10 Facts About The New 2019 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard
We can’t call it “all-new” but our ride on the stripped-down bagger from Milwaukee revealed a user-friendly collection of touring amenities and familiar ergos at a reasonable price.
If you’ve ever heard the expression “that which is done is that which shall be done,” then you know the premise for Harley’s latest Touring model, the 2019 Electra Glide Standard. Notice we didn’t say “new”—because, well, it’s not. What it is is a reintroduction of a previous model that basically went away after the Street Glide muscled in as H-D’s top seller back in 2009, obviating the need for a stripped-down base model. But in a sea of high-tech land yachts, the Standard is hoping to capture the Luddites among us who just want to get out and ride in peace, unconnected and undisturbed.
The bat wing is back.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it says Harley, and the “new” E-Glide Standard soldiers on with the familiar batwing fairing you’ll see on its other Touring brothers along with a mid-height windshield and slipstream vent to move air in behind the glass. This time you get just a solo, dual-beam halogen headlight leading the way.
We had a chance to throw a leg over the E-Glide Standard last month and, because there were no big tech presentations, endless spec charts, or a long litany of cutting-edge features to absorb, we could just relax on it from the get-go. Our rip around the Ocala National Forest was just pure, kick-back rolling fun because there were just a few of us, and frankly, we already knew this rig. If you’ve ridden any of Harley’s Touring models in the last few years, then you’ve ridden the EGS.
There’s no question the E-Glide is a capable touring machine, but if you ask me, part of its charm is that the learning curve is nonexistent. Just turn on the ignition, thumb the starter, and whack the throttle. Nothing else to it. No hard drive to boot, no GPS to distract, no Bluetooth to connect. The ride is elemental, just the wind in your face, the super-smooth Milwaukee-Eight engine underneath, and a couple of analog gauges on the dash to occupy the lower horizon. That feature set is virtually plagiarized from the last time we saw this model in the lineup, in 2008.
Less stuff means less weight.
Considering it loses all the accessories its siblings carry, you’d expect the Electra Glide Standard to weigh less, and it does—but it’s only a 9-pound difference between it and the Street Glide. Chalk that skinniness up to the lack of electronics.
For bargain hunters, it’s the best bang for your buck in the Harley Touring line, bringing a full count of touring essentials without any of the frills. That burly, torque-rich M-8 engine (107ci version only, sorry), dual-disc Brembo brakes up front, a batwing fairing up top, and 2-into-1-into-2 exhaust system with tapered mufflers at the back edge…what else do you need? But there’s nothing bargain basement about the way the Standard functions or looks—except for the fact that it only comes in black. It’s a sparse machine visually, but that’s what makes it appealing to those of us who prefer our V-twins naked and our paint schemes basic.
The Electra Glide Standard now claims the title of The Least Expensive Model — in Harley’s Touring lineup, anyway. It’ll run you $18,999 versus the Street Glide’s $21,289 or the Electra Glide Ultra’s $24,589 and even the Road King’s $19,289, which makes it a great platform for either bargain hunters or customizers looking for a raw canvas to build upon.
It has the sound of silence.
The Electra Glide Standard doesn’t roll with the Boom! infotainment system—or any audio, for that matter. It even deletes the speakers; you get only foam covers over the speaker holes, which means you can at least still add aftermarket audio if you want. You won’t even find a USB plug in that big, empty “glove box,” where the Boom! system used to live. Four simple analog gauges deliver the bike’s vitals.
It’s not just a basic Street Glide.
You can tell the E-Glide from its other Touring brothers by the unadorned front fender and 17-inch Impeller wheel up front (versus the 19-incher on the Street). The shorter, fatter front tire needs a bit more muscle to turn in but the effort is barely noticeable, and tracking is supremely stable. The E-Glide also doesn’t come with standard ABS, though it is a $795 option. Dual-disc Brembos with four-piston calipers up front lessen the worry somewhat.
You’ll see some price-point elements here.
Harley had to cut some corners on the EGS, naturally. The rearview mirrors perch on generic stalks rather than being mounted directly to the fairing as on the up-spec, fairing-ed Touring models, and there’s no heel-toe shifter (just the one arm). That red H-D badge is just a clear-coated decal rather than a raised emblem or painted item. You’ll also get cheesy reflectors on the back of the saddlebags (though we’re told they’re easily removed).
The Milwaukee-Eight engine is perfect for touring.
The smooth, torquey, accessible Milwaukee-Eight mill in 107 configuration powers the E-Glide Standard, and in this application, it’s a beaut for long hauls. Carefully placed chrome accents and a trio of chrome rocker, cam, and derby covers are meant to reference the very first Electra Glide model.
Suspension carries over from the other Tourers.
With a Showa Dual Bending Valve in the 49mm fork and dual adjustable emulsion shocks out back, the E-Glide’s ride quality is more than adequate for most solo riders on average roads, even with only 2.15 inches of travel for the shocks. If you add a passenger or more cargo, it’s easy to adjust spring preload (without tools) via a handwheel on the rear left shock once you remove the left saddlebag.
The 2019 Electra Glide Standard is not really a “new” model.
Spoiler alert: This isn’t the first Electra Glide Standard. Call it a reintroduction. The model was last seen as a base model tourer back in 2008—and had a run of several years prior to that. Harley PR Manager Paul James says, “It was…a good platform for customization. (The Standard)…is returning now because we see the need for a light-duty touring motorcycle with a batwing fairing. And we thought it was important to hit that $19K price point.”
Base model or not, it’s still a fine touring rig.
Stripped-down, raw, everything you need and nothing you don’t — however you want to spin the Electra Glide Standard’s purpose in life, at the end of the day it brings all the utility you’d want in a light touring bike — standard saddlebags, floorboards and a fairing, an eager engine and a reasonable price. As a base model, it makes sense.
|2019 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard|
|Engine||Milwaukee-Eight 107ci (1,746cc)|
|Bore x stroke||3.937 in. x 4.375 in.|
|Fuel system||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection|
|Transmission/final drive||6-speed/Cruise drive|
|Front suspension||49mm fork w/ Showa Dual Bending Valve; 4.6-in. travel|
|Rear suspension||Low-height dual shocks adjustable for preload; 2.2-in. travel|
|Front brakes||4-piston calipers, dual floating 300mm discs; ABS optional|
|Rear brakes||4-piston caliper, 300mm fixed disc|
|Seat height||26.8 in.|
|Fuel capacity||6.0 gal.|
|Luggage capacity||2.5 cu. ft.|
|Claimed weight||820 lb. (wet)|