For most people, when they think cruiser motorcycle, they instantly think of a Harley Davidson. Founded in 1903, Harley has become one of the most enduring and successful brands in the world, with a whole range of iconic models on offer.
Throughout the years Harley motorcycles have also 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!
However, the Harley brand isn't just about cruisers though, they now have the Pan America touring bike and even their own off-shoot brand of electric motorcycles under the LiveWire name...
10 Iconic Harley Davidson Motorcycles available for 2023!
All of these bikes are the latest 2023 versions, but some will still have older models available on the used market if you aren't looking to invest in a brand-new bike. Something to bear in mind is that Harley Davidson motorcycles tend to hold their value very well, so whilst they might not always be the cheapest bikes - you are going recover a lot of your money if you decide to sell down the line, having had the unique HD experience along the way.
When it comes to Harley motorcycles, you know exactly what you will get. The manufacturer has been around for a long time and most of the issues in their product ranges have been ironed out long ago, with most of their bikes offering stripped-down ride experiences and a very high build quality.
Now, without further ado, let's look at 10 of the best Harley Davidson motorcycles currently available in 2023!
10. Nightster Special
Kicking off the list today we have the Nightster Special!
The previous range of Harley Sportsters were hugely popular, with bikes like the 883 Iron providing an excellent entry-level option, that still looked the part and gave you that amazing HD V-twin rumble. Sadly though, the range was killed off by Euro emission laws a few years back, leaving a bit of a gap in the Harley line-up.
Fortunately, a true successor to the Iron was released last year with a brand new liquid cooled engine, in the form of the Nightster. Now for 2023, Harley take the same base setup from that bike and add some modern tech features and a sweet front cowl to create the brand new Nightster Special.
The new liquid cooled 975cc V-twin can put out 89hp and is comparatively light for a Harley, weighing in at 225kg with a full tank of fuel. The result is a bike that has true HD styling but performs more like a modern street-fighter.
The Nightster Special adds in a bunch of modern features like a full colour display with ride modes, cruise control, traction control and Bluetooth connectivity among other things. These kind of features are rarely seen in Harley bikes, which tend to keep things purposefully minimal. This is a new bike, for a new era, with the same bad-ass visuals.
Lastly, when it comes to pricing, at the time of writing you can pick up a Nightster Special brand new for £15,395.
9. Sportster S
In at number nine, we have one of BikeMatters' personal favorites - the Sportster S...
With the previous generation of Sportster being reborn as the Nightster range, the new Sportster has been completely redesigned to offer up a more aggressive ride style and its own unique look.
For 2023 we get the brand new Sportster S, packing the latest liquid cooled, Revolution Max 1250T engine. With a 225kg wet weight and a maximum 121hp output, the Sportster S uses variable valve timing to offer smooth and instant power across the rev range and clearly aims for performance. It also comes bolstered with a host of tech features including customisable ride modes!
When it comes to visual design, the Sportster speaks for itself with an aggressive and muscular design that fits the motorcycle's intentions nicely. The Sportster S starts at £15,895 and offers something new for Harley fans while still retaining the unmistakable HD style. For all the details on this bike, be sure to check out Alex's full road test review of the Sportster!
8. Softail Standard
Coming in at number eight today, we have the Softail Standard!
In 2018 Harley revamped their cruiser range with the new Softail frame, making their cruisers both 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 Standard is perhaps the embodiment of these changes, becoming the most nimble Harley cruiser you can find in 2023. It is a few kilos lighter than its counterparts, weighing in at 291kg. Still not exactly 'lightweight' but the desired effect is achieved. This is a beautiful, old-school, retro-looking bobber with a lovely responsive ride.
The Softail Standard is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight V-twin engine, which is 1746cc and 84hp, so plenty of power is on tap here but an A2-friendly version is also available too. The price starts at £15,995 brand new.
7. Fat Boy 114
Next up at number seven is the movie star herself - the Fat Boy 114!
Considering Harley Davidson has been on the scene for just over 117 years now, the Fat Boy is a relatively new introduction to their lineup, making its debut in 1990 a 'mere' 33 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 2023 the Fat Boy 114 is looking better than ever, with traditional Fat Boy steamroller styling and the Milwaukee-Eight 114, 1868cc V-Twin engine providing that exquisite Harley rumble. Weighing in at a hefty 317kg, the Fat Boy 114 certainly suits its tagline of 'more is more'. The motorcycle reaches its moderate 94hp maximum at 5020rpm, so this is a pure cruiser that will give plenty of pull from the start and look damn good doing it.
The price on one of these bad boys starts at £22,695 brand new, so it isn't cheap and there are no fancy gizmos or modern rider aids. What you do get is a powerful, beautiful, and high-quality cruiser with perhaps the best sounding engine in existence. There isn't really anything else quite like it.
6. Low Rider ST
Sitting in the sixth spot today for me has got to be the Low Rider ST.
The Low Rider ST takes the familiar Softail cruiser frame and tweaks it into an American V-twin touring bike. Changes include a larger 18.9l fuel tank, slightly higher ride height with more ground clearance, a beautiful 'Glide' style front fairing, and some panniers on the back.
The 2023 model is sporting the immense 1923cc Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine and despite only offering up 101hp, the ST can produce 125lb-ft of torque as low as 3,500rpm, so this thing will pull! As a result, despite fitting in the mid-range cruiser category with a 327kg wet weight, the Low Rider ST still manages to offer exceptional agility and handling.
When it comes to tech features, like the rest of the Softail range, Harley keeps things pretty light. It does have cruise control and ABS but aside from that, not much else. The aim of the Low Rider ST is to provide a highly effective tourer that still captures the traditional Harley cruiser vibes and it's a job well done.
At £20,695, the Low Rider ST is a unique option for the touring market that adds a bit of extra Harley cool factor. However, if you do want to splash out an extra grand, you can get a sound system fitted into the front fairing too!
5. Breakout 117
The fifth spot on the list has got to go to the latest edition to join the Harley lineup - the Breakout 117!
The Breakout 117 arrives brand new for 2023 and promises to be the biggest, baddest, and fastest cruiser in the Harley line-up with its beastly Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine at its heart.
17kg lighter than the Low Rider ST, with the same 1,923cc, 101hp engine and its huge 125lb-ft of torque, this is a brutal hotrod that can offer a huge amount of pull low down in the revs and adds a bit of fun-factor to the classic HD styling. There is ABS as standard and switchable traction control which is a nice addition but aside from that, things are kept stripped down and basic in terms of tech, much like the rest of the Softail range.
When it comes to style, the Breakout is covered in gleaming chrome detailing and is available in a variety of colourways and in terms of raw visual prowess, there isn't much that can top it. The gigantic 240/40 rear tyre completes the look and the large 18.9l fuel tank means that it can still eat up the miles if you want to go on a longer cruise.
The new Breakout 117 starts at £24,195, which is considerably more expensive than any of its rivals but this is the top of the range Harley cruiser and takes its place as the king of the Softails.
4. Electra Glide Highway King
In at fourth and just missing out on one of the top spots on the list is the Electra Glide Highway King!
Harley Davidson are famous for their luxurious touring bikes and they have a whole host of amazing machines on offer to fit that role. The first I am going to feature here is the gorgeous Electra Glide Highway King, an exclusive one-time release motorcycle for 2023 with only 1,750 models produced!
The Electra Glide Highway King is the latest in Harley's Icon range and is based on the classic 1968 FLH Electra Glide. It comes in the magenta and orange colourways of that model year and sports a giant front screen over the usual batwing fairing, because the fairing had not yet been added to the range back in 68! To say this motorcycle is a head turner would be an understatement.
Combined with the vintage styling is the latest Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, a 1,868cc V-twin with 93hp maximum output. Weighing in at a whopping 385kg with its 22.7l tank filled up, the Electra Glide isn't built for raw performance, its all about luxurious cruising and the 158Nm of torque makes sure that despite the bulky size, this Highway King can get up to cruising speed swiftly and effortlessly.
If you want something as unique as this, it won't come cheap. Starting at £32,595 it's definitely a sizeable investment but with only 1700 produced and with such a beautiful design, it should hold its value very well. If you can get hold of one!
3. CVO Road Glide
Taking the third spot on our list and kicking off our top three has got to be none other than the CVO Road Glide!
Harley Davdison themselves often refer to this bike as 'the pinnacle', coming equipped with the biggest engine they have ever produced in a factory model, along with a host of tech features to put it at the top of their range.
The 2023 model is actually 15kg lighter than its predecessor, so pretty much all elements of handling and performance are now improved. The shark-nose fairing not only looks fantastic but is designed for improved aerodynamics as well, so you are going to get unmatched rider comfort when cruising on one of these beauties.
The engine is the Milwaukee-Eight 121, a giant 1,977cc liquid-cooled power train with variable valve timing that results in stronger pull across all rev ranges, while actually improving fuel economy at the same time. With 183Nm of torque on tap, this motorcycle's 393kg wet weight will shift effortlessly at your command.
The Road Glide is built for touring and along with its ample 22.7l fuel tank, has all the modern rider aids to back it up. A 312mm TFT display clearly shows all the info you could need and its Skyline OS provides built-in navigation and a suite of infotainment features. There are three standard ride modes and two fully customisable ones that make use of the bikes cornering ABS and traction control as well as a Vehicle Hold control to make sure you aren't rolling back on a hill start.
The pinnacle of Harley comes with a matching price tag and at £38,795 this is only for the biggest of budgets. Still, if you can afford one, this really is the ultimate Harley experience.
2. Pan America 1250 Special
Just missing out on the top spot today after some very tough competition is the Pan America 1250 Special.
The 2023 Pan America 1250 Special is the latest iteration of HD's new adventure bike and it adds a revolutionary suspension system with Adaptive Ride Height to an already impressive package of features.
The Pan America uses the new liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine and can put out an impressive 150hp and 128Nm of torque. It's a fairly radical departure from the usual Harley model but the way the Revolution Max engine is used as a structural part of the motorcycle chassis gives it a suitably beefy and muscular design. It's an adventure bike but still very much an adventure bike designed by Harley Davidson.
The big addition for the 2023 Pan America 1250 Special is the Adaptive Ride Height tech I mentioned earlier. Its first function is to lower the seat height at a standstill, which could be a nice feature for shorter riders struggling to get their leg over a typically tall adventure bike. The main trick this suspension offers, however, is the ability to continuously adjust the preload for optimum performance while riding at speed by sensing weight inputs and road conditions. Pretty cool stuff!
On top of that it has the usual suite of rider aids you would expect from a premium adventure bike, with cornering traction control and ABS, vehicle hold control, tyre monitoring system as well as a bunch of ride modes to configure these features for the best performance depending on your current on or off-road needs.
The starting price for one of these is £16,995 and if you want the full scoop on the Pan America 1250 Special, why not check out our detailed road test review?
1. LiveWire ONE
Last but not least, our number one today is none other than the LiveWire One...
Now hear us out, back in 2019 when Harley first announced this model, it shocked the majority. Harley had just became the first major manufacturer to release a mass production electric motorcycle and it was an extremely impressive one at that.
This motorcycle now lives under its own separate LiveWire branding but I'm still going to include it here as a bonus option because the Harley build and design style is unmistakeable. The 2023 version comes with the same excellent spec but a 6 grand lower price tag. Now that's progress!
The LiveWire ONE has a 3 second 0-60 thanks to the electric 'Revelation' motor's instant power delivery. LiveWire reckon you can get around 150 miles on a single charge and when using a public fast charging point, it can reach full in 60 minutes. Alternatively, you can plug it into the mains at home for a more lengthy 11 hour charge.
The ONE comes loaded with features, as you would expect from a cutting edge electric motorcycle. It has Brembo brakes, full Showa suspension front and back, cornering ABS, traction control and a suite of ride modes. This is more of a muscular super-naked than a cruiser and the performance backs it up.
Now starting at £22,990 brand new, it is more affordable than you might think considering the money you save on petrol and lower maintenance costs. The LiveWire ONE is an excellent electric motorcycle that will lower your carbon footprint while still being stylish and a ton of fun to ride!
The Last Stop!
So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed my rundown of the ten best Harley Davidson motorcycles available for 2023...
Last but not least, if you have a Harley of your very own that you need insurance on, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote direct with Lexham!