Harley-Davidson Street Glide ST Performance (2022) - Review

Harley Davidson – ignoring every rule about performance motorcycling but somehow still making brilliant bikes


Harley owners aren’t short of options to improve their motorcycles. Those of us who remember the 1990s M&P catalogue or even Yellow Pages still enjoy the nostalgic bulk of an enormous HD accessory catalogue. This enormous volume contains many shiny baubles to make your Harley louder both visually and audibly without actually changing the way it rides. And now, there’s this. Öhlins - suppliers of the absolute best suspension to road bikes, race teams and MotoGP royalty have built a range of fork conversion kits and rear suspension units for Harley Davidsons. And because Harley UK are an astute bunch who know how to tease potential Harley converts to the orange and black side of life, they’ve built a limited version of the already lovely Street Glide ST with Öhlins suspension, forward-mounted footrests (replacing the Street Glide’s running boards) and some cool, black Screaming Eagle exhausts, all for a price surprisingly close to that of the standard Street Glide ST.

Fitting Öhlins suspension is something normally done by racers chasing that last split second of a lap time. Typical Harley owners might not see the point, but they should because the benefits are huge. BikeSocial’s experience of Sweden’s finest springs ‘n’ things is that they add to ride quality by soaking up bumps better and have more consistent control going into, through and out of corners. All of those things are traditionally missing on a welterweight touring Harley - this could be very interesting. 


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The Street Glide has twin shocks, panniers and a fairing so it’s a ‘Grand America’


Harley Davidson’s range explained

To many people all Harleys look exactly the same. That’s because mostly, they do all look very similar. Harley have made it easier to be an expert by changing the names of the styles of their bikes even if the actual names are still only slightly less confusing than girls. The ‘Sports’ range replaces the air-cooled Sportsters with the liquid-cooled Nightster and Sportster. These bikes have smooth-cased, liquid-cooled engines and even your gran could tell them apart from the Big Twins.

The Big Twins used to be called Dynas (twin rear shocks, cruiser styling), Softails (single rear shock hidden in a frame that looked like a hardtail) and Glides (twin shock classic-styled tourers, usually with a fairing and luggage). These days there are just two flavours of Big Twin; Cruiser and Grand America. The Cruisers are all single shock Softail cruisers and the Grand America range is twin shock tourers often with the word ‘Glide’ in the name.

There are five different engines; two water-cooled in 975cc and 1250cc capacities, two air-cooled in 114 cubic Inch (1868cc) and 117 cubic inch (1923cc), plus a twin-cooled (air cooling with liquid assistance) version of the 114 ci in the Ultra-Glide.

Got that? Good, let’s move on to the good stuff.


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Pros & Cons
  • The ride quality
  • The power delivery
  • Virtually the same price as a Street Glide ST
  • Still more expensive than its rivals
  • The screen is still rubbish
  • Heavy low speed handling
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Expensive… but there’s about £3500 of goodies for no extra money


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Price

£28,995 is a lot of money, but this Performance Bagger actually costs pretty much the same as a standard Street Glide ST even with more than £3k of options bolted in place.  Whether it is worth it is very much up to you and your definition of value. Compared to a BMW R18 B Bagger (£23k) or Honda Gold Wing (£25k) both of which go as well or better than the Harley, handle better regardless of suspension and are much more sophisticated, the Harley seems over-priced. But Harleys don’t sell on direct comparison. Harleys are like Apple – they sell because they are Harleys, and they appeal to those for whom only a Harley will do.

Is that you yet? Opinionated about Harley Davidsons? When was the last time you rode one, if ever? Modern day Harleys are lovely. And, if you can afford the repayments, then price isn’t an issue because resale values are rock solid, meaning actual running costs can be more affordable than you think.

A typical PCP deal would require a £3000 deposit, £460 per month and a final payment of £15,232 which is far less than the bike will be worth at that point, leaving enough in the kitty for the deposit on your next one.

Here’s an example. If you’d bought a new Street Glide back in 2019, it would have cost you £23k. In late 2022 dealers are selling used 2020 Glides for £22,800 with a typical part-ex price around £16-17k, so you’ll have plenty of equity in your three-year-old Performance Bagger to fund the deposit on the next one.


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103bhp and 125 lb-ft of torque is more than you need


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Power and torque

Peak power figures are irrelevant on a big Harley Davidson. Mostly because power is torque times revs and while the Harley’s 1923cc engine makes 124lb-ft of torque, it makes peak power at 5450rpm meaning 103bhp is all you get. But you get it very quickly in one whopping lump between 2000-6000rpm.

The upshot of this is that it mostly doesn’t matter what gear you’re in once out of first. The Street Glide accelerates as hard from 20mph upwards in any gear and modern fuel injection and digital ignition means that pair of 996cc pistons fire smoothly and with incredible flexibility.

If only Milwaukee’s power delivery team had talked to the gearbox division who still seem to think that a gearchange isn’t macho enough if each clunk doesn’t scare birds out of trees with the mechanical finesse of putting a paddle steamer into reverse.

Normal Street Glides have running boards and a heel-and-toe gearshift which overcomes the stiff gear selection by allowing you to stomp on a lever whether going up or down the box. The Performance Bagger has a footrest kit and conventional gear lever for added ground clearance which doesn’t suit this gearbox at all.


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Screaming eagle exhausts add more black mean-ness without too much additional noise


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger Engine, gearbox and exhaust

It’s easy to look at Harley’s big twins and not see much difference between a 2022 and a 1972 bike. Look again. For one thing there’s at least 30 per cent more capacity, twice the power and so much more besides. The Street Glide ST has the latest 117 cubic inch engine. For those who grew up in Leeds, not Las Vegas, one cubic inch is 16.43 cc, making a total of 1923 of our European CCs. When each of the cylinders is almost one litre capacity it’s not only not surprising that peak revs are 6000rpm, but also actually amazing to think that anything can send two slugs of alloy the size of a paint can up and down a cylinder barrel 100 times each second.

There are six gears with a light clutch and a stiff gearchange that needs patience, a strong foot and an ability to forgive everything, including wasps. Finding neutral takes long enough to keep you amused at traffic lights. You usually seen the green neutral light at pretty much the same time the traffic light shows the same colour.

But you didn’t buy a Harley for the slick, easy gearshift. You bought it because it’s a bike that you bond with, learn how to ride and develop an almost animate relationship with. Seriously, spending time with these big twin motors brings a feeling most similar to the one you share with your dog. Flawed, but somehow impossible not to love. Try one now because in a few years when electric motorcycles are mandatory, you’ll be sorry you missed out. 


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger Economy

Harley claim 46mpg for the 117 engine and that seems about right in normal use. Riding like a road tester, enjoying the suspension on the back roads I got pretty much exactly the claimed figure. Riding like a nun, eking out fuel on a long motorway run I managed 55mpg at an average speed of 68mph. That’s a lot more impressive than it sounds and gives a usable fuel range of between 225 and 260 miles on a tank.


Öhlins suspension allows superb ride quality and flexible set-up to suit your riding.


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

The first few miles on a Harley tourer are always a little different. The low seat gives confidence, but the high bars feel a distance away and the handlebar-mounted batwing fairing, and speakers add a lot of weight to the steering at very low speeds. Turning round in a tight car park is unnerving till you get used to it. Coming to a halt is a similar experience. You need to remember to stop in a straight line and then turn the bars – turning while dawdling feels like the bike is going to do some kind of bizarre Milwaukee barrel roll.

You soon get familiar and once it happens there’s no further worries. Harley tweaks its chassis every few years and the Street Glide’s frame is now a lot stiffer and stronger than they used to be. A long wheelbase and lazy steering geometry make the bike very stable at most speeds and once on the move you are aware of the 369kg weight but not impeded by it.

Cornering is massively improved over older Harleys too. On fast open roads you can hustle the big Bagger surprisingly quickly. The Öhlins suspension means the front end doesn’t dive as quickly when you brake hard or spring back up as rapidly when you let the brakes off. Because both ends now have properly controlled damping you can brake later and deeper into corners if you wish and still be able to steer the bike when you want to. The limit on handling is now as much down to the Harley-branded Dunlop touring tyres as anything, especially in the wet.

Steering is still entertaining (because suspension has very little impact on actual cornering performance once leant over) and even Öhlins finest can’t overcome a frame design that would have been state of the art in the 1970s. So, the bike still takes a few moments before agreeing to go where you’d like it to, but now, it does actually do that and once you’re used to it, the arguments are all part of the fun.

Flippancy aside this suspension makes an enormous difference without turning the Street Glide into a characterless anodyne cruiser. It’s still a Harley, like only a Harley is… but better.

The biggest difference the Öhlins suspension makes is that you can now adjust preload, rebound and compression damping on the rear shocks to make the back end respond to bumps in a way that keeps the rider very comfortable while also bringing predictability to cornering.


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Front brake is excellent, rear is hard to use because of pedal location


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger Brakes

Twin discs up front with four piston calipers need a good pull on the lever to slow down quickly. Now though, the suspension can cope with that kind of foolish juvenile nonsense without needing to test the ABS. The rear brake is effective once you get your foot to the pedal and stomp on it, but the positioning of the rear brake pedal on the footrest kit makes it hard to use the back brake for subtle low speed control.

Cornering ABS with electronic linking is a re-assuring addition on a bike weighing half as much again as your BMW GS.  


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Short screen is ineffective at speed


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger Comfort over distance and touring

Street Glides have always been comfy. The seat is lovely, and the riding position makes a lot of laid-back sense. I’ve done trips around America doing day after day of high miles on them without issues. But you need to make regular stops to keep the aching mid-life knees happy and, even with the addition of vents under the screen there’s still too much turbulence for full face helmets, meaning a couple of hours at motorway speeds leave your brain and eyeballs feeling a little scrambled.


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Sat nav is excellent, DAB radio and connectivity is good too, but you can’t hear music above 60mph in a full-face helmet


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger Rider aids and extra equipment / accessories

Cruise control, cornering ABS, linked brakes and tyre pressure sensors are all welcome. There’s no reverse gear, electric screen, central locking, heated grips or Apple Car Play compatibility like the Gold Wing, but the Boombox infotainment (still hate that word) system has a DAB radio and the sat nav is easier to use. You can connect a phone or iPod via Bluetooth or USB cable and the built-in sound system can be heard clearly up till around 60mph. In a full-face helmet, the windblast is too much above that. Many riders these days do music and navigation via a headset, so this is less important than before. I’d prefer an option without the speakers adding to the weight on the handlebars.

BMW’s R18 has a 10in TFT dash and app-based navigation which feels a lot slicker, but some people (ironically) find it hard to navigate the system. The R18’s Marshall speakers definitely give it a marketing advantage for ageing rockers though.


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Living the dream with added ride quality


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger verdict

If you’re convinced that the best bike for you is a Harley Street Glide, then the Performance Bagger version is definitely the one to go for. My money wouldn’t be too bothered about the Screaming Eagle exhausts, and I’d ask the dealer if I could have the standard running boards and heel/toe gearchange, but the suspension makes an enormous difference to both ride quality and cornering confidence.

If you know Harleys already, you’ll love the latest 117 engine, be happy to have the safety tech in the background and enjoy every moment aboard the Performance Bagger. If you’re new to Harleys, you’ll love it too, but it might take a week or two to get used to it and at some point until you get the suspension set up properly there might be the odd ‘did I really pay £29k for this’ moment.

Don’t worry, it’ll pass. Harley prices don’t matter (if you can afford it, obviously) because the resale values are so strong. Enjoy it, ride it everywhere, get confident with the low-speed handling and discover a new way to go motorcycling.

You lucky devil.


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Neutral is in there somewhere. Good luck.


2022 Harley Davidson Street Glide ST Performance Bagger spec

New price

From £28,995



Bore x Stroke

103.5 x 114.3mm

Engine layout

45-degree V-twin

Engine details

Air-cooled 2v push-rod


103bhp (77kW) @ 5450rpm


124lb-ft (168Nm) @ 3500rpm

Top speed

125 mph (estimated)


6-speed belt final drive

Average fuel consumption

52mpg tested

Tank size

22.7 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

260 miles

Reserve capacity

45 miles

Rider aids

Cornering ABS, lean sensitive TC, cruise, hill-hold


Steel cradle frame

Front suspension

49mm forks with Öhlins cartridge kit and springs

Front suspension adjustment

Preload, rebound and compression damping

Rear suspension

Ohlin's remote reservoir

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload, rebound and compression damping

Front brake

300mm discs, four-piston caliper

Rear brake

300mm disc, four piston caliper

Front tyre

130/60 B19

Rear tyre

180/55 B18







Maximum loading


Seat height


Kerb weight



Unlimited miles / 2years

MCIA Secured Rating





Looking for motorbike insurance? Get a quote for this bike with Bennetts motorcycle insurance


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What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.