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Harley-Davidson Softail

The Softail family is H-D’s current workhorse platform that comprises the entirety of the cruiser category and also dips its toe in the touring range to make it the most prolific model in the lineup. A triangular swingarm and classic frame geometry lends it an antique-hardtail look and the shocks under the low-slung seat soften the jolts at the rear wheel to deliver modern ride qualities. Power comes from one of the current Big-Twin plants, and the electronics are mostly limited to ABS.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

Risen from the ashes of the Dynas, the Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail

The Harley-Davidson lineup underwent some serious changes for MY2018, and the chopped-down, Dyna-based Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail model. Not only did it switch to Harley’s faux-rigid style frame, but the frame itself was completely reinvented to the point where it bears little resemblance to the original that saw the light of day for the first time back in ’84. Sure, it still has that classic Softail visage, but the factory achieved it in a totally different way this time, and any perceived similarities are only skin deep. To add to the revamp, the Street Bob was on the receiving end of a beating-heart transplant with the addition of the then-new-to-cruisers, Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant that brings over 100 pounds of grunt to the table. The Street Bob has more power, new frame, and a new family/model combination as it rolls through to 2020.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

It’s one of the Softail initiates from the Dyna family

Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine with a total of 110 pound-feet of torque, the agile Softail frame brings heretofore unseen performance to the Low Rider. Harley-Davidson is digging deep to give us better handling and more power and the Low Rider is a prime example.

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2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

It’s a blank canvas for you to make it your own

Harley-Davidson makes some progress on its “100 new bikes” promise with the mid-year release of the new Softail Standard. The Standard presents a combination of old-school and custom features over a rather minimalist design, and that has the effect of keeping the price down to make this the least expensive Big Twin the MoCo has to offer. It also makes for a great starting point for you would-be bike customizers out there who are looking for a suitable platform.

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2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary

2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary

Only Harley-Davidson would have the courage to name a motorcycle “Fat Boy” and here’s celebrating 30 years of the iconic design

Harley-Davidson marks three decades of production for one of its most-iconic families with the release of the 2020 Fat Boy 114 30th Anniversary model. This machine proudly displays DNA from H-D’s immediate post-WWII era all the way down to the old-school frame geometry that mimics the rigid rear ends from way back in the day. Harley powers it with its largest production engine and wraps the whole project in a unique graphics package complete with a limited-edition serial number and 2,500-unit limited production run for an extra bit of exclusivity.

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2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

It’s Back And The Dyna Crowd Is Celebrating

Harley-Davidson’s cruiser line isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind for a performance-oriented street machine, but that changes with its newly refurbished Softail Low Rider S model. The steering geometry is sharpened for the sake of agility, and as for power, the torque-rich, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine delivers the goods with well over 100 pounds o’ grunt ready to be unleashed on the public roads. Harley gives the Low Rider S with coastal-style design touches that sets it apart from the pack and begs for customization.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

Harley Puts The Bling Back In The Heritage Classic

After a revamp for the 2018 model year, Softail underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, but the overall classic look of the Heritage Classic remains largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley-Davidson put a new emphasis on the Softail lineup with plenty of performance-driven custom designs for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, but for someone looking for an old-school cruiser and tour bike, the Heritage Classic is your Huckleberry.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

Ride it again for the first time

Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob comes with a choice of engine: the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight or the 114-inch version. These grunty powerplants, along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system from the redesign in 2018 give the Fat Bob an aggressive bent that is meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. The Fat Bob saw a complete do-over in 2018, so if you rode it before and weren’t impressed, know that you haven’t ridden this Fat Bob.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

The closest thing harley has to a sport-tourer

Harley-Davidson introduced the Sport Glide in 2018, an all-new Softail model that borrowed from the past while looking to the future. The detachable panniers and mini-fairing give it some (very) light touring capabilities, but it’s the 108 pounds of grunt from the Milwaukee-Eight engine that reveals its true nature as a power cruiser.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

It’s post WWII-Era bobber styling on a modern power-cruiser

Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the updated-in-2018 Softail Slim makes for a rolling tribute to both. The Slim rides on the same, newly-revamped frame as the rest of the fake-hardtail family for the unmistakeable geometry and dated look that you just can’t get from a traditional swingarm. Bobbed fenders and blackout paint tie right into the custom trends of yesteryear quite nicely, but it’s the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin and its 100-plus pounds of torque that drives the Slim past “historical-tribute” turf right into viable power-cruiser territory. Since the whole point of the original bobbers was to provide a more thrilling ride, I find this pairing of power and panache to be entirely fitting.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Expect a low seat height, butt-friendly saddle, and a smooth ride

Harley-Davidson’s Fat Boy survived the Great Purge of 2017 that saw so many models eliminated from the Softail and Dyna lineups as the former absorbed the latter. The FLSTF joins the rest of the all-new-in-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame. Last year, harley offered a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, but stuck with the 114 for 2020. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark the Fat Boy as members of the New Guard.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Ride it again for the first time

With the Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson brings a strong dose of nostalgia and antique design and with it comes H-D’s Big-Twin powerplant — the Milwaukee-Eight 107 — and its 109 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that turned in a stronger top-gear roll-on than any previous engine family before it with the same 45-degree V-Twin. The charm and engine lope that even the oldest fans of the brand would recognize wasn’t lost and ABS, security and oodles of laid-back, classic vibes are included in the standard equipment package, so this is truly a melding of two technologically-distinct eras.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout

Now with new engines, new chassis, and a whole new attitude

Once again, Harley-Davidson takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-in-2018 Softail lineup, and the drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump and carried into 2020. Harley offered this bobber-burner with the 109 pound-foot, Milwaukee-Eight 107 and the Mil-8 114 that boasts a total of 119 pounds o’ twist last year, but sticks to the 114 for 2020. The ground-up Softail-family rebuild contains myriad changes from the remarkable to the mundane that go way beyond a handful of re-arranged trim packages. This is a re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology more in line with the current industry standards. We’re talking a renewed focus on the Softails as H-D’s sole (or should it be soul?) cruisers.

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2019 Harley Davidson FXDR 114

2019 Harley Davidson FXDR 114

its most powerful and expensive Softail yet with aluminum and carbon-fiber bits

With what went down as the biggest shift in the company’s corporate stance, Harley Davidson has gone on record showcasing its future plans over the next five years in great detail. As part of its brand new “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022, HD has showcased multiple concepts under electric motorcycles, adventure-tourers, streetfighter, and Customs being the prominent ones.

But Harley has definitely taken care not to forget about its past nor the present. After releasing nine new Softails earlier this year, the Milwaukee brand has unleashed a brand new one, and this time, it gets the biggest of the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engines with 1868cc. It’s the FXDR 114, and it comes built around the new platform with 240-section rear tire and lightweight aluminum swingarm.

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2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout

2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout

Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) program has been hard at work churning out models with the toppest-of-the-shelfestfeatures they can cook up. All that R&D isn’t wasted on the premium models though, as frequently technology pioneered in the CVO program makes its way through the Rushmore bikes and on down the line to the less-expensive models. H-D’s newest CVO release is a direct assault on the American muscle-bike market, and it cuts a mean figure with its raked front end and massive V-Twin engine. Introducing the FXSE CVO Pro Street Breakout, a model packed with CVO and Screamin’ Eagle yummy goodness as it rolls off the floor ready for stoplight-burner action. While Harley markets the V-Rod as its “performance line,” this Breakout definitely qualifies for that category as well, albeit with a more traditional look and DNA that goes back to the classic dragster/gasser era. Join me while I take a gander at this latest creation out of Harley’s CVO division.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout.

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2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout

2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout

Harley-Davidson has a reputation for incorporating modern technology with classic design elements from the past, even embracing custom looks that never saw a showroom floor, and the Softail Breakout does not disappoint.

The engineers borrowed from the custom “Gasser” look of the 1950s and 1960s when setting up this sled, then they packed it full of CVO-inspired innovations to ensure that the performance is up to date. Back in the day, Gassers were customized drag bikes and this bike pays tribute to its roots while maintaining the performance standards demanded by its customer base.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout

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2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

When you’ve been making motorcycles for over a century, you accumulate plenty of grist for your creative mill, and Harley-Davidson has made a business model out of revisiting past designs. Harley fans typically have an appreciation for historical references and tribute bikes, a fact H-D takes to the bank over and over again. They’re now trying to score with that concept once again with the FLSTN Softail Deluxe. This ride comes absolutely dripping with nostalgic touches that come backed up by modern technology — just not too modern if you know what I mean — and it plugs a small hole in Harley’s lineup. With that in mind, I want to take a look at this ride and try to pick out all the little touches that reach back in time and make the Deluxe such a special ride.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe.

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2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim/Softail Slim S

2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim/Softail Slim S

Harley certainly loves historical references, and that comes naturally since they helped to define those eras. The factory picked the 1950s as the targeted period for the FLS Softail Slim, specifically the minimalist “bobber” niche known for trimming off anything that didn’t directly contribute to performance.

Bobber enthusiasts back in the day were fixated on one thing only — the need for speed — and Harley was not remiss in this regard. The factory keeps sticking more powerful engines into each successive model, so this ride is not meant for the all-show/no-go category. Let’s take a look and see how the details pan out.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Slim and Softail Slim S.

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2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy / Fat Boy Lo / Fat Boy S

2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy / Fat Boy Lo / Fat Boy S

When old Arnie jumped his “borrowed” Fat Boy into the drainage sluice in Terminator 2back in ’91, he cemented the Fat Boy’s place in American pop culture for all time. Harley has stayed true to the original look, and they’ve continually refined the Fat Boy in the interim to bring us the newest range of models built on the FLSTF platform.

We have the traditional-looking Fat Boy as a base model with the blackout Fat Boy Lo as sort of a side-grade model. The factory included the Fat Boy in its “S-series” program that sees existing bikes souped up with Harley’s biggest production engines and decked out with Screamin’ Eagle performance parts. Join me while I take a look at the specific upgrades H-D sprinkled across the range.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, Fat Boy Lo and Fat Boy S.

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2016 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

2016 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

The original “Softail” design was born – and shelved – in the mid-’70s. It wasn’t until 1986 that the factory combined its brand-new Evolution engine with the Softail frame for the original FLST. This base model borrows from the look of the ’49 through ’57 FL “Hydra-Glides” that came with a rigid frame and hydraulic front forks. The FLSTC “Heritage Softail Classic” that came out in 1988 did more than borrow suggestions from a certain era; it dove headlong into the custom world of yesteryear. Harley keeps the line alive with its new, 2017 FLSTC that comes with all the familiar touches from the past.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic.

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2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

The 2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe is now offered with an exclusive Hard Candy Custom paint scheme which draws inspiration from the ‘70s custom bikes.

The retro style of the motorcycle is underlined by its classy fenders which are combined with a set of unique Dunlop tyres. The front end holds a premium touring tyre with a three-ply polyester casing and two fiberglass belts while the back cruiser tyre has an advanced tread pattern.

When designing the Softail Deluxe, the company’s engineers have spent a lot of time in the ergonomy department; thereby the motorcycle offers a very comfortable riding position thanks to its low seat with slim sides and the pull-back handlebar.

The motorcycle’s center piece is the air-cooled, Twin Cam 103B engine with a displacement of103 cu in. The unit puts out 98.7 f-lb of torque at 3,000 rpm and delivers a combined fuel economy of 42 mpg.

Hit the jump for more information on the 2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe.

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2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Blackline

2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Blackline

The 2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Blackline features a vintage look and is fitted with a wide range of custom accessories which give it a pretty distinctive personality. The Softail Blackline also comes with optional Hard Candy Custom, a large metal flake paint finish that recalls the iconic styling of ’70s custom bikes. Other traits that form the motorcycle’s fancy personality are the cast aluminum wheels with full wrap fenders, mini “ape hanger” handlebars, chromed-out fork covers and the hand finish fuel tank.

The motorcycle is propelled by an air-cooled, Twin Cam 103B poweplant with a displacement of 103 cu in. The engine is mated on a six speed gear box and delivers a peak torque of 98.7 ft-lb at 3250 rpm. You also get the Engine Idle Temperature Management Strategy (EITMS) feature, which automatically cuts fuel and fire from rear cylinder when idling.

Hit the jump for more information on the 2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Blackline.

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