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.

  • 2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
  • Year:
    2018- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 107
  • Displacement:
    107 cubic inches
  • Top Speed:
    110 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    18999
  • Price:

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Design

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 809538
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 809545
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859962
After taking the usually chrome-tastic Heritage Classic to a dark place, the factory brings back the bling for 2020.

Harley-Davidson’s lineup had a major shakeup in 2018 with lots of what you might call the ’low hanging fruit’ falling by the wayside — like the entire Dyna family line, for example — but not the venerable Heritage Classic. Oh no. It moved 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.

Harley definitely took the usually chrome-tastic Heritage to a dark place with liberal blackout treatment scattered throughout the machine to include rims, front forks and shrouds, light cans, and engine components. Classic from the start, the Heritage rolls on laced rims with a chrome hub cover on the non-brake side that is set off nicely by the surrounding darkness. The front fender carries a full shape with high-cut sides for an unimpeded view of the front wheel and chrome trim at both ends that tastefully represent the old-style skirt-and-piping in an understated sort of way.

For 2020, the Heritage Classic 107 brings the bling once more with a bright powertrain with chrome air cleaner and covers, chrome laced wheels, and more chrome bits and bobs for a gleam and glitter looks that only Harley chrome can deliver. The Heritage Classic 114 stays on the dark side with the black-out look carried over from last year.

Typical of the FL family, the Heritage features large-diameter, wide-set forks to lend a definite beefiness to the look, and this is compounded by the whisker-mount passing lamps and turn signals that ride ahead of the barn-door windscreen. The lower half of the shield comes blacked out on the 114 for even more visual weight up front and a look not unlike the old windshield protectors from back in the day. The screen itself is of the detachable sort for quick conversion depending on the weather, your mood, or whatever.

Mini-apes raise the hands to something approaching shoulder height for a comfortable and commanding riding position. Unlike a few of the new Softails that bundle all of the instrumentation into the handlebar-riser cap, the Heritage carries an analog clock for the speedo and an array of idiot lights set in the classic split-tank console.

The deep-scoop seat slings the rider’s butt at 26.3 inches off the ground (laden with at least 180 pounds o’ rider) for a confidence-inspiring position with plenty of leverage when its time to put your feet down. A pillion pad and flip-out footpegs are all the passenger gets, so if you plan on carrying someone you like, perhaps a short passenger backrest is in order.

A set of black, top-load saddlebags completes the gear in the rear, and though the bags are cut down a bit to 1.5 cubic-feet of storage, they still manage to obscure just enough of the swingarm to ruin the illusion of the Softail rear end. Oh well, at least they look better than the old studded and fringed bags from back in the day, I suppose.

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Chassis

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 741181
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859963
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859958
The steering is set with an eye to stability, but the new frame handles cornering a lot better than the old one did.

It’s not exactly apparent at a glance on the Heritage Classic, but the factory completely reworked the Softail frame for 2018. The result is 50 percent of the frame components cut away and the engineering improved so that it is stiffer in spite of the lighter construction style. One thing that didn’t change was that classic Softail look the triangular swingarm and under-seat shock delivers.

The steering is set with an eye to stability with a 30-degree rake and 5.5-inch trail on a 64.2-inch wheelbase. Sure, this makes it less than ideal for cornering, but the new frame handles a lot better than the old one did, so don’t be put off by the numbers until you try it. Harley still isn’t on board with adjustable front suspension, but at least the factory started to use Showa’s Dual Bending Valve front forks that deliver a stroke-speed sensitive, variable-damping response to jolts from the road.

In the rear, the monoshock comes with a hand-adjustable preload feature that provides quick, tool-less adjustments for changing passenger and cargo loads. ABS protection is part of the standard equipment package, and that’s good news since the Heritage weighs in at 723-pounds (wet) and only comes with a single brake up front. Could it use dual front brakes? Sure, but at least the ABS will let you use what you’ve got with confidence.

Model: Heritage Classic 107 Heritage Classic 114
Frame: Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; MIG welded; aluminum forged fender supports Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; MIG welded; aluminum forged fender supports
Swingarm: Mild steel, tubular sections, stamped x-member, forged axle junctions; MIG welded; removable belt spacer Mild steel, tubular sections, stamped x-member, forged axle junctions; MIG welded; removable belt spacer
Front Forks: Dual Bending Valve 49 mm telescopic with aluminum fork triple clamps; dual rate spring; “beer can” covers Dual Bending Valve 49 mm telescopic with aluminum fork triple clamps; dual rate spring; “beer can” covers
Rear Shocks: Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 56 mm stroke; hydraulic preload adjustment Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 56 mm stroke; hydraulic preload adjustment
Rake (steering head): 30° 30°
Trail: 5.5 in. 5.5 in.
Lean Angle, Right/Left: 27.3°/28.5° 27.3°/28.5°
Brakes, Caliper Type: 4-piston fixed front and 2-piston floating rear 4-piston fixed front and 2-piston floating rear
Tire, Front: 130/90B16,53H,BW 130/90B16,53H,BW
Tire, Rear: 150/80B16,77H,BW 150/80B16,77H,BW
Wheel, Front: Chrome Steel Laced Gloss Black, Steel Laced
Wheel, Rear: Chrome Steel Laced Gloss Black, Steel Laced

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Drivetrain

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859960
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859957
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 741182
Not only do these Milwaukee-Eight plants give you ample power out of the hole, but they also have the strongest fifth- and sixth-gear roll-ons of any production Harley engine to date making the top-end performance more thrilling, as well.

Harley first introduced the Milwaukee-Eight powerplant to its tourbike customers. It seems the replacement for the aging Twin Cam design was a success, and so it made the jump down into the newly-revised cruiser bracket to power all the Softail models, including the Heritage Classic. The engine’s lineage is apparent in the 45-degree V-Twin configuration, and the return to a single-cam valvetrain puts the pushrod geometry and nosecone shape back where they belong for that classic Harley look.

No matter which of the two mills you choose, you’re going to get an air-cooled pushrod engine that runs with a fairly basic electronics suite. Harley still shuns any sort of traction control or variable power-delivery gadgets for the Softails, but they’re in the CVO and touring models for 2020. It’s only a matter of time before they trickle down to the cruisers.

The 107-inch Mil-8 engine runs a 99 mm bore with a 111 mm stroke for a 1,746 cc displacement and 10-to-1 compression ratio. It cranks out a respectable 109 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,000 rpm, and that’s plenty for low-stress cruising, especially after you filter it through the six-speed transmission. The 114 cubic-inch version has a 102 mm bore with a 114.3 mm stroke and slightly warmer 10.5-to-1 compression ratio and 119 pound-foot output at three grand.

Both mills come with a 47 mpg fuel-economy rating, so the five-gallon fuel tanks should have plenty of range for touring, more than my butt can take at a spell, no doubt. Not only do these plants give you ample power out of the hole, but they also have the strongest fifth- and sixth-gear roll-ons of any production Harley engine to date, so the top-end performance is definitely more thrilling as well.

Model: Heritage Classic 107 Heritage Classic 114
Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 107 Milwaukee-Eight® 114
Bore x Stroke: 3.937 in. x 4.374 in. 4.016 in. x 4.5 in.
Displacement: 107 cu in. (1,736 cc) 114 cu in. (1,868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1 10.5:1
Engine Torque (J1349): 109 ft-lb @ 3,000 rpm 119 ft-lb @ 3,000 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: 2-into-2 shorty dual; catalyst in muffler 2-into-2 shorty dual; catalyst in muffler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (overall): 1st: 9.311, 2nd: 6.454, 3rd: 4.793, 4th: 3.882, 5th: 3.307, 6th: 2.79 1st: 9.311, 2nd: 6.454, 3rd: 4.793, 4th: 3.882, 5th: 3.307, 6th: 2.79

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Price

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859959
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 741175
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
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MSRP on the Heritage Classic starts at $19k and goes up to $21.6k for the elegant two-tone custom colorway on the 114 model.

The King of Paint follows SoP with a tiered pricing schedule that breaks down along paint-package lines. In Vivid Black, the 107 goes for $18,999 and the 114 bumps that on up to $20,449 for the same color. For 2020, the Scorched Orange/Silver Flux two-tone custom colorway is available only on the 114 model.

Model: Heritage Classic 107 Heritage Classic 114
Model ID: FLHC FLHCS
Equipment: ABS, Security System, Cruise Control ABS, Security System, Cruise Control
Color:
└ 2018: Twisted Cherry, Silver Fortune, Olive Gold/Black Tempest, Industrial Gray Denim/Black Denim Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry, Silver Fortune, Olive Gold/Black Tempest, Industrial Gray Denim/Black Denim, Red Iron Denim; 115th Anniversary: Legend Blue / Vivid Black
└ 2019: Vivid Black, Rawhide, Wicked Red/Twisted Cherry, Billiard Blue/Billiard White Vivid Black, Rawhide, Wicked Red/Twisted Cherry, Billiard Blue/Billiard White, Silver Flux/Black Fuse, Kinetic Green, Rawhide/Vivid Black
└ 2020: Vivid Black, Billiard Burgundy, Silver Pine/Spruce, Billiard Red/Vivid Black, Tahitian Teal Vivid Black, Billiard Burgundy, Silver Pine/Spruce, Billiard Red/Vivid Black, Tahitian Teal, Scorched Orange/Silver Flux
Pricing:
└ 2018: Vivid Black: $18,999, Color: $19,399, Two-Tone:$19,749 Vivid Black: $20,299, Color: $20,699, Two-Tone: $21,049, 115th Anniversary Edition: $21,199
└ 2019: Vivid Black: $19,049, Color: $19,449, Two-Tone:$19,799 Vivid Black: $20,449, Color: $20,849, Two-Tone: $21,199, Custom Color: $21,399, Two-Tone Custom Color: $21,599
└ 2020: Vivid Black: $18,999, Color: $19,399, Two-Tone: $19,749, Custom Color: $19,949 Vivid Black: $20,449, Color: $20,849, Two-Tone: $21,199, Custom Color: $21,399, Two-Tone Custom Color: $21,599

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Competitor

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
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2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
- image 741169

It should come as no surprise that a model as old and storied as the Heritage would have its share of admirers on the market. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all; but none are quite as flattering as the Vulcan 900 Classic LT from Kawasaki. What about the engine size? Yeah, it’s got a smaller powerplant than the Heritage to be sure, but the initial visual impact is going to be the main selling point here, so the Vulcan is likely to appeal to the same sort of buyer.

Admittedly, Kawasaki did a good job in capturing the feel and flavor of the FLSTC family. It starts right up front with a full-length but high-sided front fender that goes with the whisker-bar turn signals, windshield and beer-can fork shrouds like peas-and-carrots. The similarities continue into the fuel tank where the Vulcan carries its instrumentation in a console ahead of a very deeply scooped, studded saddle, and the Kawasaki comes more second-rider friendly off the floor with a passenger backrest but has even less storage space in the bags.

The 41 mm stems on the Kawasaki are straight-up vanilla while Harley’s are kinda vanilla with sprinkles on top due to the DBV technology, and it looks like Harley wins out in the brakes as well with the only ABS between the two.

Now for the engines. Kawasaki runs with a 55-degree V-twin for a similar look to the Harley plant, but the liquid cooling ruins the effort they spent, at least from a head-on perspective. The Vulcan mill measures out at 903 cc with an 88 mm bore and 74.2 mm stroke, and it runs a bit cooler as well with a 9.5-to-1 compression ratio. Power output is a bit over half that of the Mil-8 107 with 58.2 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm, but honestly, how much power do you really need to putt-putt around town or do a little casual touring?

Pricing is where the Vulcan really shines. At $8,999 Kawasaki kicks the crap out of Harley at the checkout counter and it’s largely the difference in engine size that does that. The buyer will have to decide if the Harley is worth the higher price or if the look alone is what you love.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Personally, I’d rather have the performance of the larger engine, but if I were on a budget that made the Vulcan a contender, I’d be looking at another type of bike, myself. That said, I like what the factory did with the Heritage as far as the blackout treatment is concerned, but I’m glad to see a chrome version more like the classic Heritage Classic.”

She Said

"Dark and snarly is the new cool, but I’m glad to see Harley put bling back in the Heritage Classic. The Heritage Classic is the only Softail in the lineup to come with a windscreen, though it is detachable if you want to nix it. It was the only Softail model that comes with bags before the Sport Glide, and even though they’re molded hard-cases, they look like leather so that heritage look isn’t spoiled. This bike is really comfortable. I can see myself using this as a tourer and not just an around-town cruiser. I’ve always been a fan of the no-fairing-with-a-windscreen look and cyclops headlight with the pimp lights, so yeah, this is my favorite Softail."

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Specifications

Model: Heritage Classic 107 Heritage Classic 114
Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Milwaukee-Eight® 107 Milwaukee-Eight® 114
Bore x Stroke: 3.937 in. x 4.374 in. 4.016 in. x 4.5 in.
Displacement: 107 cu in. (1,736 cc) 114 cu in. (1,868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1 10.5:1
Engine Torque (J1349): 109 ft-lb @ 3,000 rpm 119 ft-lb @ 3,000 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: 2-into-2 shorty dual; catalyst in muffler 2-into-2 shorty dual; catalyst in muffler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (overall): 1st: 9.311, 2nd: 6.454, 3rd: 4.793, 4th: 3.882, 5th: 3.307, 6th: 2.79 1st: 9.311, 2nd: 6.454, 3rd: 4.793, 4th: 3.882, 5th: 3.307, 6th: 2.79
Chassis:
Frame: Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; MIG welded; aluminum forged fender supports Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; MIG welded; aluminum forged fender supports
Swingarm: Mild steel, tubular sections, stamped x-member, forged axle junctions; MIG welded; removable belt spacer Mild steel, tubular sections, stamped x-member, forged axle junctions; MIG welded; removable belt spacer
Front Forks: Dual Bending Valve 49 mm telescopic with aluminum fork triple clamps; dual rate spring; “beer can” covers Dual Bending Valve 49 mm telescopic with aluminum fork triple clamps; dual rate spring; “beer can” covers
Rear Shocks: Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 56 mm stroke; hydraulic preload adjustment Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 56 mm stroke; hydraulic preload adjustment
Rake (steering head): 30° 30°
Trail: 5.5 in. 5.5 in.
Lean Angle, Right: 27.3° 27.3°
Lean Angle, Left: 28.5° 28.5°
Brakes, Caliper Type: 4-piston fixed front and 2-piston floating rear 4-piston fixed front and 2-piston floating rear
Tire, Front: 130/90B16,53H,BW 130/90B16,53H,BW
Tire, Rear: 150/80B16,77H,BW 150/80B16,77H,BW
Wheel, Front: Chrome Steel Laced Gloss Black, Steel Laced
Wheel, Rear: Chrome Steel Laced Gloss Black, Steel Laced
Dimensions &Capacities:
Length: 95.1 in. 95.1 in.
Seat Height, Laden: 26.3 in. 26.3 in.
Seat Height, Unladen: 26.8 in. 26.8 in.
Ground Clearance: 4.7 in. 4.7 in.
Wheelbase: 64.2 in. 64.2 in.
Fuel Capacity: 5 gal. 5 gal.
Fuel Economy: Estimated City/Hwy: 47 mpg 47 mpg
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 5 qt. 5 qt.
Dry Weight: 697 lb. 697 lb.
Curb Weight: 723 lb. 728 lb.
Luggage Capacity -Volume: 1.5 cu ft 1.5 cu ft
Top Speed: 110 mph (est) 120 mph (est)
Electric:
Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps: High beam, turn signals, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, auxiliary lighting, cruise, ABS, security, low battery voltage, low fuel High beam, turn signals, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, auxiliary lighting, cruise, ABS, security, low battery voltage, low fuel
Gauges: 5-inch analog speedometer with digital gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, range and tachometer indication 5-inch analog speedometer with digital gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, range and tachometer indication
Details:
Model ID: FLHC FLHCS
Equipment: ABS, Security System, Cruise Control ABS, Security System, Cruise Control
Color:
└ 2018: Twisted Cherry, Silver Fortune, Olive Gold/Black Tempest, Industrial Gray Denim/Black Denim Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry, Silver Fortune, Olive Gold/Black Tempest, Industrial Gray Denim/Black Denim, Red Iron Denim; 115th Anniversary: Legend Blue / Vivid Black
└ 2019: Vivid Black, Rawhide, Wicked Red/Twisted Cherry, Billiard Blue/Billiard White Vivid Black, Rawhide, Wicked Red/Twisted Cherry, Billiard Blue/Billiard White, Silver Flux/Black Fuse, Kinetic Green, Rawhide/Vivid Black
└ 2020: Vivid Black, Billiard Burgundy, Silver Pine/Spruce, Billiard Red/Vivid Black, Tahitian Teal Vivid Black, Billiard Burgundy, Silver Pine/Spruce, Billiard Red/Vivid Black, Tahitian Teal, Scorched Orange/Silver Flux
Pricing:
└ 2018: Vivid Black: $18,999, Color: $19,399, Two-Tone:$19,749 Vivid Black: $20,299, Color: $20,699, Two-Tone: $21,049, 115th Anniversary Edition: $21,199
└ 2019: Vivid Black: $19,049, Color: $19,449, Two-Tone:$19,799 Vivid Black: $20,449, Color: $20,849, Two-Tone: $21,199, Custom Color: $21,399, Two-Tone Custom Color: $21,599
└ 2020: Vivid Black: $18,999, Color: $19,399, Two-Tone: $19,749, Custom Color: $19,949 Vivid Black: $20,449, Color: $20,849, Two-Tone: $21,199, Custom Color: $21,399, Two-Tone Custom Color: $21,599

Further Reading

Kawasaki Vulcan 900

2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
- image 741170

See our review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900.

Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide
- image 743257

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Sport Glide.

Harley-Davidson

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 809334

Read more Harley-Davidson news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: harley-davidson.com, kawasaki.com

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