When it comes to cruisers, there is no more iconic name than Harley Davidson.
Founded in 1903, Harley have become one of the most enduring and successful brands out there, with a whole range of recognisable models on offer. Harley motorcycles have etched their place in popular culture too, from the modified choppers of Easy Rider, to Arnold's bad to the bone Fat Boy in Terminator 2. More than likely if you think cruiser, you think Harley Davidson.
As of 2020 it isn't only about cruisers however, as Harley have begun to diversify their repertoire with a ground-breaking mass production electric motorcycle, as well as an adventure bike and perhaps even a range of streetfighters on the way!
In this blog we are going to take a look at some of the best Harley Davidson motorcycles currently on sale, as well as some interesting bikes they have lined up for 2021 and beyond!
Top 8 Harley Davidson motorcycles out now!
As usual I will try to cover a wide range of bikes here, to suit as many different riders as possible. All of these bikes are the latest 2020 versions but some of them will still have older versions available on the used market.
One of the things to bear in mind with Harley Davidson motorcycles, is that you know exactly what you will get. The manufacturer has been around long enough that any issues in their product ranges have been long ironed out, with the majority of their bikes offering stripped down ride experiences with a very high build quality.
The final thing I will mention here is that Harleys tend to hold their value very well. So, while they might not always be the cheapest bikes, you are going to get a unique experience and a lot of your money back if you come to sell your bike on down the line. Now let's look at some motorcycles!
Not exactly a traditional cruiser, the Street Rod as the name suggests is a kind of fusion between a classic Harley and a street bike. It is also pretty much the cheapest way you are going to own a HD motorcycle, so for that alone it deserves a place on this list as the budget choice.
First released in 2017, the Street Rod marked the beginning of Harley's shift towards a more versatile line-up. The bike features a new 70hp 750cc V-twin engine, which puts it in a pretty good place performance-wise. It will be responsive and fun to ride, able to cruise at high speeds but still suitable for beginners. There is also an A2 version available which makes it even more accessible. Not to mention, as with pretty much any Harley Davidson, it looks very cool too!
You can pick up a Street Rod from just £6,895 brand new.
The Iron 1200 is an excellent entry level cruiser, and when i say 'entry level', I mean for Harley Davidson, as this is still a powerful bike in its own right.
The Iron range started with the Iron 883 back in 2015 and that motorcycle is still going strong in 2020, so if you would rather go for a slightly lower capacity version, the option is there. Now there is also the Iron 1200 however, which takes the 883 and packs an upgraded 1200cc V-Twin motor into it, as well as adding mini-ape bars and a front cowl for that perfect modern Harley look.
Once again, there is still an A2 version, and despite the upgrades over the 883 it is only £500 more expensive, starting at £9,395. While the Street Rod might be a little cheaper, this is one of the most affordable ways to get a true Harley Davidson cruiser.
In 2018 Harley revamped their cruiser range with the new Softail frame, making their cruisers lighter and more agile than ever before. This new frame forms the basis of most of their model range, with modular adjustments to the shock and swingarm producing the different variations.
The Softail Slim is perhaps the embodiment of these changes, becoming the nimblest Harley cruiser you can find in 2020. It is a few kilos lighter than its counterparts, weighing in at 291kg. Still not exactly 'lightweight' but the desired effect is still achieved, this is a beautiful, old-school looking bobber with a lovely responsive ride.
The Softail Slim is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight V-twin engine, that's 1746cc and 84 hp, so plenty of power on tap here but an A2 friendly version is available too. The price starts at £15,695 brand new.
Considering Harley Davidson have been around for 117 years now, the Fat Boy is a relative newcomer, making its debut in 1990 a 'mere' 30 years ago. And yet it has become one of the most iconic motorcycles in the world.
I already mentioned the use of this motorcycle in Terminator 2, but the real reason it has become so iconic is that it really redefined the way a modern cruiser could look at the time. With its bold and muscular styling and huge engine, the Fat Boy inspired a host of imitations.
In 2020 the Fat Boy is looking better than ever, with a choice of Milwaukee-Eight 107ci or 114ci V-Twin engines and a range of finishes, including a blacked-out anniversary edition that looks incredible.
The price on one of these bad boys starts at £17,545 brand new. There isn't much in the way of advanced tech or rider aids, but what you get is a powerful and beautiful, high quality cruiser with perhaps the best sounding engine in existence.
This bike really was a game changer for Harley when they released it in 2019. After all, everybody knows they only make stripped-down no-nonsense cruisers, right? Not anymore. Harley Davidson is the first major manufacturer to release a mass production electric motorcycle and it is an extremely impressive one at that.
The electric nature of the bike isn't the only unusual thing here for HD either, with this bike's performance and styling falling into supernaked territory rather than their traditional cruiser style. The LiveWire has matching supernaked performance too, with 114mph top speed and a 3 second 0-60 thanks to the electric engine's instant power delivery.
There are, as always with electric bikes, a few down sides to consider. Firstly the 98-mile minimum range between charges. This isn't a huge deal any more as more charging stations are popping up all over the UK constantly and the LiveWire can reach full charge in just 60 minutes. Still, something to think about.
The other downside is the price, starting at £28,995 this is not a cheap motorcycle. However, there are no maintenance or running costs like regular bikes, so the cost over time balances out a bit. Plus, it is a huge step in reducing your carbon footprint. You can find out more about electric motorcycles in our blog here.
Low Rider S
The low Rider has been given a fresh update for 2020 with a new aggressive riding position and beautiful west-coast bobber styling.
Firstly, let’s talk about this cruiser's engine, the Milwaukee-Eight 114, the most powerful engine in the Harley line-up. This is a 1868cc V-twin putting out 93hp at 5020rpm so despite the typically hefty weight, the Low Rider S still has plenty of pull and according to Harley, offers exceptional agility and handling.
I mentioned earlier this bike's aggressive ride position and that is due to a combination of the extra low 690mm seat height with a slightly more compact foot peg position, as well as moto-style drag bars with 4-inch risers. There is also some lovely aggressive visuals to go with it, fully blacked out with a front headlight cowl, this really is one bad-ass motorcycle.
All these things add up to make the Low Rider S something quite unique in Harley's line-up of cruisers. Power, agility and looks with a starting price of £15,825.
The Fat Bob was another model HD revamped in 2018, turning it from a kind of mini Fat Boy, into something completely unique of its own.
Aside from benefiting from the new softail frame, the Fat Bob also now has an inverted front fork for improved steering input, as well as extra fat tyres and a brand-new headlight that really gives it its own identity. It's also the only bike in the softail range with an upswept exhaust finished in contrasting tones to, once again, make clear this bike is its own beast entirely.
When it comes to the engine, of course it’s the Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin and you can choose between the 107 or 114ci versions depending on how much power you want, there is less than 2 grand difference in price between the two.
Speaking of price, the Fat Boy starts at £14,295 brand new which makes it one of the least expensive motorcycles in the softail range.
Electra Glide Standard
Harley Davidson are famous for their touring bikes and they have a whole host of amazing machines on offer to fit that role. It is actually difficult to pick just one motorcycle for this list with so many worthy options, from the gorgeous Heritage Classic to the luxurious Road Glide and even a trio of limited-edition CVO models for 2020. The bike I am going with here though, is the Electra Glide Standard.
The Electra Glide is the benchmark in Harley's touring range and ticks a lot of boxes as a result. Firstly, this motorcycle is a thing of beauty, with its iconic batwing fairing, all black finish and chrome detailing. Even the panniers look beautiful!
As a touring bike there is actually more tech than you would usually find on an HD bike, although it is still minimalist by design. There are no screens or gadgets, but you do get electronic cruise control, preload adjustable suspension and reflex linked Brembo brakes.
The Electra Glide Standard starts at £20,195 which as with any Harley, is never going to be cheap, but compared to the £30,000 you can expect to pay for one of the CVO special editions, it is a nice starting point. There is also a whole host of extras in Harley's catalogue so you can really make this bike your own.
The Future of Harley Davidson
We've looked at some of the best motorcycles currently on offer from Harley and as you can see most of them are classic cruisers and bobbers, the style HD made famous. These iconic machines aren't going anywhere but we have already seen Harley beginning to expand into other areas with new models like their production electric bike the LiveWire. In 2021 that expansion is going to continue with some very different and surprising additions to their line-up.
One of the most interesting developments from Harley is this new adventure bike, the Pan America! First unveiled at the 2019 Eicma show in Italy, this bike is quite a radical departure for the American giants.
The Pan America is looking to compete with the best of the adventure bike world so unlike HD's usual policy of minimalist technology, this one is set to have it all. The original we saw back in 2019 had a large TFT dash, cruise control, heated grips, adjustable screen and fully adjustable electronic suspension. It also had a brand-new engine that can put out a mighty 145bhp!
In an ideal world this motorcycle would already be arriving in UK dealerships but thanks to the Corona outbreak everything has been delayed. The good news is that Harley have now confirmed the bike is still on the way and due early 2021. Still no word on price yet but this is definitely one to watch out for.
Bronx Streetfighter range
Alongside the Pan America adventure bike, Harley showed off their new streetfighter last year, originally titled the Streetfighter 975, it is now known as the Bronx and will come in 975cc and 1250cc models. Again, these were set to be cutting edge supernaked bikes, ready to compete with the best in a stacked category. Or at least that was the plan.
As I mentioned previously the effects of a difficult 2020 are being felt and back in September the Bronx was removed from the HD website, leading some to speculate if the model range had been scrapped altogether!
Harley Davidson's official statement mentions that for 2021 they will focus on the release of the Pan America and that ''we will not be launching the Bronx next year.'' So, no official cancellation, more likely a delay. Considering the company's commitment to the new LiveWire and Pan America, I would be surprised to see such an exciting prospect like the Bronx disappear altogether, but only time will tell.
Serial 1 Cycle Company
In the last few weeks, we have learned HD's intention to launch their new e-bike division as a separate company with its own brand - the Serial 1 Cycle Company. Again, this might seem like a big departure, but the Harley Davidson brand is still unmistakeably entwined with this new product name.
For a start, the name itself refers to the original 1903 Harley Davidson motorcycle 'Serial Number One'. The design of their first e-bike is also very much in keeping with HD philosophy with its unique vintage aesthetic.
Exact details on the new electric bicycle's stats are scarce at the moment but I expect all to be revealed within the next few days so stay tuned!
If you love cruisers but are intrigued as to what this big dog's competitors are offering, check out our 2021 top 10 list for a variety of makes, models, styles and prices.
Before we go, whichever Harley you go for, remember to get an insurance quote direct from Lexham for the best possible deal!