It was also one of Harley’s highest horsepower production bikes; you can pretty much just get on it and go. The issue with V-Rods isn’t so much about their lack of power, but how unrealistic they are for the short-legged rider, and that big, pretty exhaust (and foot pegs) can actually get in the way when riding tight corners. In other words, depending on each individual’s riding style, the VRSCSE2 is either an amazing piece of art or an impulse buy that may become a garage ornament.
14. XR-1000 (WORTH IT)
The XR-1000 is a relatively small bike that has a tendency to be underestimated quite often. But when given the opportunity to redeem itself, the XR-1000 really takes a rider by surprise. It’s one of those classic throwbacks that some riders have mixed feelings about, especially if they’re sold on the XR-750 flat track version. But the XR-1000 is arguably the precursor to the torquey bikes that we see on the road, today; 98 pound-foot of torque may not be impressive now but is still fun on the street. Of course, the XR-1000 didn’t make it out of the Harley assembly line completely unscathed of flaws; it has an unfortunate exhaust position that tends to get your leg pretty hot if you’re not cautious. But it’s a highly enjoyable bike to own, and who doesn’t want a classic?
13. 2016-2019 FLHR ROAD KING (WORTH IT)
Ever since the Road King came in to take the place of the Electra Glide, Harley-Davidson loyalists were able to breathe a sigh of relief. The Electra Glide was a solid bike for many, but its build quality eventually faltered toward the end of its existence. Where the Road Glide left off, it has only since improved and is now one of the more popular tourers (if you can call it that, since it’s also somewhat of a cruiser). The latest generation has even improved its torque by 11% and the Milwaukee-Eight is considered to be a steady improvement, though nothing drastic since it’s also had a few recalls that have botched its clean record. Exactly as the name implies, the Road King dominates with its 1745cc engine, and it’s smooth and brakes exquisitely (even with a full load).
12. FXFBS FAT BOB (WORTH IT)
The Fat Bob hasn’t quite captured the hearts of all Harley fans, purely because of its semi-radical changes. However, in the short year that it has undergone some drastic style changes, the Fat Bob has grown in popularity, tremendously. Not to leave out older iterations of the Fat Bob (because they deserve some recognition as well), the latest iteration has made some noticeable strides in quality.
From new equipment (clocks and lights) to an improved powertrain, the Fat Bob has really become neck-and-neck with some of Indian’s offerings. However, the price of Harley’s Fat Bob seems to be one of its faults (that exists for each of the bikes), especially considering that it doesn’t have much to offer for electronics. You’re still looking at one of the most popular bikes on Harley’s showroom floor right now, and it has definitely earned that reputation.
11. VRSCA V-ROD (WORTH IT)
The early V-Rods were a huge step in a completely different direction for Harley…and that was sort of the point. The original V-Rod debuted in 2002 to attract new customers that didn’t fit the Harley-Davidson mold. While it’s certainly not going to win any races, it makes up for any perceived sluggishness with a nicely-positioned chassis that keeps the V-Rod’s center of gravity when you jam the throttle.
The cool part about the V-Rod is its defiance of Harley’s traditional designs; it has a liquid-cooled 1250cc with dual-overhead cams with a lot of horsepower. It’s also excellent at cornering and is equipped with great ABS. The V-Rod is one of those muscle cruisers that will keep you grinning the entire ride from its gutsy power, and it just may be the first Harley that will unintentionally wheelie on you. It’s a superb bike unless you’re a die-hard Harley traditionalist.
10. FXDWG DYNA WIDE GLIDE (WORTH IT)
The Wide Glide isn’t known for the amount of power it puts out but it shouldn’t be counted out completely. The Dyna Wide Glide is a loud and proud torque machine that will keep you grinning ear-to-ear throughout the duration of your ventures. Like other Dynas, the Wide Glide received a nice improvement in displacement (1450cc) and a 17% increase in torque with the introduction of the Twin-Cam 88 engine.
With a longer, raked front end, the Dyna Wide Glide rides more comfortably in a straight line, however, the tradeoff is a sacrificed turning radius and handling. But the raked front end gives the bike that easy riding feel that was popularized in the 1970s. It’s not the most comfortable bike and isn’t meant for long rides, but it has ABS, among other luxuries. The newer bikes have the influence of dark custom-style bobbers and will certainly impress all who watch it glide by.
9. FLHT ELECTRA GLIDE (WORTH IT)
Say what you want about baggers but the Electra Glide is a real bike that makes you feel like you’re riding on a couch. It’s absolute comfort on a muscle bagger, complete with a beautiful-sounding exhaust. The only real downfall of riding on an Electra Glide (aside from the stigma of baggers, in general) is how easily you can rack up miles on one of these. This fuel-injected piece of heaven has really demonstrated that Harley has found the sweet spot between the cruising comfort of a bagger and the power of a smaller performance bike. In fact, many who ride the Electra Glide are oftentimes pleasantly surprised that the 1450cc engine feels like it has more power than it should.
8. FXSTB NIGHT TRAIN (WORTH IT)
The Night Train is arguably one of the coolest bikes that Harley Davidson has ever made. It’s not your typical ‘bells and whistles’ cruiser that comes complete with a plethora of unnecessary extras that the hipster riders would half expect. However, the Night Train is an excellent bike for a die-hard Harley fan who enjoys executing their own modifications.
The excess of chrome may be a bit off-putting, but that’s nothing that can’t be changed to meet the desires of any potential owner. The Night Train has an old-school Harley look and when paired with the right mods (like a Springer front-end), it can become a unique masterpiece. The best part about a Night Train is its Harley-Davidson heritage and that amazing, carbureted Evo motor that’s pleasing to the ears. It’s much slower than a sportster and can’t really be built up much more because of its weight, especially if you put a springer front end on it. However, it’s not a bike that will typically disappoint the traditionalist.
7. 1985 FXRT SPORT GLIDE (WORTH IT)
The 1985 Sport Glide is a bit of a Frankenstein bike, as the frame was built to be a lighter, more rigid version of a touring model and with the suspension derived from the popular sportster. The increased ground clearance, taller seat, and raised profile made this a bit different than many of its Harley predecessors. Unfortunately, though, the original design wasn’t attractive enough to potential buyers, which led to the Sport Glide’s eventual discontinuation. However, it wasn’t at all a poorly-crafted bike.
The smallest details received ample attention from Harley designers; for instance, having three instead of two mounting points on the motor prevented extensive vibrating, and it had a five-speed transmission instead of a 4, and it even came with hard bags and front fairing. Needless to say, this was a pretty cushy bike that made raking up the mileage no big deal.
6. FLSTF FAT BOY (WORTH IT)
Whether you’re talking old or new, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is one of the most eye-catching of their lineup. And while the older models are certainly not going to win any races—nor were they built with comfort in mind—they have an exquisite style and enough power to keep any biker happy. The recent editions of the Fat Boy don’t have much to offer for electronics but they have improved upon that traditional style, with even more power and a new softail frame, with the exception of that hardtail look of the rear suspension. While the older generations, generally, had pretty good longevity, the verdict is still up for debate for the recent models which have the new Milwaukee-Eight.
5. XL1200N SPORTSTER NIGHTSTER (WORTH IT)
The 1200 Sportster is a great bike not just because it’s the underdog of the Harley family, but for its overall versatility. In some cases, the Sportster is even a great option for a first bike (for the right person). What makes the Nightster different? It’s still the same, cheap bike that many bikers have a soft spot for, but it has a strikingly different style that attracts more of the right attention to the Sportster. The fuel-injected engine makes a world of a difference for bikes like these, and the Sportster completely leaves behind its bad name with Nightsters from the last decade. It’s also one of the best value Harley’s that a rider can get their hands on. It may not have the most extensive list of extras but the Sportster Nightster leaves a lasting impression.
4. 1964 DUO-GLIDE “PANHEAD” (WORTH IT)
During its peak, the Duo-Glide had the most powerful engine in Harley’s stable and came with all of the bells and whistles that a rider could dream of. But one of the greatest distinctions of the Harley-Davidson Duo-Glide was its included windshield, front and rear suspension, and hard luggage that declared itself Harley’s first tourer.
The Duo-Glide has Harley’s traditional ‘V’ cylinder arrangement that gives off that delightful sound that has defined the brand. It has a huge 1200cc overhead valve big twin engine—the second one ever to leave Harley’s production line, in fact—that has attained incredible value in the past few years alone. We have to admit that this Harley is more of a collector’s special than anything because it’s quite outdated (if left in stock configuration). Nonetheless, this is one of the most notorious bikes that would be an honor for any hardcore Harley-Davidson fanatic to own.
3. SOFTAIL DEUCE (WORTH IT)
The Deuce is a raw cruiser with a beautiful style that’s begging for custom upgrades. Unfortunately, the Deuce was discontinued prior to Harley’s release of its Big Twin; instead, it brandishes the 1450cc Twin Cam that offers a predictable, albeit an unwieldy ride. It has some of the best build quality of any Harley since it is also one of the more recent models; the paint is incredible and reliability is in the bag, especially with its bulletproof engine. However, the best part about a Softail Deuce is its reputation; it has built a name off of its classy style and has attracted many wealthy riders who don’t take it out very often but service it regularly. Needless to say, used models are typically babied and hold their value very well (although they would anyway).
2. DYNA SUPER GLIDE (WORTH IT)
The craftsmanship of the Dyna Super Glide is above average. It’s one of the most solid Harleys ever made and if you happen to stumble upon a more recent model, then it probably has the Milwaukee V-twin with an upgraded 1584cc engine. The Dyna Super Glide is a heavy lug that is a bit flexible but rides more like a solid truck than it does a sport bike—though that’s not what anyone is really looking for when they purchase a Dyna. Of course, no Harley-Davidson is a cheap investment, but the Dyna Super Glide is the best bang for your buck of all of the Big Twin bikes. Plus, who can resist that stunning Harley cruiser style of the Dyna Super Glide? It’s iconic for a reason; it’s one of the best value motorcycles in the Harley-Davidson stable.
1. VRSCDX NIGHT ROD SPECIAL (WORTH IT)
The Night Rod is a special version of the V-Rod, which was a special bike that was the result of a collaboration between Porsche and Harley-Davidson. This is, obviously, completely out-of-the-box for Harley, especially because it’s closer to a sportbike than the stereotypical cruisers you often see pull off of a Harley lot. The Night Rod Special redlines at 10,000 RPM, has a fat rear tire (240mm) that was first introduced on the VRSCAW, a luxuriously cushioned seat, and improved styling of the instrument cluster (also with better functionality).
However, previous iterations of the V-Rod had tiny, three-gallon gas tanks that countless consumers complained about, but the Night Rod Special received an increased tank size (five-gallons). Basically, everything that people disliked about earlier V-Rods was completely improved in this edition that was completely redesigned in a sleek, black façade. The Night Rod Special is a ‘bells and whistles’ bike that is atypical for Harley’s lineup but that will appeal to anyone who wants more power.