(FXRT Sport Glide) The first FXR variant was the Sport Glide, which added hard bags and a frame-mounted fairing from the Nova prototype.
(FXRT Sport Glide) The first FXR variant was the Sport Glide, which added hard bags and a
Harley immediately began introducing other models on the FXR platform. First and perhaps most notable was the '83 FXRT Sport Glide, a "sport touring" bike equipped with a frame-mounted fairing and hard bags that were originally designed for the Nova, the liquid-cooled V-Four project that was abandoned for lack of funding after the AMF buyout. In fact, the deep scoops on the sides of the FXRT fairing were developed in a wind-tunnel to feed air to the Nova's underseat radiator, according to LeRoy. On the FXRT, they became vents to the rider.
The FXRP police model, which also used the Nova-derived fairing, and the slammed FXRS Low Glide appeared in 1984. The FXRC Low Glide Custom appeared for 1985. The FXR platform made the transition to the V2 Evolution engine in 1984, then to beltdrive in 1985. In 1986 the FXR family replaced the original FX platform, as the FXR became the Super Glide. The new FXRD Sport Glide Deluxe came with a trunk. The FXLR Low Rider Custom (1987) had a 21-inch laced front wheel and an aluminum disc rear wheel. In 1988 the FXRS Low Rider was also offered as a Sport model (FXRS-SP) and in special 85th anniversary trim. A Low Rider Convertible was offered in 1990. If you've noticed that the FXR had strayed from its original, sport-standard mission, you are right on.
('91 Dyna Sturgis) Debut of the new Dyna Glide platform with the limited-run FXDB Sturgis model marked the beginning of the end for the FXR family.
('91 Dyna Sturgis) Debut of the new Dyna Glide platform with the limited-run FXDB Sturgis
"I think that sales for the original FXR slipped pretty quickly," said LeRoy, "So we kept the volume going by adding models. But by the late '80s the company realized that the FXR was not what the market wanted. Maybe it felt too much like the import competition. That's when we went to work on the Dyna."
The mission of the Dyna Glide, according to LeRoy, was to be easier to manufacture than the FXR and to look more like the original FX Super Glide-lower to the ground, more rake to the fork, with the battery box exposed. The Dyna Glide was also the first Harley to be designed completely with Computer Aided Design (CAD). The '91 FXDB Sturgis launched the Dyna Glide platform, and by 1995, various FXD models replaced the last of the FXR variants.
The FXR was gone, but not for long. Like an aging veteran brought off the bench, the FXR was back in the game in 1999 when Harley launched its CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) program with two models, the FXR2, with a 21-inch laced front wheel, and the FXR3, with a 19-inch cast front wheel. CVO was intended to produce exclusive, low-volume custom bikes, and only 900 examples of each of the 1999 models were built. For 2000, CVO assembled a 1,000-unit run of the FXR4, which marked the real end of FXR production. The old story that Harley launched CVO to use up a dusty pile of FXR frames it found in a corner is not true, according to LeRoy. The tooling was on hand, and the bikes could be built for a limited run without disrupting regular production.
Since then the reputation of the FXR as "best Harley ever" has stuck, and in the minds of former owners, it's probably the truth.
('84 and '85 Low Glide) The Low Glide was another effort to diversify the FXR platform, but one that strayed from the bike's initial performance mission. The '85 models were the first with the new Evolution engine.
('84 and '85 Low Glide) The Low Glide was another effort to diversify the FXR platform, bu
('99 CVO FXR3) In 1999 Harley brought back the FXR platform to launch its new limited-production CVO program.
('99 CVO FXR3) In 1999 Harley brought back the FXR platform to launch its new limited-prod