Can you see how some of the names actually correlate to the words used?


In fact, if you dig a little more on the internet you can find a more thorough version of that information with more specifics on more engine types and their displacement. See image below.


Between 1999 and roughly now, the Twin Cam engine featured what is commonly called the Twin Cam 88, a 1340cc and 1450cc.


Unleash the Kraken


Then in 2002 all hell broke loose. They introduced the sinful, fun loving, sport oriented V-Rod with a new V Twin with the cylinders separated 60 degrees apart, not 45, for more space for mounting fuel injectors and the air box. The engine on this beast displaced 1130cc and later on they increased that to 1250cc.


So there is a lot to learn and know, right?


Fast forward to 2007 and they released another new engine or two, the Twin Cam 96, which is very similar to the 88 but, go figure, it displaces 96 cubic inches or 1584cc.


Then things got even more complicated with even more, newer models.


The Sportster has an 883cc and 1200cc air cooled V-Twin, the Dyna a 103 ci Twin Cam engine, the Touring models Road King, and Electra Glide had a 103 ci Twin Cam engine, and the V-Rod came along and fucked everything up with its sports oriented styling and 1250cc liquid-cooled V-Twin, and as previously mentioned, the purists went into melt down.


Of course there are other variations too, such as the very cool Street Tracker styled XR 1200 in the header image which utilises the Sportster 1200cc Twin Cam engine.


Modern Harley Engines


Bring it up to 2015, and they released a cheaper, hipster inspired and targeted 500cc and 750cc ‘Street’ model.


I haven’t even really touched on the MODELS yet for crying out loud, it just gets more complicated and I can’t keep this much info in my head.


So I wrote this post, so I could come back here frequently and fact check myself before I get lynched by the mob.


Here are just a few common abbreviations and models with different frames.


Harley Davidson Frame Types


The Harley Softail is known for its ST (Softail) frame, but sometimes they are simply S, like in the FLS Softail Slim.


Touring frames with fork-mounted frames are known as H frames, and Touring frames with frame-mounted fairings are known as T frames.


Dynes are D frames (at least that makes sense) Rockers are C frame and rubber-mounted FX frames are R frames (designed by Erik Buell which are easily picked out by the triangle looking frame tubes.


V-Rods are a behemoth unto themselves, anything with VRSC is basically, a V-Rod. Phew, I’m exhausted.


More Harley Davidson Abbreviations to Remember


These letters are what define Harley makes, the first letters in part, and then they can be further confused with the following bastard abbreviations just to throw you even more.


Here are some common modern day ones I have discovered.


SS: Springer Softail
SC: Springer Classic
WG: Wide Glide
FB: Fatboy
SE: Screaming Eagle
D: Deuce


But that is the guts of it. Mostly.


The Custom Scene


To make matters substantially more confusing, you have to take into consideration the custom scene. Builders of custom Harleys do crazy (and awesome) things, and this is what my Community of Motorcycle infatuated freaks have taught me. Correction, flamed me for, charred me to a crisp until I was left chip-like, and hung out to dry.


You can take a Shovelhead’s heads (from 1966 onwards), on a different bottom end, say an older Panhead, confusing everyone. It ain’t a Shovelhead anymore, because they were only made from 1966 onwards.


Get it? I thought so.


Just to recap:
1948 – 1965: Panhead
1966 – 1983: Shovelhead


But it looks like a Shovelhead right?? But sweet baby cheesus forbid, by god or gun, if you tell an American that this bike is a 62 Shovelhead, then you will be flogged, stoned and stuck on a cross and forced to walk the streets in the nude screaming the chronological order of all Harley engines until you get it right. Or just completely taken the piss out of online.


Handlebar Field Guide


You can then also delve into other mods such as handlebars, of which there are many, and by hook or by crook you better not fuck those up either. The mob. They are gonna get you.


Here is a handy visual reference guide for those too.


So now when someone says to you, ‘nice apes’, you know what they mean.


This post or information is by no means completely comprehensive, and I am quite sure that I have made mistakes, no doubt once shared I will get fried into a charred speck of dust and blown to the weeds. Can’t wait.


Until then, just fucking ride.


PS: I’d like to acknowledge the following references for helping me find this information for you: the Internet.