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.
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
|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|
|FLHXSE||CVO Street Glide|
|FLHTCUSE||CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide|
|FLHTK||Electra Glide Ultra Limited|
|FLHTKL||Electra Glide Ultra Limited Low|
|FLHXS||Street Glide Special|
|FLHXXX||Street Glide Trike|
|FLTC||Rubber Mounted Dresser Classic|
|FLTCU||Rubber Mounted Dresser Classic Ultra|
|FLTRSE||CVO Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide|
|FLTRX||Road Glide Custom|
|FLTRXS||Road Glide Special|
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
|FLSTC||Heritage Softail Classic|
|FLSTSC||Springer Softail Classic|
|FLSTSE||CVO Softail Convertible|
|FXSTSSE||CVO Softail Springer Screamin’ Eagle|
|FXCWC||Softail Rocker Custom|
|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
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|
|FXDL||Dyna Low Rider|
|FXDF||Dyna Fat Bob|
|FXDFSE||CVO Fat Bob|
|FXDWG||Dyna Wide Glide|
|FXDX||Dyna Super Glide Sport|
|FXRS||FXR Sport Convertible|
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|
|XL883C||Sportster 883 Custom|
|XL883L||Sportster 883 Low|
|XL883N||Sportster 883 Iron|
|XL1200C||Sportster 1200 Custom|
|XL1200L||Sportster 1200 Low|
|XL1200N||Sportster 1200 Nightster|
|XL1200R||Sportster 1200 Roadster|
|XL1200S||Sportster 1200 Sport|
|XL50||Sportster 50th Anniversary Ed.|
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
|VRSCAW||V-Rod (240mm rear tire)|
|VRSCB||V-Rod Black Finish|
|VRSCDX||Night Rod Special|
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|
|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.