I was recently at the NAMOA police motorcycle training and completion conference and visited the Harley-Davidson booth. In that booth was a new Police Harley Road Glide that was available to test ride. My current police Harley is an Electra Glide, which has been common for many years now along with the available Harley Police Road King. I learned that the Road Glide will be a future edition to Harley's police line-up. However, no date has been confirmed for release. (see video below)
So, I jumped on the chance to test-ride this new Police Harley Road Glide on the training & competition course. It's worth noting that the Harley Road Glide has a fixed shark nose fairing and the handlebars turn within. While the Harley Electra Glide has a batwing fairing that turns with the handlebars. That is really the only difference between these two motorcycles as they have the same exact frame and powertrains. I was jumping up to the 114 ci Milwaukee-Eight motor on the Road Glide from the 107 ci on my current 2018 Electra Glide.
Admittedly, prior to riding the Road Glide on the competition course, I assumed I would use less effort to whip the bars back and forth in the patterns and into the bar lock position. I also believed for the same reasons, that the Road Glide may be a bit more nimble and transition quicker on the course.
So, I jumped on the Harley Police Road Glide and warmed up for 4-5 minutes off the course, learning the friction zone, bar lock, transitions, lean, and overall feel of the bike. The 114 ci motor certainly had more power and with a few throttle blips, the front wheel will easily lift off the pavement.
I then hit the competition course on the Road Glide and quickly learned that my preconceived notions were utterly wrong. I was perplexed that whipping the bars back and forth in the patterns felt no easier nor freer than with my Electra Glide batwing fairing that turns with the bars.
Additionally, the bar lock took a bit more effort to set than on the Electra Glide. I have to believe that the weight of the fairing on the Electra Glide helps set the bar lock a bit quicker. And more interestingly, was that because of all that the bike seemed to need more input from me to do quick transitions and dip the bike from side to side. It's still hard for me to wrap my head around it because it's the same frame and wheelbase. I chalked this up to the taller handlebars on the Road Glide.
I also learned that while riding the Road Glide on the competition course that it was a bit more difficult to see around that shark nose fairing for front wheel placement and spacial awareness in the patterns.
With all that said, I had an absolute blast riding the Police Harley Road Glide on the course and after several runs, I was really able to start dialing things in and get more comfortable with it. Although the Road Glide feels and rides a bit differently on the course than the Electra Glide, this is a completely capable bike for police work. I'm certain that given more time with this bike I'd be nailing the same times on the course as with my current Electra Glide.
I will say that I have ridden Harley Road Glides off the course in a touring environment. You'll hear many riders say that at higher speeds and in the wind that the Road Glide feels a bit more steady due to the fixed fairing. I can't argue with that, but can say that it's a very minimal difference at best.
I've ridden my civilian Harley Street Glide with the batwing fairing cross country over thousands upon thousands of miles in every environment imaginable and have zero issues at higher speeds or when riding in the wind. I've also ridden my Police Harley Electra Glide on high speed tracks and ridden as fast as the bike will go and have zero issues. My point is, don't let the higher speed wind factor affect your decision on which bike to buy.
After my test ride, I can honestly tell you that both the Police Harley Electra Glide and Police Harley Road Glide are both extremely capable bikes for police work. Either can handle the competition courses just fine.
The only decision you really need to make is whether you prefer the look of the batwing (Electra Glide) or shark nose (Road Glide) fairing better. After that, just jump on the bike and start training.
Train hard, and ride safe.