There’s a brand new custom at Harley-Davidson. Each yr, The Motor Co. dives deep into their archives, finds a motorcycle that set hearts ablaze in its heyday, and releases a contemporary duplicate of it. They name it their ‘Icons Collection,’ and it’s now in its third yr.
This yr’s Icons Collection bike throws it manner again, to the yr that Nixon received the election, Led Zeppelin first took to the stage and a Big Mac price 49 cents. Dubbed the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Highway King, it’s a modern-day re-creation of the ultra-groovy 1968 FLH Electra Glide.
Editor’s notice: Yip, we’re that includes a cruiser-slash-tourer from a serious OEM immediately. It’s a part of our drive to deliver you, our loyal readers, extra than simply your weekly dose of the world’s finest customized bikes. Plus it appears spectacular and is available in magenta—so we’re discovering it exhausting to hate.
Harley-Davidson turns 120 this yr, which implies that the corporate has a lot of historical past to sift via when determining which legacy bikes to focus on with its Icons sequence. We’ve been fortunate sufficient to not solely go to the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee, however to realize entry to the hallowed archives. Filled to the brim with every part from memorabilia to historic pictures, it’s a deep rabbit gap.
So what precisely does the H-D crew think about when choosing every Icons mannequin? “Many factors,” says Brad Richards, Harley’s Vice President Of Design and Creative Director Of Motorcycles, bluntly.
“We try to keep a balance between what decades to lean into—and which models ignite the most passion within our customers’ hearts. We also consider the current narrative within the entire portfolio each year. For instance, the Electra Glide Revival [Harley’s first Icons release] was launched adjacent to the Pan America, as a reminder that our current customers are as important as future customers.”
The 1968 Electra Glide is as Americana nostalgia as classic Harleys get. Splashed in a magenta paint job, with white trim and chrome accents, it’s clear which period it lived in. Customers additionally had the choice of shopping for it with a deluxe ‘King of the Highway’ touring package deal on the time, which included fiberglass panniers, a windshield, a baggage rack and engine guards; it’s clearly the place the Electra Glide Highway King nomenclature comes from.
The Electra Glide Highway King relies on Harley’s current single-spar touring chassis, and powered by the corporate’s Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. So it has all of the trimmings of a contemporary touring bike; linked Brembo brakes, cornering ABS, traction management and drag-torque slip management, cruise management, and a hill maintain function. You may also improve the 160 Nm mill with Harley’s full vary of Screamin’ Eagle hop-up kits.
Sitting on prime of that chassis is bodywork that mixes current Harley elements with a couple of distinctive objects. The gas tank, tank-mounted clocks, fenders, aspect covers and fork shrouds appear to be they arrive straight from different touring bikes, just like the Road King. It’s a testomony to how constant Harley’s design language has remained over time.
“We’ve stayed so true to our roots, even with our most recent bikes,” says Brad. “The proportions, forms, and the way we visually manage electronic components, means that most bikes are great canvases for future Icons.”
Even the saddlebags have been borrowed from the present touring vary; “Again, the form factor is still very close to the originals from the late 60s, so it worked perfectly,” provides Brad. What makes the Electra Glide Highway King stand out then, is how effectively its distinctive trim has been executed.
For starters, the 2 paint jobs that it is available in are equally eye-popping. You can get it in ‘Hi-Fi Orange’ or ‘Hi-Fi Magenta,’ and every model comes with color-matched tinting on the decrease half of the removable windshield. Bodacious.
The saddlebags on each variations are white, identical to they have been within the 60s. The heart console contains a chrome encompass with a black heart strip, punctuated by white striping. An Icons Collection graphic and serialization badge are etched into the console too.
One totally distinctive element is the Electra Glide Highway King’s saddle. Harley began with elements from their police bike seats, then constructed a brand new unit with a customized rail design. Upholstered in black and white, it’s a standout piece.
The remainder of the bike is completed with swathes of chrome—from the engine itself, to the crash bars, entrance fender trim and saddlebag guards. Chromed ‘Electra Glide’ scripts adorn the entrance fender, whereas period-correct Harley badges sit towards the tank. Twin spotlights flank the headlight, whereas the basic laced wheels put on whitewall treads.
All that comes at a premium, naturally. The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Highway King will set you again $26,999 within the States—three grand greater than the present Road King Special. As is customary for his or her Icons bikes, Harley will produce this as a 2023 mannequin solely, restricted to 1,750 models (1,000 in orange, and 750 in magenta).
Added up, the Electra Glide Highway King sits someplace between a manufacturing facility customized and a contemporary basic. It’ll absolutely enchantment to the Harley trustworthy, who’re recognized to go gaga over particular version fashions (particularly once they’re launched in an anniversary yr). But we reckon it may have enchantment past Harley’s current fanbase, too.
Would you be tempted?
Images equipped by Harley-Davidson and Harley-Davidson Archives