There’s a certain type of itch that only Harleys from the Dyna lineup can properly scratch, which is what the Super Glide and the Wide Glide are more than capable of doing for all sorts of riders.
But since no two riders are exactly alike, no two Harley Dyna models are either. No fancy Milwaukee-Eights to be found here, only classic Twin Cams powering either of these two bikes that you’re probably wondering which is better under your heinie.
To help you pick out the right one for you, we’re putting these two popular Harley models in a head-to-head comparison guide you don’t want to miss!
What are the differences between a Harley Wide Glide and a Super Glide?
The Harley Wide Glide has a wider front end than the Super Glide. It also has a Twin Cam 103 V-Twin versus the latter’s Twin Cam 96.
The Wide Glide also has wider rear tires, a longer wheelbase, a higher unladen seat height, and weighs several pounds heavier than the Super Glide.
When choosing between two seemingly evenly matched Harley contenders like the Super Glide and Wide Glide, it’s important to know what you’re exactly looking to get out of your preferred riding experience.
While these two popular Harley Dyna models are both great bikes in their own right, you may lean more toward the Super Glide if, for instance, you’re looking for a more sporty and raw riding experience.
For a more traditional cruiser-like experience that can take you over endless stretches of highways without getting an ache somewhere, you can turn to the trusty Wide Glide.
Even the venerable V-Twins fitted on each of these two models are different, with the more nimble Super Glide having the Twin Cam 96 and the Wide Glide tourer having the more torquey Twin Cam 103.
Of course, the comparisons don’t just end with their power plants and the kind of riding they provide.
In the next several parts, we’ll be further squaring up the Super Glide and the Wide Glide’s major specs as well as other more specific features with each other, so read on and ride on!
Harley-Davidson Super Glide vs Wide Glide Specs Comparison
|Harley Super Glide
|Harley Wide Glide
|Twin Cam 96 45° V-Twin
|Twin Cam 103 45° V-Twin
|1584 cc (96 ci)
|1690 cc (103 ci)
|Fuel Tank Capacity
|4.7 gal (17.8 l)
|4.7 gal (17.8 l)
|Telescopic Fork (Front) Twin Shocks (Rear)
|Telescopic Fork (Front) Twin Shocks (Rear)
|Disc Brakes (Front/Rear)
|Disc Brakes (Front/Rear)
|100/90-19 (Front) 160/70-17 (Rear)
|80/90-21 (Front) 180/60-17 (Rear)
|632 lbs (287 kg) (2008 to 2009)
|647 lbs (293 kg) (2010 to 2011)
|663 lbs (300.7 kg) (2008 to 2009)
|683 (310 kg) (2010 to 2011)
|26.3 in (668 mm) (Laden) 26.5 in (673.1 mm) (Unladen)
|25.5 in (648 mm) (Laden) 26.7 in (678 mm) (Unladen)
|64.2 in (1630.7 mm)
|67.5 in (1714.5 mm)
Super Glide vs Wide Glide Front End Width
One of the main differences between the Harley-Davidson Super Glide and Wide Glide can be found by comparing the width of their front ends.
As its name suggests, the Harley Wide Glide has a wider front end owing to the wider spacing between its triple trees and fork tubes.
Super Glide vs Wide Glide Controls
Another difference worth mentioning between the Super Glide in the Wide Glide is in how their controls are positioned. Simply put, such controls are the different foot pedals and levers that you can reach as you’re sitting down on the saddle.
In the case of a Super Glide, it’s known to have good mid controls, which means that it’s more suitable and comfortable for shorter riders due to being positioned in the middle of the bike. This is considered to provide a more aggressive position while riding.
The Wide Glide, on the other hand, has good forward controls, making it generally more comfortable when riding long distances. Forward controls are most commonly used for cruiser-type motorcycles.
In addition, the positioning for forward controls allows the rider to quickly put their feet on the ground and back onto the pedals while in gridlock traffic.
Super Glide vs Wide Glide Appearance
Apart from the differences in their front-end widths, there are several differences between the Super Glide and the Wide Glide in terms of their overall styling.
The original Super Glide was always known for having a more classic look and a more “sporty” riding position, whereas the Wide Glide is a slightly more modern take on the original design that leans more toward the comfort side of things.
Harley Super Glide vs Wide Glide In-Depth Comparison
The Wide Glide’s Twin Cam 103 has more power and torque than the Super Glide’s 96, though the latter’s lighter weight leads to better performance.
The more pricy Wide Glide’s style and feel are more modern and comfort-focused, while the Super Glide gives a more classic and sporty experience.
Engine and Power Delivery
At the heart of a Harley Dyna motorcycle lies the Twin Cam V-Twin engine, and as such, no Super Glide vs Wide Glide comparison would ever be complete without talking about the two different Twin Cams that power them.
While it initially came with a 1,207cc (73.7 ci) 4-stroke V-Twin back when it was first launched in 1971, the Harley Dyna Super Glide is now powered by a Twin Cam 96 45-degree V-Twin that makes about 68 hp to the rear wheels and 92 lb-ft of torque.
As for the Dyna Wide Glide, it sports a bigger-displacement Twin Cam 103 45-degree V-Twin, which results in higher power and torque numbers of 72 hp and 96 lb-ft, respectively.
Additionally, if you opt for one of the newer Super Glide Custom model years, you’ll also get the same Twin Cam 103 while still maintaining the characteristics that a Super Glide is known for.
Now, reading the brochure doesn’t really say much about how they deliver that power to the ground, which is what we’re going to talk about now.
While the Super Glide is both down on power and torque with the Twin Cam 96, it still has less weight compared to the bulkier Wide Glide.
Comparing the two in terms of acceleration, there’s not a lot separating them. However, when it comes to the Twin Cam 96, it’s generally known to be quite smooth and responsive in its power delivery.
The Twin Cam 103, despite being on the slightly heavier Wide Glide, is still no slouch because of that extra low-end torque that you get. The engine response is still very much instant as you give it a twist of the throttle.
Handling and Performance
While Harleys are incomparable to actual sport bikes and track monsters, they can handle the corners quite well for what they are, especially if you know which one to opt for.
As far as the two models are concerned, the Super Glide undoubtedly reigns as the better-handling bike overall, and it’s not hard to see why just by comparing its lighter weight over the Wide Glide on paper.
Even physically looking at the two bikes, we already know that the Super Glide has a narrower front end and more streamlined bodyline, making it a sportier bike even when standing still.
However, when put to the test, the Super Glide would be more suitable for those looking to go up some nice twisty backroads or go canyon carving, as it’ll be more agile in the corners due to its narrower and lighter setup.
The Wide Glide, while having the peppy 103 V-Twin underneath, is more for taking long trips as a tourer or cruiser with its more relaxed sitting position. It still has some torque on demand, but there will just be a little bit more “bike” to carry around the curves.
Since both of these Dyna models come with telescopic forks, twin shocks, and disc brakes, it will all come down to personal preference and what kind of riding you’ll be doing with your Harley.
The overall comfort that you feel while you’re riding on your Harley’s saddle is a crucial part of the riding experience, which is why it’s worth discussing the differences in the seats, handlebars, and ergonomics between the Super Glide and Wide Glide.
Among the two Dyna models, the Super Glide generally has smaller seat dimensions due to its more compact design. Despite having less padding, the seat is comfortable enough and keeps you in place for a more performance-focused experience.
However, if you want a more ergonomic choice, then the Wide Glide will better fit the bill. Compared to that of the Super Glide, the Wide Glide’s seat features more cushioning or padding and has bigger overall dimensions.
This results in a seat that can keep you more comfortable for longer rides and adds to the good stability that the Wide Glide is known for.
Other than the seats, the handlebars are also an important consideration when it comes to the comfort you feel during your ride. And when it comes to this, there’s a clear difference between those on the Super Glide and the Wide Glide.
The Super Glide is fitted with smaller and narrower handlebars, which makes them more suitable for shorter riders of about 5’6” in height.
Unsurprisingly, the Wide Glide features bigger and wider handlebars, making them stretch out a bit more and offering a more relaxed position while riding. It’s suitable for average to tall riders (6’ and up).
Noises and Vibrations
Noises and vibrations go hand in hand, especially when we’re talking about a Harley. But among the two models in discussion, the Wide Glide is known to make more vibrations compared to its narrower counterpart, the Super Glide.
Owners complain of the Wide Glide’s tendency to vibrate more while its Twin Cam 103 engine is running, something that has been sometimes associated with faulty motor mounts.
In comparison, the Super Glide makes lesser vibrations with the Twin Cam 96. However, you’ll be getting noticeably more noise with it compared to the Wide Glide.
It is just how the Super Glide is constructed in terms of its exhaust setup, frame, and materials that all tie up to making more noise while on the go than the Wide Glide.
Design and Aesthetics
The Harley Super Glide has always been the more classic and vintage-looking bike among the two Dyna models ever since the very first FX Super Glide in 1971.
The “basic formula” for the original Super Glide’s styling is that it would have the aesthetic of a custom bike, as chief styling officer at that time, Willie G. Davidson, observed that it was a bit of a trend for bikers to customize their bike’s frames and parts.
When the Wide Glide came along in 1980, it was a more modern and raked-out refresh to the Super Glide except more targeted toward covering long distances. It’s also just a bigger and beefier-looking bike despite having the same frame.
Even the current Dyna Wide Glide model still maintains this modern and beefy look thanks to its wider triple trees, fork tubes that are more spaced apart, and bigger 180mm rear tire versus the Super Glide’s factory 160mm rear tire.
Pricing and Affordability
In terms of pricing, the Harley Super Glide is generally the more affordable option between the two Dyna models, though the Wide Glide isn’t exactly that far off especially if you get a really solid deal for one.
While the Harley Dyna series of bikes is considered to be one of the more expensive series in the Harley lineup, you can easily find a used Super Glide or Super Glide Custom for around $6,000 to $8,000 depending on the model year, mileage, and mods done to it.
A used Wide Glide, however, will usually fetch around $8,000 to $10,000, with newer and lower-mileage ones fetching even more than that.
Conclusion: Super Glide or Wide Glide?
All in all, whether a Harley Super Glide or a Wide Glide would be more suited for you depends on your preferred kind of riding, taste in styling, and even your stature.
We’ve learned that those looking to do more spirited riding around twists and turns would appreciate the Super Glide’s sportier and more aggressive demeanor better.
Those looking to have a more leisurely cruise or tour from state to state, however, would be more fond of the Wide Glide’s unparalleled comfort and stability during long rides while still having ample power when the need arises.
Shorter riders would be more comfortable on the Super Glide because of its good mid controls and smaller handlebars, whereas average-height to tall riders can better make use of the Wide Glide’s front controls and oversized handlebars for comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a Wide Glide and a Super Glide?
The Harley Super Glide has a Twin Cam 96 V-Twin, while the Wide Glide has a bigger Twin Cam 103 V-Twin. The former also has narrower triple trees and forks on its front end compared to that of the latter’s.
The Super Glide has a shorter wheelbase than the Wide Glide, but the Wide Glide is equipped with a bigger and wider rear tire.
The Wide Glide is also heavier, has a bigger seat with more cushioning, and has a higher unladen seat height compared to the Super Glide.
When was the Harley Super Glide released?
The Harley Super Glide was initially released back in 1971 under the “FX” designation, which stands for “Factory Experimental”.
It was then re-released as a Dyna model in 1995 as the FXD Dyna Super Glide and again in 2005 as the FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom.
Is a Harley Super Glide a Dyna?
The Harley Super Glide has been part of the Dyna platform ever since its reintroduction as the FXD Dyna Super Glide in 1995.
Another reintroduction of the Dyna Super Glide was made in 2005, bearing the name “Super Glide Custom” and the designation “FXDC”.
What kind of bike is a Harley Super Glide?
The Harley Super Glide is considered to be a factory custom cruiser motorcycle with more classic design features, offering a more sporty riding experience due to its powerful Twin Cam 96 and great maneuverability.