which harley davidson is best

Which Harley Davidson is Best – A Look at Some of the Most Iconic Models

For decades, Harley Davidson motorcycles have been beloved for their iconic designs and powerful engines. Representing freedom and independence, these bikes are an unmistakable symbol of individuality. But with a wide array of models available, it can be difficult to determine which Harley Davidson is best overall and for you.

Never fear. This article will provide insight on the most formidable Harley Davidson models from 1915 11F through 2009 Night Train – so that you’re able to make an informed decision about your perfect ride.

1915 Harley Davidson 11F

The 1915 Harley Davidson 11F model was released to the public with a plethora of exciting changes. At an attractive price tag $35 below its predecessor, the 11J, it featured a cost-effective acetylene headlight as well as an upgraded three-speed sliding gear transmission and mechanically driven oil pump–all totaling in 22% more power than ever before. Customers couldn’t resist this bargain option and soon enough, the 11F became one of their most popular models offered that year.

1936 Harley Davidson EL “Knucklehead”

The striking 1936 Harley Davidson EL “Knucklehead” was designed to differentiate this iconic motorbike from the competition of Indian Motorcycles in the pre-WW2 period. Built with a powerful overhead-valve design, it delivered an impressive performance yet unfortunately had frequent oil leakage issues.

After much trial and effort, the innovative “Knucklehead” was brought to life. This Harley model featured a four-speed transmission, an unprecedented frame and forks design as well as its signature two-tone paint scheme with the instrument cluster now at rest on top of the gas tank.

1940’s Harley Davidson WLA “Liberator”

During the Second World War, Harley Davidson created their WLA “Liberator” motorcycle to fit the military’s requirement for a reliable and resilient two-wheeler. Its 45 cubic inch “Flathead” engine was sturdy enough to withstand all sorts of difficulties – including bad quality fuel – making it an ideal choice due to its humble origins as a durable utility motorbike during Depression times.

The iconic WLA had a heightened ground clearance, reinforced skid plate, and powerful air cleaner; over 90,000 of these bad boys were made during the war. Additionally, Harley Davidson crafted a special variation of the WLA for Canada’s Army called the WLC.

1958 Harley Davidson XLCH Sportster

To attempt to stay ahead of the competition from British bikes, Harley Davidson released their 1958 XLCH Sportster. However, dealers weren’t completely convinced and begged Walter Davison for more improvements on the motorcycle model.

The team requested for a petite tank and bobber fenders that would be powered by the newly designed Sportster engine, resulting in the creation of what is now known as Harley’s most long-running model. The peanut-shaped tank and 883 motor are both rooted in history with an impressive 64 years under their belt.

1965 Harley Davidson Electra-Glide

The 1965 Harley Davidson Electra-Glide is the archetype of the full touring motorcycles we know today. It was the first FL motorcycle with an electric starter and its five gallon Turnpike tank equipped it to travel far distances, proving its true potential as a touring bike. Many remarkable FL models have been released since then but none has surpassed this classic model in terms of significance – making it one of a kind.

1970 Harley Davidson XR-750

In order to combat the influx of foreign motorcycles in the 1960s, Harley Davidson created an answer: The XR-750. To be eligible for dirt track racing, according to American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) regulations at that time, bikes had a maximum displacement limit of 750 cc and all type of valves were accepted.

The KR series was rendered obsolete when HD moved quickly to find a replacement. As the beginning of what would soon be an award-winning model, the 1970 XR – despite its iron heads being not as fast as some other models – became known for winning 29 Grand National titles and Evel Knievel’s iconic stunts throughout the 70s.

1990 Harley Davidson Fat Boy

Wille G. Davidson and Louie Netz’s 1990 Harley Davidson Fat Boy is unquestionably one of the most iconic models in all of Harley Davidson history. Its 82cu/in softail design, signature stance, and solid wheels have stood the test of time – creating a powerful presence on any road it cruises through. The bike even earned itself an impressive starring role in “The Terminator”, further justifying its ‘badass’ factor.

1999 FXR2 & 3 “CVO”

Although not often discussed in the same breath as some of Harley Davidson’s most iconic models, the 1999 FXR2 & 3 CVO is a model that holds its own place in history. Through “Custom Vehicle Operations,” or “CVO,” Harley aimed to take back market share from aftermarket builders by launching their line of custom factory bikes. With these limited edition machines, they achieved just that – and left an impact on their loyal riders to this day.

Although Harley Davidson had previously ceased creating the FXR, its customers were still enamored with it. Thanks to the tools that were readily available, production of the bike was able to resume almost immediately. Furthermore, adding CVO treatments and limiting production made them even more desirable — so much so that it’s difficult to think about HD’s lineup without their presence.

2002 Harley Davidson VRSCA V-Rod

The 2002 Harley Davidson VRSCA V-Rod marked a critical juncture in the company’s history, demonstrating to the world that American muscle could be met with superior performance. The all-American spirit of Harley was still harnessed within its form, yet now accessible for everyone around the globe.

With the launch of its bike at the dragstrip, there was no doubt what Harley Davidson’s new 1,130cc Revolution engine had to offer: 115bhp and 74ft-lb of torque at 7000rpm. With an assist from Porsche, it became one of the most uncharacteristic Harleys ever produced – yet also their best seller internationally.

2009 FXSTB Night Train

The 2009 FXSTB Night Train was a masterpiece of design and performance. Featuring an awe-inspiring 1584cc Twin-Cam 96B engine, it also included a fat rear tire, 21’ front tire, drag bars and extended front end resulting in maximum power for this sleek black ride.

Its perfect stance and riding position made the Night Train one of the most coveted daily rides available from Harley Davidson that year – proving its worth as an extraordinary motorbike.

Our Verdict On Which Harley Davidson is Best

Deciding on which Harley Davidson is best is a personal decision, as every individual will have their own needs and preferences. But fret not. The models mentioned in this article remain some of the most iconic and significant offerings from Harley Davidson’s extensive lineup.

Whether you love the classic 11F from 1915, the mighty XR-750 from 1970, or the iconic Fat Boy from 1990 – Harley Davidson has a ride just for you.


Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the topic of Which Harley Davidson is best?:

What is the most popular Harley Davidson model of all time?

For over sixty years, the iconic Harley Davidson Sportster has reigned as one of motorcycling’s most beloved models and continues to be sought after by riders around the world.

What is the most powerful Harley Davidson model?

The Harley Davidson Screamin’ Eagle CVO Road Glide stands as the most powerful Harley Davidson model, offering an unrivaled 117 cubic inch engine that produces a staggering 125 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque.

What is the best Harley Davidson model for touring?

The Harley Davidson Electra Glide is unarguably the gold standard for touring motorcycles. Not only does it boast a large fuel tank, but also incomparable comfort with its ergonomically designed seating and abundant storage options for all your needs on long rides across roads of any distance.

Which Harley Davidson is best for beginners?

The Harley Davidson Street 500 is the go-to option for novice riders, due to its lighter weight and low seat height. This makes it easy to maneuver, even for those just learning to ride.

What is the most expensive Harley Davidson model?

For ultimate luxury, the Harley Davidson CVO Limited takes the cake – starting at a whopping $44,000.

What is the most iconic Harley Davidson model?

The Harley Davidson Fat Boy is renowned for its incomparable style and design, made even more famous due to its numerous cinematic and television appearances.

Which Harley Davidson is best for customization?

Whether you’re a fan of classic style or one-of-a-kind customization, the Harley Davidson Softail is the perfect choice. It’s design is timeless and its customizable features make it ideal for creating an entirely personalized bike experience.

Which Harley Davidson is best for off-road riding?

For any adventure rider, the Harley Davidson Pan America is an ideal choice. It strikes a perfect balance between ruggedness and advanced technology, with its powerful engine providing you with all of the power necessary for conquering off-road terrain.
This bike has been crafted to meet your needs no matter where your adventures may take you.

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