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Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Road Tests & Reviews

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Guide

Harley-Davidson motorcycles, founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by William S. Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson, is the largest American motorcycle manufacturer and the world's oldest continuously operating motorcycle manufacturer. The company is still headquartered in Milwaukee, in the same location on Juneau Avenue since 1906. In 2008 Harley-Davidson opened a large museum in downtown Milwaukee that coincided with the company's 105th anniversary celebrations. Harley-Davidson motorcycle reviews depict one of the world's most recognizable brands, and the company has a very loyal, brand-centric community, organized in part through the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.).

2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra: Road Test

Harley-Davidson Road Glide

Mark Tuttle
September 1, 2011

Knowing the model names associated with Harley-Davidson’s cryptic “alpha” designations for its motorcycle models can make for quite the trivia contest at parties. Yell out “FLSTSB” and see how quickly that Motor Company tattooed enthusiast in the corner can come up with “Cross Bones,” or... Read more »

2012 Harley-Davidsons – First Ride

2012 Harley-Davidson Dyna Switchback

Rider Magazine
August 19, 2011

Spanning six model families plus the Custom Vehicle Operations division, the 2012 Harley-Davidson lineup is jam packed with more iron than a steel mill, 32 models in all. The big news, literally, is that the Twin Cam 103 V-twin, which boosts displacement by 7 percent (to 1,690cc) and claimed torque by... Read more »

1949-1957 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide Retrospective

1949 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide right side beauty

Clement Salvadori
August 15, 2011

story and photography by Clement Salvadori [This 1949-1957 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide Retrospective was originally published in the August 2011 issue of Rider] Year/model: 1949 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide. Owner: John Hackley, Arroyo Grande, California. Following World War II, Harley was on a roll.... Read more »

2012 Harley-Davidson CVOs – First Look

2012 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Custom

Rider Magazine
July 20, 2011

Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) unit designs limited-production factory customs. CVO bikes are decked out with bold paint, gleaming chrome, high-output audio and Harley’s largest-displacement production V-twin, the fuel-injected Twin Cam 110, rated at 122 lb-ft of torque. 2012 Harley-Davidson... Read more »

2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster, Touring & Trike – First Look

Rider Magazine
July 7, 2011

Harley-Davidson has begun delivery of all 15 models in the 2012 Touring, Trike and Sportster lines to its U.S. dealers. These motorcycles will be available for sale immediately. Additional 2012 models will be announced in July. 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom The six 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster... Read more »

2011 Harley-Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic Road Test Tour

2011 Harley Heritage Softail

Clement Salvadori
June 7, 2011

story and photography by Clement Salvadori [This 2011 Harley-Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic Road Test was originally published as a Tour Test in the April 2011 issue of Rider magazine] Softie is doing well, its 96 cubic inches knocking out more than enough power to take me over 4,050-foot Laguna... Read more »

2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X Road Test

2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X

Greg Drevenstedt
March 29, 2011

Three things I’ve never experienced on a Harley-Davidson happened at this press launch: riding on a racetrack, getting my knee down and seeing nearly 120 mph on the speedometer. But then again, the 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X isn’t your everyday Motor Company machine. With a modest race... Read more »

Comparison: 2011 Harley-Davidson XL883L Sportster SuperLow vs. 2010 HONDA VT750RS Shadow RS

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Arden Kysely
November 28, 2010

Afraid of heights? Set your worries aside with these two customs. The 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow puts your derriere a mere 25.5 inches above terra firma when you settle into the solo saddle. And though it towers next to the Sporty, the 2010 Honda Shadow RS model’s 29.4-inch seat height... Read more »

Book review: Harley-Davidson Everything you Need to Know

Harley-Davidson: Everything you Need to Know by Bill Stermer.

Rider Magazine
August 12, 2010

[This Harley-Davidson—Everything you Need to Know Book Review was originally published in American Rider] Like “new and improved,” the phrase “everything you need to know” packs a lot of implications. Aside from promising to deliver information that is both all-inclusive and necessary, the... Read more »

2010 Harley-Davidson XL1200X Sportster Forty-Eight Road Test

2010 Harley-Davidson XL1200X Sportster Forty-Eight

Rider Magazine
May 24, 2010

2010 Harley-Davidson XL1200X Sportster Forty-Eight photography by Rich Cox [This 2010 Harley-Davidson XL1200X Sportster Forty-Eight Road Test was originally published in the July 2010 issue of Rider magazine] Darkness is spreading among the 2010 Harley-Davidson lineup, but that’s a good thing for... Read more »

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Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Harley-Davidson motorcycle reviews emphasize classically styled cruisers and touring motorcycles, nearly all of which are powered by air-cooled, 45-degree V-twins (the lone exception is the liquid-cooled V-Rod).


Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Standouts

The Harley-Davidson Sportster, introduced in 1957, is one of the longest-running and perhaps most widely known models in Harley's lineup; with 883cc or 1,200cc engines, Sportsters are smaller than Harley's "Big Twins," making them less expensive as well as popular among newer and younger riders. Harley-Davidson's FL, or Touring, line of motorcycles includes the Road King, Road Glide, Street Glide and Electra Glide, and with their windscreens, fairings (on some) and saddlebags they are among the most popular models for hitting the open road. The 1992 Harley-Davidson V-Rod, or VRSC, introduced the 60-degree Revolution V-twin, an engine jointly developed with Porsche that was the first to be offered by Harley with overhead cams and liquid cooling.

After Harley-Davidson motorcycle road tests, the Heritage Softail Classic became Rider's 2000 Motorcycle of the Year because it introduced the more powerful, markedly smoother counterbalanced Twin Cam 88B V-twin, as well as a stiffer chassis, better brakes and other refinements.

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