The 2020 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard serves several purposes. Its stripped-down nature makes it an ideal starting point for a custom build, as it gives you access to the Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant in the Touring chassis with the batwing fairing for under $19k—$3000 less than the Street Glide. For urban riders, the Electra Glide Standard has a beefy 17-inch front Dunlop to handle decaying infrastructure, and none of the fairing-mounted touring-oriented electronics that aren’t essential for getting around town in style. Also, it’s the only Electra Glide on offer from Harley-Davidson for 2020. We weren’t in the mood for a build, so we tested it as an urban beast.Ergonomically, the 2020 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard is a fantastic ride in the city. The low seat height matches up with comfortably pulled back bars and traditionally forward-places floorboards. The heel-toe shifter adds to the fun, and the fork-mounted batwing fairing makes for an orderly seating area.
There’s no way to complain about power around town when you have the Milwaukee-Eight 107 doing your bidding. With 111 ft-lobs of torque being sent to the 16-inch rear Dunlop at just 3250 rpm, acceleration is always just a twist of the throttle away.You have six speeds at your disposal, and the Electra Glide Standard pulls nicely in whichever one suits your fancy. There’s enough overrev that you won’t be hitting the rev limiter unless you have forgotten that the Cruise Drive is a manual-shift affair. Happily, the heel-toe shifting is agreeable and sure-footed.The Dunlops and the three linked 320mm discs do an excellent job of slowing down the 820-pound Electra Glide Standard, with the linkage being nicely transparent. Initial touch is soft, so nothing disrupts your flow, yet there is plenty of stopping power when you need it. ABS is standard, and it is not intrusive—you certainly will be happy it’s there in the rain, or should the roadway be befouled in some way.The feel of the 2020 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard is remarkably agile around town. Although natural expectations would be that it is a tank, the muscular engine makes it easy to get the motorcycle to move. From there, body English is typically all that’s needed to make a lane change.When taking urban canyons, the Electra Glide Standard has several things going for it. The Dunlops have excellent traction and feel, the cornering clearance is generous due to the Touring chassis, and the seating position offers excellent control over the motorcycle. It truly is a fun ride in the twisties.It is no surprise that the Electra Glide Standard is outstanding on freeways—urban or rural. The motor is happy to purr along at 100 mph, should you choose to enjoy an encounter with law enforcement, and the fork angle of 29.25 degrees and 64-inch wheelbase gives you all the stability you need. The fairing does its job, even without an infotainment system installed. Don’t worry; the fairing still has a speedo, tach, fuel gauge, multi-purpose LCD window, and the anachronistic voltmeter (I’ll take an analog clock instead, thank you).Zipping around town, the sidebags give the 2020 Harley-Electra Glide Standard a good deal of utility. The one-touch design for the lid means quick opening and closing, along with a sure seal of the lid. The cavern where the infotainment system is there, and you can put anything in it that will fit. However, there’s no door. C’mon, Harley-Davidson. It’s a Standard, but a door for that glovebox-like opening would have been a nice touch.So, if you want the bagger style with a bit more meat in the front wheel than Street Glide has to offer, along with an extra $3000 in your pocket, the 2020 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard is a compelling choice. It’s superb for the urban rider who wants a big-inch machine and doesn’t mind that Vivid Black is the only available color—don’t worry, there’s enough chrome to catch the attention of passersby. For the customizer and budget-minded, the price tag tells the tale—you’re not paying for anything you don’t need.Photography by Don WilliamsRIDING STYLE
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!