2010 FLTRX Glide
Harley-Davidson’s new 2010 Road Glide Custom is a tricked out version of the H-D Ultra Classic. This new FLTRX, with it’s vibrant paint, hot-rod styling and decadent chrome “pops” like the Crown Jewels next to other road hardened American iron. A bagger in it’s truest sense but with a younger edge; the double headlights, lowered body and sleek rear fender reminds me of a remade lowered 1970′s Chevy Impala.
Settling into the Road Glide Custom saddle you are encircled with a full-featured cockpit. The silver-faced gauges are easy to read, two glove-box storage bins are somewhat awkwardly positioned but very useable. The standard 40-watt Harman/Kardon sound is awesome to 40 mph and then tapers-off until around 75 mph. The FLTRX’s self-canceling blinkers and auxiliary power jack are automotive like creature comforts.
The big 18-inch front wheel and FL fender leads the Road Glide Custom with a meaty footprint that is surprisingly agile at parking lot and highway speeds. On the road, the Road Glide’s shark-nose provides a rider comfort pocket protected from the wind and other elements with just enough breeze in your face and on your legs to let you know you are riding a motorcycle. The FLTRX locking hard-shell saddlebags are roomy enough for a computer bag or overnight trip.
In 2009, the Harley-Davidson Touring Family update included a revised exhaust routing to keep heat away from the rider. This is also true with the 2010 Road Glide 2-into-1 long chrome muffler. The sleek pipe exits below the right rear bag and beside the velvety new LED taillight that appears to be smiling. The FLTRX system certainly meets noise regulations but an aftermarket exhaust would bellow the V-Twin sound obligatory to keep-up with the Road Glide Customs hot new looks.
Lowered by one inch and with “ground effects” at the bottom of the rear fender, the Road Glide Custom really does hug the road. The suspension soaks up small bumps but only to a limit. Once the suspension reaches the ~2-inches of travel, big bumps can be jarring. The FLTRX is extremely stable at all highway speeds and superb on long gently sweeping corners. Although the Road Glide Custom is agile, partly due to the low center of gravity, this is a heavy 800-pound gorilla of a motorcycle. So until I got used to tight corners, stop lights and using the kickstand, I was extra careful.
The rubber-mounted Twin Cam 96 V-Twin engine on the Road Glide Custom rumbles aggressively while standing but like all modern Harley’s she purrs like a kitten at speed. The Harley-Davidson Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) introduced a few years back, is and continues to be flawless in all riding situations. For those who have been away from Harley for a decade or more, the power plants have kept with the tradition and attitude but have been fantastically refined in both performance and durability.
Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) feeds the Road Glide Customs Twin Cam 96. It also easily enables the optional cruise control, which worked great while at speed. Again, taking the time to learn the intuitive controls is best while parked because the gadgetry can be overwhelming for a rider trying to pilot the FLTRX vessel. The Road Glide Custom with the refined 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission (with new helical-cut fifth gear) and belt drive provides a super silky smooth ride.
The Road Glide Custom, dressed in the Scarlet Red paint, is a refined ride and a real head-turner. The hot-rod attitude, brilliant chrome and lowered stance is not quite on par with the 2010 Harley-Davison CVO Street Glide but for the relative price point it sure is an attractive package.