2023 Harley-Davidson Lineup to Include Breakout 117, X350RA, and Electra Glide Highway King
All will be revealed Jan. 18
We’re just a few days into the new year, and Harley-Davidson has already started shipping 2023 models to dealerships. These are mainly carry-over models, returning for 2023 with new colors, which should prepare dealers ahead of Harley-Davidson’s launch event on Jan. 18.
Harley-Davidson’s website already has the new colors (like the White Sand Pearl Road Glide ST pictured above) and pricing for perusal, and with no significant changes from 2022. With not much to talk about for these returning models, we can expect Harley-Davidson to have more up its sleeve for the launch event. Thanks to newly released regulatory filings, Motorcycle.com can confirm Harley-Davidson will be releasing at least four new motorcycles, in addition to seven 120th anniversary edition models.
We’ve already covered a bit of this before the holidays, confirming a new Nightster variant, anniversary edition models, and the 2023 CVO lineup plus a potential new Icon model. We now have more information on these new models, plus confirmation of a Chinese-manufactured X350RA model and the return to the U.S. market of the Breakout, now with a Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine.
Vehicle identification number (VIN) information submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists three of these models:
We believe most of these models will be announced on Jan. 18, but if you can’t wait, here’s what to expect.
2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special RH975S
The Nightster variant was confirmed earlier with vehicle homologation filings in Australia, include two photos of the model. The VIN decoder further confirms it will be marketed as the Nightster Special.
The U.S. and Australian data both confirm the RH975S will use the same 975cc engine as the Nightster, claiming 90 hp. From the photos, we note new wheel designs, passenger accommodations and a black color scheme with throwback tank graphics.
On closer inspection, we notice the round instrument cluster appears to be the same four-inch TFT display used on the Sportster S and not the analog speedometer with inset LCD found on the RH975 Nightster. The addition of a TFT screen suggests the Nightster Special will have more sophisticated electronics than the regular model.
2023 Harley-Davidson X350RA
Harley-Davidson has been working on a small-displacement model with Chinese manufacturer Qianjiang since 2019, and despite evidence the bike has been ready for some time, neither company has said much publicly about the project.
Early in 2022, we uncovered VIN data from Qianjiang that a launch was imminent, but after some regulatory delays in China, it now appears the new model is ready to go. The more recent VIN data confirms the model will be called the X350RA, and it will employ a 353cc liquid-cooled Parallel-Twin engine claiming 23 hp.
The VIN filing also confirms the X350RA will be produced at Qianjiang’s factory in Wenling City, China.
As if having a Parallel-Twin engine isn’t enough, the X350RA’s Chinese origins will surely draw the ire of the Harley faithful. There are clues, however, that the X350RA may not be intended for consumer use in the U.S. Qianjiang is also reportedly preparing a X350 and X500 model for China, likely with the same 500cc engine as the QJ-produced Benelli TRK 502 adventure bike which claims an output of 46.9 hp at 8,500 rpm.
It’s interesting that only the smaller X350 was included in Harley-Davidson’s U.S. VIN data. This, plus the “RA” in the name, may indicate that it won’t be sold directly to the public, but instead will be used in the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. We’ve seen this before in the past, with the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750. The 750 model was offered to the public while the smaller Street 500 was used in the Riding Academy. With the Street models being discontinued, it makes sense for the X350RA to be the academy’s new training bike.
UPDATE Jan. 4, 2023: Harley-Davidson has updated the tire matrix guide on its Service Information Portal to include information on the X350RA. According to the guide the X350 will come with Angel CT tires, Pirelli’s small-displacement commuter tire, with a 110/70-17 3.5×17 front and a 150/60-17 4.5×17 rear. The update lists the X350RA under “Harley-Davidson X,” which will apparently be the brand the X350 and X500 models will fall under.
2023 Harley-Davidson Breakout FXBR
The Breakout has been absent from Harley-Davidson’s U.S. lineup for a couple of years, though it continued to be available internationally through the 2022 model year. The new VIN decoder indicates the Breakout will return to the U.S. with an upgrade to the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine.
The larger engine is the same 1,923cc displacement as the engine in the Low Rider S, Low Rider ST, Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST, plus Harley-Davidson’s CVO models. Previously, the Breakout was offered with the 107 engine and as an “S” model with the 114 engine, but its return to the U.S. market along with a bump in displacement is a big surprise.
The VIN submissions don’t provide any further detail about the new Breakout, but we expect it will get other updates in addition to the large engine.
2023 Harley-Davidson FLHFB Electra Glide Highway King
We previously revealed Harley-Davidson was adding a model designated the FLHFB, which we suspected would be a new Icon model. The model code was previously used in the ’60s for the Electra Glide (pictured above).
Thanks to new data released in Switzerland, we can confirm the FLHFB will be called the Electra Glide Highway King, and it will be powered by a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine.
What’s interesting about the FLHFB is that it will run on 16-inch wheels, with a 90B16 72H front tire and a 180/65B16 81H rear tire. All of Harley-Davidson’s other touring models run on 17 inch or larger front wheels, with only the Police Road King and Electra Glide models employing a 16-inch rear.
The listed 57.8-inch height is relatively tall, and if the original FLHFB is an inspiration, that may be the result of a tall windscreen. The use of the “Highway King” in its name may further suggest a similar windscreen to the now-discontinued Road King. The Swiss documents list a weight (fully equipped plus a 165-pound rider) of 1,014 pounds, so we expect a curb weight of about 849 pounds. That’s pretty close to the weight of the Road Glide Special, but much lighter than any of the models equipped with a Tour Pak.
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Models
Adding to our earlier report, the most recent VIN decoder confirms six 120th anniversary models: the Heritage Classic Anniversary, Fat Boy Anniversary, Ultra Limited Anniversary, Street Glide SP Anniversary, Road Glide SP Anniversary, and Tri Glide Ultra Anniversary.
The VIN decoder does not include any of Harley-Davidson’s CVO models, but filings in Australia and Switzerland also confirm a CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary model.
While most of Harley-Davidson’s 2022 models are returning, there are a couple of notable absences. The air-cooled EVO Sportsters are finally discontinued, with the Forty-Eight and Iron 883 finally bowing out.
The Electra Glide Standard and the aforementioned Road King are also absent from Harley-Davidson’s 2022 lineup. Both models used the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, and their removal leaves the Softail Standard, Street Glide, and Road Glide as the last to use the 107 engine. The 114 models, including the Road King Special, are all returning for 2023.
Become a Motorcycle.com insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.