The Million-Dollar Question: What’s the Most Popular Harley-Davidson?

A black 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is shown from the side after looking at a Certified Pre-Owned Harley-Davidson near you.

With the introduction of Harley-Davidson Certified, finding a Certified Pre-Owned Harley-Davidson near me is easier than ever. However, you’re not looking for just any Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) bike; you’re looking for the most popular model. What is it? The most popular Harley-Davidson motorcycle varies according to who you ask. For some, it’s the Sportster, and for others, it’s Grand American Touring bikes like the Street Glide and Road King.

Fortunately, the Harley-Davidson Certified Pre-Owned program makes finding the most popular bike in each category an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Every CPO model is held to higher quality standards so that you have confidence in your purchase. For example, the models must be less than five years old, have fewer than 25,000 miles, and pass a comprehensive quality inspection. They also come with warranty coverage, a one-year national membership to HOG, and roadside assistance.

With Harley-Davidson Certified giving you the confidence to shop for a pre-owned model, that leaves one question: where do you start? As your Texas Harley-Davidson authority, Republic Harley-Davidson is here to jumpstart your search. Here are the brand’s most popular models in every category.

Most Popular Sport Bike: Sportster

There’s nothing quite like the Sportster to represent everything Harley-Davidson stands for in the American motorcycle industry. This sport bike is one of the most iconic models in the manufacturer’s history, debuting in 1957 to widespread acclaim. Its customizable design and throaty rumble became synonymous with the brand known for its loyal following and penchant for rebellion.

With daredevils like Evel Knievel climbing in the saddle and setting new records, the popularity of the Sportster maintained an upward trajectory over the years. It’s renowned for its versatility, appealing to new and veteran riders because of its agility and responsive engine. Today, those characteristics continue to define the Sportster and its notable siblings, such as the Nightster, Roadster, and Forty-Eight. These models are exceptional Certified Pre-Owned finds because they not only represent the best of Harley-Davidson, but they each have a story to tell and are more than capable of handling every adventure.

Most Popular Cruiser: Softail

The Softail is the most popular cruiser from Harley-Davidson because it embodies the iconic look of the brand’s classic lineup with a modern twist. First introduced in the early 1980s, the Softail gets its name from its unique design that looks like a classic hardtail but has a hidden rear suspension. The Softail is a modern motorcycle meant to appear like it was from a different era.

Today, the Softail remains a top seller for Harley-Davidson because it serves as a blank canvas for riders looking for a fully customizable bike with a retro design. But how true is this when shopping for a Certified Pre-Owned Softail? You can rest easy knowing even an older Softail is fully customizable, whether you find the bike in its stripped-down form or with a few modifications. With the Harley-Davidson Certified program, you can factor additional modifications and accessories into your purchase, so there’s no question that you can customize a Softail to your style and riding needs.

Most Popular Grand American Touring Bike: Road Glide and Street Glide

Harley-Davidson is the king of cruisers, earning its title after building its Grand American Touring segment from the ground up. But what makes these bikes, especially models like the Road Glide and Street Glide, so popular? Harley-Davidson touring bikes are designed to go the distance and are always ready for more, showcasing their agility and responsiveness without compromising your comfort as you chase the horizon mile after mile.

The Street Glide and Road Glide share the spotlight as the most popular Grand American Touring bikes because, in many ways, they’re the same model with only a few differences. A Certified Pre-Owned Road Glide or Street Glide offers an upright riding position, floorboards, saddlebags, and an infotainment system. In addition, you may find Harley-Davidson rider safety enhancements, depending on the model year.

Despite being built on the same platform and sharing the same powertrain, the Road Glide and Street Glide offer distinct rides. How? The Street Glide is built with an iconic Batwing fairing, which is mounted to the fork and moves with the handlebars. In contrast, the Road Glide handles differently with its frame-mounted Sharknose fairing. Because the Road Glide’s fairing doesn’t move, it absorbs more of the wind and reduces stress on the rider.

A close up shows mud and debris on a black 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special.

Most Popular Adventure Touring Bike: Pan America

The Pan America poses a conundrum in the Harley-Davidson lineup because, on the one hand, it defies the very core of what makes a Harley-Davidson. However, on the other hand, this defiance is precisely what makes it an exceptional reflection of the brand and one of the most popular adventure touring bikes on the road. But what exactly is it?

A far cry from the rest of the heavyweights that characterize the Harley-Davidson fleet, the Pan America is engineered for adventure. It’s the Swiss Army knife of bikes, serving as a hybrid between a dirt bike and motorcycle that can handle itself just as well on the pavement as on the trail. The result is exceptional, making the Pan America a rider’s getaway to adventure with its versatility, capable powertrain, and tech-savvy features that make every tour and detour incredibly engaging and fun.

The adventurous spirit and versatility of the Pan America add to its appeal as a CPO model. While many riders instinctively avoid adventure bikes on the pre-owned lot for fear they’ve been ridden hard and pushed to their limits, Harley-Davidson minimizes that worry with its Certified Pre-Owned program. Since every CPO Pan America must meet the program’s age and mileage requirements and pass a comprehensive quality inspection, you can rest easy knowing you’re investing in the most popular adventurer from Harley-Davidson.

Most Popular Trike: Tri Glide

What if you’re not looking for a traditional motorcycle? You’ll find plenty of options with a Certified Pre-Owned Harley-Davidson trike. These three-wheeled motorcycles blend the brand’s signature style, the comforts of a Grand American Touring bike, and the stability of riding on three wheels. You won’t find a better or more popular trike than the best-selling Tri Glide.

Designed for comfort on long journeys, the Tri Glide delivers a one-of-a-kind experience. As a Certified Pre-Owned model, you can expect the Tri Glide to come with a proven Milwaukee-Eight powertrain, plenty of storage, and an infotainment system that keeps you informed and connected wherever the road takes you. In addition, the trike’s three-wheel design gives the model a distinct feel, adding stability and engineering confidence for riders looking for a unique ride.

A silver 2021 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra is shown from the rear outside of a red barn.

What Will You Choose?

What does the Harley-Davidson name mean to you? Do you immediately think of the brand’s bold colors, customizable icons like the Sportster, or luxurious Grand American Touring bikes like the Road Glide? Perhaps you immediately think of leather-clad riders fervent about the Harley-Davidson legacy and what it means to climb in the saddle of a legendary road warrior.

There’s no wrong answer. Harley-Davidson has built its reputation around its customizable bikes, its penchant for adventure and rebellion, and its loyal following of riders that span all walks of life. Moreover, Harley-Davidson adds to its appeal with its Certified Pre-Owned program, which makes getting in the saddle of a Harley-Davidson legend like the Softail, Road Glide, or Pan America more affordable than ever. That leaves one final question: what popular Harley-Davidson motorcycle will you call your own?