger.
Harley Davidson Road Glide Limited
The Harley Davidson Road Glide Limited was first introduced in 2015. The Harley Davidson Road Glide Limited is a high-end touring motorcycle designed for riders who demand the best in terms of performance, comfort, and style. The bike features a powerful Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine that delivers 121 ft-lb of torque at 3000 RPM, providing effortless acceleration on the highway. The Road Glide Limited also comes with advanced features such as Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), electronic cruise control, and an infotainment system with a BOOM! Box GTS touchscreen display, enhancing the convenience and safety of the rider during long-distance rides.
Harley Davidson Road Glide ST
This menacing machine features a sleek blacked-out design that exudes power and attitude, while packing a Milwaukee-Eight® 117 engine capable of generating 126 lbs-ft of torque. With a 19-inch front tire and an 18-inch rear tire, the ST has higher overall clearances and a tire combination that should provide a more nimble ride.
The ST also comes equipped with a pair of 2.3 cu/ft saddlebags that feature a one-touch opening for added convenience. These bags sit a bit higher than the larger set, providing a bit more clearance. The only available option for the ST is the Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements package, which enhances the bike’s safety features. The rider can sit back behind the stylish Shark Nose frame-mounted fairing and turn up the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system for an immersive riding experience.
Introduction – 1965
In 1965, Harley Davidson introduced the first Electra Glide, also known as the FLH. The Electra Glide had an electric starter, a larger engine, and a new frame design that improved handling and stability. The bike was an instant success, thanks to its powerful engine and comfortable seating.
How much is a 1966 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide worth?
The worth of classic motorcycles largely depends on their condition. 1966 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide is worth somewhere between $2,000 and $30,000 depending on the condition.
Over the years, the Electra Glide continued to evolve. In 1969, it received a new “Shovelhead” engine, which increased power and reliability. Then, in 1977, Harley Davidson introduced a new frame design and a new engine, the “Evolution” engine. These improvements made the Electra Glide more comfortable and reliable than ever before.
How much is a 1971 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide worth?
1971 Harley Davidson Electra Glide’s worth ranges from $5,000 (in a poor condition) to $22,000 (in excellent condition).
In 1984, Harley Davidson introduced the Electra Glide Classic, which featured a more comfortable seat and improved storage options. The Classic quickly became one of the most popular touring motorcycles on the market, thanks to its blend of style and functionality.
How much is a 1984 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide worth?
The worth of a 1984 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide is between $4,000 and $17,000 (in excellent condition).
The Electra Glide continued to evolve over the years, with new engines, frames, and fairing designs. In 1999, it received a new engine, the Twin Cam 88, which increased power and performance. Then, in 2014, Harley Davidson introduced a major redesign of the Electra Glide, with a new chassis, engine, and suspension. The new model was known as the Electra Glide Ultra Limited, and it quickly became one of the most popular touring motorcycles on the market.
Today, the Electra Glide remains one of Harley Davidson’s most iconic motorcycles. With its powerful engines, comfortable seating, and ample storage, it’s the ideal motorcycle for riders who want to explore the open road in style and comfort.
How much is a 1993 Harley Davidson Electra Glide worth?
1993 Harley Davidson Electra Glide worth ranges from $1,500 (in fair condition) to $12,000 (in excellent condition)
Engine and Performance
The Harley Davidson Road Glide and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide are both touring motorcycles that offer powerful engines and comfortable riding experiences. Here’s a comparison of their engines and performance:
Of the two motorcycle engines, Road Glide has a Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight engine, while Electra Glide has an Air-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight engine. And while both were test runs, the Electra Glide engine was superior and more powerful than the Road Glide engine.
Both the Road Glide and the Electra Glide offer impressive performance, with plenty of power and torque for touring and long-distance riding. However, Electra Glide’s liquid-cooled engine provides slightly better performance in hot weather and high-altitude riding conditions.
Comfort and Ergonomics
When it comes to comfort and ergonomics, both the Harley Davidson Road Glide and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide offer a comfortable ride, with features designed to keep riders comfortable during long rides. Here’s a comparison of their comfort and ergonomics:
- Seating: Both motorcycles offer comfortable seating for the rider and passenger, with spacious seats that provide support during long rides. However, the Electra Glide’s seats are typically considered more comfortable due to the additional padding and design.
- Suspension: The Road Glide and the Electra Glide both feature high-quality suspension systems designed to absorb shock and vibration during long rides. However, the Electra Glide’s suspension is typically considered slightly better due to its air-adjustable system, which allows riders to adjust the suspension to their specific needs.
- Fairing and wind protection: Both motorcycles feature fairings designed to reduce wind resistance and protect riders from the elements during long rides. However, the Road Glide and Electra Glide motorcycles have different windscreen designs. The Road Glide features a taller windscreen that may obstruct some riders’ views, while the Electra Glide has a shorter windscreen. During testing, the Road Glide demonstrated greater stability and better handling in windy conditions, while the Electra Glide tended to be pushed around more by the wind. Despite these differences, there are no major distinctions between the two motorcycles’ windshields.
Overall, both the Harley Davidson Road Glide and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide offer comfortable rides with features designed to keep riders comfortable during long trips. The Electra Glide is typically considered more comfortable due to its larger fairing and windshield, more comfortable seating, and air-adjustable suspension.
Technology and Features
- Infotainment system: Both motorcycles come equipped with an infotainment system that includes GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and smartphone integration. However, the Electra Glide’s infotainment system is typically considered more advanced, with a larger touchscreen display, voice recognition, and more intuitive controls.
- Lighting: Both motorcycles feature LED lighting systems that provide improved visibility and safety during night rides. However, the Road Glide typically offers more lighting options, with additional features like Daymaker Adaptive Headlamps which are more powerful than the features of the two bulbs on the Road Glide. Night riders will prefer Electra Glide headlights to that of Road Glide.
What size speakers are in a Harley Davidson Road Glide?
The standard configuration for Road Glide motorcycles usually consists of a pair of 6×9 inch speakers installed in the front, accompanied by two 5.25 inch speakers located at the back. And Electra Glide includes 6.5” fairing and 5.25” TourPak speakers.
In terms of design, both the Harley Davidson Road Glide and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide feature the classic Harley Davidson styling that is instantly recognizable. However, there are some differences in the design of each motorcycle:
- Fairing: One of the most noticeable differences between the Road Glide and the Electra Glide is the fairing. The Road Glide features a frame-mounted fairing that is fixed in place, while the Electra Glide features a fork-mounted fairing that moves with the handlebars. This design difference can affect the handling of the motorcycle, with some riders preferring the stability of the Road Glide’s fixed fairing.
- Size and weight: Both motorcycles are large and heavy, but the Electra Glide is typically considered larger and heavier than the Road Glide. The Electra Glide also features a longer wheelbase, which can affect its maneuverability.
- Seat and ergonomics: Both motorcycles offer comfortable seating for the rider and passenger, with plenty of room to stretch out on long rides. However, the Electra Glide typically offers more ergonomic features, such as adjustable footboards and a wider, more supportive seat.
- Style: Both motorcycles feature the iconic Harley Davidson styling, but the Road Glide is typically considered more aggressive and sporty, with a streamlined, modern look. The Electra Glide is typically more classic and traditional, with a more luxurious appearance.
Overall, the Harley Davidson Road Glide and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide offer distinct design differences, with the Road Glide featuring a more modern, aggressive look and the Electra Glide offering a more classic, luxurious appearance. The differences in fairing design, size, weight, and seating ergonomics may also influence your preference between the two models.
Tires and Brakes
As for the tires and brakes, the Harley Davidson Road Glide and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide offer similar components, but with some differences that may influence a rider’s preference.
- Both motorcycles typically come equipped with high-quality tires suitable for touring, with sizes ranging from 16 inches in diameter for the front tire to 17 inches for the rear tire. However, the Road Glide typically comes with wider tires than the Electra Glide, which can offer increased stability and grip on the road.
- Both motorcycles typically come with high-performance brakes, with dual-disc brakes in the front and a single-disc brake in the rear. However, the Road Glide typically offers larger front brake rotors than the Electra Glide, which can offer increased stopping power and better heat dissipation.
- ABS: Both motorcycles typically have anti-lock brakes (ABS), which can help prevent the wheels from locking up during sudden stops. However, some models may offer different versions of ABS or additional brake-related features, such as electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) or traction control.
Road Glide Accessories
There are plenty of accessories available for Road Glide. Whether you need it for practical or decorative reasons.
|Color-Matched Chopped Tour-Pak Luggage – Heirloom Red Fade|
(Available in multiple colors)
|Comfort Stitch Rider Backrest|
(Available in multiple designs)
|Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon Slip-On Mufflers|
|Front Inner Outer Fairing and LED Dual Headlight Fit|
More Road Glide accessories on Harley Davidson Official Website
Electra Glide Accessories
Adversary Rider Footboards
|Mustang Motorcycle Seats 79006||From |
|Rockford Fosgate HD9813SG-STG2 (Stage 2) Fairing Speakers & 800-Watt Amplifier Kit|
|INDNICE Driver Floorboards|
More Electra Glide accessories on Harley Davidson Official Website
Road Glide vs Electra Glide – Similarities and Differences
|FEATURE||Road Glide||Electra Glide|
|SEAT HEIGHT||25.9 in.||27.4 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||5.5 in.||4.9 in.|
|TRAIL||6.8 in.||6.7 in.|
|WHEELBASE||64 in.||64 in.|
|FRONT TIRES||130/60B19 61H||BW 130/70B18 63H|
|REAR TIRES||BW 180/55B18 80H||BW 180/55B18 80|
|FUEL CAPACITY||6 gal.||6 gal.|
|Weight||855 lbs||820 lbs|
Road Glide vs Electra Glide – Which one is better?
According to the users’ assessments, even though these two bikes are very similar, Electra Glide is always the winner. However, it’s up to you to decide whichever you prefer to ride.
|Electra Glide||Road Glide|
|Advantages||• Seating comfort|
• Perfect for long distance touring
• Loaded with great features
|• Massive road presence|
• Gets top-quality components
• Comfortable for highway rides
|Disadvantages||• Difficult to ride in the city|
• Weight is quite high
• Priced quite high
|• Difficult to ride in the city|
• Expensive to maintain