Review: Harley-Davidson Road Glide 3

Harley's newest trike is ready for touring in style

By Tricia Szulewski, Editor

Trike Vs. Motorcycle

Choosing to ride a trike like the Road Glide 3, whether it means making the transition from a two-wheeled motorcycle or learning on three wheels, is a big decision. Trikes offer riders that exciting open-air and community experience you get on a motorcycle without the thrill (or risk) of the lean. The benefits of three wheels are hard to ignore: more traction, stability, and no need to keep a big heavy machine from falling over at slow speeds or stops. They also offer disabled riders the opportunity to hit the open road with two-wheeled friends. For these reasons and more, many women and men who don’t think they can handle a heavyweight touring motorcycle have the option to “go with 3.”

Road Glide 3
The 2023 Road Glide 3 is ready for touring in comfort and stability with all new premium touring suspension calibrated specifically for the trike. The Vivid black base model starts at $32,999. Six color options are available for additional cost.

A season of exhilarating rides on this Can-Am Spyder Limited and a week aboard the new Harley-Davidson Road Glide 3 during Daytona Bike Week has me hooked on trikes. Keep reading to find out why riding the Harley Road Glide 3 is so appealing.

Road Glide 3 woman rider Daytona Bike Week
I spotted this woman riding her customized Road Glide 3 down Main Street in Daytona Beach. She’s got an aftermarket handlebar and driving lights installed on hers. Editor’s note: Even though trikes are very stable and it’s tempting to just jump on and go, accidents happen. Please wear protective gear when riding.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide 3: A Real Motorcycle Experience

As we reported earlier this year, Harley-Davidson now has three models in its trike lineup: the non-faired Freewheeler, the luxurious Tri Glide Ultra, and the all-new Road Glide 3. This new version incorporates the Freewheeler’s hot rod styling with many of the long-distance comfort features of the Ultra. But while the Ultra is equipped with a fork-mounted fairing, the Road Glide 3 offers riders easier steering and better stability in part due to its shark-nose fairing which is mounted to the frame.

Road Glide 3 left
The resemblance to Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide bagger motorcycle is uncanny. If you crop out the rear end of the bike in this picture you might be fooled, if it weren’t for the emergency brake behind the floorboard and the steering damper and mount under the fairing.

A large steering damper works well to keep the front end under control. Turning the Road Glide 3 both at speed and when turning from a stop is easier than I’d experienced previously. Because there is no lean like on a two-wheeled motorcycle, you have to steer the front wheel which is actually quite natural. But this means there is a certain amount of muscle required—you push the opposite handgrip to turn the handlebar in the direction you want to go—counterintuitive to motorcycle riders. I love how the Road Glide 3’s tall handlebar is positioned for a comfortable bend in my arms so I have good leverage for those sharp turns.

Genuine Harley-Davidson

Besides the opposite-push turning, the riding experience feels 100% Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Road Glide 3 operates just like a motorcycle—you use the throttle, brake, clutch and shifter just like you do on a regular motorcycle. From the distinct rumble from the Milwaukee-Eight 114 when you twist the throttle, to the loud clunks when shifting through the six speeds, it definitely feels like you’re riding a Harley Bagger.

Road Glide 3 Milwaukee-Eight engine
All of Harley’s trikes are now powered by its Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. You feel the torque immediately and are never lacking for more power in any of the 6 speeds.
Road Glide 3 woman riding
Cruising on the highway and backroads is ultra-plush and comfortable on the Road Glide 3.

The visual from the rider’s seat is also all Harley-Davidson Road Glide. While sitting in the rider’s seat of the Road Glide 3, you could easily think you were sitting on the two-wheeled bagger. Except for one tiny little difference—the button for reverse gear—the cockpit and riding position feels and looks identical. Even the inscription on the tank badge reads “Road Glide.”

Road Glide 3 cockpit
The Road Glide 3’s frame mounted fairing is identical to the one on the two-wheeled Road Glide, which includes Harley’s full-featured infotainment system with navigation and 6.5-inch touch screen.

Looking over the small dark nonadjustable windshield is comfortable, even at speed. Many riders opt to change this one out for a taller option from Harley’s accessory catalog or the many aftermarket selections. Since the Road Glide 3 fairing is the same as the Road Glide, there are already lots of options.

Road Glide 3 left control
The left side hand controls are identical to the Road Glide controls. There are a lot here to figure out. My advice is to do that before you start riding. They don’t light up, either, so you’ll need to get comfortable with where everything is before dark. (Optional lighted controls are available for $286.95.)
Road Glide 3 right side controls
The right side controls are just a little different. Under the hazard switch is the switch that activates the reverse gear. Having powered reverse is important for the 1,163-pound trike!

Activating reverse on the Road Glide 3 is simple. You put the bike in neutral, press and hold the “R” (reverse) button, and listen to the bike clunk into gear. Then when you press the button again, the bike moves backward. It can be a bit sudden and jerky, but still effective to get out of a parking space.

The Power of Three

As exciting as the torquey power delivered immediately from the M-8 engine is, it’s important to be able to stop just as quickly. Harley’s new cornering-enhanced linked brake system with ABS and Traction Control stops the Road Glide 3 quickly and safely.

Road Glide 3 front wheel
The Road Glide 3’s low profile 19-inch front wheel and two 18-inch rear aluminum cast wheels are stylish and sporty.
Road Glide 3 rear
I like how the rear fenders flare up a little in the back. It’s the perfect design for a place to tuck the turn signal/taillight housing.
Road Glide 3
Unfortunately, our biggest criticism of the Road Glide 3 is how dim the dual taillights/brake lights are. Not sure why Harley didn’t go with LED’s in the rear, but it would be a big improvement. At the time of this writing, there’s no Harley-Davidson upgrade available.

Road Glide 3 Storage

Having roomy, lockable, waterproof storage is key to going to all the different Bike Week events and securely locking up my valuables while walking around. Luckily, the trike has enough space to fit two helmets, a jacket, rain gear, gloves, camera equipment, and tools in the large cargo trunk. The key that locks the forks is the same key that locks the trunk.

Road Glide 3 trunk
The Road Glide 3’s deep lockable trunk holds 2 cubic feet of cargo. The giant lid hinge can get in the way at times, though. It’s best to leave room or keep the soft stuff over to the left so when the lid comes down the hinge will just push it down.

If you need more storage, there’s plenty of room on the passenger seat to attach an extra bag if you ride solo. Harley makes accessory seats to meet the needs of riders, including its Reach seat which brings riders closer to the cockpit, as well as the plush Sundowner and Hammock seats which give you more surface area.

Road Glide 3 seat
The stock seat is comfortable for my all-day rides, and the optional quick-release sissybar ($266.95) and Top-Stitch backrest pad ($129.95) shown here offer a good mounting point for an extra bag.

Touring The Villages on the Road Glide 3

My time with the Road Glide 3 also included an overnight visit to my sister-in-law at Florida’s infamous senior development, The Villages. My riding buddy June, who so willingly introduced me to Bike Week (and pictured in these riding shots), was so excited about seeing this place that I invited her to ride with me to stay the night.

Taking the long way—trying to find some curves and elevation—the scenic Florida roads are the perfect place to enjoy a trike. There aren’t many opportunities to get a bike leaned over, so June and I just enjoyed the pleasant cruise. The rhythmic hum of the M-8 engine is hypnotic and both June and I arrived at the Villages sleepy but content.

Securing the Road Glide 3’s parking brake, we jumped in Barbara’s customized golf cart to explore The Villages’ perfectly manicured grounds and golf courses, restaurants, pools, and clubhouses. I could easily fall into this lifestyle of dancing every night, sharing mimosas every morning, and playing pickleball with friends.

After staying an extra night, I had to get up before dawn to make it back to Bike Week by 7:30 am for the Harley-Davidson Biker Belles Morning Ride and to trade the Road Glide 3 for Harley’s Nightster Special. (Subscribe to WRN’s newsletter to be the first to learn about when this review is posted.)

Road Glide 3
Dual Daymaker LED headlights light the way in the dark and help riders be seen throughout the day. An LED upgrade to the halogen turn signals is available for $213.95.
golf cart
Riding the trike around The Villages was so much fun—but when Harley-Davidson comes out with a V-twin golf cart, I’m in!

Specs at a Glance: 2023 Harley-Davidson Road Glide 3
Engine Size: 1868cc
Fuel Capacity: 6 gallons
Wet Weight: 1,163 pounds
2023 Colors: Vivid Black, Bright Billiard Blue, Gray Haze—each with chrome or black finish options
MSRP: Starts at $32,999

More info at

WRN Recommendation

The Road Glide 3 fills the needs perfectly for the rider who wants to feel like they are on a Harley-Davidson Big Twin bagger but with the stability of three wheels. With great power, plenty of storage, a full featured Infotainment system, comfortable seating position, wind protection, and a large tank that can take you 200 miles between fill ups, the Road Glide 3 is touring-ready for any sized rider.

Related Articles

Scroll to Top