Timed, in early March, as a news initiative just before Daytona Bike Week, Harley-Davidson has introduced an additional 2019 model - an Electra Glide Standard that it describes as a "dressed down Dresser."
"Powered by the muscular Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, the new Electra Glide Standard provides a raw, fundamental riding experience inspired by Harley-Davidson's Grand American Touring roots. Designed for the traditional touring customer, the Electra Glide Standard is for the rider seeking to disconnect from all the noise of the day-to-day through riding. No screens [well, actually, there is a mini screen], simply a motorcycle that provides and heightens the experience of the journey, this fundamental experience is a key element in the design and engineering of the Electra Glide Standard."
Described as featuring "essential Harley-Davidson styling elements such as the iconic batwing fairing, chrome trim, standard saddlebags and cast aluminum wheels," chrome accents are added in "high-impact design areas and complemented by polished rocker, cam and derby covers and select blacked out components - a blend of traditional elements and modern trends."
|Electra Glide Standard - not exactly the purist's definition of "stripped down"|
Perhaps not quite so stripped-down then after all. It would appear that Harley are genetically incapable of really doing "standard", of doing minimalism - they could do worse than to take a look at the Epic 'Naked Series' tourer kits that Chris Eder in Texas is selling through Tucker V-Twin to get an idea of where the market's 'zeitgeist' is at.
"To express the stripped-back essence of the Electra Glide Standard we focused on finishes that were simple, timeless and fundamental to the Harley-Davidson's touring line. Chrome was added [ it's the word "added" that doesn't sit well with "stripped-down"] to key components and complemented by polished and blacked-out parts," said Harley-Davidson's Vice President of Styling & Design Brad Richards.
"The rocker, cam and derby covers are finished with chrome to emphasize the V-Twin shape of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. In addition, they add a dose of nostalgia that draws a through-line all the way back to the first Electra Glide." [Really?]
No doubt it is another box ticked en route to the 100 new bikes in 10 years ambition, but since Harley is currently struggling to sell enough tourers, as a mid-cycle addition this isn't going to set showroom doors swinging.
That said, a genuinely "stripped-down", highly customizable, price-point entry level Touring platform would have been a great idea and probably should have been in the model range from the moment the M-8 Tourers made their debut for MY2017.
Features of the EGS include electronic cruise control, hand-adjustable emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers, 49 mm front forks with Showa dual bending valve suspension, and Brembo brakes with optional Reflex Linked and ABS features.