Which Harley Street Glide Years to Avoid? (Why Explained)

The Harley Street Glide is a well-received motorcycle by many. The history of this classic motorcycle goes back a long time. While we can’t deny the popularity of the brand, not all models are worth trying. 

Each model has distinct good and wrong sides. But, if you are planning to purchase a used street glide, some models are best avoided as they may create problems for you in the future. 

Let’s look at what Harley Street Glide years to avoid and some tips to make the best deal on a used motorcycle.

Harley Street Glide Years To Avoid (List Of Years)

As Harley-Davidson gave the world some of the best bikes that ever existed, they also collected a bad rep due to having issues with some of their bikes. 

However, the best part about the brand is that they are constantly revising the old models; hence the popularity remains strong. 

Like any other manufactured goods, they just got better with time and upgrades. The same upgrades that worked for most might not work for others. 

The following years of Harley Street Glide faced the most issues, according to many users:

  • 2014 model
  • 2016 model
  • 2017 model
  • 2018 model

What Makes Harley Street Glide Years Worth Avoiding?

There will be some issues with whichever year you choose. Some new features may catch your attention and hit the sweet spot. Conversely, you may hate some more recent features that others might adore. 

Find why you should reconsider purchasing any of the mentioned Harley Street Glide years below. 

Harley Street Glide 2014 Problems

Harley Street Glide 2014
Harley Street Glide 2014

After its debut, many users described their love for the new Harley Street Glide 2014. However, the model saw a lot of reports regarding several issues.

A common issue reported by many involved the clutch system, specifically the clutch slipping and labored engaging. 

Another major issue was the saddlebag mounts, which caused a recall of over 185,000 motorcycles, just in the US.

Some users faced difficulty due to the faulty cam chain tensioner resulting in rough idle and stalling followed by clattering noise. It is a serious issue that could lead to severe engine damage.

The original exhaust system equipped on the Street Glide motorcycle produces a low level of sound, which may not suit riders who prefer a more audible and aggressive exhaust note.

Additionally, the 2014 street glide experienced head buffeting at highway speeds, which can be dangerous to the rider. 

Harley Street Glide 2016 Problems

Harley Street Glide 2016
Harley Street Glide 2016

The Harley Street Glide 2016 had some serious issues regarding the transmission and infotainment system. However, the brand recalled most of these issues.

There were several reports of having difficulty shifting between gears. Rough shifting and even transmission failure happened in some cases. 

According to a recall notice by the NHTSA, the 2016 model had clutch system issues. It could cause the rider to lose control which was a serious issue.

The model showed signs of overheating, especially during hot weather and slow speeds. It is an issue requiring quick attention, or the engine may falter. 

It also faced some issues with its infotainment system. Reports involved glitches with the GPS and Bluetooth connectivity problems.

Read Also: Which Harley Twin Cam Years To Avoid & Why?(Explained)

Harley Street Glide 2017-2018 Problems

Both the 2017 and 2018 models of Harley Street Glides came with the fantastic Milwaukee eight engine that elevated the appeal of the bikes. However, due to some technical issues, both faced a lot of complaints and dissatisfaction. 

Riders were expecting improvements regarding the brakes and overall riding quality which the models could not meet. Frequent cases regarding the 2017 model involved vibration in the front end of the motorcycle which made the bars and brake pedals a bit shaky. 

Several complaints mentioned faulty clutch systems in the 2018 model. A recall was issued by the NHTSA addressing the possible fluid leaking from the secondary clutch actuator cylinder. It was a severe case that could cause the clutch to not disengage and lose control. 

Many struggled with lack of proper control and adaptability. The new Milwaukee eight engine was supposed to be the best but the wet sumping issue took away the charm. 

Another alarming recall was regarding the oil line issue. Oil would accumulate in the crankcase bottom, which caused oil aeration and power disruption. It also stressed the engine. 

Note: As we highlight the problematic sides of a specific model, it’s not necessarily a wrong choice, and many of the issues were already recalled by the dealers. We aim to inform the new users beforehand what they are getting into. Different users’ experiences can help others make informed and feasible choices.

Read Also: Which Harley Shovelhead Years to Avoid?

Which Year Harley Street Glide is Worth Buying? 

The concept of cleaned-out touring bikes like Harley Street Glide was still very new and confusing. But people soon started to figure out the fantastic features and comfort associated with them. 

The choice of the perfect street glide varies from person to person. We discuss the top two years below. 

Harley Street Glide 2009

Harley Street Glide 2009
Harley Street Glide 2009

Harley street glide 2009, an original classic, is preferred by many users till now. The stylish outlook of the bike along with the low-slung saddlebags and batwing fairing captured so many hearts. 

According to a lot of the users, street glides made some incredible revisions of the previous issues and as a result, the 2009 model was a game changer in the industry. It has great handling and riding traits. 

Harley Street Glide 2020 and up

Harley Street Glide 2020
Harley Street Glide 2020

The best thing about the 2020 model of street glide is that the oil sumping issue, which has been prevalent in many models since 2017, is no longer present. It also features stable transmission, improved suspension, and the new reflex defensive rider system. 

The company made more progress over the last couple of years as the 2022 and 2023 models are more impressive. The new models offer limitless upgrades alongside the great Milwaukee-eight engines.

Read Also: Which Harley Electra Glide Years to Avoid?

Tips for Buying Used Harley Street Glide

Purchasing classic automobiles has become a popular trend over recent years. Harley Davidson Street Glides are extremely popular among used motorcycle enthusiasts. 

At times, investing in a used classic may be more beneficial than going for a new one. If you are planning to get a used Harley Street Glide, here are some tips that may help:

  • Research the used motorcycle well. Check for any reported issues or recalls on the model and year.
  • Consider factors such as mileage and the overall condition of the motorcycle.
  • Check the bike’s ownership history. See if the VIN and the numbers on the title match.
  • Inspect the motorcycle thoroughly. Look for damage and take it for a rest ride. 
  • Discuss with the seller about the motorcycle’s maintenance history and modifications.
  • Have a mechanic or an expert examine the motorcycle. 
  • Ensure to obtain all the essential documents, including the bill and title transfer copy, while making the deal. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We discussed Harley Street Glide years that you might consider avoiding and the ones that may be worth a shot. Now let’s peek at what others are talking about the street glide to get more insights.

Is The Harley Street Glide Reliable?

The Harley Street Glide is a reliable motorcycle. However, regular maintenance is the key to ideal performance and durability. Also, it would be best if you chose the bike that fits your taste and requirements the most.

What Is The Average Life Of A Harley Street Glide?

The average lifespan of a Harley Street Glide can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, servicing, riding conditions, and storage. It can easily last for 75,000 to 100,000 miles or more if everything is ideal.

How Often Does A Harley Street Glide Need An Oil Change?

The frequency of oil changes depends on the model year of your Harley Street Glide and the type of oil used. You can consider changing the oil every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What Years Of Harley Street Glide Are More Fuel Efficient?

The more recent years (2017 and up) of the Harley Street Glide tend to have better fuel efficiency than older ones. It is possible thanks to the advancements in engine technology, such as the Milwaukee-Eight engine, and the company’s relentless effort to offer the best. 

How Much Does It Usually Cost To Maintain A Harley Street Glide?

The cost of maintaining a Harley Street Glide depends on the model and condition of your motorcycle. Generally, it can cost between $400-$1600 or more. You must pay attention to regular maintenance to be more cost-efficient. 

Final words

Just like any other well-known brand, Harley motorbikes are not without their pros and cons. While there are some issues with a few specific model years, most models of Harley Street Glide are still an outstanding catch. This is especially true if you prefer a good-quality, comfortable bike with a robust engine.

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