harley flst

What Does Harley FLST Stand For – Understanding the Model Designations

Harley Davidson is an iconic motorbike brand that has been crafting bikes for over a century. Not only do their models have the classic, timeless design of their earlier machines but they’ve also adapted to riders’ needs as times change – that’s why Harley continues to be one of the world’s most in-demand motorcycles today.

If you’re looking to buy or learn more about the Harley FLST, it’s important to understand the model designations used by the company. In this article, we’ll go over the different letters and numbers found in these designations so that you can have a better understanding of what each model entails.


The model designator’s initial letter denotates the engine series; for instance, “F” symbolizes overhead valve models of the “big twin,” while a “K” alludes to side-valve 45 and 55 cubic inch sports bike. Moreover, an “FL” depicts 80 to 88 cubic inch big twins with a large front tire.

Apart from Sportsters, the second letter of a model designator reveals its front end. For example, “X” signifies that it has narrow tires and sport forks; alternatively, an “L” denotes wide tires with Hydra-Glide front forks. Interestingly enough, before this system was created the abbreviation FX actually meant ‘Factory Experimental’—the first Super Glide model.

The third letter of the model designator can tell you what frame style is being utilized. If it reads “D” then that signifies a Dyna frame with a rubber-mounted motor, while something like “HT” indicates a Highway Touring frame and finally an “ST” stands for Softail.

Our model bikes are denoted by the following letters, such as F for Fat Boy and T for Touring. Therefore, you can easily identify which bike belongs to each frame family.

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

F = Overhead valve “Big Twin”

K = Side valve 45 and 55 cubic inch sports bike

U = Side valve “big twin”

V = Side valve 74 cubic inch 1930-36

W = Side valve 45 cubic inch 1934-52

So all in all, a Harley FLST means it’s a big twin, with wide tires and Hydra-Glide front forks, soft tail.

The Evolution of Harley Davidson Models

Since 1903, Harley Davidson has been producing iconic motorcycles with unique features and characteristics. One of their greatest accomplishments to date includes creating the FX model; a revolutionary factory custom build that remains one of their most popular models today.

To build the FX, designers fused a FL frame with an XL front end from the Sportster and a 1200 cc engine. The result was an unparalleled machine that has revolutionized motorcycling ever since.

In 1957, Harley Davidson released the XL series – a “unit construction” machine that combined both engine and transmission into one unit. The groundbreaking range featured four models: The original XL, as well as the higher-powered and high-compression XLH; its racing equivalent – the competition model known as the XLCH; and lastly, for long distances -–the touring variant of this line called theXLT.

In 1984, Harley Davidson revolutionized the motorcycle industry with their Softail frame. This revolutionary design combines the classic hard-tail lines and aesthetic of traditional bikes with added comfort from a soft-tail suspension system. Since its introduction, it has become one of Harley’s most beloved models – and an iconic staple in motorcycling history.


For decades, Harley Davidson has been a leader in the motorcycle industry with its iconic models that have evolved to satisfy the changing needs of riders all over the world.

When attempting to make a wise decision when purchasing a bike, knowing the model designations utilized by Harley Davidson is advantageous. If you’re searching for something pocket-friendly yet nimble with narrow tires, or perhaps looking for an extravagant tour bike featuring a soft-tail frame—Harley Davidson has just what you need.


Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Harley FLST model:

What does FLST stand for in Harley Davidson models?

Harley FLST is an acronym for “Floorboard Model Soft Tail,” a popular motorcycle style.

What is the difference between an FLST and an FX model?

If you’re looking for a more comfortable ride, the Harley FLST models feature floorboard designs and soft tails. The FX model options are ideal if you prefer semifirm mounting motors with sportier styles – such as the Dyna Low Rider, Wide Glide or Standard.

What does the FX in FXSTSSE stand for?

‘Factory Experimental’ is the meaning behind FX in FXSTSSE, denoting Harley Davidson’s pioneer custom build. The amalgamation of an FL frame with a 1200 cc motor and an XL Sportster front end created these eye-catching models for all to admire.

What does the S in FXSTSSE stand for?

The acronym FXSTSSE stands for “Softail” – the S indicating Softtail.

What is the meaning of the second S in FXSTSSE?

The second ‘S’ in FXSTSSE represents the Softail frame style which is distinct from other frame styles.

What is the meaning of SE in FXSTSSE?

Glorifying Harley Davidson’s mastery of high performance, the acronym “SE” stands for Screaming Eagle – a badge that symbolizes excellence.

What is the difference between FLH and FLHTC models?

The FLH lineup consists of the iconic Electra Glides, Ultra, Classic, Standard and Streetglide models – all with their engine’s rubber mounted for ultimate comfort. The classic amongst these is undoubtedly the FLHTC model – the timeless Electra Glide Classic.

What is the origin of the FX models?

Combining the FL frame with a larger 1200 cc engine and XL Sportster front end, Harley Davidson created a revolutionary factory custom build: The FX models.

What does the first letter of the model designator indicate?

The initial letter of the model code provides information about the engine series, with different characters indicating various engine arrangements such as G signifying three-wheeled models, F expressing overhead valve “Big Twin,” K alluding to side valve 45 and 55 cubic inch sports bikes, and X speaking for sports and modified constructions.

What does the second letter of the model designator indicate?

For everything but Sportsters, the second letter of the model designator specifies its front end. An ‘X’ denotes a slim tire and sport forks, while an ‘L’ indicates a wide front tire with Hydra-Glide forks.

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