Brand-New Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standards Strips Down the Bagger

There has been a grand reckoning for the overwhelming gadgetry found on modern motorcycles. Many of my young motorcycle-mad compatriots have taken to finding old, crusty, beat-up bikes, returning them to running order, and hitting the road. It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s simple. Shovelheads, Ironheads, early Evos—they’re all as popular now as ever. But what does this mean for the Motor Company?

Keep it simple.

The 2019 FLHT Electra Glide Standard is a response to the industry’s shifting tides. Brand loyalty remains strong with the younger generation, I know if for a fact; the problem for Harley is that loyalty has manifest itself through the massive resale market. That’s clearly not lost on the bean counters nor the designers. Urban locales, attracting more and more young people, present a clear representation of the Harley models that remain popular. Chief among them are Shovelhead models. And this modern iteration of the FLH is quite like the Shovelhead-era Electra Glide, with good reason.

The FLHT strips away the conventions we’ve come to expect in a modern Touring model. No gadgets, no gizmos, no doodads. It’s the FLH reborn; hardtop bags and the iconic batwing fairing are paired with ABS, cruise control, and modern suspension capabilities. The Milwaukee-Eight 107 serves up the power, and we’ve praised those new powerplants ad nauseam. The brand-new cast aluminum wheels contrast with the wire spokes of old.

It’s with this simplicity that Harley hopes to lure the riders who don’t need high-decibel audio systems or touchscreen connectivity. Peel back the technological facades and get back to what makes Harley, Harley. The essence and simplicity of the open road, rumble of a V-twin in your ears, wind in your face, no destination in mind. It’s an escape.

The FLHT is only available in black, with an orange Bar and Shield on the tank. Some hints of chrome liven up the bike. Other than that, it’s the kind of no-nonsense cruiser ready to eat up miles and kick ass while doing so.

With all the news of the LiveWire, streetfighters, and dead Dynas, it doesn’t require crack detective work to discover the public perception of Harley starting to wane. But, true to its word, H-D remains committed to that which has led to 116 years in business. The Electra Glide Standard should reassure the naysayers that Harley hasn’t lost its way when it comes to building appealing cruisers. It’s back to basics in Milwaukee.

 

The 2019 FLHT Electra Glide Standard will cost $18,999.