2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard | First Ride Review

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
With Harley’s iconic batwing fairing, cruising was comfortable on the outskirts of the Ocala National Forest near Daytona Beach, Florida. Photos by Brian J. Nelson.

Raw and bare, stripped of all the arguably distracting bells and whistles that Bluetooth-connected, GPS-dependent riders have been coddled with, Harley’s new FLHT Electra Glide Standard is the epitome of simplicity. As a mid-year release, the bike signifies a back-to-basics, cut-the-fat approach geared to attract riders at a reasonable $18,999. Compared to the Electra Glide Ultra’s $24,589 or the Street Glide’s $21,289, the Standard is the lowest-priced offering in H-D’s touring line.

Described as a dressed down dresser, the Electra Glide Standard does away with the radio and instead depends on the ultra-smooth Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin to set the tempo. Importantly, the iconic batwing fairing with a clear, mid-height windshield and a single halogen headlight are retained, though its foam-covered speaker holes are empty as is the gaping slot for the LCD screen, which now serves as a phone or glove holder during pit stops.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
No speakers or LCD screen, just four essential gauges.

The dished solo seat sits at 26.1 inches, which made it extremely comfortable for my 6-foot-3 build. With a minimalist amount of chrome, the bike maintains a sleek and intimidating look that will still turn heads with the purity of its black paint job (and it only comes in Vivid Black).

The Electra Glide Standard comes with large One Touch saddlebags. spacious floorboards and a standard shift lever in place of the usual heel-toe shifter. Its naked front fender covers a 17-inch black machined Impeller wheel that is accented by chrome fork skirts.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
The ultra-smooth Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin engine is the bike’s biggest selling point.

Handling was impressive at all speeds during a daylong press ride through Florida’s swampland near Daytona Beach. The fat 130/80 front tire meant I had to put a little more effort into steering it, but the still-nimble, 820-pound bike felt firmly connected to the asphalt. With 26 degrees of rake and 6.7 inches of trail, it provides stable, comfortable cruising for days, especially with the Showa Dual Bending Valve front fork and dual emulsion shocks in the back.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
The 2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard’s minimalist approach focuses on utility.

This no-frills bike is not for beginners, nor is it billed as such. It is an attractive and attractively priced piece of American iron that will appeal to a wide swath of financially conscious riders. It gives a rider the basics that matter to get them out on the open road or into a dealership. And it is prepped to be incrementally customized as riding seasons pass–a deliberate Harley marketing plan.

The streamlined beauty and Milwaukee-Eight power should hopefully make the Electra Glide Standard a lasting hit in Harley’s touring line.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
Generous saddlebag capacity is retained, while removing the left saddlebag with one click gives easy access to make quick, toolless preload adjustments.

Kali Kotoski is the Managing Editor of Rider’s sister publication Thunder Press.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is new?? Maybe returning to the stable, but definitely not new. I’m thinking that it’s a back to basics motorcycle because of the dropping motorcycle sales industry wide. This bike is good, though. I can’t possibly believe that I’m the only rider who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of the super bloated and ultra expensive touring motorcycles we have now. Forty grand for a bike is, in my scheme of things, ridiculous. This is still expensive for a base model, but when it’s more than $20,000 less (msrp) than H-D’s CVO E.G. STARTING price of $40,000, it’s a relative bargain. There are a lot of us who prefer to hear the engine noise as well as the open air sounds you’ll hear when riding. Long winded comment, I know, but I will say that H-D deserves credit for having the guts to go TRULY retro. Bravo and best of luck with this model.

  2. Design a motorcycle for 400 lb. Riders; They would love to ride a motorcycle like everyone else. Not everyone weighs 98lbs

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