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Harley-Davidson Abbreviations - Deciphering The Code

The Harley Davidson Universe is large which can lead to plenty of confusion. Our goal is to help clarify some of the perplexity surrounding Harley's Model abbreviations and aid you in better understanding some of HD's frequently used names, acronyms and styles.

In the world of two-wheels, a Harley is not simply a 'Harley.' The world's dominant motorcycle brand identifies five general families - Touring, Softail, V-Rod, Dyna, and Sportster. Each family has a set of features that makes them unique. Once inside the family, however, there's plenty of variety... brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, second cousins twice removed.

Before we get to the abbreviations and their meaning, it is worth noting where you might find them on your specific bike. Depending on whether or not your bike has any aftermarket Harley parts on it, you can usually find the name on the breather, however some Touring & Softail Models may have the name on the front fender.

As a general rule when it comes to Harley abbreviations the following three standards apply:

1st Letter: This signifies the engine series.

F = Big V-Twin Motor
X = Sportster Models
V = Revolution Motor

2nd Letter: Identifies the diameter size of the forks.
*This excludes the Sportster & V-Rod Models

L = Large Diameter Forks
X = Small Diameter Forks

3rd Letter: Designates the frame style.
*This is where you can differentiate between a Touring, Softail, or Dyna Model

H/T = Highway/Touring Frame
ST = Softail Frame
D = Dyna Frame

Any additional letter indicates features that may accompany that particular bike family. This is usually where the confusion occurs since Harley tends to use the same letter to designate different features of a bike.

Touring Models

Starting at the top, the Touring models are the largest model bike Harley offers.Considered the modern day Granddaddy of the Harley Family, Touring Models generally feature saddlebags, larger storing capacity, as well as extra room to accommodate those long road trips. They are also great for riders who plan to travel two-up (with a passenger) with regularity and need a bit of extra room for their passenger. This family includes the Road King, Electra Glide and the Street Glide, etc.

Touring Model Letters
Model Name
FLHR Road King
FLHRCI Road King Classic
FLHRSI Road King Custom
FLHS Electra Glide Sport
FLHT Electra Glide Standard
FLHTC Electra Glide Classic
FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide
FLHTCUL Ultra Classic Electra Glide Low
FLHX Street Glide
FLHXSE CVO Street Glide
FLHTCUSE CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide
FLHTCUTG Tri-Glide
FLHTK Electra Glide Ultra Limited
FLHTKL Electra Glide Ultra Limited Low
FLHX Street Glide
FLHXS Street Glide Special
FLHXXX Street Glide Trike
FLTC Rubber Mounted Dresser Classic
FLTCU Rubber Mounted Dresser Classic Ultra
FLTR Road Glide
FLTRSE CVO Screamin' Eagle Road Glide
FLTRX Road Glide Custom
FLTRXS Road Glide Special

Softail Models

Next in line, the Softail Models. Harley's Softail lineup offers the traditional hard-tail look with the benefits of a more forgiving, yet hidden suspension system. For riders who prioritize comfort or who simply need a bike that will have more 'give' over bumps in the road, the Softail is an excellent choice. This is also a great choice for riders who like to ride solo or two-up.

Softail Model Letters
Model Name
FLST Softail
FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic
FLSTF Fat Boy
FLSTN Softail Deluxe
FLSTSC Springer Softail Classic
FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
FLSTSB Cross Bones
FXSTB Night Train
FXSTC Softail Custom
FXSTD Softail Deuce
FXSTS Springer Softail
FXSTSB Bad Boy
FXSTSSE CVO Softail Springer Screamin' Eagle
FXCW Softail Rocker
FXCWC Softail Rocker Custom
FXS Softail Blackline

Dyna Models

The Dyna Model was first introduced in the early 1990's and offers a big-twin engine with trademark Harley style. While the suspension is hidden on the Softail models, the Dyna is easily distinguished by its traditional exposed coil suspension. Compared to the Sportster Models, the Dyna is distinguishable by virtue of its larger engine and (in some cases) slightly larger gas tanks.

Dyna Model Letters  Model Name
FXDB Dyna Street Bob
FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom
FXD Dyna Superglide
FXDL Dyna Low Rider
FXDF Dyna Fat Bob
FXDFSE CVO Fat Bob
FXDS-CON Dyna Convertible
FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
FXDX Dyna Super Glide Sport

Sportster Models

The Harley Sportster Models are the smallest size bike in the Harley family and offer great versatility for either solo or two-up riding. Sportsters are offered with two motor size options - either 883cc or 1200cc.

Sportster Model Letters Model Name
XL Sportster
XLH883 Sportster Hugger
XL883 Sportster 883
XL883C Sportster 883 Custom
XL883L Sportster 883 Low
XL883N Sportster 883 Iron
XL1200 Sportster 1200
XL1200C Sportster 1200 Custom
XL1200L Sportster 1200 Low
XL1200N Sportster 1200 Nightster
XL1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster
XL1200S Sportster 1200 Sport
XL1200V Sportster Seventy-Two
XL50 Sportster 50th Anniversary Ed.

V-Rod Models

Perhaps the most unique model in Harley's lineup, the V-Rod's feature a distinct engine that was developed jointly with Porsche. The V-Rod Models are power packed with a Revolution Engine that utilizes overhead cams and liquid cooling.

V-Rod Model Letters
Model Name
VRSC V-Rod
VRSCAW V-Rod (240mm rear tire)
VRSCB V-Rod Black Finish
VRSCD Night Rod
VRSCDX Night Rod Special
VRSCF V-Rod Muscle
VRSCR Street Rod

Other Models

Harley rounds out their lineup with trikes and their new Street Bike series as they continue to expand into new markets - offering a bike or trike for just about anyone on the road.

Other Model Letters Model Name
XG500 Street XG500
XG750 Street XG750
FLRT Freewheeler Trike
FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic
FLHXXX Street Glide Trike


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