Harley-Davidson has been synonymous with the motorcycle industry for over a century, and has produced and sold innumerable models along with as many variations about each specific model. Fundamentally speaking, the bike company is also referred to as "American bikes", because their products have transcended the niche audience belonging to motorcycle enthusiasts, experts and racers to be a bona fide cultural phenomenon defining and reshaping the American culture for well over a hundred years. The company has been impeded on many occasions by various roadblocks, such as subsidiary issues, ownership disputes, poor production period and different global competitors to establish a monopoly over the market.
Harley-Davidson has overcome all of this by remaining loyal to one unchangeable concept; everything they’ve produced can be classified as inherently "Harley", whether its the signature models or the great, powerful engines that these motorcycles boast. The fanbase of Harley-Davidson has their own particular favourites, which are influenced by a wide variety of personal tastes and generational disposition. This results in a scenario where we, as researchers, were at a dilemma of which specific motorcycles to choose to make this particular list.
But, in spite of such hindrances and after careful filtering through the extensive collection of some of the very best motorbikes in the entire world, we are finally able to construct this list at the very end. The data with regards to the specific models mentioned in this list have been obtained through a variety of sources, and they have been researched with respect to the data itself.
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This is the oldest model of Harley-Davidson on this list, and the significance and impact of this motorcycle cannot be overstated under any circumstance whatsoever. When it was released over a hundred years ago in 1915, it was the first such bike to incorporate a three-speed transmission, along with a 61 cubic-inch V-Twin that utilized an automatic oiler and larger intake valves that could boost output to 11 horsepower. It was also the first of its kind to be armed with a magneto and an electrical lighting system, both on the front and the back. The 1915 11F was the first of its kind, and the entire motorcycle industry would most definitely not be what it is today if it weren’t for this model.
With the release of this model, in particular, Harley-Davidson introduced the world to its iconic Knucklehead V-Twin engine, which has permeated through time because of its overhead valve setup. The displacement, as a result, was increased to about 61 cubic inches, which in layman terms, stands at 1000cc. The design of this model is also noteworthy, as it boasted a great shape with long, fluid design and colour patterns, which added a bit of Art Deco flair to it.
Perhaps the most all-around motorcycle in the Harley-Davidson canon, one cannot find a more versatile piece of machinery compared to this one. As such, it has a broad appeal and any biker may find some use with the Sportster, including stylistic statements or for an application that has much more utility associated with it.
Sturgis, as its most commonly referred to, is definitely a cult favourite among various bike enthusiasts who are in some way knowledgeable about Harley-Davidson. Although it was only produced for a short time between 1980 and 82, the popularity of its iconic design continues to persist. It was released as a special version of the low-riding FXS series, but the impact of its design and look is simply undeniable, even after all these years.
In spite of its smooth-as-butter performance capabilities, the main appeal of this relatively new model lays in its sleek design and the different colour variations it comes in. The style tends to gel perfectly with its uniqueness. In spite of its relative infancy among the other stalwarts of the Harley-Division line, the Screaming Eagle V-Rod is genuinely undeniable to anyone who happens to lay eyes on it for the very first time.
XR750 is one of the more recognisable Harley-Davidson models due to the history shared by the many racers who can stake a claim as winners of the many events conducted by the American Motorcyclist Association. Among the endless stream of cruisers that were to come out of the Harley factories at that time, XR750 might be considered to be the crown jewel of the company.
KR750 might be called the "granddaddy of flat track racing" as it was responsible for setting fire at every single race track since it debuted in the 1950s. It was also single-handedly accountable for changing the rules of the AMA when the organisation would ultimately allow high-end English and Japanese motorcycles to participate in the American events. Another interesting bit of trivia is that it had an upper end limit of 150 mph, which the bike could achieve with a 750cc side valve engine. This was seen as something of a miracle at the time and set the tone for other racing motorcycles that would come in the future.
Released at the tail end of the 1940s, the Hydra-Glide would be one of the more enduring motorcycle designs that Harley-Davidson would produce for the better part of the century. The general characteristics of this series can be defined as being inherently large framed with the iconic twin overhead valve engine and wide front tire space. Hydra Glide would be the first of its kind to be classified as a long distance cruiser and has been a companion to many road stories all across the United States.
Though the original version was first released in 2010, the 2012 Softail might be the most recognisable due to its excellent touring capabilities. The motorcycle possesses a removable backrest, wide passenger seat and a windscreen, which made it all the more inexplicable due to its low height and mass.
A spiritual and practical successor to the above mentioned Hydra Glide, this FL release was the first model to introduce the motorcycling world to the comfortable suspension. Moreover, the suspension can be set to different levels, referring to two-up, heavy rider and single features, which makes this model so much more incredible.
Harley-Davidson has produced and released many other notable models that are inherently a part of their brand identity as well. But, this list features some of the most iconic and historical models, which are most responsible for elevating Harley-Davidson to a position that can be undisputedly referred to as being immortal.
Which of the above Harley Davidson motorcycles would you like to have in your possession? Let us know in the comments. Don't forget to like the video and subscribe to our channel for more great content.