2000 H-D Screamin' Eagle Road Glide

Orange Without Appeal?


Philip Strauss, CEO

  First of all, my apologies to the city of Scottsdale, Arizona This may seem like an odd way to start off providing my impression of the Screamin Eagle Road Glide but it makes sense to me. You see, I blamed that fair city, my home at the time, for creating horrible conditions for riding my FLHTC and Ducati 900 SS SP (more on that if I'm ever asked to comment on our ST4). As it turns out, the unbearable heat I was complaining about was coming from the bike not the 100 degree heat. To say that my right leg was a little toasty would be like saying hell isn't too bad in the winter. Whether it's the lowers or some quirk in the design, the bottom line is that this bike puts out way too many thermals of heat.

As for its looks, you know what they say about beauty being in the eyes of the beholder. Let me just say that the look is bold. If you have a need to stand out in a crowd, the Screamin Eagle Road Glide, with its flying eagle and bright orange and black paint job is just the trick. I rode over to the Rock Store and while I don't know for sure if I got there just as someone was telling the punch line to a joke or they were laughing at the bike, but one thing I will say unequivocally is that the quality Harley-Davidson's paint job is outstanding.

Let me say that I really wanted to like this motorcycle. My own Full Dresser had the prior Evo engine and no fuel injection. It was slow and heavy around town, but a great ride on the open highway. I was sure that the performance of the new motor combined with fuel injection and Stage II performance components would make this big bike scream. I was wrong, it's still heavy and it definitely doesn't scream. In fact it has me wondering whether I even want to go to the expense of installing the Stage II components on my bike.

I started my riding impressions by leaving MO's office just in time for rush hour traffic on the 405 in Los Angeles. Usually, I split the lanes and the traffic doesn't seem so bad. This bike's big so I decided that lane splitting wasn't going to happen. Even though it has a low center of gravity and a comfortable riding position, it is still a very heavy bike. Between, the traffic and the heat this thing puts out, I was very uncomfortable. I hoped that by the time I got onto Pacific Coast Highway the traffic would lighten up and the heat would go down. Well, the traffic did lighten up and the ambient temperature went down, but the Screaming Eagle was still putting out the therms.

I'm not saying that I hated the bike, but I was very disappointed in its performance. Isn't that the point of this bike? Given its overall weight and size, I will say that I was favorably impressed by how well it handled the twisty roads by my house. Maybe I expected too much. After all, this is a touring bike whose mission is to put hundreds of miles behind you on any given day. Or, maybe they should change the name from Screamin to Gleamin.

Brent Avis, Managing Editor

Okay, Calvin's round and cute and all, but I tend to pull more chicks. Virile good looks and constant inebriation make for an attractive combo I say. You may argue, but I have the doctor's bills which prove otherwise.

So imagine when, to my dismay, Calvin and I were running errands and ended up in a Ralphs Supermarket parking lot, and a little hottie in a sports car compliments him by saying, "nice bike," and giving him that flirtatious smile and wink which are the reasons I bother to eat and breathe. He was on the Screamin' Beagle while I was atop Philip's beautiful and classy-looking Fat Boy; that's the only reason I could think, in my shallow mind, that he got the attention of the opposite sex while I was left standing gape-jawed, thinking about an intervention. But somehow I didn't think blurting out, "that's not even his bike," would have much effect. Both because it was already too late and because neither bike was mine either. "I have a cool mountainbike, though," I thought to myself. Wink, wink.

Hmmm. Not the same effect. Maybe there's something to this gussied up Road Glide that I cannot grasp unless I use an appendage which resides a little bit further up my body to do my thinking for me. Once that occurs, I begin to see the merits of such a bike. It has appeal, not only to the rider - he gets to enjoy a willing motor, brakes and a nice, mellow sound mated to first-class comfort - but to passersby who might otherwise not give a subtle motorcycle a second glance. This bike is gaudy, yet stealthy. It'll sneak up on you and as you are about to profess your disdain for the bright orange paint, you notice how nice it sounds. You notice the chrome and the generally pleasant, not too in-your-face demeanor it has.

At first I hated this big, heavy, slow and waaay overpriced bike. Then I just stopped analyzing it and started riding it. Threw my girlfriend on back, even; and she liked it, too. So now I like it. Does that mean I'm a beat-down, spineless wannabe man? No, it means that it takes uncommon situations for you to appreciate an uncommon bike such as this. If you dig, then buy. If you can't quite fathom what we're swingin' here - then fly.

Oh, and as for Calvin and his parking lot pick-up? Haven't seen him since. Glad we shot photos first. If you see him, tell him Harley wants its bike back. Thanks.

Calvin Kim, Associate Editor

Its like a Honda Civic Hatchback, ya know, the one that gets 70mpg.
Mainly because they weigh the same.

Its like a fully loaded Ford Econoline F350 Cargo Van Conversion.
Mainly because they have the same acceleration.

Its like a '67 Chevy Impala with a flat tire. Make that three flat tires.
Mainly because it handles about the same.

Its like a Toyota Camry, the four door version.
Mainly because its just as loud.

If you were to combine all those things together you should end up with the worst motorcycle on the planet. But in this case you get the Screamin' Eagle Road Glide. Granted, this sounds like a negative comment, but the thing is, its not. Lets face it, Harley-Davidson souped up their Road Glide and still made it pass emissions standards. For all you Harley-Davidson owners, you know how difficult that is! In all honesty, it IS a great motorcycle. Its looks are flashy, the radio and cruise control work great. Throttle response and handling weren't exactly surprising, but the ride was silky smooth and the brakes are superb. This bike isn't about tearing up the stop-light to stop-light drag races, its about getting you to your destination in style, comfort and with a few minutes to spare. I got dibs on the key next...

Engine : Twin Cam 88, vibration isolation-mounted
Bore x Stroke : 3.875 x 4.00
Displacement : 95 c.i., 1550 c.c.
Compression Ration : 8.9:1
Fuel System : Elect. Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Oil Capacity : 4.0 US Qt.
Fuel Capacity : 5.0 US Gal.
Exhaust System : Duel
Primary Drive : Double-row Chain
Gear Ratios : (Overall)
        1st : 10.81
        2nd : 7.45
        3rd : 5.29
        4th : 4.13
        5th : 3.37
Brakes : (in. Dia. x Width)
 Front : 11.5 x .20 Dual Disc
  Rear : 11.5 x .23
Tire Size : 
        Front : MT90B 16
        Rear : MT90B 16
Wheels : 
Silver Sparkle 9-hollow-spoke cast alum. alloy
Lean Angles Per SAE J1168 : 
(RT) 31°, (LT) 30°
Length : 99.25 in.
Seat Height : 27 in.
Ground Clearance : 5.1 in.
Rake/Trail : 26°/6.2 in.
Wheelbase : 63.5 in.
Dry Weight (Listed) : 804 lbs.
Colors : Vivid Black/VR Racing Orange/Arctic White
         Three-tone Red
MSRP : $22,495, for CA $22,595
66.5 HP @ 5300 RPM
79.1 ft/Lbs @ 2700 RPM

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