Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide Revival Coming as 2024 Icon Model

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

The first Harley with a hydraulic fork debuted 75 years ago

Motorcycle.com can confirm that this year’s Harley-Davidson Icon model will be the Hydra-Glide Revival. The Icon range pays tribute to different models from Harley-Davidson’s past, but the Hydra-Glide, first introduced in 1949, will be the oldest model to receive the honor with a modern version.

The Hydra-Glide name actually didn’t come until 1950, but the model itself debuted in 1949 under the FL name, bringing a shift away from the previous springer forks for new hydraulic forks. That would make 2024 the 75th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide, which would make it a timely choice for this year’s Icon model.

The evidence comes to us via the California Air Resources Board, which listed a new Hydra-Glide Revival model in an executive order certifying 2024 Harley-Davidson Softail models. The executive order doesn’t specifically name it as an “Icon” model, but the history Hydra-Glide name, plus “Revival”, the name used for the 2021 Electra Glide Revival that kicked off the Icon range make it pretty obvious.

The original Hydra-Glide was one of the earliest examples to use Harley-Davidson’s Panhead engine, but the executive order confirms it will be powered by the same 1,868 cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine as the other Softail models.

We expect the Hydra-Glide Revival to be styled after the original, with large fenders, a single seat, and a similar paint scheme as the example in the video below.

While Harley-Davidson has a launch event scheduled for Jan. 24, we expect it will follow the pattern from previous years of having a separate event to announce the Icon model.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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3 of 16 comments
  • Rick Kit Rick Kit on Jan 17, 2024

    First year for Harley FL was 1941 with the 74” Knucklehead, and the previous fork was a springer, not a girder.

    • Dennis Chung Dennis Chung on Jan 18, 2024

      You're right about the fork, and we've clarified the part about the FL. The FL was introduced a few years earlier, but the hydraulic fork arrived in 1949, a year before it was officially renamed "Hydra-Glide".

  • RandallJude RandallJude on Jan 19, 2024

    Hydra Glide means hydraulic front end/rigid frame. What they are really selling is a Duo-Glide (1958-64) it had rear suspension. Electa-Glide in '65, last Panhead. I have both, and I can tell you that the Rigid frame rides the Best, more control. Remember when you were a kid, your bike was a rigid frame, remember how well you could control the bike, same idea. The seat post had great action and you could change the springs to your weight. The rear suspension is wonderful for long rides, hence became the "King of the Road". Which is better depends upon your riding habits.

    btw, the fellow that designed the Glide front fender, still used today, and those particular tank badges, along with the Weiner Mobile, the Jeepster (48-51), Roadmaster bicycle and many, many other things that touched American life was Brooks Stevens. He was an industrial designer in Milwaukee, go figure.

    Girder fork was a term for what the Indians used from '46-'48, no Chief in '49. Indian came out with Hydraulic forks in '50, they named them Aerodraulic, many older guys called them Teldraulic.