With the 2009 FLSTN Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson is set on touching a sensible cord as this is one very special ride, not necessarily due to the engine, also present on the rest of the Softail family, but because of the unique look. This here is the precise bike on which nostalgia meets modern powertrain and suspension for a confidence-inspiring incursion into the past.
It’s simply enough to take a look at the 2009 Softail Deluxe to realize that this is most likely the motorcycle you’ve always craved for if more attracted to museum exhibits rather than brand new two-wheelers. But even those bikes are meant to be ridden, not to mention this one. That is how the 1,854 cc, air-cooled, Twin Cam 96B engine ends up powering it with all the 89.70 ft. lbs. of torque at 2,750 rpm that Harley is so proud of. This features the Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and is mated to a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission, making this motorcycle perfectly adequate for highway use.
For 2009, the Softail Deluxe has a redesigned, narrow-profile rider seat with collapsible pockets in the shell that make the seat narrower when straddling the motorcycle at rest. Seat height is just 24.5 inches, among the lowest for a full-sized motorcycle. An easy-reach pull-back handlebar and riser package, lowered suspension, extended kickstand and exclusive integrated luggage rack make the Softail Deluxe an even more functional ride.
The Softail Deluxe allows for serious customization so that each and every rider would make the bike his own.
Harley-Davidson first launched the Softail Deluxe back in 2005 as a retro-styled motorcycle powered by their best engine of the time, the 1,449 cc, air-cooled V-twin, DOHC with four valves per cylinder one. This was fed by the same fuel injection system as on today’s motor, but it only benefited of a five-speed gearbox.
In 2007, engine displacement was increased to 1,573 cc and a six-speed gearbox was added, but the 1,584 cc version of the motor soon followed and it is also the last so far.
Harley’s new custom motorcycle featured wide whitewall tires, massive front fork, long-barreled shotgun pipes, clean front light bars with bullet signals, sculpted chrome headlight and nacelle as well as tombstone taillight from the very first day and that’s pretty much what sets the bike apart today.
Yes, it sets it apart from the Japanese models and the rest of Harley’s Softail ones and yet closer to Indian’s idea of a retro American motorcycle. Their Chief Deluxe stands out thanks to pretty much the same particular body features (and some Indian special ones such as the locomotive-like headlight and long skirt fenders). There is an air-cooled, pushrod, Power Plus 105ci engine behind the really massive bike, but buying a legend means starting from $31,999 so that’s why most people will go for the Harley over the Indian.
The Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe is all about distinctive features among which we’d like to mention the FL fenders and forks as well as the Fat Bob gas tank as being highly distinctive. Classic design touches include wide whitewall tires on Chrome Laced Steel wheels, tombstone tail light on the rear fender, intricate cloisonné and sparkling chrome. Like on all other Softail models, the engine is powder-coated and features chrome covers, but there’s actually more to this bike.
The color options available emphasize the retro look and help the bike be distinguished as a 2009 model year - Vivid Black; Flame Blue Pearl (New); Black Denim; Red Hot Sunglo (New); Two-Tone White Gold Pearl/Pewter Pearl; Two-Tone White Gold Pearl/Black Pearl; Two-Tone Deep Turquoise/Antique White; Two-Tone Red Hot Sunglo/Smokey Gold; Two-Tone Black Ice/Blue Ice (Custom Color Available October through December 2008); Two-Tone Light Candy Root Beer/Dark Candy Root Beer (Custom Color Available January through March 2009); Two-Tone Big Purple Flake/Brilliant Silver (Custom Color Available April through May 2009).
Although the choice a rider makes regarding the color scheme of his bike will have a significant influence on the MSRP, it’s nothing to match the Indian. The Black painted Deluxe starts at $17,449 while any of the other Single colors will determine the price to start at $17,794. Furthermore, the Two-Tone painted Deluxe will start at $18,104 and the Custom at $18,274.
With only styling tweaks, Harley-Davidson managed to add one more model to their Softail family and for 2009 this carries on with as little as a redesigned seat, lowered suspensions, extended kickstand and an integrated luggage rack. Still, that’s enough to make this an even greater overall product and combine nostalgia with rideability and practicability.