The beginning of Factory Customizing
The wild sixties are not called that by chance. The desire for boring music and conventional motorcycles became less. As a consequence of the burgeoning cult, in which motorcycling became a lifestyle and people wanted to get away from the one-size-fits-all, Harley-Davidson reacted with a factory custom: the Super Glide! At the time, the company’s design department consisted of Willie G. Davidson and one other employee, and they were excited about the developments in this scene. There were the Sportys and there were the Big Twins. Enough material to build something new from.
The FX Super Glide was followed by many successful bikes such as the Low Rider (1977) and the Wide Glide (1980), including the FXR family – the first bikes to use the new, vibration-isolated Evolution engine and a new frame.
In 1991, the FXDB Dyna Glide Sturgis debuted, the first model to carry the letter suffix D for “Dyna” in place of the R in its type designation.
With each of these and subsequent models, Harley-Davidson’s reputation as a manufacturer of particularly individual and non-conformist motorcycles was further consolidated.
Just in time for the company’s 115th anniversary in 2018, Harley-Davidson presented a completely new model series under the already familiar name Softail, which was intended to unite the previous Softail and Dyna series.
Nowadays, the purist Street Bob and the dynamic Low Rider S in the completely new Softail frame, equipped with the powerful Milwaukee-Eight engine can be seen as the successor to the 1971 Super Glide, which once opened up new target groups for Harley-Davidson.
In our custom bike gallery you can see what can be done with these and the many other models. Hardly any other bike is as suitable for customizing as a Harley-Davidson!
[Text: H. Herz / M. Zimpel, Photos: Harley-Davidson Archive]