Top Speed Buying Guide To The 2019 Harley-Davidson Lineup
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) is arguably the most famous American motorcycle manufacturer, recognized around the world as the trendsetter for the U.S. cruiser and tourbike market. Due to changing market demographics, H-D branches out into sportier street models and recently made the jump to adventure bike and EV sectors in a fight to survive within these rapidly evolving markets.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special
Harley-Davidson’s design team pulled out all the stops for its “Special” version of the new Pan America 1250 platform, and it shows throughout the details. Electronic suspension controls join with a TPMS and high-output, adaptive headlight that responds to changes in lean angle as you stoop to a corner. The addition of heated hand grips and brush guards increase the Special’s cold-weather and off-road utility, plus it rolls with a center stand that helps ease the pain of trail-side stops. To enhance its adventure worthiness, the engine has a variable valve-timing feature that broadens the tractable power band, and the suspension sports an optional Adaptive Ride Height feature in an industry first. The Special is a more appropriate machine for riders who are more likely to head off-road than its more street-centric base model sibling, the Pan America 1250.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
After a revamp for the 2018 model year, Softail underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, but the overall classic look of the Heritage Classic remains largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley-Davidson put a new emphasis on the Softail lineup with plenty of performance-driven custom designs for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, but for someone looking for an old-school cruiser and tour bike, the Heritage Classic is your Huckleberry.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200
Harley-Davidson expands the Sportster family with the new-in-2018 Iron 1200. Retro is in, so the ’70s-esque paint and custom touches drawn from that era give the Iron 1200 plenty of nostalgic value. Power comes from the venerable Evolution engine to the tune of 73 pound-feet of torque to give this ride modern performance that belies the dated veneer. A classic dish with custom spices, the new Iron 1200 raises the Iron stable’s displacement ceiling to draw new customers from a market that has been in decline for over a decade.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
No doubt about it, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company is breaking new ground nowadays as part of its “100 new bikes” initiative, and look no further than the new Pan America 1250 for one of the most obvious examples thereof. That’s right sports fans, H-D takes on the adventure bike segment with its very own entry that is a standalone machine with no direct connection to the rest of the lineup. An all-new Revolution Max 1250 engine powers this line with H-D’s new RDRS as part of the stock package to make the Pan America a technological marvel.
2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
When Harley-Davidson makes changes to the Iron 883, they stay faithful to at least one important aspect – performance. While XL models have never been known as ’fast’ bikes, they certainly have a well-deserved reputation as ’quick’ bikes. Nothing in the Harley world comes out of the hole like a Sporty, or handles the corners like one, and the Iron 883 maintains that tradition with aplomb. Bikes like this show how the XL line has not only survived, but also thrived in the entry-level and sport-minded American markets.
2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight
The Forty-Eight from Harley-Davidson’s Sportster stable has that signature bulldog stance with beefy front forks and fat tires on a narrow frame. The 1,202 cc Evo engine comes blacked out with chrome blings, fed by a ’peanut tank’ that appeared on Sporty’s throughout its history. Low, low seat height and Dark Custom attitude give the Forty-Eight that low-slung, lean, mean look.
2019 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard
Harley-Davidson Motor Company rolled out a mid-year release in 2019 with a new addition to its touring line, the Electra Glide Standard. This new model strikes a balance between comfort and fandanglery with all the essentials you need for cruising/touring and none of the fluff. It rocks the Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant and all the ride-quality controls associated with the revamped touring line, but leaves the Infotainment gear on the shelf to deliver a refined-yet-raw riding experience.
2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster
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.
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
Harley-Davidson’s Fat Boy survived the Great Purge of 2017 that saw so many models eliminated from the Softail and Dyna lineups as the former absorbed the latter. The FLSTF joins the rest of the all-new-in-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame and a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, though the 107 was dropped going into 2020. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark these Fat Boys as members of the New Guard.
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob
The Harley-Davidson lineup underwent some serious changes in 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.
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider
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.
2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street 500 / Street 750
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.
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe
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.
2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114
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.
2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114
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.
2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
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.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide
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.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
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.
2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
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.
2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard
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.
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout
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.