If you’re anything like me, you can get quite confused with Harley Davidson model naming but to top it off, they seem to have two names for the same motorcycle or the have a ‘street name’ and then they have a ‘code name’.

Whether it’s FLSB, FXDB, XLCR…it’s all an alien language to some, whilst others instantly recognise the name. In fact for some rider and Harley aficionados, the coded variation in names is much the preferred choice.

So what do the codes mean and how are they deciphered? Well the following is your guide to understanding what all the codes mean and what bikes are grouped into.

If you consider the Harley Davidson a clan made up of 5 major houses. Within each house there are multiple rooms. These five major houses are: Touring, Softail, V-Rod, Dyna, and Sportster. Each room may be a particular model and the code of that model is usually found on a standard air filter housing but on Touring & Softail Models it can be found on the front mudguard.

1st Letter: This means the engine series.

G = Servicar three wheeler, 1937 to 1972
E = Overhead valve 61 cubic inch “big twin” (Engine and trans separated)

F = Overhead valve “Big Twin”

K = Side valve 45 and 55 cubic inch sports bike that replaced the WL in 1953 and was replaced by the Sportster® in 1957.

U = Side valve “big twin”

V – Side valve 74 cubic inch 1930-36

W – Side valve 45 cubic inch made 1937 to 1952
X = Sports and Special Construction
V = Revolution Motor


2nd Letter: Identifies the front end size (not including Sportster & V-Rod Models)

L = Wide front tire and Hydra-Glide style front forks
X = Narrow Tire and Sport Forks

3rd Letter: Designates the frame style. (Touring, Softail, or Dyna Model_

H/T = Highway/Touring Frame
ST = Softail Frame
D = Dyna Frame

Any extra letter means a feature associated with that particular bike grouping or ‘house’. Confusion is rife here as Harley may use the same letter to allotted to different features of a bike.

Highway/Touring Models

The touring models are the biggest model bike Harley produces. Touring Models are exactly designed with the grand tour in mind, with saddlebags and extra storage as well as extra room for pillions too.

Touring Model Letters
Model Name
FLHR Road King
FLHRCI Road King Classic
FLHRSI Road King Custom
FLHS Electra Glide Sport
FLHT Electra Glide Standard
FLHTC Electra Glide Classic
FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide
FLHTCUL Ultra Classic Electra Glide Low
FLHX Street Glide
FLHXSE CVO Street Glide
FLHTCUSE CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide
FLHTK Electra Glide Ultra Limited
FLHTKL Electra Glide Ultra Limited Low
FLHX Street Glide
FLHXS Street Glide Special
FLHXXX Street Glide Trike
FLTC Rubber Mounted Dresser Classic
FLTCU Rubber Mounted Dresser Classic Ultra
FLTR Road Glide
FLTRSE CVO Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide
FLTRX Road Glide Custom
FLTRXS Road Glide Special

Softail Models

Harley’s Softail give the hard-tail appearance but with the hidden rear suspension system. Riders who want the look of a hard tail but with comfort for medium distance journey’s either solo or with a pillion.

Softail Model Letters
Model Name
FLST Softail
FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic
FLSTN Softail Deluxe
FLSTSC Springer Softail Classic
FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
FLSTSB Cross Bones
FXSTB Night Train
FXSTC Softail Custom
FXSTD Softail Deuce
FXSTS Springer Softail
FXSTSSE CVO Softail Springer Screamin’ Eagle
FXCW Softail Rocker
FXCWC Softail Rocker Custom
FXS Softail Blackline
FXSB Softail Breakout
FXSBSE Softail CVO Breakout

2018-Up Softail Models

The new softail designed are based on a Mono-shock design, the new Softail is Harley’s new platform.

2018-Up Softail Model Letters
Model Name
FXBR Breakout
FLDE Deluxe
FXFB Fat Bob
FLFB Fat Boy
FXBB Street Bob
FLSB Sport Glide
FLHC Heritage Classic
FXLR Low Rider

Dyna/FX Models

The Dyna Model started in the 90’s with a big-twin engine with quintessential Harley styling. The Dyna is recognisable by its exposed coil suspension or twin shock rear suspension. The Dyna are the big brothers to the Sportster Models, because of a larger engine and sometimes bigger petrol tanks.

Dyna/FX Model Letters  Model Name
FXDB Dyna Street Bob
FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom
FXD Dyna Superglide
FXDL Dyna Low Rider
FXDF Dyna Fat Bob
FXDS-CON Dyna Convertible
FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
FXDX Dyna Super Glide Sport
FLD Dyna Switchback
FXR Superglide II
FXRS Low Glide
FXRS FXR Sport Convertible
FXRT Sport Glide
FXRP Police/Defender
FXS Low Rider

Sportster Models

The Harley Sportster Models are a smaller size bike in HD Household but are still great bikes for solo rides or with pillions and come in two engine sizes: 883cc or 1200cc.

Sportster Model Letters Model Name
XL Sportster
XLH883 Sportster Hugger
XL883 Sportster 883
XL883C Sportster 883 Custom
XL883L Sportster 883 Low
XL883N Sportster 883 Iron
XL1200 Sportster 1200
XL1200C Sportster 1200 Custom
XL1200L Sportster 1200 Low
XL1200N Sportster 1200 Nightster
XL1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster
XL1200S Sportster 1200 Sport
XL1200V Sportster Seventy-Two
XL50 Sportster 50th Anniversary Ed.

V-Rod Models

V-Rod’s have a very distinctive engine that was developed in conjunction with Porsche. The V-Rod Models are powered by a Revolution Engine that has overhead cams and liquid cooling.

V-Rod Model Letters
Model Name
VRSCAW V-Rod (240mm rear tire)
VRSCB V-Rod Black Finish
VRSCD Night Rod
VRSCDX Night Rod Special
VRSCF V-Rod Muscle
VRSCR Street Rod

Extra Models

Harley completes their lineup with trikes and their newer Street Bike range as they attempt expand into new markets and new demographics too.

Other Model Letters Model Name
XG500 Street XG500
XG750 Street XG750
FLRT Freewheeler Trike
FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic
FLHXXX Street Glide Trike


If you have a particular motorcycle you should know it’s model year and the model code especially when ordering parts. Harley Davidson have a habit of routinely changing certain model specifications as each year passes so whilst some parts may be interchangeable across the model range, many other parts may not be, although their appearance may be almost identical.