|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The third and final change given to the name of the basic FL model would occur in 1965, the final year of the "Panhead" engines. These last "Panheads" were the first "big-twin" Harley-Davidson engines to be equipped with electric starters, the Servi-Car having received electric start the year before. This innovation for Harley-Davidson was greeted with the new model name of Electra Glide.
In 1966, the "Panhead" gave way to the "Shovelhead", gaining a ten percent increase in power in the process.
A fork-mounted fairing became available on Electra Glides in 1969. This became unofficially known as the "batwing" fairing. Although the batwing fairing was an easily removable option on early Electra Glides, it was not removable on later machines, as the instruments were moved from the fuel tank into the fairing.
The FL frame was the basis for the 1971 FX Super Glide. The FX mated the FL frame with the forks of the XL Sportster, with buckhorn handlebars and a large fibreglass tailpiece completing the Super Glide specification.
The FL was given a front disc brake in 1972.
The three-speed plus reverse option was discontinued in 1977.
A 1977 Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition of the FHL Electra Glide that featured commemorative paint and tank and fender decals was produced. The unit production was in such low volume numbers - only 44 - as to make it one of the rarest of the company's motorcycles.
An 80 cu in (1,300 cc) engine was made optional on the Electra Glide in 1978. However, the FL designation was not changed as a result. By 1981, the 80 cubic inch engine was the standard engine; the 74 cu in (1,210 cc) engine being discontinued.
The low-compression FL engine was discontinued in 1979, as was the option for hand-shift/foot-clutch transmission controls.
Statistics show that the average age of a Harley rider is approaching 50. Not surprisingly, the chances of death while riding a motorcycle at this age is over 20 time that of other vehicles. Still, grandpa wants his Harley and so these dinosaur motorcycles are selling very well. There is also a lot of appeal when it comes to Harleys and modelers, so Aoshima has taken advantage of that and produced a kit of the full load Harley cruiser bike, the Ultra Classic.
As you might imagine, there are a lot of parts for a 1/12 scale motorcycle and this one includes not only rubber tires, but hose and metal axle pins. These Harleys generally have a lot of chrome and so it is not surprising that three of the seven sprues are chrome plated. The others are in color with one black, one dark grey, one a tan and the other is clear. . The chrome is very well done and is for engine and trim bits as much as for things like handlebars, foot rests, light housings and exhaust.
These kits have a nicely done frame that is in two major sections. The belt drive piece is a single molding and attaches to the transmission section. The tires are pneumatic and very nicely molded. Pins are used to hold the chassis together as well as to be used as axles. I should say screws as that is what they are. Besides allowing the wheels to turn, the kit is such that the front fork can move side to side. A hefty kickstand is provided as well. Instruments and placards are on the decal sheet. The bike has a large fuel tank, main seat and a travel container for the back as well as plastic 'saddle bags' for the side.
Instructions are well drawn and any painting information as well as decal placement is included in the build steps. There is no overall painting guide. It does appear that quite a bit of painting will be needed as decals seem to cover only the really difficult areas like the side of the fuel tank and the area forward of the windscreen, for example. Red stripes are on the sheet so that you can properly outline the areas you have painted. I have to confess that reading over the instructions several times, I was unable to figure out where the long arrow shaped decal went! The instructions do clearly show where the others are to fit.
For those who want to feel like big, bad, bikers, a rather large rub on tattoo is also provided. This is the eagle marking shown on the box art.
Aside from my inability to find where one decal goes, this looks to be a superb motorcycle kit. It has everything you need to built an excellent replica of this classic American road bike.
December 2012 Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com
for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop
or on-line retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please
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Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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