Bikers who like to simply lay back and enjoy the ride and sights ahead of them are offered a unique Softail model with a chopper profile straight from the FX custom era – the 2009 Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom. Also, meeting Harley’s most recent performance and reliability standards, this is a bike that combines nostalgia of the original American chopper design with the benefits of modern engineering.
From the very first glance, it’s easy to spot the resemblance with the Night Train, but while this will prove at home mostly on the boulevards, the Custom is designed for long rides. Yet, it benefits of the same 1,584 cc, Air-cooled, Twin Cam 96B engine developing 87.90 ft. lbs. of torque at 2,750 rpm. This might not sound like the proper rpm to obtain the best of torque at, especially when planning long trips (even though we’re dealing with a cruiser) and the truth is that it really isn’t. That is why Harley-Davidson couples that with a six-speed transmission. The results are much better than having a higher revving motor and a five-speed tranny: less wear and tear for the motor and better mileage while cruising at a relaxed pace down the highway. We cannot say “modern engineering” and not mention anything about the Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) feeding the mighty Harley V-twin engines so we’ll have to say that this is the system which allowed engineers to achieve the great amount of torq
ue that low on the rpm band.
The FXSTC Softail Custom is, obviously, made to be ridden and in order for that to happen at a level that would satisfy Harley owners, the bike is supposed to be light and to offer the proper balance between looks and functionality. So, wet weight is of 765 pounds while the 32.3-degree rake and 5-inch trail ensure both the ability to corner at fairly high speeds and look damn good while on it too.
Featuring ape-hanger handlebar with custom risers and a spacious, thick, one-piece seat, this bike offers five-star accommodations. Also, build quality is excellent so it addresses to those bikers willing to make no concessions when buying a new bike.
Inspired by the 1960s style, Harley-Davidson developed the FXST 1340 Softail Custom, which was first introduced, sold and enjoyed in 1984, the birth year of the Softail family. At the time, the bike was powered by the 64 hp at 5,200 rpm, 1,337 cc (81.58 cubic inches), air-cooled, V-twin engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission. It featured chain final drive and topped at 108 mph. In what concerns design, the bike wasn’t much different that this latest model year.
By the time the Harley-Davidson FLST 1340 Heritage Softail was introduced in 1987, the Softail Custom featured a five-speed transmision and, from the technical point of view, the two bikes evolved almost identical.
The engine’s biggest displacement upgrade to 1,449 cc (88.42 cubic inches) was seen on the 2000 model year and, afterwards, Harley started to work on their all-new fuel-injection system which was more likely tested on the respective generation motor while carburetion was also available.
In 2007, together with the 1,584 cc, air-cooled, V-twin, DOHC engine and the addition of a six-speed gearbox, the Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) system became a standard feature on the Softail Custom.
We’re still expecting that next big change and meanwhile, only color schemes change as the years go by.
The big fuss about the Softail Custom ever since it was first launched was the masked rear suspension, a characteristic of the 2009 model year as well. Also, overall, this model shows no time effect over it and that’s the whole point. Only the quality and variety of paint emhasise the smooth flowing lines of the Fat Bob fuel tank.
The tufted king/queen seat has chrome buttons and flows up an integrated aluminum one-piece backrest, providing a comfortable perch for rider and passenger. A new low-profile front fender hugs the 21-inch laced front wheel and tire. Profile ape-hanger handlebar on custom risers and the Fat Bob fuel tank with embossed leather tank strap and triple laid custom graphics accentuate the cool look. A 200 mm rear tire and Bobtail fender add authority to the rear end, while chrome details on the powertrain and oil tank contrast the black powder-coated engine.
2009 color options are: Vivid Black; Dark Blue Pearl; Red Hot Sunglo (New); Two-Tone Deep Turquoise/Antique White (New); Two-Tone Flame Blue Pearl/Pewter Pearl (New); 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).
The starting price of the 2009 Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom varries accordingly to the choosen color. So, for Black, the MSRP starts at $ 16,999, for any simple colors it starts at $ 17,344, at $ 17,654 for the two-tone and at $ 17,824 for any of the custom colored bikes.
We haven’t yet got the chance to test ride what we believe it is one of Harley’s most comfortable custom models ever to be produced so stay tuned as we might just get lucky. From the side, we can only consider this one of those bikes that starts a dilema between it and anything else that you considered buying before actually becoming aware of its existance. Things will never be the same afterwards!
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 96.00 cu. in.
Engine: Air-cooled, Twin Cam 96B
Bore x Stroke: 3.75 in. x 4.38 in.
Engine Torque: 87.90 ft lbs @ 2750 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Miles per Gallon: 54 hwy / 35 city
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratio (overall)
Chassis and DImensions
Brakes: 4-piston front and 2-piston rear
Parking Brake: N/A
Lean Angle (per SAEJ1168): 31° / 34°
Exhaust System: Chrome, staggered shorty exhaust w/ dual mufflers
Front Wheel: Chrome, Laced Steel
Rear Wheel: Polished, Slotted Disc Forged Aluminum
Wheel Option: Chrome, Profile Laced Aluminum (rear)
Front Tire: MH90-21 54H
Rear Tire: 200/55R17 78V
Length: 94.5 in.
Seat Height: 26.4 in. (laden) / 28.3 in. (unladen)
Ground Clearance: 5.10 in.
Rake Steering Head/Trail: 32.3° / 5.00 in.
Wheelbase: 64.50 in.
Track Width: N/A
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal.
Oil Capacity: 3.5 qt.
Dry Weight: 718 lbs.
Running Order: 765 lbs.
Instruments: Tank-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer, time-of-day clock on odometer, dual tripmeter, fuel gauge with low fuel warning light and countdown feature, low oil pressure indicator light, engine diagnostics readout, LED indicator lights, 6-speed indicator light
Indicator Lamps: High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, security system6 (optional), 6-speed, low fuel warnings