What is the difference between a Harley and just a motorcycle Harley Davidson?

There are so many model names that you don’t know much about the motorcycle. These names are a big part of Harley-Davidson history, but they aren’t very helpful in choosing which one to ride on a two-week tour. Harley-Davidson manufactures its motorcycles at factories in MilwaukeeYorkPennsylvania, Kansas CityMissouri, andWisconsin.

We’ve compiled this Guide to Most Popular Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Models to help you choose the right Harley Davidson for you. First, four prominent Harley-Davidson motorcycle families are offered: Softail, Sportster, Trike, and Touring. Let’s start with the Touring family, which is Eagle Rider’s most popular.


The touring Harley Davidson family now has a new 8-valve motor, the “Milwaukee Eight.” It is oil-cooled, rubber-mounted in a frame, and has an internal counterbalance to reduce vibration. These improvements mean that touring family Harley’s are smoother, produce less heat, and provide more power than the previous standard HD motors.

Depending on which model they are, the passenger can choose to have either floorboards or footpads for their feet. All touring Harley’s have good luggage capacity. Many Harleys will have heel and toe shifters (downshift with your foot, upshift with your heel), which can feel strange initially but is quickly adopted by most riders.

Touring family Harley’s are designed to offer superior comfort for the rider as well as the passenger. However, the design of each model can have an impact on this. (See the descriptions below for more information). The rear suspension of these Harley’s is air-sprung and can be adjusted according to the rider, passenger, and luggage weight.


The Electra Glide, the ultimate in rider and pillion comfort, is Eagle Rider’s most beloved model. The large windscreen and “batwing fairing” provide excellent weather and wind protection. The seats are incredibly comfortable and give back and arm support. Sometimes, we hear from pillions that they fell asleep on the E-Glide while riding! On longer trips, the E-Glide’s locking side bags and top bag offer exceptional luggage capacity. The Electra Glide is the best choice for long-distance riding, especially for two.

The Harley Davidson can feel heavy at low speeds when fully loaded and two-up, so it’s best for experienced riders. We recommend hiring an Electra Glide for a few days to get used to the Harley Davidson. It is a very well-balanced and rideable motorcycle.


The Low Rider is an old-school Harley with a classic look and feel. The Low Rider is an excellent choice for solo riders looking for a lightweight, responsive, and capable motorcycle. This Harley Davidson is perfect for those who want to ride across America on a big Harley like the movie “Easy Rider.” You can carry your luggage with the optional saddlebags. However, if you are traveling very light, you will need to bungee your bag to the back.


The iconic Harley-Davidson Sportster, which dates back to 1957, is a classic. With a lightweight, manageable power supply, low handling, and a low seat, the 1200cc model is one of the friendliest Harleys. The downside to the 4.5-gallon tank is that you will need to stop for fuel more often than with larger tanks. It can be an issue for those who ride alone or in remote areas. The Sportster is not recommended for two-up, long-distance touring (unless your pillion has a particularly hardcore personality). The Sportster is a good choice for cruising.


What is the difference between a Harley and a motorcycle? It’s a strike or, in Harley-Davidson lingo, a Triglid. The HD trikes were developed over the years to improve safety, comfort, and rideability. They also retail their unique visual appeal. HD offers the best in luggage capacity, rider comfort, and pillion comfort. Trikes are a great way for riders with difficulties riding a two-wheeled motorcycle to ride a strike. Trikes are often thought to be easier than traditional two-wheeled motorcycles. However, trikes require a completely different riding style. We hope this Guide to Eagle Rider’s Most Popular Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Models has been helpful. You can always reach us toll-free to ask specific questions. We’re always happy to assist!

A trike doesn’t need to be balanced like a two-wheeler. However, you will need to have a different approach when turning and stopping. Harley has created a new video that includes tips for trike riding.


The Heritage offers touring comfort without compromising Softail’s raw personality. The Heritage is a long-distance touring Harley Davidson that can be used for long distances with its raised bars, detachable windscreen, and thicker passenger seat pad. The Heritage is the Road King’s evil twin brother. Although they will experience a little less comfort on the Heritage than the Road King and a lot less on the Electra Glide, pillion riders might still have a lot more fun.


The Road King is our favorite Harley model. It can be used to tour or cruise. It’s incredible how lightweight this motorcycle, weighing in at 800 pounds, can feel and how connected it is to the road. You can ride in the wind or against it with a quickly detached fairing at the front. The Harley Davidson offers excellent passenger comfort, including floorboards and thickly cushioned passenger seats. Some Harley’s also includes a passenger backrest. With locking hard saddlebags, luggage capacity is excellent. The Road King is a perfect choice if you are willing to sacrifice some passenger comfort over the Electra Glide or if you ride solo.


Eagle Rider now has a particular Street Glide version in its fleet, the “Grand Touring.” This Harley Davidson features an upgraded Electra Glide-style seat that provides better comfort, especially for pillions, a larger luggage pack, and a taller windscreen. If you are looking for a low Harley Davidson that looks great and can go far, the Grand Touring Street Glide may be the right choice.


Street Glide is the Touring’s “looker,” with its sleek suspension and slim profile. The Street Glide’s chrome and claps have been removed, and the surface has been smoothened. This gives it an elegant and almost minimalist appearance. The SG is a great partner to riders with shorter inseams, but it’s still big enough for all riders.


Softail’s motorcycle family was significantly updated for 2018. The 2018 model year featured several new features, including a new frame, suspension, motors with twin internal counterbalances to decrease vibration, and engine oiling by wet sump to reduce heat. Each model saw an average weight loss of 32 pounds. The new Softails are lighter, more powerful, and have better handling.

Softails are a great choice. Softails are considered the best Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as they offer the most natural, responsive feeling. They are older-fashioned, lighter than the Touring Harley’s, and more straightforward. Although soft ails may not provide the same comfort as touring Harley’s for passengers and riders, they are still attractive and have a personality worth it.


Harley-Davidson used a variety of ignition systems over its history. These included the early points-and-condenser system (Big Twin and Sportsters until 1978), the magneto ignition system (all models 1958 to 1969 Sportsters), the early electronic with centrifugal weight advance weights (all models between mid-1978 and 1979), and the later electronic with a transistorized induction control module (all models 1980 through present).

Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), which the company introduced in 1995 for the 30th-anniversary edition Electra Glide, became standard on all Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Sportsters with the introduction of 2007.[116]

Harley-Davidson joined the Sound Quality Working Group in 1991. It was founded by Orfield Labs and Bruel, and Kjaer. This group was the first to research psychological acoustics. Harley-Davidson was later involved in sound quality studies at Orefield Labs. These were based on Talladega Superspeedway recordings. The objective was to lower the sound level for EU standards while analytically capturing the “Harley Sound.” This research led to the introduction of Harley Davidsons in conformity with EU standards for 1998.

The company filed a sound trademark application on February 1, 1994, to identify the Harley-Davidson motorcycle’s distinctive sound. Nine Harley-Davidson competitors filed comments opposing this application. They argued that motorcycles with cruiser-style designs use a single-crankpin V-twin motor, producing a similar sound to Harley-Davidson’s. [117] This was followed by litigation. The company stopped trying to register its trademark federally in June 2000.

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The Gremlin Garage is a Veteran owned and operated business. We service Harley Davidsons and American V-twins. We strive to achieve customer satisfaction and take great pride in our work. 
We treat every vehicle that comes through our doors with the highest level of care and respect and we look forward to having the opportunity to earn your loyal business. 


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