Harley-Davidson Revives Its Icons: The Electra Glide Rides Again

Creating an electric sub-brand around the LiveWire isn’t the only new step Harley-Davidson is taking. Although it killed off some of its models, the company also released its first-ever adventure bike, the Pan America. But Harley’s latest project arguably looks back as much as it does forward. It’s called the Harley-Davidson Icons Collection, and its first product, the Electra Glide Revival, calls back to a beloved classic.   

The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival gives a modern cruiser the vintage touch

The side view of a blue-and-white 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival on a rocky beach
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival side | Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s history is packed with cruisers and touring bikes. And many of them, such as the modern Street Glide, come with a fork-mounted ‘batwing’ fairing. That fairing debuted in 1969 on the FLH Electra Glide, Cycle World explains. And for 2021, the 1969 bike’s look is back for a limited time via the Electra Glide Revival.

Under the skin, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival rides on the same chassis as the standard bike. But it has a few upgrades courtesy of the Street Glide Special, MCN notes. One of those upgrades is the engine. The Electra Glide Revival has a 1868cc air/oil-cooled V-twin rated at 97 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. And it’s linked to a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch, RideApart reports.

A close-up of a 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival's blue front fender and chrome-spoked wheel with whitewall tire
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival front fender close-up | Harley-Davidson

Like the standard Electra Glide, the Revival has adjustable Showa suspension. But from the Street Glide Special, it gets cornering ABS with linked brakes, traction control, engine braking control, cruise control, and hill-hold assist. Plus, an infotainment system with a TFT display, GPS, and Apple CarPlay.

However, the main selling point of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival is its looks. Like the 1969 FLH, the Electra Glide Revival has chrome spoked wheels, whitewall tires, and plenty of chrome trim. The 2021 bike’s solo seat is mounted on a dedicated shock, an homage to the original’s “hydraulic pogo seat,” Cycle World explains. Vintage ‘Electra Glide’ insignias and scripts also appear in various places, such as the fenders. And just like on the 1969 Electra Glide, the Revival’s fairing and saddlebags only come in white.

The Electra Glide Revival is only the first bike reborn in the Harley-Davidson Icons Collection

A rider takes a blue-and-white 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival down a palm-tree-lined street
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival front 3/4 | Harley-Davidson

While the 2021 Electra Glide Revival is the first Harley-Davidson Icons Collection product released, it won’t be the last. The company plans to release one or two limited-edition models each year as part of this program. Each will “celebrate a specific important moment in Harley-Davidson’s history,” Cycle World reports.

As of this writing, Harley-Davidson hasn’t released which models will be revived next through the Icons Collection. But there’s no shortage of possibilities. The brand’s only factory café racer, the XLCR, could be under consideration. The famed flat-tracker and Evel Knievel’s favorite bike, the XR750, is another worthy option.

Regardless of what bikes will follow the Electra Glide Revival, none will be made in large quantities. Harley-Davidson is limiting Icons Collection motorcycle production to 1500 examples of each model. And once the run’s over, it’s over; no repeats.

Is it worth seeking out this limited-edition cruiser?

Orders for the 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival are currently open. But if you want one, it costs $29,199—and there’s only one paint scheme available.

Compared to the 2021 Electra Glide Standard, the Revival costs $10,200 more. But to be fair, the Standard ‘only’ has a 1746cc V-twin with 111 lb-ft of torque. And it doesn’t have the standard safety or infotainment features. As a result, it’s arguably more accurate to compare the Revival to the $27,099 Street Glide Special.

The side 3/4 view of a black-and-silver-gray 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite parked by a river-side bridge
2021 Indian Chieftain Elite side 3/4 | Indian

Viewed in that context, the 2021 Revival’s premium is rather reasonable. And it’s less than the premium Indian charged for the 2021 Chieftain Elite over a similarly-equipped Chieftain. Though it’s worth noting the Chieftain Elite features a hand-applied paint scheme.

Considering the Revival’s rarity and price, it’s likely the bike will mainly appeal to collectors and brand die-hards, Cycle World muses. But then, that’s arguably the point. Harley-Davidson’s new business strategy involves appealing to its “core business,” i.e., heritage-inspired cruisers, while also exploring new segments, Cycle World explains. It’s a bit like what Porsche faces when redesigning the 911: appeasing old fans while bringing in new ones.

The Revival mirrors the 911 in another way: the old models are almost as valuable as the new ones. 1969 FLH Electra Glide prices have risen recently, to the point that an excellent-condition example is a $20,000 bike, Hagerty reports. Pristine examples can cost almost $30K. And they don’t have ABS, modern suspension, or even a radio.

As with any motorcycle, try before you ride. But if what you want is a brand-new bike that evokes the spirit of a classic, the Electra Glide Revival does so. Now let’s see what the Harley-Davidson Icons Collection releases next.

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