Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Highway King a modern icon with a 1968 heart
How great would it be to celebrate our birthdays like auto- and motorcycle makers, spending a couple of years creating elaborate presents then spending a full year opening them? Harley-Davidson turns 120 this year and has already provided an early look at the CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide duo that get big roles at the company's birthday event in June. Now, four new bikes join the cavalcade of celebration. These are the latest versions of existing collections as opposed to anniversary specials, all of them honoring an era when Harley was the undisputed two-wheeled king of the American road.
The 2023 Electra Glide Highway King takes its place as the third installment of the Icons Motorcycle Collection, and a throwback to the 1968 FLH Electra Glide. Get within 10 feet of it, your hair will start to grow and your wallet will sprout a chain. Dressed for the old school, it comes with chrome steel laced wheels wrapped in whitewalls, a detachable two-tone windshield with a lower section matching the paint finish, a black and white solo saddle with a chrome rail, more chrome on the fender and bag rails, Electra Glide script on the front fender, and white fiberglass bags because that's the only color the 1968 model offered.
It comes in a choice of two colors, either Hi-Fi Orange or Hi-Fi Magenta, with a Black Denim panel on the tanks, and accents and bags in Birch White. The tank badge nods to the 1968 Electra Glide, and there's a serialized notation laser-etched into the console. Harley will make 1,000 of the Hi-Fi Orange for global consumption, just 750 of the Hi-Fi Magenta.
The remaining three paeans form the 2023 Enthusiast Collection celebrating Harley-Davidson riders. These flash their lights at both a pre-war Harley symbol and at a different icon of the 1960s and 1970s, paint jobs from the muscle car era. The vintage Harley reference is to Fast Johnnie, a piglet adopted by factory racer Ray Weishaar in 1920. Johnnie joined Weishaar at races, wearing a leash attached to a harness bearing the same Harley-Davidson logo that adorned Weishaar's uniform, and would occasionally sit atop the tank for photos and victory laps. It's thought Johnnie was the original hog that led to Harley's HOG nickname.
The colors are said to come from the vibrant spectrum of muscle car paint swatches especially popular on performance editions with funky character names, albeit the Harley-Davidson Celestial Blue base color is dark enough to mix with modern times. The blue gets set off with white stripes and detailing, an image of Fast Johnnie on both sides of the tank, and an Enthusiast Collection logo on the rear fender.
The Fast Johnnie treatment can be applied to the Road Glide ST, Street Glide ST, and Low Rider ST. The company will offer no more than 2,000 of each.