Riders of Harley-Davidson, have you ever seen the acronym “FLH” attached to a Harley bike? Do you know what it means? If not, you’re not alone. Many new riders don’t know what it stands for and some experienced riders wonder why it’s used. In this article, we’ll uncover the meaning behind the FLH acronym and its importance to Harley riders. Read on, and you’ll be an expert on the topic in no time.
What does FLH mean for Harley-Davidson bikes?
Harley-Davidson is a brand that has become synonymous with the American motorcycle industry. For almost 120 years, Harley-Davidson has been producing iconic bikes that have become a key part of American culture. One of the most popular models of the Harley-Davidson lineup is the FLH. In the Harley-Davidson FLH, each letter is used to denote a different characteristic. For instance, the F refers to the Overhead valve of Big Twin, L refers to the wide front tire and Hydra glide style front forks, and H means Highway/Touring. The first letter is the engine type, while the 2nd letter is the front-end size. Lastly, the third letter will refer to the designated frame style.
The Harley-Davidson FLH was introduced back in 1949 as a touring bike. The Harley-Davidson FLH was the successor to the F model and was designed for providing a more comfortable riding experience for long-distance trips. The FLH came equipped with a larger engine, a Hydra-Glide front suspension, and a bigger fuel tank than its predecessor.
It is a touring bike that has been a staple of the American motorcycle industry for decades. The FLH has undergone numerous changes and upgrades over the years, and it has remained true to its roots. The key features of the Harley-Davidson FLH have largely remained the same. Here are some of the key features of the Harley-Davidson FLH line –
The Harley-Davidson FLH comes equipped with a powerful engine that delivers tremendous performance. The current FLH models are available with either the Milwaukee-Eight 107 or the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engines, both of which offer extremely smooth and reliable power delivery.
#2. Touring comfort
The FLH is designed for long-distance touring and it comes equipped with various features that make it comfortable for riders and passengers alike. The bikes feature a spacious touring seat, a large windscreen, and floorboards for the rider and passenger.
The Harley-Davidson FLH’s suspension is designed to offer a smooth ride even on rough roads. The bike is equipped with a front fork suspension system, which is either a standard or premium model depending on the specific model. In addition, the FLH comes with a rear suspension system that provides excellent control and stability.
The FLH also features an advanced infotainment system that includes a touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and a premium audio system. The infotainment system will allow the bikers to stay connected and entertained during long-distance trips.
Harley-Davidson bikes are known for their customization options, and the FLH is no exception. Bikers can choose from a wide variety of accessories and options for personalizing their FLH to their specific needs and preferences. Some popular customization options include aftermarket seats, custom paint jobs, and upgraded exhaust systems.
History of Harley-Davidson FLH
The Harley-Davidson FLH has a rich and fascinating history that spans over seven decades. From its humble beginnings as a touring bike to its status as one of the most iconic bikes in American history, the Harley-Davidson FLH has become synonymous with the Harley-Davidson brand. The Harley-Davidson FLH was introduced back in 1949 as a successor to the F model. The FLH line was designed to offer a more comfortable riding experience for long-distance trips and it quickly became a favorite of touring enthusiasts. The FLH came equipped with a larger engine, a Hydra-Glide front suspension, and a larger fuel tank than its predecessor, which made it perfect for long rides.
Over the years, the FLH underwent numerous changes and upgrades that improved its performance and reliability. In 1958, Harley-Davidson introduced the Duo-Glide, which featured a rear suspension that tremendously improved the bike’s handling and ride quality. The Duo-Glide was a major upgrade and it remained in production until 1964 when it got replaced by the Electra-Glide.
In 1965, the Harley-Davidson FLH received an electric starter, which made it much easier to start the bike and eliminated the need for a kickstarter. The electric starter was a major improvement and it made the FLH more user-friendly for bikers.
In 1966, the FLH got a new and improved engine, the Shovelhead. The Shovelhead engine was a major upgrade over the previous Panhead engine and it remained in production until 1984 when it was replaced by the Evolution engine. The Shovelhead engine was much more powerful and reliable and it helped cement the bike’s reputation as a powerful touring bike.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, the FLH remained a popular touring bike. In the 90s, Harley-Davidson introduced the Electra Glide Classic, which featured a much larger engine and a more comfortable touring seat. The Electra Glide Chassis was a more popular model and it remained in production until 2013 when it got replaced by the Electra Glide Ultra-Classic.
Today, the Harley-Davidson FLH still remains one of the most popular touring bikes on the market and it is available in many different models, including the Street Glide, the Road King, and Ultra Limited. The FLH has certainly become an icon in American motorcycle history and it is beloved by bikers who enjoy long-distance rides.
Overview of different Harley-Davidson FLH models
Harley-Davidson FLH models are a popular choice among motorcycle enthusiasts who are looking for a comfortable, reliable, and powerful touring bike. Over the years, Harley-Davidson has released many different FLH models, each one with its own unique features and specifications. Here is an overview of different Harley-Davidson FLH models –
#1. Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard (FLHT)
Electra Glide Standard is a classic touring bike that is designed for long-distance rides. It features a Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, a Batwing fairing, hard saddlebags, a comfortable touring seat, and more. The Electra Glide Standard offers a great option for riders who want a no-frills touring motorcycle that is both powerful and reliable.
#2. Harley-Davidson Road King (FLHR)
The Harley-Davidson Road King is a popular touring bike that combines classic Harley-Davidson styling with many modern features. It features a Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, a detachable windshield, and a touring seat. The Road King is available in different variations, including the Road King Special, which features a blacked-out style and a more aggressive riding position.
#3. Harley-Davidson Street Glide (FLHX)
The Harley-Davidson Street Glide is a sleek and stylish touring bike that features a low profile and a streamlined design. It comes equipped with a Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, a stylish Batwing fairing, and a Boom! Box Infotainment system among other features. The Street Glide is an incredibly popular choice among bikers who want a touring bike that is both comfortable and visually appealing.
#4. Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited (FLHTK)
Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited is a high-end touring bike that is designed for bikers who want the ultimate touring experience. It features a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, a premium audio system, a spacious touring seat, and a top-of-the-line infotainment system. The Ultra Limited is available in different variations, including the Ultra Limited Low, which features a reduced reach to the handlebars and a lower seat height.
#5. Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra-Classic (FLHTCUTG)
The Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra-Classic is a unique three-wheeled touring bike that is designed for bikers who want the stability and security of a trike. It features a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, a premium audio system, and a spacious touring seat. The Tri Glide Ultra-Classic is a wonderful option for bikers who want a touring bike that is both comfortable and easy to handle.
Difference between Harley-Davidson FLH models
Harley-Davidson FLH models are a popular option for bikers who want a powerful and comfortable touring bike. With different FLH models available, each with its own unique features and specifications, it can be quite difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your needs. Here are the differences between different Harley-Davidson FLH modes –
#1. Powerful engines
One of the major differences between Harley-Davidson FLH models is the engine. Some models come equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, whereas others come with the more powerful Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. The size of the engine will have a significant impact on the bike’s performance and power delivery, so it’ll be important to consider which engine is the best fit for your needs.
#2. Different ways of styling
Another major difference between different Harley-Davidson FLH models is the stylish. While all FLH models share common design elements such as the hard saddlebags and Batwing fairing, each model has its own unique style and aesthetic. For instance, the Road King offers a classic and traditional look, whereas the Street Glide has a more modern and streamlined design.
The suspension is another area where Harley-Davidson FLH models differ. Some models, like the Electra Glide Standard, come with a standard front fork suspension system whereas others, like the Ultra Limited, come with a premium front fork suspension system. The type of suspension impacts the bike’s handling and ride quality, so it’ll be important to consider which suspension system is the best fit for your needs.
The infotainment system in the bikes seems to be becoming an increasingly important feature on modern touring bikes, and FLH models are no exception. While all Harley-Davidson FLH models come with a touchscreen infotainment system, the specific features and capabilities of the system can vary depending on the model. For instance, the Street Glide comes with a high-end Boom! Box infotainment system with GPS navigation, while the Electra Glide Standard has a simpler and more straightforward infotainment system.
#5. A high level of comfort
Comfort is a significant factor when it comes to touring bikes, and FLH models are designed to offer a comfortable and enjoyable ride. However, the level of comfort can greatly vary depending on the FLH model. Some modes, like the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited, come with a spacious touring seat and advanced suspension system that offers exceptional comfort, whereas other models like the Road King come with a streamlined and sporty design that sacrifices comfort for improving handling.
Benefits of Harley-Davidson FLH
Harley-Davidson FLH bikes are an incredibly popular line of motorcycles and come with a long list of benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of Harley-Davidson FLH bikes –
#1. Iconic design
Harley-Davidson FLH bikes are designed to offer riders a classic and iconic design. These bikes feature Batwing fairing and hard saddlebags, which give them a sleek and streamlined appearance that has become synonymous with the Harley-Davidson brand. Additionally, the Harley-Davidson FLH models are available in a variety of colors and finishes, allowing the bikers to customize the look of their motorcycle to their liking.
#2. Immense comfort
One of the primary benefits of owning a Harley-Davidson FLH bike is the comfort it provides. These motorcycles are designed for long-distance touring, and they come equipped with a range of features that make the ride more comfortable. For instance, they have spacious touring seats that provide ample support and cushioning, as well as advanced suspension systems that absorb bumps and vibrations for a smoother ride.
#3. Powerful performance
Harley-Davidson bikes FLH bikes are renowned for their performance capabilities. These bikes come equipped with powerful engines that deliver plenty of torque and acceleration, allowing riders to effortlessly cruise down the highway. Additionally, FLH models have advanced braking systems that provide exceptional stopping power, ensuring that riders can safely navigate any road condition.
#4. Durability and longevity
Harley-Davidson FLH bikes are built to last, with a reputation for durability and longevity. The frame and chassis of these motorcycles are made of high-quality materials, and they are designed to withstand the rigors of long-distance touring. Additionally, FLH models are built with a range of safety features, such as anti-lock brakes and traction control, to help keep riders safe on the road.
#5. Customization options
Lastly, Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles are known for offering a wide range of customization options. These customization prospects allow the bikers to create a motorcycle that truly reflects their style and personality. From custom paint jobs to aftermarket exhaust systems, there are countless ways to personalize an FLH motorcycle. Additionally, Harley-Davidson offers a range of official accessories and upgrades, such as luggage racks and windshields, which can be added to further enhance the performance and comfort of the motorcycle.
Care and maintenance of Harley-Davidson FLH
Harley-Davidson FLH bikes are known for their incredible longevity and durability. But like any other Harley model, even these require regular care and maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Here are some things to remember in terms of the care and maintenance of Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles –
Regular maintenance checklist
#1. Check the oil and filter
The oil needs to be changed once every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or as recommended by the manufacturer. The oil filter must always be replaced at the same time.
#2. Check the air filter
The air filter needs to be checked once every 5,000 miles and replaced if dirty or clogged.
#3. Check the brakes
The brake pads need to be inspected every 5,000 miles and replaced if they’re worn down. The brake fluid should also be checked and replaced if it is discolored or has a burnt smell.
#4. Check the tires
The tires need to be inspected every 5,000 miles for signs of potential wear or damage. They should also be checked for proper inflation.
#5. Check the battery
The battery should be checked every 3 months for signs of corrosion or damage. The connections should also be inspected and cleaned as needed.
#6. Lubricate the cables
The cables should be lubricated every 5,000 miles to prevent them from binding or sticking.
#7. Check the lights
The lights should be checked every time the motorcycle is ridden to ensure they are working properly.
Troubleshooting common issues
#1. Engine not starting
If the engine is not starting, you should check the battery and the connections. If the battery is low or if the connections are corroded, the engine might not start.
If your Harley-Davidson FLH is overheating, you should check the coolant levels and the cooling system. Make sure that the coolant is topped off and that the cooling system is free of any debris and blockages.
#3. Clutch slipping
If the clutch is slipping, it might be because of worn clutch plates or a loose cable. You need to check the clutch plates and replace them if they are worn and adjust the cable if it is loose.
#4. Poor performance
If the Harley-Davidson FLH isn’t performing as it should, it might be due to a clogged air filter or dirty fuel injectors. You should check the air filter and replace it if it is dirty, and clean the fuel injectors if they are clogged.
If your Harley-Davidson FLH is vibrating excessively, it might be because of loose bolts or worn bearings. You should check the bolts and tighten them as required, and replace the bearings if they are worn.
Popularity and cultural impact of Harley-Davidson FLH
Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles have been a symbol of American freedom and rebellion since they were introduced back in 1949. Over the years, these bikes have become one of the most iconic bikes in the world, with a loyal following of enthusiasts and a cultural impact that extends far beyond the world of motorcycles.
Popularity over time
The Harley-Davidson FLH models, which stands for “F” (big twin engine), “L” (high compression), and “H” (hand shift) have been an incredibly popular choice for bikers since they were introduced in the tail-end of the 40s. They are known for their powerful engines, classic styling, and comfortable ride, which have remained largely unchained over the years.
The popularity of Harley-Davidson FLH bikes has fluctuated over time, with long periods of high-demand and low demand depending on the economic climate and other factors. In the 60s and 70s, Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles were quite popular among counterculture groups, who saw them as a symbol of rebellion and non-conformity. Lately, Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles have experienced a resurgence in popularity, especially among older bikers who value their comfort and classic styling.
Cultural impact and relevance
Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles have had a significant cultural impact, especially in the United States, where they have become a symbol of American freedom and individualism. They have been featured in several movies, TV shows, and music videos, and are often associated with the rebellious spirit of rock & roll.
Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles have also had quite an impact on fashion and style, with their classic design and iconic logo inspiring everything from jewelry to t-shirts to leather jackets and more. The Harley-Davidson brand has become a cultural icon in its own right, representing a certain type of American masculinity and toughness.
In addition to their cultural impact, Harley-Davidson FLH motorcycles have also been a significant part of American history. They have been commonly used by law enforcement agencies, the military, and other organizations. Further, they have also been involved in countless rallies and motorcycle events over the years.
What does FLH mean in reference to Harley-Davidson motorcycles?
FLH is a designation used by Harley-Davidson to identify a specific model within their motorcycle lineup. Each letter in the FLH represents a different characteristic of the bike. The “F” stands for the Overhead valve of Big Twin, the “L” refers to the wide front tire and Hydra glide style front forks, and the “H” denotes Highway/Touring. Essentially, FLH indicates a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with a specific engine type, front-end size, and frame style.
What are the differences between an FLH and other Harley-Davidson models?
The FLH models are primarily designed for highway and touring purposes, offering features that make them well-suited for long-distance rides. These models typically have larger engines, comfortable seating arrangements, storage compartments, and windshields to provide a smoother and more comfortable experience during extended journeys. In contrast, other Harley-Davidson models may be designed for different purposes such as cruising, sport riding, or off-road adventures, and they may have distinct styling, handling characteristics, and performance attributes to suit those specific riding preferences.
What types of riding are best suited to an FLH motorcycle?
FLH motorcycles from Harley-Davidson are specifically designed for highway and touring riding. They excel at long-distance journeys, offering a comfortable and stable ride for extended periods on the road. The spacious seating, enhanced storage capacity, and wind protection make them ideal for riders who enjoy covering substantial distances, exploring scenic routes, or embarking on cross-country trips. FLH bikes are often favored by riders who prioritize comfort, convenience, and the ability to carry luggage for extended travel.