Whether you’re part of the Harley-Davidson tribe or not, it’s hard to argue with The Motor Company’s track record of creating iconic cruisers. If you’re a card-carrying member of this tribe, get excited about the latest member of H-D’s Icon Collection.
The Harley-Davidson Low Rider El Diablo is an homage to the 1983 FXRT Sport Glide and the West Coast bike culture it evoked. New hand-applied paint and livery gets paired with a Rockford Fosgate stereo package that puts out decibels to match the oil- and liquid-cooled Milwaukee Eight 117ci engine.
It also gets the “tall boy” seat treatment, meaning bigger riders (or those who like outstretched arm positions) will feel more at home in the saddle, passengers notwithstanding. And of course, bars are positioned higher, all the better to command road subjects below.
As per Harley-Davidson’s custom, a special color scheme from Gunslinger Custom Paint is at the heart of this limited offering. A total of six different colors go into the painting process, including El Diablo Bright Red, Bright Red Sunglo, El Diablo Dark Red, El Diablo Dark Red Pearl, El Diablo Dark Red Metallic, and (deep breath) Pale Gold pinstriping, which is hand applied. Or you can just say it’s a “candy red.”
A distinct tank badge design is another nod to ‘80s-era FXRT graphics with the addition of a horns and tail motif. A contemporary blacked-out Bar & Shield rounds things out to bring El Diablo into the present.
It’s basically the Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST, with an identical blacked-out motor, save for chromed pushrod tubes, tappet covers, and exposed engine fins. Ergonomics, engine specs, dimensions, bags, and fairing are the same, allowing for a weekend getaway’s worth of storage behind a 5-inch windscreen. The El Diablo does weigh in at 6 pounds heavier than the Low Rider dry and 7 pounds wet according to Harley-Davidson’s site. This is likely due to the dual speakers and hardware from the Fosgate audio system: Heavy tunes, man.
In keeping with the recent trend of limited-edition releases, only 1,500 El Diablo models will be made, yours starting at $27,999 MSRP.
Like historical context? The 1982 Harley-Davidson FXR represented a reborn Motor Company, with a sporty bike (and frame) engineered with the help of one Erik Buell. It marked a bold departure from the malaise-era AMF products. Simply put, it was an FLT in a new frame that handled really well and tamed vibration. It finally put H-D in the company of smooth Japanese custom-styled cruiser bikes, which themselves stole shamelessly from custom Harley designs. The 1983 FXRT took the FXR platform, added a fairing and bags, and made H-D relevant to late-20th century motorcycling.
Fun fact: Many H-D riders considered the FXRT “too Japanese.” Shouldn’t be a problem with El Diablo.
2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider El Diablo
|ENGINE||Milwaukee-Eight 117ci oil/liquid-cooled V-twin|
|BORE x STROKE||4.075 x 4.5 in. (103.5 x 127.0mm|
|FUEL DELIVERY||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection|
|CLUTCH||Wet, multiplate w/ assist function; hydraulic actuation|
|CLAIMED HORSEPOWER||103 hp @ 4,750 rpm|
|CLAIMED TORQUE||125 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm|
|FRONT SUSPENSION||43mm inverted cartridge fork, single-rate spring|
|REAR SUSPENSION||Coilover monoshock, spring preload adjustable|
|FRONT BRAKE||4-piston caliper, floating disc|
|REAR BRAKE||2-piston floating caliper, floating disc|
|WHEELS, FRONT/REAR||Radiate cast aluminum; 19 in./16 in.|
|TIRES, FRONT/REAR||Michelin Scorcher 31; 110/90B-19 / 180/70B-16|
|SEAT HEIGHT||28.3 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY||5.0 gal.|
|CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT||728 lb.|