Harley-Davidson unveiled four new models for 2022 that tap into the popularity of the performance bagger trend while paying homage to past styling cues, as Harley-Davidson does so well. The new bikes are powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 117, the company's biggest stock engine. Let's take a look at the new 2022 Street Glide ST, Road Glide ST, Low Rider S and Low Rider ST.
2022 Harley-Davidson Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST
The performance bagger trend has been building for several years now and Harley-Davidson positions their new ST models as factory performance baggers. Customizers have created this genre by pushing touring motorcycles to the sporty side with upgrades to the engine, chassis, wheels, and tires. These machines frequently feature smaller bags and windshields with taller rear suspension for better cornering.
The popularity inspired MotoAmerica to create the unique King of the Baggers racing series, which put highly modified baggers on the track as a support class at Superbike events. The Harley-Davidson factory team won the title in 2021 with experienced racer Kyle Wyman, whose resume includes Superbike, XR1200 racing and flat-track history. Harley is not shy about reminding you they won King of the Baggers, and these new models show some of that influence. All four are motivated by the Milwaukee-Eight 117, Harley’s largest stock engine, which was previously exclusive to the CVO line.
The Street Glide ST wears the standard batwing fairing, plus some low-profile details like a short windshield, a streamlined tank console, and smaller engine guards. The ST models are meant to evoke performance, and to push these large tourers in a sportier direction. Harley lightened them up a little with solo seats, smaller fenders, and downsized saddlebags. The Street Glide STs are available in Vivid Black as the base price or Gunship Gray for an extra $575.
Though the Road Glide ST takes some styling cues from the Screamin’ Eagle race bike that won King of the Baggers, it is intended to be a comfortable street mount with improved power and handling over the standard Road Glide tourer. The distinctive shark nose fixed fairing gets a low windshield, a Boom! Box GTS infotainment system, and fairing-mounted speakers. The ST treatment means a solo seat, a shorter front fender, non-extended saddlebags, and smaller engine guards. Like the Street Glides, Road Glide STs come in Vivid Black or the extra-cost Gunship Gray.
2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST and Low Rider S
Harley also brought the Milwaukee-Eight 117 to two new Low Rider models. The Low Rider S is fairly close to previous versions, but the Low Rider ST is the most unexpected of Harley’s new models, sitting somewhere between the iconic FXRT and the new performance bagger scene. Let’s start with the ST, and then take a quick look at the revised S.
Harley considers the Low Rider ST to be its sport-touring model, set apart with its high-mount saddlebags, tall rear suspension, and high handlebar behind a frame-mounted fairing. Lighter than the Road Glide and Street Glide, but better suited to long-distance travel than models without saddlebags or a fairing, the Low Rider ST isn’t exactly a new idea. At a claimed 721 pounds, it isn't exactly light, either, even if it is the ST line's slimmest model. The Low Rider ST does fill a void in Harley’s U.S. lineup, after the departure of the Sport Glide, for riders who split their V-twin miles between touring and spirited riding.
“A key element of this model is the frame-mounted fairing, which has a shape inspired by the classic FXRT Sport Glide model fairing favored by West Coast customizers,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Design. Like the other two ST models, seating, storage (53.8 liters), wind protection, and engine guards are reduced from what you’d expect on a traditional Harley tourer. Taller rear suspension, dual front brakes, and a sharpish rake of 28 degrees (same rake as 2021 Low Rider S) encourage a faster pace.
2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
The popular Low Rider S gets an update for 2022 with the Milwaukee-Eight 117 as the major change for 2022. The chassis has also been altered with the same taller rear shock found in the Low Rider ST for better cornering clearance. In response to customer requests, the speedometer and tachometer have been moved from the tank to the handlebar for improved visibility. The Low Rider S gets a solo seat, mid controls, four-inch handlebar risers, and a color-matched mini fairing.
More to come
Harley is expected to release more new 2022 models in the coming months, including “the next chapter of the Sportster story” (implied to be a Revolution Max machine in Harley’s video), so if gray and black performance baggers aren’t your thing, there are still more models on the way.
This first wave of bikes shows Harley looking to new directions without getting radically into any of them. The ST line seeks to bring the performance bagger custom world and KOTB bragging rights into the showroom.
Have performance baggers gone mainstream, or is Harley making them mainstream now? Of the four 2022 introductions, the Low Rider ST seems like the one to watch as the freshest idea of the bunch. We’ll see what else Harley brings for us as they roll out the rest of the 2022s.