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More Model Designations

Model Specific Tech Tips Information
Post Questions or Search by Harley Family Designation
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More Model Designations

Post by Chuck »

Here is a basic list of how Harley Designates Models this is in no way a complete list but is for reference and may be helpful If you have an Antique or Classic Harley.
The first letter of the model designator reveals the engine series:
First character:

G - Servicar three wheeler, 1937 to 1972
E - Overhead valve 61 cubic inch "big twin" (Engine/trans separated)
F - Overhead valve 74,80 or 88 cubic inch "big twin"
FL - 80 to 88 cubic inches and a fat front tire. (Also 74" 1941-82)
K - Side valve 45 and 55 cubic inch sports bike that replaced the WL in
1953 and was replaced by the Sportster in 1957. It had many design
features that were carried over to the Sportster.
U - Side valve 74 or 80 cubic inch "big twin"
V - Side valve 74 cubic inch 1930-36. (Also 1935-36 VLH, VHS 80)
W - Side valve 45 cubic inch made 1937 to 1952
X - Sports and special construction. Applied to 1918-1922 opposed twin
Sport, 1944 military opposed twin, and 1957 to present Sportster.

The second letter of the model designator reveals the Front end (except sportsters):
X - Narrow tire and sport forks.
L - Wide front tire and Hydra-Glide front forks.

The third letter of the model designator reveals the frame style:
D - "Dyna" frame (with the rubber mounted motor)
HT - "Highway Touring" frame
ST - "Softail" frame

The next letter(s) indicates the model bike within the frame family:
A - Military (Army) version (except GA, Servicar without tow bar)
B - Battery start (early models), Belt drive (early 80's) Black paint.(1995-6 model, the Bad Boy)
C - Classic, Competition, Custom, various others meanings.
D - Dyna, the newest frame and engine mount design.
DG - Disc Glide
E - Electric start
F - Foot shift (when the standard was hand-shift) and now "Fat Boy®"
H - varied between High performance, hand shift and Heavy duty.
I - Signifies Fuel Injection.
L - Big fat front tire
LR- Low Rider (though many Low Riders don't include LR in the model ID)
N - Nostalgia
P - Police version
R - Rubber mounted engine (some models) racing version (other models)
ST- Soft Tail
S - Springer
S - (without following T) Sports version
T - Touring
WG - Wide Glide
X - Sportster or sportster-type front end and Skinny front tire.
Harley model designations are a sequence of letters and numbers, combined in limited ways.
Letters are appended singly or in pairs, as follows:
B (Belt Drive)
C (Classic or Custom)
D (Dyna Glide)
DG (Disk Glide)
E (Electric start)
F (Fat Boy, Fat Bob or Foot-shift 1972 and prior)
H (High compression)
L (Hydra Glide forks)
LR (Low Rider)
P (Police)
R (Race or Rubber-mount)
S (Sport, Springer, or Standard)
SB (Single belt final drive)
ST (Softail)
T (Touring)
WG (Wide Glide)
I (Fuel injection)
SE (Screamin’ Eagle)
U (Ultra)
Custom Vehicle Operations models can also have a number (2,3,4) added.
Note that these conventions for model designations are broken regularly by Harley Davidson
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