Harley Street Glide is one of the most successful and longest of its league-touring motorcycles on the Harley Depot.
It took several years and generations to taste success for this model.
Year after year improvement in this machine made it one of the most popular and most successful Harley-Davidson motorcycles of all time.
This touring motorcycle currently has a lot more to offer than before.
However, the question stands still. What are the best and worst years for street glide?
Best And Worst Years For Street Glide
In the history of 04 decades, the Street Glide has had at least 30 models, one each year on average. Every model was a try for an improvement to its predecessor, but not on the road.
Some of them are considered the best years such as 1984, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2019, and 2020 Street Glides. There are worse models too, for example, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Harley Street Glides.
Not each of them is worth mentioning, and we will discuss only the notable ones in this article on the best and worst years for street glide.
Best Years For Street Glide:
2008 Street Glide:
The Street Glide had a debut in 1984 and it can also be considered as the best model you can choose.
However, we prefer to start with the best and top-notch models from the 21st century as they are comparatively recent to the ones in its first two decades. The 2008 is the first notable.
Models before 2008 used to have some issues in their early form such as weak brakes or the overall weight of the motorcycle, but 2008 got rid of those issues both on paper and on the road.
It also got an upgrade in power since 2008 producing a massive 86 lb-ft torque and 82 HP in power.
It offered better rideability on the roads and its riders would see a clear difference from its early models.
So, we can say the brakes got better and Harley worked on the motorcycle’s center of gravity to make it more memorable, lighter, and joyful to ride.
It had a 1573 cc air-cooled twin-cam engine to make sure it delivered smooth rides.
Both its performance and efficiency improved as well as its fuel efficiency, making it more economical. Harley introduced Brembo ABS in this model for the first time.
The 2008 Harley Street Glide also got a 17% bigger and larger fuel tank which was 5 gallons but now 6 gallons was introduced.
Harley even added security systems for better security protocols for the motorcycle and also worked on the Throttle with an electronic actuator.
2010 Street Glide:
Next on the list is the 2010 model, considered the second-best model of Harley Street Glide.
The 2010 Street Glide is worth mentioning since it has a 1584cc V twin cam engine installed that generates a massive power of 82 HP and 125 Nm in its torque.
Coming to its highlights, there are many incredible things worth mentioning which lead us to put this model as its best one.
This touring model allows you to have smooth rides, beautiful touring, and an impressive cruising speed of over 80 MPH.
You have a balance of both speed and power with this model due to the integration of fuel injection.
You will also get several chrome garnishings that make it look pretty adorable out there on the road. The reflection of sunset in the evening while you are cruising at the coast with cool breezes, everything makes you feel incredible.
More room and cushioning for seating, a visor, and optimized ABS.
2014 Street Glide:
The third best on the list of Street Glide is the 2014 model due to its twin-cam Harley 103 engine.
It is one of the most reliable engines by Harley bringing it a great significance in the launch history of this motorcycle.
The 2014 Street Glide offered 96 lb-ft as its peak torque and over 76HP as its power. Compared to old models, it’s been a reduction in numbers, but optimization on the road trips.
Harley introduced better handling, improved ABS, hydraulic clutch, dynamic brake balance, hand adjustable air suspension, RUSHMORE enhancement, electronic cruise control, 6-speed transmission, more room for storage, as well as heated grips.
However, we still won’t call it the best model. Because there were many issues as well in this particular model.
First of all, the mounts for the saddlebags were at fault however it was a simple and quick fix as it was put under safety recall by the Harley Davidson.
The introduction of RUSHMORE in this model made things worse since it was causing the failure of the engine and noise in the transmission.
Other than these failures, there is a slipping clutch problem, malfunctioning fuel gauges, suspension as well and issues with its clutch.
2019 Street Glide:
After hearing about so many problems in previous models for many years and strong criticism by Harley lovers, Harley found themself to be held responsible and started acting wisely.
The research and development got better, they started making improvements in the upcoming models while learning from the past problems and focusing more on customer support.
The 2019 model was the first try to wave peace and fix a lot of issues related to previous models.
Since it is a comparatively newer model than 2013 or the ones they launched before, this and later models have less or little to no issues, as for now.
Things got better that’s why we hear less noise regarding issues in recent models of the Harley Street Glide.
Harley worked on tires, wheels, speedometer, engine, chassis, suspension, braking, comfort, electronics, features, security, and aerodynamics as well as on the rideability of the overall motorcycle.
The 2019 model has 90 HP as its peak power with its 114 ci engine.
2020 Street Glide:
2020 and later models are actually by far some of the best models in the history of Harley Street Glide.
Despite the fact it has been just a few years now, there are already some issues but on a smaller scale since they are all fixable.
For example, the 2020 model had a bad battery due to a fault in the voltage regulator, but it was not much of a big problem back then and even now.
Other than several improvements and advancements on this model by Harley, the notable ones in the highlights should be the list of all issues the previous model had but the 2020 model doesn’t have.
First, it is the oil sumping issues that do not exist anymore in this particular model.
Meanwhile, Harley worked on and improved its suspension, comfort, and stability. The 2020 Harley had 94HP as its peak power and over 117 ft-lbs as its peak torque to power stable rides.
Worst Years For Street Glide:
If you want to enjoy the best of both worlds with this motorcycle, you should better avoid the models with many issues and problems.
Because fixing these issues will cost half of your life which is not fair at all. If you can find the problematic models in advance, it’s better to avoid them so you don’t fall into the hassle of fixation and frustration.
Let’s take a look at all the vulnerable and most problematic models of Harley Street Glide.
In each of its models, you will see a list of a few highlights and all the problems with its fixation. So, if you have no other choice but to choose from these models, you will have its solution as well.
2009 Street Glide:
There are some earlier models too that don’t suit your fit ranging between 1986 to 2008 models.
Some of them had issues with the fuel system, engine, transmission, and other things, but they all accumulated in the 2009 model. Mentioning it in detail means covering all those models.
Problems and Highlights:
2009 Harley Street Glide was technically a brilliant model of the Harley Street Glide and there’s no doubt about it.
Because, it had better power, better torque, impressive looks, a marvelous exhaust system, gorgeous brakes, and a superior feel. However, the issues are somewhere else.
The most popular or prominent problem in this model was issues with its saddlebags. You need to have saddlebags on a touring motorcycle so you can put your essential gear in it.
However, it must be durable, precise, and efficient, which sadly isn’t in the 2009 Harley Street Glide.
It used to have poor fitting, detaching ports, and stiff build which caused scratches on the body and removal of paint. The seals are not optimized and they can leak spitting all the water or liquid you have inside.
Everything’s fixable but its mounting is another problem on this model.
The brakes are fine but they don’t stay like that. Water breaks into brake lines and calipers, corrodes them, and reduces its efficiency which sometimes leads to accidents as well.
The issue is with its rear brake only. Same for its faulty fuel gauge which shows inaccurate readings.
In all these problems, you have to replace them or keep taking a look at these areas to avoid major trouble at times.
The 2009 is an acceptable model since these issues are not the deal-breaker to such an extent. However, brakes can still be deceiving only, if not well-maintained.
2013 Street Glide:
Fast forward to 2013, 4 years later 2013 got on the radar of problems although it’s been a good machine for the first year.
Harley installed a 1688 V-twin engine in this machine also known as 103 engine and it offers up to 101 ft-lbs of torque at 3500 RPM to power all your rides.
Problems and Highlights:
Well, the issues are many but the most notable is the catastrophic failure of the motorcycle engine as it accidently shuts down itself giving no response later when you try starting it.
It has a reason and oil sumping is what stops you here from enjoying your rides on this machine.
The oil from its oil pump gets on the crankshaft instead of going back to the oil reservoir and causes friction. Later, the engine welcomes this oil by dying, unless you fix it back.
The clutch on this particular model is also used to be tight enough and leaves no choice other than adjusting it.
Compared to old models, the clutch lever on this machine is loose and it has a significant play around it. If you could adjust that, the issue would no longer exist.
This usually occurs when your Street Glide has hit 20,000 miles on the meter. Similarly, the front rotor also doesn’t last.
2015 Street Glide:
Skipping the 2014 model Street Glide which is a good model and less prone to malfunctioning, failure, or problems.
The 2015 Street Glide is one of the few models of this motorcycle that mainly has unexpected engine problems.
Despite its 86 HP power and 102 lb-ft in torque, it still has problems although the engine can bear this motorcycle with its 775 lbs huge and heavy body.
Problems and Highlights:
Regarding its problems, the 2015 Harley Street Glide stalls all of a sudden and leaves on clue for the rider as well.
Its engine stalls due to an improper mixture of air and fuel particularly in cold weather since the bike is used to cold start as well.
Dirty fuel injectors and spark plug is also an issue of this unexpected failure on this model of motorcycle. The 2015 models repeat the same issues as of 2009, the saddlebags.
This model has issues with saddlebags mounts.
2015 models were recalled for the same issues by Harley to fix them for free. You can still purchase this model if the motorcycle you chose is covered under recall for this problem.
Otherwise, you will have to bear it, which is not a good deal, by the way.
Rough idling, stalling, and wind buffeting are also some of the issues on this machine. You are not going to find it pretty stable and balanced at high speeds, especially on highways.
You will need a better windshield and optimized wind deflectors as well for a good experience with it.
2016 Street Glide:
From now on, you will see consecutive model years having some kind of issues in this motorcycle. Each year has its identical and one or two common issues as its previous model.
However, most of them are fixable if you put in time, effort, extra energy, and a chunk of money.
Problems and Highlights:
The 2016 Harley Street Glide is known mostly for its electrical issues and failure of both electrical and electronic components. There are other problems too, but we will discuss them first.
Electrically, the infotainment system and gauges on bikes which show air pressure, fuel pressure, fuel levels, and other things do not do pretty well.
They are either inaccurate or they don’t work for long since they malfunction. The inaccuracy of these gauges is affected by fluctuation in voltage.
Same for its lights, indicators, brake lamps, and other things. They got dim with time and fluctuation of voltage is a major contributor here.
The issue sometimes relates to the wiring and affects the safety protocols as well. The electrical fuse blows and you need to fix them all.
The master cylinder of this model is at fault, due to the failure of the hydraulic system which also affects the clutch, transmission, and braking as well.
Its gear might slip also and you would need to replace the mechanical tappets of the engine as they fall at 20,000 miles.
2017 Street Glide:
2017 Harley Street Glide has its issues and most of them are at the course of the first time happening in the history of Street Glide motorcycles.
There are multiple recalls in this model as they have serious issues such as oil sumping, oil pump problems, failure of the clutch, ineffective brakes, poor response, less performance from the engine, and things like that.
Problems and Highlights:
One of the most common problems in this model was overheating. This overheating was due to problems in its engine and its effect on overall performance.
It leads to significant problems in the engine and has several other reasons behind its failure.
Other than overheating, the failure of the clutch actuator proves to be a risk for the health of the clutch since you will find difficulties in engaging or disengaging it.
Similarly, there are issues with the oil pump and you will need to upgrade them to 2020 models if it’s not covered under a recall.
The engine is prone to excessive vibrations due to issues with engine mounts and its fitting. Both 2017 and 2018 models are the most vulnerable years of Harley Street Glide to avoid.
Usama Ansari is a passionate writer interested in bikes and automotive vehicles. With years of experience and expertise in the field, he is quite familiar with many vehicles. His knowledge and love for everything related to bikes and automobiles have shaped his career, making him a trusted source of information and insights. Twitter | Facebook