A four-year effort by Harley-Davidson called Project Rushmore has culminated in a number of features and improvements to the 2014 touring models, including the Street Glide Special here. Though it does not get the much ballyhooed partial liquid-cooling system that was introduced exclusively on the Ultra Limited, CVO Limited and Tri-Glide Ultra models for 2014, the Street Glide does get the improved “High Output” 103-cubic-inch (1,690cc) air-cooled V-twin with new cams and high-flow airbox.
A major change to the touring models is a beefier new 49mm fork replacing the 43.1mm version, and a new triple clamp with sealed bearings. The single-spar, rigid backbone steel frame, rear suspension and engine mounts remain unchanged.
The basic Street Glide ($20,399) is Harley-Davidson’s best selling model, and in addition to the features listed in the introduction to this article, the Special version ($22,499) we test here is a new model for 2014. It also includes an electronic security key fob (optional on the base model) that disables the starting system when it is carried several feet away from the bike. While anti-lock brakes are a $795 option on the base model Street Glide, they’re standard on the Special, and are an updated version referred to as Reflex Linked ABS. The front and rear brakes operate independently below 20-25 mph, but at greater speeds the linking system activates and a proportional control valve sends an appropriate amount of braking force to each wheel.
Another major feature of the Special model, in addition to its new gauges, is a more sophisticated sound and infotainment system that carries a 6.5-inch color screen as opposed to the standard model’s 4.3-inch screen. This Harmon Kardon system integrates audio, communications and navigation, and it can be controlled by audio prompts when paired with a wired headset. While there’s too much to tell here, note that the system works well and provides exceptional sound.