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2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

The Performance Model In The 2018 Softail Lineup

Harley-Davidson’s Fat Bob is one of only a few [Dyna1760] models that made the crossover into the all-new 2018 Softail lineup. Its popularity as an FXD played heavily into that decision, and it looks like the factory is doubling down on more of the same modern-custom/bobber vibe that endeared it to its fans. Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Fat Bob comes with a choice between the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight and the 114-inch version along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system, all of which gives the Fat Bob an aggressive bent that is meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. Will it be enough? Time will tell, and with the overall decline of motorcycling, models that grab the Millennials’ attention may help prop up the MoCo until the next gen comes of age or, at least, until the pendulum swings back the other way.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

Post WWII-Era Bobber Style

Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the new 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 that 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. This is a big year for the Softails as the MoCo phases out its Dyna cruisers and the ST family takes on the full weight of the cruiser market all by its onesies, and it’s interesting to see what the factory decided to hinge its mid-size hopes upon. That’s right folks; this ain’t last year’s Softail, so let’s check it out.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Slim.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Low Seat Height, Butt-Friendly Saddle, And A Smooth Ride

The Fat Boy has been around, at least as a concept, since 1988, but it really showed up on everyone’s radar and earned a place in American pop culture when old Arney rode one in Terminator 2. Since it’s such an iconic bike, it’s hardly surprising that it 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-for-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame and a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark these Fat Boys as members of the New Guard.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

2018 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

The Closest Thing Harley Has To A Sport-Tourer

Not too long ago, Harley-Davidson vowed to release 100 new models over the next decade, and it seems the MoCo is working hard to keep that promise. So far, the “new” models have been variations on existing/past models or one of the new Softail models that absorbed some Dyna DNA as the successor to the FXR family was put out to pasture. Today’s feature is a combination thereof. Introducing the 2018 Sport Glide, an all-new Softail model that borrows 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. Is it enough to help revitalize flagging sales? Time will tell, but in the meanwhile let’s take a look at this latest Frankenstein creation from the mad scientists of Milwaukee.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Sport Glide.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

2018 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

One Of The Softail Initiates From The Dyna Family

The blade with which Harley-Davidson streamlined its cruiser lineup cut deep and wide with an entire branch (Dyna) finding itself pruned from the family tree. That’s right, we lost the successor to the FXR family, and have only the Softail lineup for cruiser work. Though we’ve lost an iconic family (that I never cared for, I should probably add), my target for today picks up the torch from a particluar Dyna model that held a special place in the hearts of many, the Low Rider. Powered by the new-to-cruisers Milwaukee-Eight engine with a total of 110 pound-feet of torque, the new agile Softail frame brings heretofore unseen performance to the family. Good thing too, since the MoCo is pinning its hopes for success in the cruiser market on models like the new Low Rider. What else has Harley packed onto the ride? Read on to find out.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Low Rider.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

2018 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

A New Spin On An Old Classic

Harley-Davidson’s lineup has recently undergone a major shakeup with lots of what you might call the ’low hanging fruit’ that fell by the wayside — like the entire Dyna family line, for example — but not the venerable Heritage Softail Classic. Oh no. It moves into the 2018 model year with a dark edge to its paint packages, and a choice of either the 107- or 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight engine that brings solid, 100 pound-feet-plus performance to the table no matter which you choose. Though the underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, the overall classic looks remain largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley has 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 is your Huckleberry.

Continue reading for my reviw of the harley-Davidson Heritage Classic.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

New Engine, New Chassis; Ride It Again For The First Time

With the Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson brings a strong dose of nostalgia and antique design to a market that is rapidly shifting to cater to the youngest buyer demographic, who much to their credit, seem to have more of an appreciation for the craftsmanship of bygone eras than did the Gen Xers. With it comes H-D’s newest Big-Twin powerplant — the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight — and its 109 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that turns in a stronger top-gear roll-on than any previous engine family with the same 45-degree V-Twin while keeping the charm and engine lope that even the oldest fans of the brand would recognize. 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.

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

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2018 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

2018 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

Rebuilt And Reintroduced As A Softail

The Harley-Davidson lineup has undergone some serious changes for MY18, and the chopped-down, Dyna-based Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail model while the Dyna family was cut from production in its entirety. Not only did it switch to Harley’s faux-rigid style frame, but the frame itself got 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. As if that wasn’t enough, the Street Bob got a beating-heart transplant with the addition of the new-to-cruisers, Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant that brings over 100 pounds of twist to the table. More power, new frame and a new family/model combination. Excited yet? I know I am, so let’s get started.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Bob.

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2018 Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 Harley-Davidson Breakout

New Engine Choices, New Chassis, New Attitude

Once again, the Motor Company takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-for-2018 Softail lineup, and the drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump to the new MY18 range. Harley offers 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. 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. We’re talking about the re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology that is 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. This is it; the drag-tastic sub-model of the range that Harley has pinned its mid-size hopes on for the foreseeable future.

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

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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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