A leaked memo sent out to Harley-Davidson dealers reveals plans to drop several models from the company’s 2014 lineup. Slated to disappear are the XR1200X Sportster, the FXS Softail Blackline, and the FLHTC Electra Glide Classic. Also being discontinued, at least for 2014, is the FLTRX Road Glide Custom and FLTRU Road Glide Ultra, as the tourer models undergo a design refresh. The memo also indicates Harley-Davidson will drop the FLHRC Road King Classic in North America while discontinuing the FLHR Road King in other markets.

According to the memo, the changes were made to optimize the number of choices available, reduce product overlap, reflect marketplace dynamics and reduce model complexity in showrooms.

The most interesting news is the decision to redesign the Road Glide models. According to the memo, the company needed to update the manufacturing processes for the Road Glide, including replacing the fairing tooling. Since Harley-Davidson needs to retool, it made sense to give the Road King a design refresh at the same time.

The memo explains:

Both Road Glide models are being discontinued for 2014MY to undergo planned design refreshes; during this time we will also be making needed updates to the manufacturing processes currently being used to produce these models. For example, the fairing tooling for this model is at the end of its usable life, so during the discontinued timeframe we will both update this design and retool manufacturing equipment. Making both design and build changes during this time will enable us to more quickly reintroduce a more innovative and better-than-ever Road Glide for your touring customers. Additional information on the reintroduction of the Road Glide will be shared at the 2013 Annual Dealer Meeting in August.

In the case of the XR1200X, Blackline and Electra Glide Classic, Harely-Davidson decided to give them the ax after reviewing sales trends. In the case of the Road Kings, Harley-Davidson decided to keep only one version. The Road King will remain in North America but the Classic will still be offered in other markets because it is more popular than the regular model.

More information will emerge from Harley-Davidson’s dealer meeting in August.

[Source: V-Twinforum]

  • Kevin

    Reduce product overlap?! Product overlap is the definition of Harley’s Big Twin product line. Twenty-four models based on two slightly different engines and three frames.

  • Joel

    Unbelievable that Harley is stupid enough to think nobody wants an XR1200X after they took away the orange color. It should never have been offered any other way. And for next year, give us the standard Sportster engine finish instead of all that dull matte finish.

    They’re practically chasing customers to the Victory Judge.

  • Dan

    “the tourer models undergo a design refresh”
    “the changes were made to optimize the number of choices available”
    “reduce product overlap”
    “reflect marketplace dynamics”
    “reduce model complexity in showrooms”
    Ya and I just came in with the morning mail. The real reason is they are going to make them even cheaper than they are already. And with the new factory in India and the majority of components and parts made in China already forget about “Made in USA”.

    BTW I interpret “reduce model complexity in showrooms”
    to mean they intend to standardize model parts across the board so production costs are reduced (and the parts will be made faster and cheaper), therefore an increased profit margin for the MoCo.

  • Road Glide

    I hope if they do decide to bring back the Road Glide that they make the fairing movable just like the rest of the FLH family members. If HD does that then I myself would think it would be a better move and better motorcycle. Were not a rice burner owner, the stationary fairing just looks stupid. Here’s another thought HD design the Road Glide simular to the Street Glide and keep the double headlight but make the fairing move with the ride. The Street Glide was and is one of the best laid out put together designed ever done, My opinion we need to hang on to our other
    family member and that’s our ROAD KING,she’s really the only old school we have left. Most of all HARLEY DAVIDSON thank you for all the rides that you have given me to park my ASS on, Thanks…Bob

  • Ryno

    ^The Road Glide vs Street Glide battle rages on. Fans of each are so passionate, which is good! The reason they both exist, besides the obvious visual difference, is because some folks prefer the fairing mounted to the frame so it doesn’t affect steering feel as it would mounted to the forks. Neither is better than the other, just preference.

  • Mark

    Nobody likes the Blackline. I didn’t either UNTIL I rode one. It is their best cruiser by far. It is smoother than any Dyna and outhandles any Softail, especially the Breakout which handles as badly as the Rocker did.It feels like it weighs half of what it does. Granted, the handlebars aren’t good but it is no big deal to replace them. Too bad that a good bike like the Blackline gets the axe but a piece of junk like the Breakout will remain.

  • Chris Yatsko

    I wonder if the Road Glide will emerge with water cooling? And I wonder what changes there will be WHEN the electraglide classic returns? Ligher, smaller, water cooled, maybe an aluminum frame…

  • Marc

    I think you all are missing the point here.
    The Motor Co is going to WATER COOLED engines vary soon. I’m afraid this is just the start of no more AIR COOLED OLD SCHOOL motorcycles.
    I do hope I’m wrong….

  • DP

    HD will first go to water cooled heads…not a full water cooling system…baby steps!
    Their patent is available online to see the design. These engines will perform far better at lower temps…hence, “cooler heads shall prevail”.

  • John A. Stockman

    Folks are just now realizing that Harley isn’t “American made”? More like assembled in America, as the suspension is Japanese, electrics/switches are European, tires are British, etc. With more and more restrictive emission laws, there’s no doubt they will have to act accordingly. Even BMW went with similar partial liquid-cooling, I imagine Harley will have to do the same…in increments of course. Don’t want to piss off faithful sorts. BTW, it’s not the 70’s anymore, so “rice-rocket/rice-burner” and other terms should be left in the past where they belong. It took Harley how many years before they finally designed a new frame for the big twins? No longer feels like it had a hinge in the middle, like a friends 2002 Road King did. Unacceptable, even for I-don’t-road-race-on-the-street sedate types like me. Oh well, many bikes for many types, but I like to have acceptable suspension performance and enough lean-angle so I can swerve or lean over a little more when I come around a corner and there’s something, or someone, in my lane. You don’t have to drag a knee or be going fast to need that. 23-25 degrees of lean-angle before levering the tire(s) off the ground is not enough. Too bad all roads are not straight & smooth, then everyone could ride a Harley. For all those that continue to use the rice-rocket/burner monikers.

  • FrankG

    The XR1200 is / was the best Harley I have ever rode…
    What a shame…

  • Steven Atkins

    The Road Glide is an Awesome bike, I bought mine in Feb of 2013. I loved to ride the bike. However there must be some kind of electrical system flaw with the battery, and im wondering if there is some kind of recall on the battery for the 2013 Road Glide Custom. My Bike caught fire this evening and the cause of the fire was believed to be the battery, which heated up the seat, and then the fire just destroyed the rest of the bike! It was one of the greatest bikes Ive ever owned!!!! If there is a recall on this, and its been out for a while, then Harley Davidson has some explaining to do.

  • James R.

    I’ve only owned one Harley(Electra-Glide Ultra Classic),and I love it. My brother owns a 2011 Road Glide Ultra and he’s in love with it. But we’re both puzzled as to why Harley decided to discontinue the Road Glide Ultra when it’s been one of the best selling bikes since its introduction to the market in 2011. Re-tooling for the fairing? Puh-leez! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Bruce

    From 1994 to 2011 I rode only Harleys, in 2012 I was introduced to the Victory motorcycle, I took a test ride and I gave my 2003 Harley V-Rod to my son & purchased a Victory Cross Country Tour and, I’ve NOT looked back at all!
    Todays Harleys are NOT my fathers Harley for sure. I’ve been riding since 1972. There IS life after Harley!!!! 🙂

  • CC

    The plan sounds pretty standard to me. Nothing too surprising. Harley has on occasion dropped certain models, updated others and added new ones. The name of the game is to look at what’s selling, what’s not and what will sell in the future.

    As for the water-cooling rumors, I don’t think so. They can always do what Victory & Triumph have done successfully by using oil cooling passages in the heads with a smaller oil cooler.

  • John

    I wonder when HD is going to jump on the shaft drive bus? They swore their engines would NEVER be fuel injected and they would NEVER go to a water cooled engine – both are now being used on certain models. A shaft drive would be awsome in my opionon – VERY low maintenance (hint hint)

  • Steve Green

    I just never understood from an engineering standpoint of power transmission as well as complexity the 3 different oil sumps for these HD engines. Granted the transmission might work better with ATF fluid but the mere existence of primary drive is old engineering. The shifting of both Vic and HD seemed clunky.
    The perpetual quest of HD owners is to find the magic oil that will let them shift smooth and run cool.

    Victory has a campaign on Youtube to point out the benefits of the new Victory engine. Still it’s not a HD.

    I was all wrapped up with shopping Harley vs Victory but then test rode a Triumph Thunderbird 1600. It’s water cooled. It runs cool and strong and shifts smooth and quietly. Handles like a sport bike and does eat tires like one as well.

    Don’t matter what you ride as long as you enjoy it.

  • GregoTX

    Here’s hoping the Road Glides come back in 2015 with the Revolution (V-Rod) motor! There are plenty of other Harleys that will continue with the old and tired air cooled engine to placate those resistant to change. Anyone who has ever ridden a V-Rod cannot say with a straight face that its motor isn’t awesome!

  • AndyNC

    I’ve been riding since the early 70s. I own a 2006 Black Pearl Road Glide and love it. In my opinion, completely discontinuing the Road Glide would be a big mistake on Harley’s part. The Road Glide and the frame attached fairing is a major player in the HD inventory. I have read several negative comments about the RG. These are probably from individuals having not ridden one. It is the most comfortable and stable motorcycle in highway traffic that Harley offers. Agreed it is time a few changes were made. I hear talk of adding water cooling, fine. Just don’t sacrifice power to get there. Change the looks of the fairing but don’t change it being frame attached. The fact that it is attached to the frame allows you to cut right through the air turbulence of a convoy of 18 wheelers. Ride one, get comfortable with one and you will love it as much as the rest of us. If it is still around in the next two years, my upgrade will be a new Road Glide.

  • FloydPA

    I owned a 06 streetglide for 7 years and loved it till I rode my first Roadglide in December. Well I put a new 2013 candy orange Roadglide in the garage where the streetglide use to be. Anyone that would ride a Roadglide out on a highway would have to say they are alot better of a ride then a Batwing fairing bike, and if they would say the Batwing handles better then they would be lieing.

  • tylernv

    Best bike on the market is the Road Glide, no other bike built anywhere can compete, you can have the street glide that looks like a Suzuki with a bat wing and think you ride a cool bike or have a bike that cuts thru the turbulance while riding with one hand and after a 12 hour ride decide to stop for the night while still having the energy to take the lady dancing.

  • Myles Carlisle

    I bought a new 2009 fltr in Sept and put 20k miles on it that winter. Lowers and a new windshield gave me a perfect cocoon to sit in.. it’s definately a harley and not without faults, however I’d rather be there in any weather than sitting here now. and yes folks love rice and I DO TOO! just not everyday

  • Al

    I had a 2007 road glide until I changed to a 2010 streetglide. I hated the fltr, the updraft was terrible. Love the batwing and the stiffer frame. High speed wobble with thr fltr.

  • John Boyd

    I remember when the V-Rod first came out, HD said it was the “first” in a family of motorcycles. They have the water cooled motor and haven’t done shit with it for 10 years now. Just bolt on crap to make different models so far. I was really hoping for a Road Rod from Harley. They missed the boat, just like Chevy did with the Camaro. Mustangs were made for five years before Chevy came out with it. Now I’ve sold my Road Glide and wouldn’t buy anything from them again more than likely.

  • Greg G

    Right on Joel & Frank G-How do you discontinue a model that was only a myth at the dealerships here? The Harley I would have put my rear on simply was not in showrooms or available for a test ride. Too bad. Does this mean the demise of the XR1200 racing series also? What an absolute shame (if that becomes the case) as I really enjoyed watching these bikes race and getting to look at them and talk with the pilots in the pits!

  • jim agro

    keep with the dynas NO shaft stay with the mine that where the money is BELT DRIVE NO WATER KOOL BEEN RIDEING 40 YEARS NO LOOK OR SOUND LIKE JAP BIKES

  • Patrick M

    Ive owned an 02 RK an 09 SG and now a 2012 roadglide and will never own anything but the roadglide when it comes to Harley Davidson. Over the years the quality is starting to fade cheap crankshafts etc. How about stepping it up and do a liquid cooled 120r in the bagger line up? I think Victory is stealing a lot of HD customers as their bikes are 106 and pretty bullet proof according to some of my friends that have abandoned Harley for good. If Harley don’t step it up and keep up I too will be leaving for good. Victory or BMW 1600 gtl will do just fine. I ride Harley Davidson cause I choose too and that being said I can choose to ride what I want, and I cant stand outsourced crap either build it here with our USA labor on USA soil or Im out. seriously think about it give us what we want 120r baggers liquid cooled would be the way to go!

  • Max Frisson

    The Indian is going to fill that need for a classic look, the Victory Vision, The Goldwing, the BMW1600, all out perform the Road Glide in comfort, capacity and every technical attribute. You buy a Harley to have a certain lifestyle and peer pressure has a lot to do with many HD conversions.

  • Dale B

    Been riding an HD since ’88. Started on Softtail Custom,then onto a’95 Roadking,followed by a’06 & currently a’08 Roadglide.By far & away the Roadglide trumps them all!. Granted,the Motor Co.needed to trim the fat from the product line,but in doing so they need to upgrade quality & consider giving their die hard customers more of a voice in what they are offering. Remember the days when you could go into a car dealership & order what you wanted off an order sheet?. HD should consider this,then we wouldn’t be spending 20k on a bike that 3 guys on the same street have!. If I had a nickel for every black street glide I’ve seen,I could buy that redesigned 2015 Roadglide just the way I want it!

  • Brother Bruce

    I have owned a harley since 06, my first was a electric glide standard which I outfitted to resemble an ultra. I put 113k on it before I had to rebuilt the engine(I hit some metal on the road). I loved that bike but then I bought a new 2012 road-glide ultra. The ride is un-believeable, the way it handles in corners and on the open road, WoW. Now I hear HD will be discontinuing it! What are they thinking, everywhere I look today people are switching from bat-wing to fixed-faring.

  • scott

    im have a 2013 road glide,and within the first week of owning it the windshield came apart from fairing,Im wondering if it has anything to do with the way they mounted the windshield on the road glide.

  • Dale Bruce

    Brother Bruce don’t fret, the Roadglide is only on hiatus!. A redesign is in the works Willie G. would never kill off his personal favorite!. Scott, the windshields have always been a problem child on the Roadglides. The older models used to rub thru where the dash contacted the windshield, left a “smiley” you could see from the front in the black lower portion of the glass.The roadglide windshield mounts differently than the batwing models,kinda weird & tricky.

  • Mike

    I was speaking with my dealer today and he told me that rumor has it that there is a new radiatorless liquid cooled design touring engine in the works. There could be an announcement at the dealers convention this year in Denver. All we can do is wait.

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