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Harley-Davidson

America’s longest continually-operating motorcycle manufacturer, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. got its start in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Aside from a brief period between 1969 and 1981 when the American Machine and Foundry held it, the marque has largely remained under “family” ownership. Best known for big cruisers and tour bikes, deep historical roots lends its products an undeniable authenticity and fidelity to tradition. Check out our Buyer’s guide for more information about Harley-Davidson models.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Ride it again for the first time

With the Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson brings a strong dose of nostalgia and antique design and with it comes H-D’s Big-Twin powerplant — the Milwaukee-Eight 107 — and its 109 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that turned in a stronger top-gear roll-on than any previous engine family before it with the same 45-degree V-Twin. The charm and engine lope that even the oldest fans of the brand would recognize wasn’t lost, and ABS, security and oodles of laid-back, classic vibes are included in the standard equipment package, so this is truly a melding of two technologically-distinct eras.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

Now quicker with a faster 0-to-60 time

Harley-Davidson ditched the Milwaukee-Eight 107 and repowered its Street Bob platform ahead of MY2021 with the powerful Mil-8 114 to give it a performance boost over its predecessor. This makes it the least expensive stoplight burner in the 2021 lineup, as well as the lightest Big-Twin to carry the up-sized Milwaukee engine. The homejob-custom look is a carryover from last year but the graphics package is unique to this year-model setting it apart from its peers.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114

2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114

2021 Restyling brightens H-D’s iconic Softail

Harley-Davidson pared down its Softail lineup ahead of MY2021, but its venerable Fat Boy makes the cut to continue into the current lineup. It rolls with the relatively new, 114 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight engine in a similarly newish Softail frame, but the overall look still displays the classic genetic markers of the Fat Boy family. Better handling and improved performance join with stock ABS protection to complete the 2021 package.

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2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The absolute tippity-toppest of the best features and tech the factory has to offer

Harley-Davidson’s 2021 CVO Road Glide is a bona fide showroom showstopper with lots of chrome and a trio of new paint packages. Powered by a top-shelf Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine – the largest production engine from the MoCo to date – this machine rolls with stock ride safety-control features that keep all that power under control. Stock bags and fairings complete the bagger ensemble to make this a viable bike for performance-minded riders looking to tour, cruise, or just boulevard bruise.

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2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

The closest thing harley has to a sport-tourer

Harley-Davidson introduced the Sport Glide in 2018, an all-new Softail model that borrowed from the past while looking to the future. The detachable panniers and mini-fairing give it some (very) light touring capabilities, but it’s the 108 pounds of grunt from the Milwaukee-Eight engine that reveals its true nature as a power cruiser.

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2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

It’s post WWII-Era bobber styling on a modern power-cruiser

Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the updated-in-2018 Softail Slim makes for a rolling tribute to both. The Slim rides on the same, newly-revamped frame as the rest of the fake-hardtail family for the unmistakable geometry and dated look that you just can’t get from a traditional swingarm. Bobbed fenders and blackout paint tie right into the custom trends of yesteryear quite nicely, but it’s the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin and its 100-plus pounds of torque that drives the Slim past “historical-tribute” turf right into viable power-cruiser territory. Since the whole point of the original bobbers was to provide a more thrilling ride, I find this pairing of power and panache to be entirely fitting.

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2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

It’s back and the Dyna crowd is celebrating

Harley-Davidson’s cruiser line isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind for a performance-oriented street machine, but that changes with its recently refurbished Softail Low Rider S model. The steering geometry is sharpened for the sake of agility, and as for power, the torque-rich, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine delivers the goods with well over 100 pounds o’ grunt ready to be unleashed on the public roads.

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2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

It’s a blank canvas for you to make it your own

Harley-Davidson makes some progress on its “100 new bikes” promise with the mid-2020 release of the new Softail Standard that it carries into 2021. The Standard presents a combination of old-school and custom features over a rather minimalist design, and that has the effect of keeping the price down to make this the least expensive Big Twin the MoCo has to offer. It also makes for a great starting point for you would-be bike customizers looking for a suitable platform.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout

Now with new engines, new chassis, and a whole new attitude

Once again, Harley-Davidson takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-in-2018 Softail lineup. The drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump and carried into 2020. Harley offered this bobber-burner with the 109 pound-foot, Milwaukee-Eight 107 and the Mil-8 114 that boasts a total of 119 pounds o’ twist last year, but sticks to the 114 for 2020. The ground-up Softail-family rebuild contains myriad changes from the remarkable to the mundane that go way beyond a handful of re-arranged trim packages. This is a re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology more in line with the current industry standards. We’re talking a renewed focus on the Softails as H-D’s sole (or should it be soul?) cruisers.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

Ride it again for the first time

Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob came with a choice of engine — the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight or the 114-inch version – up until 2020 when only the 114 was carried forward. These grunty powerplants, along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system from the redesign in 2018 give the Fat Bob an aggressive bent meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. The Fat Bob saw a complete do-over in 2018, so if you rode it before and weren’t impressed, know that you haven’t ridden this Fat Bob.

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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

Features inspired by Harley’s NHRA Team

Harley-Davidson advanced its 100-new-bike agenda in 2019 with the new FXDR 114 that turned the nearly-new Softail into a drag race-inspired stoplight burner. The factory went outside the envelope for design inspiration, with some interesting results that head in an unexpected direction, to say the least. A 114 cubic-inch engine delivers the goods to made the FXDR the most powerful production Softail up for grabs, so you can be assured that it’s by no means an all-show/no-go machine. Plus, an effort to shed some weight to improve handling- and ride-quality, and that translates into even better acceleration to make this a rather sporty, non-Sportster ride.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

Risen from the ashes of the Dynas, the Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail

The Harley-Davidson lineup underwent some serious changes for MY2018, and the chopped-down, Dyna-based Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail model. Not only did it switch to Harley’s faux-rigid style frame, but the frame itself was completely reinvented to the point where it bears little resemblance to the original that saw the light of day for the first time back in ’84. Sure, it still has that classic Softail visage, but the factory achieved it in a totally different way this time, and any perceived similarities are only skin deep. To add to the revamp, the Street Bob was on the receiving end of a beating-heart transplant with the addition of the then-new-to-cruisers, Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant that brings over 100 pounds of grunt to the table. The Street Bob has more power, new frame, and a new family/model combination as it rolls through to 2020.

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2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster

2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster

Maybe not fast, but it’s certainly quick

A little sparse, a little spare, and an exercise in understatement describes the new-in-2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster, at least in appearance. Performance-wise, it’s agile with a greater lean angle than what you typically find in the Sportster stable. Not just a cut-down Sportster, the Roadster features a different frame and enhanced suspension along with the tried-and-true air-cooled Evolution engine.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

It’s one of the Softail initiates from the Dyna family

Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine with a total of 110 pound-feet of torque, the agile Softail frame brings heretofore unseen performance to the Low Rider. Harley-Davidson is digging deep to give us better handling and more power and the Low Rider is a prime example.

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2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street 500 / Street 750

2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street 500 / Street 750

It’s a no-nonsense approach to a bar-hopping café racer

Powered by a Revolution V-twin engine, the Street 500 and 750 are premium Harley-Davidson even though they’re geared toward the budget-minded, entry-level crowd. Just because the price is low doesn’t mean they skimped on quality. The Street siblings come with a steel teardrop tank and fenders covered in the deep, rich color, and flawless finish that long ago made Harley-Davidson the benchmark for premium paint on a motorcycle. The cherry on top is the chrome tank badge — not a decal, as you might expect in an economy-priced bike, but a three-dimensional tank medallion — as Harley’s pledge to you that you are riding a premium quality machine.

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2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

Harley’s Hot Little Urban Commuter

Traffic-carving performance wasn’t the first thing I thought of when hearing the name Harley-Davidson, but the MoCo started changing that perception with the new-in-2017 Street Rod 750. While it is, in fact, based on the Street 750, multiple changes in the setup and equipment turn it into another animal entirely. Shorter steering geometry, a more aggressive rider triangle and a more powerful engine come together in H-D’s decisive push into the sport-standard market.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America

Harley shows us a proper off-road-capable adventure tourer

The Harley-Davidson Motor Company has been making progress on its “100 new bikes” initiative, and while some of them have been variations on existing platforms, the new-for-next-year Pan America represents a net-new direction for Milwaukee. This marks a radical departure from the norm for The MoCo as it’s what you might call an actual proper adventure bike. It’s built with an off-road bias to a degree far beyond the flat-track bike or any Sportster-with-knobbies homemade scrambler, and it sports plenty of that rally-type style with a brand-new V-Twin powerplant as the icing on the cake.

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2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary

2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary

Only Harley-Davidson would have the courage to name a motorcycle “Fat Boy” and here’s celebrating 30 years of the iconic design

Harley-Davidson marks three decades of production for one of its most-iconic families with the release of the 2020 Fat Boy 114 30th Anniversary model. This machine proudly displays DNA from H-D’s immediate post-WWII era all the way down to the old-school frame geometry that mimics the rigid rear ends from way back in the day. Harley powers it with its largest production engine and wraps the whole project in a unique graphics package complete with a limited-edition serial number and 2,500-unit limited production run for an extra bit of exclusivity.

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1932 - 1958 Rikuo RT2

1932 - 1958 Rikuo RT2

Have you ever wondered why WWII Japanese bikes looked like Harleys?

Sometimes a motorcycle tells a story, and the Rikuo RT2 spins a tale of cooperation and national interdependency that preceded a period of strife with connections that contemporary readers may find surprising. It takes us back to the Great Depression, when the Harley-Davidson Motor Company struck a deal with Japanese manufacturer, the Sankyo Seiyako Corporation, and sold them the plans and tooling to produce their VL model in-country. The rest, as they say, is history, and this machine was named by The Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan as one of the 240 landmark machines of the Japanese Automotive Technology. It also has the distinction of having served armies on both sides of the Pacific theater during World War II.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

Offered in Eagle-Eye Special Edition paint and graphics for 2020

Harley-Davidson goes to the top shelf for the goodies on its 2020 Road Glide Special. The Milwaukee-Eight 114 powerplant carries over from the previous year, as does the well-rounded infotainment system and ABS protection. Harley’s Reflex™ Defensive Rider System (RDRS) is available as optional equipment, but if you like your paint to be a little on the wild side, the Special Edition model carries it as part of the standard equipment.

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2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Limited Edition

2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Limited Edition

This limited-edition evilness gets dark finishes with bronze highlights and is powered by a blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine

Becoming a part of the Softail range in 2018, the Fat Boy received a massive upgrade on the reinvented Softail chassis, powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engines. Celebrating 30 years of this monster, the 2020 model gets a blacked-out theme, converting the satin-chrome outlook to a sinful looking “Vivid-Black” theme. And running this evil hooligan is the thumping Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin engine.

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More on Harley-Davidson

As the story goes, childhood friends William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson joined forces in 1901 to put together an engine drawn up by Harley, and it was ready by 1903 with the added help from brother Walter Davidson. This first engine powered a push-pedal bicycle to make a de facto moped-like machine. (Legend also has it that the pair built an outboard motor as well, with an interesting detail; a tomato can with a wick in it served as the carburetor.)

In 1904, the marque entered a race at the Milwaukee State Fairgrounds and took fourth to put itself on the map. Just three years later, the factory was supplying police bikes and had put together its first V-twin. The new V-twin configuration would become a mainstay over the next decade and would produce the factory’s first mile-a-minute bike.

World War I would prove to be a windfall for H-D as the U.S. military was quite keen on motorbikes and ordered 20,000 units. H-D itself would pass from family hands in 1969 to the American Machine and Foundry (AMF) and this would launch the Dark Years of poor quality control and demoralized workers. The factory would pass back to family control in 1981, where it would remain until present day.

F.A.Q.

Who founded Harley-Davidson?

The marque got its start in 1901 when William S. Harley drew up plans for a small internal-combustion engine, an engine that would be built by 1903 with the help of the Davidson brothers Arthur and Walter.

Where are H-D motorcycles made?

The company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a factory in same. It maintains assembly lines in York, Pennsylvania; Manaus, Brazil; and Bawal India. A Thailand plant was built to supply smaller-displacement machines to the Asian market, and there was one in Kansas City, Missouri but it has since been shuttered.

Are Harley-Davidsons unreliable?

Like any bike, you get out what you put in, and so if you keep up with your maintenance you can count on many hundreds of thousand happy miles. The negative reputation of the brand was due to poor management and morale that began in the late sixties and progressed into the early eighties under the AMF banner. The company has since been put back on the rails and has been turning out reliable bikes starting with the Evolution revolution in 1984.

Is Harley-Davidson America’s oldest brand?

No, that distinction goes to the Indian Motorcycle company that grew from the Hendee shop circa1901. However, WWII would put a temporary halt to Indian production, and it would see a handful of abortive attempts at a revival through the following years to leave H-D as the brand with the longest uninterrupted production run and the King that stood unchallenged by any domestic foe for many years.

Are Harley-Davidsons slow?

Modern H-D models are governed by an electronic ignition module that interrupts the spark somewhere around 100-to-110 mph, depending on conditions, location, load and model. While this is slower than the sportier machines out there, it’s plenty fast enough for public roads. It’s worth mentioning that H-D produced the first bike that, in 1921, ran a race with a record-setting average speed over 100 mph.