We have for some time thought that the writing was on the wall for the Harley-Davidson Sport Glide. When it was first introduced there were very quickly rumours circulating that the model would not likely last more than three years on the American manufacturer’s roster.
For those who bought the Sport Glide, immediately there was a motorcycle that filled the gap in what they were looking for in a daily ride or even one to go do some touring on, however for others it was seen as a bike without identity.
It soon became clear that the Sport Glide would be a decent seller both in the US domestic market and around the world…but would it be enough.
The mini bagger is seen by many as the best handling Softail and the most practical but the size of the fairing have many perplexed by its appeal for some. Being the ‘sportier’ model then it should have had the dual front disc brakes which later came out on the Low Rider S and the final nail in the coffin was the model was never afforded the 114ci engine that it so longingly needed.
However, possibly its biggest failing was that it appealed to many riders looking for a lightweight tourer but in the end most would only use the Sport Glide as a stepping stone to move upwards onto the Road King, Street Glide or Road Glide…especially in the American market where these tourers really are the favoured ride and are the one most profitable for the company too.
Whilst many within the fanbase have not wanted to accept these failings and would ignore indicators that the end was nearing for this great Softail all rounder, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore.
Even those that would throw shade on anyone daring to comment or suggest this be the case, are starting to realise that the 3year doom merchants had it right all the time and come January 2022 we will finally see the Sport Glide finally laid to rest in green pastures but not without a loyal following of owners and fans who could see the appeal of this great riding Softail, that worked so well in the bends and could carry your work lunch box and tools with ease.
I never want to wanted to say; “I told you so” but I really did and unfortunately with each passing year with the little evolution apart from some paint scheme changes for 2021…a last hurrah if you will, it became obvious that the model was not regarded by the company and possibly thwarted sales of bigger and more profitable bikes.
I for one will miss the Sport Glide on the roster from Harley-Davidson and shame on them for not really allowing the model to spread its wings and become a legend that many thought it really should have had an opportunity to become.