HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE (1988-on) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"An evocative, all-American steed that can carry two plus luggage on a chugging adventure-cruise"

Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding

"An evocative, all-American steed that can carry two plus luggage on a chugging adventure-cruise"

  • At a glance
  • 1449cc  -  65 bhp
  • 41 mpg  -  170 miles range
  • Low seat height (693mm)
  • £18,395

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Harley cowboy meets Goldwing creature comforts. The Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide is an evocative all-American steed that can carry two plus luggage on a chugging adventure-cruise. Cynics would say the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide works better on dry, straight, 55mph limit American roads than the drizzly UK where everyone belts up the motorway at 90+.

 

Watch Harley-Davidson's Electra Glide take on the Victory Vision, the Honda Goldwing and BMW's K1200LT

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

This big ‘ol girl’s built for comfort not speed. Take it easy on the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide and it’s a great place to chug along, taking in the view. Try to up the wick more than a little and things get decidedly bouncy. It’s pretty easy to touch parts down if you whiz through roundabouts on the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide. But what’s the point in rushing when your motorcycle looks this good? Slow down and soak up the admiration.

Engine 3 out of 5

Over a hundred years of heritage and more character than Wild Bill Hickok. The Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide's engine is lumpy but loveable, as is the gearbox. Loads of torque – but it needs it to shift all that weight. Not much power in reserve when you get up to motorway speeds – desperate reps in turbo diesels will muscle past the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide in the fast lane.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Harleys have come a long way in the last decade and the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide is no exception. Faults are pretty rare and they’re solidly put together machines. Corrosion can bite, like on any machine, but with so much metal and posing at a premium it hurts more on an Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The logical man would buy the cheaper and higher-tech BMW K1200LT or superior Honda GL1800 Goldwing. But as well as the huge advantage the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide has on charm it also benefits from minimal depreciation which is a real bonus. Insurance is cheap considering the price but expensive given the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide's performance. Find a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide for sale.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Next to a CBR600 the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide’s got it all – huge fairing, comfy seat, stacks of luggage, optional stereo that’s so good you can use it most of the time. But the uber-tourer class is dominated by the better equipped Goldwing. Fortunately there’s a host of extras for the Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide, official and unofficial, to get your Glide just right for you.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE (1988-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

New 2009 Frame Really Handles

12 April 2009 by bigpat

I'm now 6 weeks and 2,500 miles into my new 2009 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, and it would have been 5,000 miles if the weather had been kinder. The new frame is a revelation, cornering on the footplates is all too easy but it is the low speed... Read more manoevering that really sets it apart from my old Road King. The 5 gallon tank is handy giving real life 190 miles refill to refill and the seat is the best in the business, 200 miles at a time without squirming is a real plus for a superbunter! A little extra chrome, some phat exhausts and a skull here and there fixes the look. A real head turner. Wish I'd bought the CVO....

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Electra Glide Std FLHTI

11 April 2007 by Anonymous

As you'd expect the ride comfort is first class. Being an air cooled engine, you tend to get a bit warm sitting in traffic. The finish on the engine case and wheels needs carefull attention to stop corrosion spots coming through. The fuel gauge sits... Read more at the full mark utill there's about one gallon left in the tank when it decides to go from full to 1/4 full in one swift move. I changed the standard srceen to the low profile and found this a better option with improved visibility. I'm averaging 10 miles per litre, which ain't bad.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1988
Year discontinued -
New price £18,395
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 65 bhp
Max torque 80 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Specification
Engine size 1449cc
Engine type 2v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel spine
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 693mm
Bike weight 372kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 292mm discs
Rear brake 292mm disc
Front tyre size MT90B16
Rear tyre size MU85B16

History & Versions

Model history

1988: Harley-Davidson FLHTCUI Ultra Classic launched.
1993: Cruise control and CB radio added. Anniversary model Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide available too.
1995: Quick release panniers and gearbox mods.
1996: New clocks, master cylinders and switchgear.
1997: Lower seat, bigger battery, improved suspension and cruise control.
1999: Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide engine increases from 1340cc to 1450cc.
2001: Alarm now standard.
2002: New swing arm, alarm and indicators.
2003: Harley-Davidson FLHTCUI Ultra Classic Electra Glide launched.
2006: Harman - Kardon stereo available on Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide.

Other versions

Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard: Base spec Electra Glide. No radio or tour pack as standard, engine finish polished alloy.
Harley-Davidson FLHXi Street Glide: Less chrome, cut down screen, stereo and hard panniers fitted as standard.

Photo Gallery

  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Engine
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Top view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Engine
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Top view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide motorcycle review - Side view