Skip to main content

Harley-Davidson Electra Glide

Harley-Davidson Electra Glide 1960s American classic motorcycle

As glamorous as they are, not many bikes have made it in the movies! One that did swan serenely across screen was a Harley-Davidson. The film was Electra Glide in Blue. The Electra Glide lived up to its star billing! It caught Harley-Davidson's 'free-wheeling' spirit, to a tee. A kingpin of long-legged tourers, the 'Glide' was American to its apple-pie core. It was built to go places! 'It's a big country', as another American movie had it.

Styling-wise, the Glide is pure Harley. Big everything, basically! Big fenders, big tyres, big tank. Big attitude, while we are at it! No marque does machismo quite like Harley-Davidson. If you hate being stared at, don't even think about it. On a Harley, you are a star! Whether you like it, or not. There are those who would give anything for that kind of kudos - as the company accounts no doubt confirm! Though, to be fair, having started out in a shed in Milwaukee, the Harley brand-name has paid its dues.

On the technical front, numbers are suitably huge. The '65 Electra Glide's motor was 1,198cc - with a 100.6mm stroke. In a word, 'torquey'! That translated into a top speed of 95mph ... which was pretty quick, at the time. And - thanks to all that torque - getting there was even quicker! Mind you, 770lb was a lot of weight to shift, so the Glide needed its 'pulling-power'. But then, as a movie star, it was always going to have plenty of that! The Electra Glide ripped up the red carpet - and did so in style. To paraphrase a line from yet another movie ... 'Here's looking at you, 'Glide'!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FN Four

In terms of breakthroughs in the history of motorcycling, there cannot be many to rival the first in-line four engine. Belgium was the birthplace of this landmark layout. FN was the much-to-be-thanked manufacturer.The FN Four first hit the highway in 1911. It produced 4bhp. That, from a 491 cc capacity. At the time, such figures described state-of-the-art technology. Top speed for the FN Four was 40mph. Not bad - for an 8-valve inlet-over-exhaust set-up. Oh, it was air-cooled.The FN Four was light - tipping the scales at 165lb dry. Not only the motor, but the chassis, too, was avant-garde. It featured an early form of telescopic forks. A new-fangled clutch - and 2-speed 'box - only added to the FN Four's slick box of tricks. Solid shaft-drive output the power. Who, then, designed this visionary vintage? You will not hear the name Paul Kelekom shouted from motorcycling's rooftops. But, you should - for it was he who fashioned the FN Four. In so doing, he ki…

Gilera Saturno

Gilera was a big player in the realm of 1950s motorbike manufacturing. After that, the firm met with mixed fortunes. Gilera's Fifties flagship - the Saturno - was launched in '46. Rolled out in 'Sport', 'Touring', and 'Competition' modes, the Saturno would sell well for years.The Saturno 'production racer' was a hit both on road and track. Competitive for many seasons, it remained so for some time after its production run finished - at the fag-end of the '50s.In road-going form, the Saturno stayed tethered to the tarmac - thanks to its telescopic forks, and vertical rear shocks. Indeed, it would gain a reputation as a 'performance bike' of its day. Towards the end, Gilera was linked with Piaggio, Vespa - and the scooter scene, generally. Illustrious though those names still were, Gilera's glory days were behind it. Bikes like the Saturno, though, still shone a light for past success.

NSU Ro80

The styling of the NSU Ro80 was ahead of its time. At first glance, masses of glass were straight out of science-fiction. Closer inspection revealed the gently rising line of its profile - giving it a low front, high back stance - which would influence automotive design for years to come. The 5-seater body was supremely aerodynamic for a saloon car - making cruising at speed a breeze. So flawless was it outwardly that it was hardly touched in ten years of production. Just the tail-lights were modified, on later versions.The Ro80's handling was equally impressive. FWD - and precision power-steering - kept it perfectly pointed. The long-travel strut suspension soaked up bumps. High-efficiency disc brakes were fitted all round. The 3-speed semi-automatic transmission swept through the gears with aplomb. Top speed was a sound 112mph.But, of course, nothing is perfect. The Ro80 was powered by a twin-rotor Wankel engine. Unfortunately - in a rush to get the car into showroom…