News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

Improved Power, Comfort and Handling: 2017 Road Glide Special

Posted by Jess Bettencourt on Mar 10, 2017 4:30:00 PM
Picture of Jess Bettencourt

This is the Road Glide® Special Model with more. More style and more features, including Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS. The distinctive frame-mounted sharknose fairing delivers world-class aerodynamic performance and offers the world a menacing scowl. Infused with the DNA of Project RUSHMORE, this Harley-Davidson® Touring motorcycle is powered by the new Milwaukee-Eight™ 107 engine and features all-new front and rear suspension – you’ll really appreciate the power, comfort and handling on a test ride.


Milwaukee Eight Engine and Drive Train

The V-Twin engine design offers a narrow profile for excellent rider legroom and creates the distinctive look, sound and feel we are all looking for from a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.

The all-new MilwaukeeEight™ engine utilizes the latest design and manufacturing technology so you can count on outstanding power, economy and durability.

The increased displacement helps the Milwaukee-Eight™ engine produce more torque that you’ll feel as improved acceleration and strong passing performance.

107_Engine_Main_Air_Cleaner_black.jpgFour-valve heads offer 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow through the engine (compared to the Twin Cam engine found in the 2016 models) so you’ll have more power per cubic inch of displacement every time you twist the throttle.

The Milwaukee-Eight™ engine features two sparks plugs for each combustion chamber to help completely ignite each fresh fuel charge and give you more power and efficiency from every ounce of gas.

The Milwaukee-Eight™ engine single camshaft design produces less mechanical noise than Twin Cam engines to enhance the impression of solid quality and let you enjoy a little more exhaust tone.

The advanced design of the Milwaukee-Eight™ engine permits a higher compression ratio so you get more power from this new engine.

Touring motorcycles powered by the Milwaukee-Eight™ engine weigh the same as previous Twin Cam engine models so power-to-weight ratio (a critical measure of real-world performance) is improved, and you’ll feel a real boost in performance.

The Milwaukee-Eight™ engine features an internal counterbalancer tuned to cancel a significant amount of engine vibration at idle to improve comfort at idle for you and your passenger comfort while maintaining the Big Twin character you love.

161849__001.jpgWhen you start this new engine, you’ll notice that there’s less mechanical noise due to the design of many internal engine components. The Milwaukee Eight™ engine sounds tight and precise, and you’ll notice that great exhaust tone.

An improved heat-management strategy reduces radiating engine and exhaust heat so you and your passenger are more comfortable in certain severe conditions.

The Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee Eight™ 107 engine features a precision-cooling scheme with dual heat exchangers in the fairing lowers that help maintain a lower, more consistent engine temperature; you feel less engine heat and have more power available even when the engine is working hard.

Another change you’ll notice with the Milwaukee Eight™ engine is a lower idle speed. This makes the engine a little quieter at idle and helps lower engine temp, too, both of which you’ll appreciate if you’re stuck in traffic or waiting at a long light on a hot day. The lower idle speed also produces the classic, relaxed idle cadence that’s a hallmark Harley-Davidson® sound.

With a more-powerful charging system the Milwaukee-Eight™ engine delivers 50 percent more charge to the battery at idle than Twin Cam engines so you won’t have an under-charged battery even with accessory lighting, performance audio, and heated gear on the bike.

The improved efficiency of the Milwaukee-Eight™ engine combines increased power and enhanced range so you can rider a little further on every tank of gas.


Intake and Exhaust

The angled scoop shape of the new air cleaner flows more air and muffles more intake sound to enhance performance and tone while clearly identifying you as the owner of the new MilwaukeeEight™ engine powered motorcycle.

Transmission and Final Drive

A new primary cover slims down the left side of the powertrain to give you more foot room and shorten your reach to the ground for many riders.

With ratios selected for touring performance, the Six-Speed Cruise Drive® Transmission delivers strong acceleration to help you pull away from traffic plus relaxed highway engine speed and enhanced fuel economy in sixth gear so you can ride longer in comfort.


Wheels and Tires

Dunlop®/Harley-Davidson® Multi-Tread Tires are designed specifically for the Touring chassis with a special center tread compound so you’ll get longer rear-tire life and enjoy good all-around performance.

Enforcer Cast Aluminum Wheels have a black finish with machined highlights and a commanding 19-inch diameter for custom style and are stiff and lightweight to give you a better ride and precise handling.

Front and Rear Brakes

Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS link front and rear brakes and prevents wheel lock-up in less-than-optimal conditions, so in any situation you’ll have more control with optimized braking performance.


Forks and Suspension

The new Showa Double Bending (DBV) front suspension offers better reaction to all changes in road surface to give you and your passenger a more comfortable and confident riding experience.

The new Emulsion Rear Suspension coil-over shocks offer a broader pre-load range so you’ll almost always be able adjust for the load of passenger and gear, or to suit your handling preference.

The single-knob pre-load adjustment makes it easy to dial in the best pre-load setting for the load situation and maintain that setting, so once you make that adjustment you’ll get consistent comfort and handling performance over time.

Shock/spring calibrations specific to each model match ride height and anticipated load so you and your passenger can dial in optimal comfort and performance.

The pre-load scale chart on a card in the owner’s manual offers suggested pre-load knob settings to give you a guide to setting pre-load.

Frame and Swingarm

The Harley-Davidson® single spar Touring frame has a rigid backbone design to sustain the weight of passengers and luggage and support current engine power. You can count on this frame for the long haul.

The two-piece shell and forged pivot of the Touring swingarm give you that feeling of confident handling in all conditions and under any load.

Painted Parts

Shaped in a wind tunnel the distinctive Road Glide® motorcycle sharknose fairing with a 13.5-inch touring windshield delivers world-class touring aerodynamics to give you and a passenger the ultimate in comfort. You’ll also enjoy light, precise steering because the fairing is mounted to the frame rather than to the handlebars.

The Road Glide Special Model features a painted inner fairing to set it apart from the Road Glide® motorcycle and let you ride with a little extra pride.

Dual Reflector Daymaker™ LED headlamps put out a focused beam of bright-white light to give you outstanding night-riding visibility and make you and the bike more conspicuous in traffic, day and night.

The triple splitstream vents below the windshield alters the air pressure in the rider area behind the fairing so you’ll notice significantly less head buffeting at speed but still enjoy comfortable airflow at highway speeds.

One-Touch Design makes it possible to open and close Tour-Pak® carrier, saddlebags, Jukebox, fairing lower storage compartments, and fuel tank door with a push or pull of a finger, a small convenience detail that you’ll really begin to appreciate when touring.

The One-Touch latch and hinge design of the hard saddlebags make is possible to open and close the lid with one hand, which you’ll find out is really handy when you want to open the saddle bag while holding gear in the other hand.


Seat and Riding Position

The shape of the handlebar reduces your reach to the hand grips and puts your wrists are a more-comfortable angle for touring or cruising.

Harley-Davidson® footboards let you relocate feet for added comfort on long rides and isolate feet from road vibration for all-day comfort. The heel/ toe shifter offers smooth action and a shifting option for riding ease. The Streamliner Collection footboards and matching passenger pegs feature raised, polished tri-line bands to give the Road Glide® motorcycle an extra dash of custom style everyone will appreciate.

The Road Glide® Special Model Seat combines a sporty profile with a deep-bucket rider position that will cradle you in comfort, and a narrow nose to give you an easier reach to the ground. The passenger pillion lets a friend join in the riding fun.

Instruments and Controls

A new high-capacity Assist and Slip clutch and hydraulic actuation reduces lever effort by 7 percent; you’ll find it’s much easier to manage the clutch.

The factory-installed H-D® Smart Security System is controlled by a pocket-size fob that automatically disarms and arms the system as you approach or walk away from the bike – you’ll never have to worry about whether you armed the security system, or if you’ll set if off accidentally

Ergonomic hand controls are designed with optimal fit, texture and function you’ll find they are easy to use and have a feeling of solid quality.

The Boom!™ Box 6.5GT Radio pumps out 25 watts per channel with factory-equalized sound quality that self-adjusts for bike speed so you can ride with clear sound at any speed or volume. The system is easy to upgrade with Boom!™ Box components if you want to add premium speakers, more amplifier power or CB radio and intercom functions

The large 6.5-inch color screen has a high-resolution display and an auto-dim function so you’ll be able to view it well, day or night and in changing light conditions.BEN-2835-f1.jpg

The color GPS navigation system features voice recognition, route options, and Harley-Davidson® exclusive features; you’ll find it’s more than a navigating tool when you’re touring because the motorcycle-specific tools add so much convenience.

The Boom!™ Box 6.5GT radio offers full voice recognition control and Bluetooth® capability to control system functions and interface with a cell phone you’ll have hands-free interface with the Boom!™ Box functions and your phone while riding.

The Jukebox provides a dedicated location for a phone or MP3 player; it’s cushioned and water-resistant to protect your phone and has a USB port to charge your device and let you access your stored music and phone functions.

Harley-Davidson® original equipment speakers are designed as a component of the Boom!™ Box infotainment system; you’ll notice the outstanding sound quality and these speakers will give you longer service in the demanding motorcycle environment, where they are exposed to weather and vibration.

The battery-charging harness is factory installed and ready to use with a variety of charging systems so you can keep the battery fresh between rides and not have to install your own harness.

Electronic cruise control is smooth and precise and adjusted with the left thumb so you can keep your right hand steady on the throttle. Set the cruise and give your right wrist a break.

Four analog gauges show you essential vehicle information that you find is easy to view in all conditions.



All of these features add up to one amazing ride. Between the "Project Rushmore" improvements of 2014 and the new Milwaukee-Eight engine and suspension improvements of 2017 - - this is a completely new riding experience. If you haven't tried it yet, why not today? Schedule a test ride at Oakland Harley-Davidson.
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