Before there was a Harley-Davidson Dyna family there was the Wide Glide. Introduced in 1980 as the FXWG, the Wide Glide represented the epitome of Harley's factory custom theme, introduced in 1971 with the Super Glide.
Background of the Dyna Wide Glide
The FXWG Wide Glide's fuel tank had a flame paint job, a wide spaced front fork, and spoked 21 inch front wheel. The bobbed rear fender, stepped two-up seat, mini ape hanger handlebars and forward mounted controls gave it the look of a chopper.
Harley-Davidson introduced the stiffer, lighter FXR frame in 1982. By the 1986 model year the Wide Glide was the last of the FX models and was discontinued after that year, not making the move to the FXR frame which couldn't accommodate its wide front forks.
The Motor Company introduced a new frame on the new model family, the Dynas, in 1991. The Dyna frame was able to handle the width of the Wide Glide features and the model made a comeback in the 1993 model year as the FXDWG Wide Glide.
The new Dyna Wide Glide got the same custom chopper styling. Ape hanger handlebars, bobbed rear fender, skinny front tire, and forward mounted controls. And of course those raked, wide set front forks. The 1,340 cc Evolution engine powered the Wide Glide.
Harley gave the Wide Glide a new engine, the 1,450 cc, air-cooled Twin Cam 88, in 1999.
The Motor Company began the Custom Vehicle Operation (CVO) program in 1999. CVO models were produced in limited quantities with unique paint jobs and specially made accessories. The Wide Glide got the CVO treatment for the 2001 and 2002 model years.
Fuel injection came to the Wide Glide as an option for the 2004 model year. FXDWG Wide Glides had carburetors while FXDWGI models were fuel-injected.
For 2006 the 49mm front forks of the Wide Glide were raked out to 36 degrees from the earlier 32 degree rake. Harley-Davidson also introduced a new six-speed transmission, the Cruise Drive, on the Wide Glide that year.
The Big Twins, including the Wide Glide, got even bigger with the introduction of the 1,584 cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected Twin Cam 96 engine in 2007. Fuel injection was now standard on the Wide Glide.
Limited-Edition Harley-Davidson Anniversary Wide Glide
Harley commemorated its 105th anniversary in 2008 with a special limited-edition anniversary model Wide Glide. The anniversary model had a two-tone Anniversary Copper and Vivid Black paint job with orange and pale gold striping, and special anniversary badges.
The Wide Glide was retired after the 2008 Anniversary Edition, but not for long.
The 2010 model year saw the return of the Wide Glide. And two years later the Wide Glide received another power boost with the 1,690 cc, fuel-injected, air-cooled Twin Cam 103.
The Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide In Culture
The Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide's custom chopper-like styling has led to its inclusion in a number of movies and TV shows.
Actor/singer David Hasselhoff, best remembered for TV's Baywatch and Knight Rider series, featured a Wide Glide in his tongue-in-cheek 1996 music video "Hooked On A Feeling."
A member of the biker gang, the Del Fuegos, rides a Wide Glide in the 2007 film Wild Hogs. And actor Sean Patrick Flannery, playing John Gray, rides a Wide Glide in the 2002 biker flick Lone Hero.