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Ordering Parts for Your Harley: Harley-Davidson Model Codes

Ordering Parts for Your Harley: Harley-Davidson Model Codes

Posted by West End Motorsport on Oct 25, 2018

If you’ve had to order parts for your bike, then there’s a good chance you’ve had to decipher Harley-Davidson model codes to make sure you get the right part for your bike. In their storied history, they’ve created an extensive list of Harley-Davidson models, each with its own model code that describes pertinent details about the bike that can be used to ensure you’re getting Harley parts that will get the job done on your model.

You Mean The VIN?

No. The VIN is a different number, though some of that code will cover similar information. Whereas a VIN number identifies a specific vehicle for security and registration, Harley-Davidson model codes identify a few characteristics shared across several models to better identify part compatibility. Along with your model year and sometimes the model name, it helps ensure the component you’re getting is the component you need.

Breaking Down The Model Code

Harley model codes are divided into “blocks” of letters. Usually, the first four blocks will consist of single letter codes, but the fifth block often has several more.

The Engine Code - The first block of Harley-Davidson model codes tell you the type of engine in your bike. It’s important that this doesn’t tell you the size of the motor, just the general type. There are three engine codes commonly seen in modern Harleys.

  • F - Denotes a big V-twin engine. Whatever your motor’s displacement, it’s a big V-Twin.
  • X - This is most other engines. It’s a catch-all designation that started way back in 1957, and Harley has used it ever since. It could mean you have a Sportster or a special build model, but if it isn’t a big V-twin, it’s probably getting an X.
  • V - Occasionally, you may still see this code. The V stands for the Revolution motor, an engine based on the VR-1000 superbike motor and first available in 2001 V-Rods.

The Fork Code or Tire Code - These Harley-Davidson model codes tell you whether your bike is set up for the narrower 16-inch front tires, or a wider fork for 19” or 21” wheels. The first two letter blocks are some of the most consistent code pairs in the list of Harley-Davidson models.

  • X - Narrow sport fork meant for a 16” front wheel.
  • L - L stands for large, and with this block, your bike has the Hydra Glide fork that allows for wider tires.

Frame and Fairing Code - This lets you know the general frame style or how the factory fairing or windshield is attached to the bike. This also gets us to our first common exception in Harley-Davidson model codes. Some codes for this block actually consist of two letters. By the time they were created, Harley was trying to adopt a phonetic-based code standard for new codes, but the single letter alternative was already taken.

  • D - The original Dyna frame with a rubber-mounted motor.
  • H - This bike includes a handlebar-mounted fairing or windscreen. This letter is found on Electra Glide and Road King models among others.
  • HT - The first break in the pattern of single-letter Harley-Davidson model codes is for models with the highway touring frame.
  • T - Used for bikes with a fairing mounted to a fixed frame.
  • ST - Marks the bike as a “newer” Softail model. At this point, the S designation had been used for the Super Glide Low Rider, necessitating the two-letter ST code. This is not to be confused with the new Softail models released in 2018 and moving forward.
  • R - This bike uses a 3-point, rubber-mounted powertrain.

The Model and Trim Blocks - The fourth and subsequent letters or groups of letters in Harley-Davidson model codes finally give you the model within the frame-class, and sometimes additional information about how the bike is outfitted, sometimes referred to as its trim package. These can vary greatly in style and format. As an example, the FLHR Denotes a Road King while and FLHR-I is a Road King with fuel injection.

Cross-Model Compatibility ...

Generally speaking, when using Harley-Davidson model codes, a part made for a specific set of criteria will fit most stock bikes with that criteria. As an example, parts that require an FLH designation should work equally with FLHR Road Kings and FLHT Electra Glide standard models. This are what makes these model codes so useful when mixing and matching parts.

… Is Not Always Guaranteed

If you’re wondering about my use of words like “generally” and “usually” there’s a reason. While the above is often the case, it is not set in stone. Additional factors, such as a particular engine model or displacement, can come into play in a way that a single letter model code cannot encompass on its own. That’s why it’s so important, even when using Harley-Davidson model codes, to be familiar with your bike and what’s on it. Think of the codes as the start of the story, but your own observations about your ride is what helps you ensure you’ll have a happy ending.

List Of Harley-Davidson Models

The following is a general list of model designations. It is not exhaustive. Harley has a lot of different models and a lot of different Harley-Davidson model codes. These are some of the most common ones on the market, and the ones you’re most likely to find on your bike or a bike from the last few decades you may be looking at. All model listings are presented in alphabetical order of their model codes.

Harley-Davidson Models

Touring Models

These big dogs are meant for the open road. Often equipped with a set of saddlebags, a fairing/windscreen, and packing plenty of power, these are what comes to mind when someone thinks about Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They give you the room and motor you need for you and your gear or an additional rider. Popular models include the Electra Glide family, the Road King family, and Street Glide models.

FL 4-Speed Dresser
FLH 4-Speed Electra Glide
FLHR Road King
FLHRC Road King Classic
FLHRS 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
FLHTCUSE CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide
FLHTK Electra Glide Ultra Limited
FLHTKL Electra Glide Ultra Limited Low
FLHTP Electra Glide Police Model
FLHX Street Glide
FLHXS Street Glide Special
FLHXSE CVO Street Glide
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

Dyna Glide Models

The Dyna Glide chassis started as an experiment in offering a custom bike look straight from the factory. Featuring the power and rear of larger Touring models and the front end of a Sportster, these models were meant to mimic modified bikes DIY riders were already creating on their own. While their engine and fork code give us the FX pairing at the front of their Harley-Davidson model codes, at one time this was thought to mean Factory eXperiment in response to its at-the-time unique hybrid nature.

FX Super Glide, kickstart
FXB Sturgis Belt (’80-‘82)
FXD Dyna Super Glide
FXDB Street Bob (Sturgis 1991)
FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom
FXDF Fat Bob
FXDG Dyna Glide/Sturgis
FXDL Dyna Low Rider
FXDS-CON Dyna Convertible
FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
FXDX Dyna Super Glide Sport
FXDXT Super Glide T-Sport
FXE Super Glide Electric Start
FXLR FX Lower Rider/Evolution
FXR Rubber Mount Super Glide
FXRDG Disc Glide
FXRP Police or Pursuit
FXRS-CON FXR Sport Convertiblev
FXRS-SP Low Rider Sport Edition
FXRT FXR Touring
FXS Low Rider/Shovelhead
FXSB Low Rider Belt

Sportster Models

The other half of what went onto the Dyna Glide chassis, the Sportster bikes are generally smaller, with less engine and a narrow, telescoping front suspension. The Harley-Davidson model codes for this style are a departure from the norm, with most offering numbers that give the engine’s displacement in cubic centimeters.

XL Sportster
XL883 Sportster 883
XL883C Sportster 883 Custom
XL883L Sportster 883 Low
XL883N Sportster 883 Iron
XL883R Sportster 883 Dirt-Track Inspired
XL1100 Sportster 1100
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
XLCH 4-Speed Sportster, Kickstart
XLCR Cafe Racer 1000
XLH883 Sportster 883 Hugger
XLS 4-Speed Sportster Roadster
XLX 4-Speed 1000cc Ironhead
XR1000 A Sportster Hugger With Roadster Heads

V-ROD Models

Meant as an answer to racing bikes from rival manufacturers, the Harley-Davidson VRSC, or V-ROD, line of bikes had a racing look and Harley’s first forays into water-cooled, double overhead-cam engines. Their Harley-Davidson model codes all feature the V engine designation.

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

Softail Models

The Harley-Davidson model codes for Softails prior to the 2018 model year followed a similar pattern as the rest of Harley’s catalog. These bikes give you traditional styling, but a more forgiving ride thanks to their generous hidden suspension.

FLST Softail
FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic
FLSTN Softail Deluxe
FLSTSB Cross Bones
FLSTSC Springer Softail Classic
FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
FXCW Softail Rocker
FXCWC Softail Rocker Custom
FXS Softail Blackline
FXSB Softail Breakout
FXSBSE Softail CVO Breakout
FXSTB Night Train
FXSTC Softail Custom
FXSTD Softail Deuce
FXSTSv Springer Softail
FXSTSSE CVO Softail Springer Screamin' Eagle

2018- Softail Models

New platform, new model code system? That’s yet to be seen, but the newest iteration of the Softail definitely changes things up with Harley-Davidson model codes featuring the usual Engine-Fork pairing (though different from model to model) followed by a new 2-letter phonetic model abbreviation. Is this a glimpse of what a list of Harley-Davidson models might look like in the future?

FLDE Deluxe
FLFB Fat Boy
FLHC Heritage Classic
FLSB Sport Glide
FXBB Street Bob
FXBR Breakout
FXFB Fat Bob
FXLR Low Rider

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Don’t worry. Harley-Davidson model codes have broken plenty of well-meaning grease monkeys. It’s fine to ask for help. Give us a call at 800-520-8525 if you need assistance finding the right parts to fit your bike perfectly. Order your aftermarket parts and accessories from West End Motorsports today.