Brian's Harley-Davidson®
Brian's Harley-Davidson® Model Glossary

Brian's Harley-Davidson® Model Glossary


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®.

Second Character:

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.

Third Character:

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 Remaining Characters:

These indicate the model bike within the frame family, or acronyms of the model name.

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 narrow front tire.