HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE (1988 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £620
Power: 65 bhp
Seat height: Low (27.3 in / 693 mm)
Weight: High (820 lbs / 372 kg)

Prices

New £18,395
Used £7,500 - £18,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £620
New price £18,395
Used price £7,500 - £18,000
Insurance group 16 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 65 bhp
Max torque 80 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 14.4 secs
Tank range 170 miles

Model 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.

Owners' reviews for the HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE (1988 - on)

6 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.

Review your HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE (1988 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Engine: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £620
4 out of 5 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide review
06 April 2019 by David andrew

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £370

Good on the open roads, but heavy and not that quick compared to cheaper Japanese bikes. And they are very heavy! Makes a Gold Wing look like a sport bike!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The wieght in traffic is a pain.

Engine 4 out of 5

Dated design.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Compared with Japanese Bikes they and good but even the M8 engine now looks a bit dated. Had no problems at all.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Servicing is expensive!

Equipment 5 out of 5

Sat Nav Bluetooth Intercom all good.

Buying experience: Dealer was excellent

5 out of 5 Ultra Limited Low with M8
27 October 2017 by davea

Version: Ultra Limited Low

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £500

If you want a sports bike, then don't buy a Harley, if you want a Harley then it's got the lot.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It's a great touring bike, with the standard top box you can leave two full face helmets when you arrive, it does what it says, aware of the weight when manoeuvring, but once you are moving it just goes where you want. on motorways etc weight works to your advantage as does not get blown around when passing trucks etc.

Engine 4 out of 5

The new M8 is a big improvement over the 103. Its torque is good, but still lumpy at tick over. Apparently that's a HD feature

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

This is my third Harley, the only problem I've had is a bolt coming out of the passenger footrest, dealer sorted correct bolt and posted it to me straight away

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

It's not cheap but you get what you pay for.

Equipment 4 out of 5

It's got the lot, LED Lights are excellent, intercom and stereo good, sat nav is a bit clunky.

Buying experience: The dealer I use is brilliant....

4 out of 5
17 December 2015 by Pete

Version: Ultra Limited

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £1,000

Mount Rushmore may have changed many things, but they dropped the ball with no connectivity to bluetooth headsets. Tried asking HD why, they never responded.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Can run out of fuel before needing a break.

Engine 3 out of 5

Although the cam tensioner has changed it still has nylon cam chain shoes. No problems so far, but a 7 year warranty gives peace of mind.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

More chromed metal than chromed plastic as seen on many competitors.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Offers good value more so due to higher retained value.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Would give it 5 stars if it had bluetooth to the headset.

Buying experience: Exceptional dealer experience. Outstanding branding, marketing and merchandising.

3 out of 5 Never again
14 December 2015 by Shuey

Version: 1450 twin cam anniversary model

Year: 2003

Big, slow, awkward and will never buy another

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Comfortable is an understatement as you would fall asleep handy it's like sitting on the sofa at home lol Found the brakes very poor but I'm sure it's because of the weight

Engine 3 out of 5

Nice to listen to but all show and no go Too much weight and not enough horse power to shift it. A 1450cc lump crammed into 2 cyclinders should produce more

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Didn't keep it long enough to have any problems Seems to be a problem with engine casings corroding but that's a common occurance I noticed with a few HD's as the water lays on the covers when parked on the side stand

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Seemed easy enough on fuel during the 3 months I kept it

Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Bought private for a guy I know and wasn't a bad deal

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 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....

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Electra Glide Std FLHTI
11 April 2007 by

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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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