"flh"? - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
Harley-DavidsonForums.com is an independent enthusiast website owned and operated by VerticalScope Inc. Harley-DavidsonForums.com is not sponsored by or in any way affiliated with Harley-Davidson Inc.. The Harley Davidson names and logos are trademarks owned by Harley-Davidson Inc.

Go Back   Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum > Specific Model Areas > Touring General Discussions

» Insurance
» Our Partners
»ATV Reviews
»Motorcycle Games
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-30-2008, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
OCTO13ER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Elwood, IL
Posts: 59
"flh"?

Now that I'm very soon to adopt an '06 Road King; I need to know:

What does the "FLH" in FLHRC stand for? I get the RC part, but what's the FLH all about?

Thanks,

Adrian

P.S. Sorry my "search" function's not working right now. Usually I search first but my low-rent bo-hunk computer is "insert appropriate smiley" (smiler's aren't workin' either).
OCTO13ER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2008, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
Luke 22:36
 
Kainam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 14,345
Images: 149
Garage
The Harley Alphabet

F = Big Twin
L = Big Forks
H = Heavy Duty

The Harley Alphabet

The first letter of the model designator reveals the engine series:

First character:

G - Servicar three wheeler, 1932 to 1972

E - Overhead valve 61 cubic inch "big twin" (Engine/trans separated)

F - Overhead valve 74 or 80 cubic inch "big twin"

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 made prior to 1936

W - Side valve 45 cubic inch made 1934 to 1952

X - Sports and special construction. Applied to 1918-1922 opposed twin Sport, 1944 military opposed twin, and 1957 to present Sportster.

There were others, such as the J series (a very nice looking bike that was about the hottest thing around in the 20's) but you're not likely to see them in daily use anymore.

Second character:

L - high compression. Omitted on low compression early models, and not indicative of compression on current models.

Remaning characters:

Model descriptions, eg WG - Wide Glide. Some generalizations:

A - Military (Army) version (except GA, Servicar without tow bar)

B - Battery start (early models), Belt drive (some later models).

C - Classic, Competition, Custom, various others meanings.

D - Dyna, the newest frame and engine mount design.

E - Electric start

F - Foot shift (when the standard was hand-shift)

H - varied between High performance and Heavy duty. The early FLH for example produced 5 more HP than the FL and was used primarily for touring and sidecar applications.

LR- Low Rider (though many Low Riders don't include LR in the model ID)

P - Police version

R - Rubber mounted engine (some models) racing version (other models) e.g. the FXR is a lowrider with rubber mounted engine, WLR is the flat track racer that was very hard to beat in the 30's, 40's, and 50's.

ST- Soft Tail

S - (without following T) Sports version eg FLHS is an FLHT without the touring package.

T - Touring

WG- Wide Glide

Sportsters: Models beginning with X are Sportsters. These descend from the K series, 1952-56. The XL series started in 1957. They are "unit construction" (engine & transmission share a common case). X was in the normal series, following the U and V used for flathead Big Twins.

L stood for high compression (7.5:1 in 1957). In 1958 came the XLH with H meaning Higher-power or High-compression (9:1) or Hot. Also in 1958 was the XLCH: The C in XLCH was intended to mean "Competition", but the late Hal Robinson used to claim the CH on his bike stood for Charley Horse" because it was highly modified and had enough initial ignition advance to kick back rather severely.

The Sportster engines were originally actually 53.9ci. (883cc) but were designated as 55ci. This was upgraded (in 1970?) to 61ci (1000cc), redesigned in '73 but still 61" and stayed relatively unchanged until the 74" EVO version. The 883 and 61" were both produced the first year of the 883. Options for Sportsters abounded but these same letters have been used since 1958 in various combinations, plus the XLCR (a "cafe racer" style, with bikini fairing) and the XLT (Touring, with bigger tank, thicker seat, and hard bags straight off the FLHS), both produced 1977-1978 only.

Big Twins: Models beginning with F are Big Twins. These all descend from the 61E in 1936. Knuckleheads 1936-47, Panheads 1948-65, Shovelheads 1966-84/85, and Evolutions 1984/5-present. The Evolution (block head) was introduced in '84 on the Soft Tail and Tourglide Ultra, with the last Shovel built in mid '85. Until 1978, these were mostly 74's (~1200cc). In 1978, the 80ci (~1340cc) was introduced.

In 1971 was the first FX model, with an F engine and assorted Sportster (X) parts, notably forks - these were initially Super Glides. In 1974, FXE was Electric start. In calendar 1977 came the FXS Low Rider, with shortened shocks and scooped seating position. Also in 1978, the FX Super Glides got belt final drive. 1979 brought 80ci Shovelheads and the FXEF Super Glide Fat Bob (not Boy), for bobbed fenders and fat tank. In 1980, FXWG (Wide Glide) and the FXB Sturgis with belt drive (primary and secondary).

1984 brought the Softtail FXST, with the look of an old hardtail but some suspension for comfort.

In 1991 came the FXD Dyna Glide series, starting with another Sturgis model. This brought many frame and engine mounting changes, a relocated oil tank and moved crossover pipe.

Touring: In 1980, the FLT designation was introduced for the Tour Glide. This model introduced the vibration-isolation mounted engine (rubberglide) and also a slightly different frame from other FLs and a fixed fairing. FXR (originally called Super Glide II) arrived in late 1981. The R had rubbermount engine and 5-speed tranny, as opposed to rigid-mount and 4-speed in other models. FXRS maybe meant Sport, with cast wheels and a small sissy bar. The Sport Glide FXRT (Touring) arrived in 1983, with the fixed fairing and air adjustable anti-dive forks.

The only really reliable letters now are at the beginning of the model: X=Sportster, F=Big Twin, FL=Big Twin with big forks, FX=Big Twin with Sportster-style (smaller) forks, FXST=Softtail, FXD=Dyna Glide. At times, different models have even shared the same letter-designation; witness the FLHTC Electra Glide Classic/Ultra Classic Electra Glide in 1993 models.
__________________
'05 Carbed Night Train
111 rwhp, 112 rwtq
Best 1/4 ET 12.557s
Best 1/4 MPH 108.59
Kainam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2008, 02:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
On a ride
 
sfarson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rockies
Posts: 4,999
Uh, don't have much to add to that!
sfarson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2008, 05:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
88b
Road Glide
 
88b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: England
Posts: 348
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F = Big Twin
L = Big Forks
H = Heavy Duty

I read somewhere no idea where that the L in FL means 16" ( 17" now on some models ) fat tyre on the front. Which is why you get FL Softails too Heritage being FLSTC and Fat Boy FLSTF.

What I don't understand is why the Dyna Fat bob is FXDF
88b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2008, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
OCTO13ER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Elwood, IL
Posts: 59
Okay, so what's it really mean?:nananana

Thanks for the detailed response. Does anyone have any fun meanings they like to apply when asked by the unknowing masses (that I envision crowding around me as I cruise city streets, beating off hordes of women...but not because I don't like women...just because there's so many...uh, diggin' a hole here, end fantasy).
OCTO13ER is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:42 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
This site is in no way affiliated with Harley-Davidson
Motorcycle News, Videos and Reviews
Honda Grom Forum Harley Davidson Forum Honda 600RR Kawasaki Forum Yamaha R6 Forum Yamaha FZ-09 Forum
1199 Panigale Forum Roadglide Forum Honda CBR1000 Forum Vulcan Forum Yamaha R1 Forum Yamaha R3 Forum
Ducati Monster Forum Harley Forums Honda CBR250R Forum ZX10R Forum Star Raider Forum Yamaha Viking Forum
Suzuki GSXR Forum V-Rod Forums Honda Shadow Forum Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum Star Warrior Forum KTM Duke 390 Forum
SV650 Forum BMW S1000RR Forum Honda Fury Forum Kawasaki Versys Forum Drag Racing Forum Ducati 899 Panigale Forum
Suzuki V-Strom BMW K1600 Triumph Forum Victory Forums Sportbikes BMW NineT Forum
Volusia Forum BMW F800 Forum Triumph 675 Forum MV Agusta Forum HD Street Forum Suzuki GW250 Forum
Yamaha Motorcycles Victory Gunner Forum Honda Vultus Forum