Drawing inspiration from the 1969 Electra Glide, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival takes a classic look from 50+ years ago and brings it into the modern age. In contrast to the Electra Glide Standard, a stripped-down model, the Electra Glide Revival is a first-class ride with a commensurate price of $29,199. We put 1000 miles on the Electra Glide Revival in a couple of days of riding to see if it tours as good as it looks.
- From a technical standpoint, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival is about the seat. The solo saddle rests 30.9 inches above the tarmac—a lofty 4.1 inches higher than the Standard model. Usually, cruiser companies try to keep the seat height low to make it accessible to a broader range of riders. With the Electra Glide Revival, Harley-Davidson reverses the course. No doubt about it, the perch on the Revival feels like it’s up in the clouds.
- With the tall seat, the Electra Glide Revival feels unlike anything else in the Harley-Davidson Touring line. While H-D’s Touring motorcycles aren’t the lowest slung models the company offers, they’re still relatively low. When you’re trying to work with around 900 pounds of motorcycle with the bags packed, seat height matters, especially when maneuvering in parking lots. My barefoot inseam is a typical 31.5 inches, and I have plenty of experience on ADV, dual-sport, and off-road motorcycle with seat heights approaching 38 inches. So, 30.9 inches works for me, even with the Revival’s mass.
- If you can manage the 30.9-inch seat height, you’re also likely tall enough to appreciate the legroom it provides. Riders over six feet tall are going to love the Revival. On a Harley-Davidson Touring bike, your knees are bent a decent amount with your feet forward on the floorboards. Once in the Revival’s seat, I felt like I almost had to stretch to get to the floorboards. With my feet planted, the bend of my knees was minimal. Although it feels like one of those sit-stand desks, my knees were open just a bit more than 90 degrees. While the sensation is a bit strange initially, I quickly adapted to its singular ergonomics. Unarguably, there is no other motorcycle on the market with ergos like the Electra Glide Revival.
- With a four-inch gain in seat height, the grips are noticeably lower. Instead of the traditional reach up to the grips on an H-D Touring motorcycle, the grip position is a slight reach down, level with the bottom of my ribcage. The reach reminds me a bit of the discontinued Softail Deluxe—another triple-headlight decidedly retro Harley-Davidson, coincidentally.
- Sitting straight up, the Birch White batwing fairing all of a sudden seems quite low. Even with the tall windshield, the top of the 10-inch shield is at shoulder level. That means my neck and head are entirely above the protection. It definitely feels unusual.
- The good news is that the tall seat works on long rides. I put a couple of 475-mile days in the saddle, and it is incredibly functional. The wide, supportive saddle has its own shock absorber, and produces zero fatigue. Not once on either day did my butt get even the slightest bit sore or uncomfortable. Whoever designed the seat for the Electra Glide Revival has my admiration.
- Despite unusual ergonomics, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival works for touring. The batwing provided plenty of protection for my body. With the help of the Splitstream vent, the windshield deflected enough of the windblast over my head to keep me comfortable, even when cruising at 90 mph across the open Mojave Desert. Hours in the saddle between fill-ups of the six-gallon fuel tank proved the success of the design.
- The Motor Company did not ignore the powerplant when designing the Revival, so that’s a Milwaukee-Eight 114 underneath that striking tri-tone fuel tank. The 118 ft-lbs of torque at 3250 rpm tell the story for touring. In sixth gear, you’re hitting the torque peak right about 80 mph. When you are doing battle on unforgiving interstates, the roll-on power is there when you need to get by someone in a hurry.
- Shifting is excellent and sure. I miss heel/toe shifting, though it does leave more room on the floorboards. Also, finding neutral at a stop was unusually difficult. Otherwise, the 6-Speed Cruise Drive was a steady companion.
- Although the 114 can be a bit vibration-prone in the Softail platform, it offers just enough of a thump to be perfectly pleasant as a Touring powerplant.
- Be careful when pushing the motor hard in hot conditions. The rear cylinder valve cover gets distractingly hot in extreme circumstances—cruising at 80+ mph up significant grades in 90+ degree temperatures. The Revival’s riding position put my right calf next to the valve cover, rather than ahead of it. When I got home and pulled my Cortech jeans off, I expected some redness on my right calf. As it turns out, I earned myself multiple second-degree burns for riding beyond the limits. The rest of the time, the engine never felt unusually hot, so there’s a good chance you’ll never experience the stinging heat that I felt. However, be aware in hot weather.
- Handling is outstanding at speed. The 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival is rock solid on the highway. Wick it up to triple digits, and it gives you no cause for concern. Even in windy parts of the desert, my body felt the wind, yet the Revival was unperturbed. This provides all sorts of confidence during long days on the road. You ride with authority on the Revival.
- The Revival is a bit unsure in the twisties. The Revival does feel a bit top-heavy when running through the canyons. While there’s still a planted feel thanks to its heft and the Dunlop tires, you have to be wary of the weight transfers during direction changes. I suspect that the more you ride through repeated tight corners, the more natural it will feel and you can start to test the cornering clearance limits. It is the only time the tall seat height feels like a liability once underway.
- The Harley-Davidson RDRS Safety Enhancements are installed, giving peace of mind. ABS, linked braking, and traction control are all corner-aware and entirely non-intrusive. An electronic function prevents skidding when downshifting quickly or chopping the throttle on low-traction roads. Again, I never felt these helping me out, though they might have without my knowledge. Hill-hold control is always welcome and only requires a firm hand or foot on a braking lever.
- Braking and suspension are the same as on other Harley-Davidson Touring models. The triple 300mm discs have plenty of predictable stopping power. Feel free to use either the front brakes or strong rear brake, as you see fit. The Showa forks are great, though the rear suspension suffers from just 2.2 inches of wheel travel. Fortunately, the seat shock helps shield the rider from jolts on rough roads—nicely done.
- The 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival has plenty of bells and whistles, though they work well to varying degrees. That’s a Boom! Box 6.5GT infotainment system mounted in the fairing. The UI of the touchscreen display is decently, though not perfectly, intuitive. Owners will surely figure it out. The sound output from the two fairing-mounted speakers did not impress, and it’s useless on the Interstate. I was able to pair the Boom! system quickly with my iPhone via Bluetooth. I’m not a fan of the GPS display, and it didn’t show desert towns as often as I would like. Pressing the + button on the screen often resulted in repositioning the map, instead of enlarging it. The Boom! infotainment system is good, yet still needs improvement.
- Be prepared for people telling you how awesome your Electra Glide Revival looks. People simply fall in love with this motorcycle, and I can’t claim to be immune. The fantastic Hi-Fi Blue just gets the ball rolling. The Birch White on the fairing and on the excellent one-touch, non-locking bags are intended to give them a fiberglass look, though it won’t fool the cognoscenti. The seat speaks for itself, though the pan underneath is a single unsightly aesthetic misstep. The whitewall Dunlops and wire-spoke wheels are indisputable retro statements. There is plenty of chrome, with the protective bars around the back of the seat, the side of the bags, and the leading edge of the front fender getting extra plaudits. The triple headlights grab attention, and I always rode with them on—if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
- 1969 never worked so well. The great thing about a well-designed period-inspired motorcycle is that you embrace the look and feel from a classic era, while still enjoying all the modern conveniences and performance. The 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival kicks off H-D’s limited edition Icons Collection fantastically. We can’t wait to see what’s next up the designers’ sleeves. In the meantime, there are only 1500 examples of the Electra Glide Revival available, so you get exclusivity along with high style. We had #0111 and didn’t want to give it back.
Photography by Kelly Callan
- Helmet: HJC V90
- Jacket: The Trans-Am by Cortech
- Gloves: The Associate by Cortech
- Jeans: The Ventura by Cortech
- Socks: MP Magic 37.5 Tech Merino Wool
- Footwear: Harley-Davidson Tremont
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival Specs
- Motor: Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin
- Bore x stroke: 4.016” x 4.5”
- Displacement: 114 cubic inches (1868cc)
- Maximum power: 97 horsepower @ 5020 rpm
- Maximum torque: 118 ft-lbs @ 3250 rpm
- Compression ratio: 10.5:1
- Cooling: Air
- Lubrication: Dry sump
- Transmission: 6-speed Cruise Drive
- Clutch: Hydraulically actuated w/ assist-and-slip functions
- Primary drive: Chain
- Final drive: Belt
- Frame: Mild tubular steel w/ two-piece stamped and welded backbone
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable Showa 49mm Dual Bending Valve fork; 4.6 inches
- Rear suspension: Spring-preload adjustable shocks; 2.2 inches
- Wheels: Wire-spoke
- Front wheel: 17 x 3.00
- Rear wheel: 16 x 5.00
- Front tire: 130/80 x 17; Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series D402F
- Rear tire: 180/65-16; Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series D407T
- Front brakes: 300mm floating discs w/ 4-piston calipers
- Rear brake: 300mm fixed disc w/ 4-piston caliper
- ABS: Cornering-aware
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 64 inches
- Seat height: 30.9 inches
- Rake: 26 degrees
- Fork angle: 29.25 degrees
- Trail: 6.8 inches
- Fuel capacity: 6 gallons
- Estimated fuel consumption: 43 mpg
- Curb weight: 862 pounds
- Color: Hi-Fi Blue/Birch White/Black Denim
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival Price: $29,199