Harley-Davidson 1966 FLH Electra-Glide

Harley-Davidson’s flagship model, the 1966 FLH Electra-Glide, gained about five horsepower.

1966 FLH Electra-Glide

The “shovelhead” 1966 FLH Electra-Glide Harley boasted a new, efficient combustion chamber.

Photo courtesy Motorbooks

Content Tools

Historical and technical profiles written by Harley-Davidson expert Dain Gingerelli and masterful motorcycle photography by David Blattel come together in Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle (Motorbooks, 2011). The result is a breathtaking review of over 100 stunning Harley-Davidson greatest hits from the early 1900s to today. The following excerpt is taken from Chapter 6, “Kings of the Higway: The Touring Bikes.” 

1966 Electra-Glide® 

The 1966 FLH Electra-Glide broke new ground for Harley-Davidson’s flagship model. The engine’s cylinder heads were patterned after those of the sportster model, creating more efficient combustion chambers and resulting in a gain of about five horsepower for the FLH. The new cast-aluminum rocker boxes were noticeably different in shape from the Panhead’s, leading enthusiasts to adopt the name “shovelhead” for the new model. The optional king of the highway accessory package included front and rear bumpers, extra quiet dual mufflers, buddy seat, crash bars, saddlebags, and a windscreen. The top-of-the-line FLH sold for $1,610.

Specifications

Engine Displacement: 74 cubic inches
Weight: 783 pounds
Fuel capacity: 5 gallons
Horsepower: 60 horsepower at 5,400 rpm

Lore

• The FLH was the top-selling model for 1966.
• Big Twins were given 12-volt charging system in 1965 to power the new electric starter motors.

More examples of Harley-Davidson innovation from Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson 1915 Model 11-F
Harley-Davidson 1933 Model VLD
Harley-Davidson 1940 Model UL
Harley-Davidson 1964 Model FL 

Main Article: Finding Form: Early Harley-Davidson Innovation 

This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, published by Motorbooks, 2011.