Harley-Davidson MooGlide

This may not fit the definition of “Classic” but it’s a very important bike to me.  A Mooglide was the first Harley-Davidson I ever rode.

JG's 1994 Harley-Davidson MooGlide

JG’s 1994 Harley-Davidson MooGlide

To make my long story short, I had ridden as a kid, Honda’s, Kow’s, etc. and as many of us did, walked away because of college, living in NYC and then a wife and family. To add insult to injury, I picked to go to college in Albany, New York, so a bike would have become useless sometime in October.  Some years later, a good friend  and I decided we wanted to ride.  JG looked like he had ridden for the last 15 years so it was time to grab a bike to match his look.  I took the course to get my license, Joe bought his uncles Mooglide, very low miles that had been in storage for years.  Once he was comfortable crossing the Outerbridge Crossing on the bike, he brought it out to show off, in Manalapan New Jersey, and let me take it to for a ride.  I left him standing in my driveway for about an hour while I went around the corner. I was hooked. While the Evo could have used a bit more power, I bought my first softail, a Deuce, shortly after. JG's 1994 Harley-Davidson MooGlide

JG’s 1994 Harley-Davidson MooGlide

The Mooglide was first offered by Harley-Davidson in 1993 with a limited run of 2700 Nostalgia, or FSTN.  The 1993 Nostalgia was a numbered, special order bike, but Harley chose to continue the bike using a Softail Special (1994) and a Heritage Softail (1995-1996) as the basic bike, though still calling the Nostalgia a FSTN.  Because the Heritage Softail script is on the front fenders in 1995-96, the Nostalgia appears to be simply a version or paint scheme on the Heritage.

1993 Harley-Davidson FSTN MooGlide

1993 Harley-Davidson FSTN MooGlide

What really made me love the Nostalgia is the beauty of the paint, the subtlety of the wire wheels, how well the 16 inch wheels tucked under the perfect fenders and the extra bits of chrome, subtly placed particularly on the tins and the drivetrain.  The two tone paint and pinstripes accent the modernized tins beautifully.  Even the round air cleaner looks perfect.

1995 Harley-Davidson MooGlide Heritage Softail

1995 Harley-Davidson MooGlide Heritage Softail

The 1993 and 1994 bikes were called Mooglides because they came with a Suede like leather seat and saddlebag inserts.  The 1995 and 1996 Heritage Softail version had a two tone leather seat and I’ve heard argument that they should not really be called a Mooglide.  This is complicated by the FSTN actually being on the Heritage Softail. I’ll leave that argument to the comments.

The 1993 models were Black and Birch White with Red pinstripes. 84’s Silver on White with Red pinstriping. 95 Black on Charcoal with Red stripes and 96 Silver on Dark Green with Gold pinstripes.  The 94, perhaps because it was the first I’ve seen, is my favorite.  The 96, both being dark colors with little contrast, my least favorite. All of course have Evo propulsion – 1,340 Five Speeds with full consoles and what looks to be 16 inch factory wire wheels.

Harley-Davidson 1996 MooGLide

Harley-Davidson 1996 MooGLide

I believe the Nostalgia was the inspiration for the Deluxe.  If you were to look at a Black and White Deluxe and cover the script on the front fender, you will have a hard time telling the difference between the two bikes (except of course that the Nostalgia has Evo power and the Deluxe Twin Cam power).

The bike rides like a modern Harley and has virtually the same seating position as the more modern Deluxe.  With a low seat and 16 inch wheels the Nostalgia has a low center of gravity and you sit up on it.  This makes it easy to bend the Nostalgia into turns, but you have to be careful, you don’t really wrap around the bike enough to be able to muscle the weight up and down with your body, so it doesn’t like to lean real low or move left-right-left quickly. The bars come back to you from the trees and your feet fit comfortably on the floorboards, more like the armchair at your dining room table than many motorcycles.    The seat is wide and comfortable and low. Joe’s bike had an untouched Evo and to be fair, you needed to plan when you needed acceleration.  You could twist the throttle all the way to the stops and would still have trouble being the first person off a light.  The tires had more than enough grip to handle anything you’d throw at this bike, as it was more a cruiser than a back roads cut-up and the brakes were more than adequate to handle the performance.

My buddy JG sold his bike to someone in the Netherlands some years ago. I was still married and not cash rich.  The bike still had very low miles, and I’m very sorry I let it go to this day.

About Steve Kastell

Born in 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, I currently live in Manalapan New Jersey. My day job is implementing and managing the systems that run large companies. Currently I work for a medical device company based out of Boston. I have an undergraduate degree in Business from SUNY Albany and a MBA in Finance from NYU. Like many of you I rode as a kid, both dirt bikes and street bikes and then was interrupted by school, work and family. I added to my time away by living in NYC for four or five years and Divorce. I love Muscle Cars and Bikes, Harley-Davidsons, Duks and BMWs top my wish list. I current own a Harley Davidson Softail Deuce thats been considerably changed from the way Harley shipped it and I'm shopping for a BMS K1200R. A decent amount of success has lead me back to my passion - writing about cars and bikes and I'd like to do more of what I like now that most of the family can stand on their own two feet. I'm very capable. My dad owned 3 gas stations and I learned about cars from him and bikes from Joey Pitch in the back. I worked my way through college in Uncle Mikes Auto parts store (Everything Automotive on CIA for you Brooklyn kids). I built a 55 Chevy 150 coupe from scratch amongst a number of other projects in my time and have done much of the work on my bikes throughout the years. Most of my friends think I know more about bikes and cars than anyone they've met and I love to hear that. Would love to hear from you at nine11c2@gmail.com or nine11c2 on twitter. I'd love to hear about things you'd like to see on Classic Harley..
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