MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

New Harley-Davidson Softail Models Lose Weight With New Frame, Suspension and Engines

The following press release from Harley-Davidson announces redesigned Softail models featuring new frames, suspension components and engines resulting in lighter weight and higher performance. Here is the press release:

MILWAUKEE (Aug. 22, 2017) – To celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 115th Anniversary year, the Motor Company is launching  a custom revolution: Eight all-new Softail® models that merge the hard-riding performance of the Dyna® line with the unparalleled custom look of the Softail line.

Designed under the largest product development project in company history, the new bikes compared to prior year models feature a stiffer and significantly lighter frame built to harness the pulse-quickening torque of the new dual-counterbalanced Milwaukee-Eight® 107 and 114 engines. With high-performance dual-bending valve front suspension and an easily adjustable hidden rear mono-shock, the aggressively styled 2018 Softail models are faster, lighter and better handling than any of their Big Twin cruiser predecessors.

“The new Softail models are the result of the most extensive research and development program in the company’s history,” said Paul James, manager of product portfolio, Harley-Davidson. “Thousands of hours of research and testing were put into the complete ground-up design of these new cruisers. We focused on taking the total rider experience to a higher level, where authenticity, heritage and soul meet the modern edge of technology for a ride that must be felt to believe.”

NEW CHASSIS

The handling of a Softail motorcycle enters a new era with a lighter, more rigid frame that elevates form and function to a higher plane, while maintaining the classic look of a hard tail and delivers a thoroughly modern ride. Benefits of the new chassis include increased lean angles, sharper turn-in response, quicker acceleration, nimble flick-ability, lighter weight, and easier side-stand liftoff than predecessor Softail and Dyna models. The steel foundation of the next generation of custom Harley-Davidson motorcycles has been forged.

Frame / swingarm

A new high stiffness carbon steel tubular frame forms the core of the 2018 Softail chassis. The completely redesigned frame and swingarm significantly increase the rigidity of the new chassis.  The frame itself is 65 percent stiffer than the 2017 Softail frame, which leads to a 34 percent increase in overall chassis stiffness. The frame design achieves reduced complexity with a 50 percent reduction in component parts and a 22 percent reduction in welds. There are two unique swingarms, one for narrow and one for wide rear tires. The wide chassis is 15 percent lighter (13 pounds) and the narrow chassis is 20 percent (18 pounds) lighter than the 2017 Softail frame. The swingarm transfers rear wheel movement to the under-seat mono-shock while maintaining the pure, classic lines of a hard tail frame.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE SUSPENSION

All-new front and rear suspension components are calibrated to match the dynamics of the new chassis, wheels and tires to enhance the comfort, control and performance of the 2018 Softail® motorcycles. The new high-performance dual-bending valve front suspension, which was first introduced on 2017 Touring models, delivers damping performance that is similar to a cartridge fork but with improved, more responsive damping characteristics. The suspension is optimized for both comfortable cruising and spirited riding with 130 mm of bump-devouring travel. Retuned and optimized rake and trail also enhance the motorcycles’ handling performance.

The new mono-shock rear suspension preserves the classic hard tail look while revamped geometry improves ride quality, traction and control. The new easily adjustable mono-shock enables a 240 pound range of payload capacity for increased passenger comfort and enhanced dynamic handling compared to 2017 Softail models.

Ride and handling agility

The all-new Softail models are up to 35 pounds* lighter than 2017 models, delivering an improved power-to-weight ratio that provides quicker acceleration, better braking and enhanced dynamic cornering capability combined with increased lean angles. Some models feature new tires specifically designed to work with the new Softail chassis and feature optimized constructions and improved compounds for a confident, long-wearing ride in all riding conditions. New seat designs and materials provide an improved fit for a wider range of riders and greater comfort for cruising. Bar none, the 2018 Softail models are the best handling cruisers Harley-Davidson has ever produced.

NEW POWERTRAIN

All 2018 Softail models get a new heartbeat from the most powerful engines ever offered in Harley-Davidson® Big Twin cruisers, the new Milwaukee-Eight® 107 and 114 V-Twins.

ICONIC LOOK

  • Milwaukee-Eight engines retain the iconic 45-degree V-Twin cylinder angle with a broad-shouldered top end accentuated by a single camshaft design that tapers to a slim bottom end for a muscular contour. The new Softail frame’s rigid engine mounting is engineered to tightly package the engine and reinforce the chassis stiffness.

SMOOTHER RUNNING & PURER SOUND

  • Milwaukee-Eight engines for Softail models feature a refined dual internally counter-balanced system that reduces engine vibration while maintaining the familiar Harley-Davidson feel.
  • Harley-Davidson’s trademark “potato-potato-potato” sound comes through strong with less intake and mechanical noise.

TWO ENGINE DISPLACEMENT OPTIONS

Milwaukee-Eight 107 Engine

(107 CID; 1746cc) Standard on all models

  • 100 mm bore and 4.375 inch stroke with 10.0:1 compression ratio
  • 0-60 mph – 10 percent quicker acceleration than the High Output Twin Cam 103
  • 60-80 mph/5th gear – 16 percent faster acceleration than the High Output Twin Cam 103

Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine

(114 CID; 1868cc) Optional

  • Available on four models: Fat Bob® 114, Fat Boy® 114, Breakout® 114, Heritage Classic 114
  • 102 mm bore and 4.5 inch stroke with 10.5:1 compression ratio
  • Ventilator Intake with 114 graphics and badging
  • Standard ABS
  • 0-60 mph – Nine percent faster acceleration than the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine
  • 60-80 mph/5th gear -13 percent faster acceleration than the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine

MODERN STYLING & DESIGN

Interpreting Harley-Davidson’s history, authenticity and styling DNA through a modern lens, the eight new Softail models feature all-new designs that strongly differentiate them from their predecessors and each other. From a new base of style, comfort and performance, the next generation of factory custom cruisers are ready for riders to take even higher with their own personalization.

“The authenticity of Harley-Davidson design comes by sweating the details from start to finish, ‘hard to do and hard to copy.’ Harley-Davidson motorcycles are not a commodity; they are handed down from generation to generation,” said Brad Richards, vice president of styling and design, Harley-Davidson. “We look at every nut and bolt on the bike, all the finishes, and every small detail. The new Softail frame is like a piece of art, and the more you take off the bike, the more beautiful it becomes. Its design speaks to the teamwork that our styling and engineering processes demand.”

EIGHT new SOFTAIL MODEL KEY FEATURES:

FAT BOY®

The legendary Fat Boy motorcycle that defined contemporary custom style for decades has outdone itself. Ripped and refined satin-chrome finishes deliver a bold, muscular styling statement showing off its powerful engine and new and improved ride and handling.

  • Aggressive, steamroller stance and front end design
  • Modern-day interpretation of the classic headlight nacelle
  • 160 mm front tire, the widest-ever on a Harley-Davidson production model, wraps the solid Lakester front wheel
  • 31-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Standard ABS
  • 240 mm rear tire with solid Lakester rear wheel
  • Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine

HERITAGE CLASSIC

Design cues evoke the blacked-out styling of vintage ‘50s Harley-Davidson models updated with a modern edge.

  • New detachable windscreen
  • New rigid, lockable, sealed, water-resistant saddlebags
  • Taller suspension with increased passenger and cargo payload capacity
  • 32-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine
  • Standard cruise control and ABS

LOW RIDER®

Inspired by the individualism of the ‘70s custom chopper era that birthed the original, the new Low Rider model is lighter and faster with corner-carving handling unimaginable back in the day.

  • Throwback-style dual tank-mount speedo and tach gauges, headlight visor and fuel tank graphics
  • 19-inch front and 16-inch rear Radiate cast wheels
  • 2-into-2 Shotgun exhaust

SOFTAIL SLIM®

Stripped to its essential elements, the Softail Slim model pays homage to post-war custom bobbers with a narrow rear end, trimmed front fender, solo seat and minimal chrome.

  • Dark finishes adorn the laced wheels, Hollywood handlebar, and all-new front-end design
  • Low-slung tuck and roll seat
  • Bold and smooth new front nacelle and fork cover styling
  • 35-pound weight reduction to previous model

DELUXE

A classic hi-line showstopper that stands out on any boulevard, the Deluxe glistens with bright chrome while delivering the ride of a seriously modern machine.

  • Signature all-LED lighting from front to back: headlight, running lights, Tombstone taillight and blade-like turn signals
  • Signature pull-back handlebar
  • 33-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Standard ABS

BREAKOUT®

With more lean angle and agility than ever imagined in a bike carrying so much dragster attitude and style, the all-new Breakout model takes long, lean muscle to a modern edge.

  • New smooth-top 3.5-gallon fuel tank
  • Long and wide with low-slung raked out 49 mm front forks
  • 18-inch rear (240 mm tire) and 21-inch front (130 mm tire) Gasser-style gloss-black powder coated cast aluminum wheels
  • Distinctive Daymaker™ Signature LED headlamp
  • Low-profile, riser-mounted digital instrument screen
  • 35-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Standard ABS
  • Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine

FAT BOB®

Asphalt-eating traction, pothole-devouring suspension, agile cornering, and a blacked-out take-no-prisoners look make the Fat Bob® model a groundbreaking motorcycle that could only come from Harley-Davidson.

  • 2-1-2 upswept performance exhaust with a custom finish
  • Largest aggressively treaded tires from the Motor Company:150 mm front and 180 mm rear
  • Dual disc front brakes
  • 6-gallon fuel tank
  • 33-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Inverted 43 mm cartridge style front forks
  • Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine

STREET BOB®

A bare-bones bike with go-anywhere DNA, the all-new Street Bob motorcycle has a fists-in-the-wind attitude with nothing extra to weigh it down.

  • Smooth-top 3.5-gallon fuel tank
  • Black spoke wheels with chopped fenders
  • Low-profile, riser-mounted digital instrument screen
  • 17-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Lowest MSRP in Softail lineup

NEW TECHNOLOGY FEATURED ON EVERY SOFTAIL MODEL

  • Unique Daymaker™ Signature LED Headlamps on all models
  • Improved electrical system charging, more than doubled at idle speeds
  • Easily adjustable rear shock pre-load settings (method varies by model)
    • Under seat spanner wrench: Softail Slim®, Street Bob®, Low Rider®
    • External hand adjustment knob: Fat Bob, Fat Boy, Breakout®
    • Under seat socket adjustment: Deluxe, Heritage Classic
  • Steering head mounted USB charge port
  • New instrumentation
  • Keyless ignition and security system standard
  • New fuel tanks

See more of MD’s great photography:

Instagram


108 Comments

  1. WSHart says:

    I have been waiting for a touring bike that will meet my expectations and suddenly I’ve had an epiphany of sorts.

    None of them are worth the money. Not Harley, not BMW and certainly not Starley. Even if Honda offers a new Goldwing, it is not worth the money that it will cost. Talk about reaching the point of diminishing returns!

    It’s like motorhomes. They seem to make sense and people buy ’em only to let them sit in front of their homes, off to the side of their homes, at RV storage lots, etc. For this kind of money and the little use a great many bikes (not just Harleys) get used, it would make more common sense to not buy one. You still get wet. You get cold in the winter and hot in the summer. You never have enough space on a touring bike, so then you buy a freakin’ trailer and park it too.

    You don’t need a touring rig to tour on. All riding is a form of touring. But you do need RANGE and I seriously doubt any of these new Harleys (and many other makes) have that. The more power they put out, the more fuel they use. The bigger the motor and the smaller the fuel tank, the shorter your rides are. HD “claims” 47 mpg for some of these Milwaukee 8 motors? FTN.

    So I will have to give any new purchase thorough consideration. Motorcycles are not cheap transportation. Not by any means or stretch of the imagination. Especially when you factor in tires and maintenance. And many cars deliver equal or better mpg. To a degree the economy of scale may factor in to a little of the prices of such rides, but really? How much for a top of the line touring rig? $25,000 and more? A Fatblob costs what?! Ridiculous.

    I can get a nice car. Or save the money for something else that makes better memories. Like several vacations to Australia and New Zealand. While there, I can rent a bike if I want to.

    • StickyTires says:

      I tend to agree with you. The prices these days are high. But, so are prices for RV’s, boats, trucks, vacations, you name it. I suppose that if it’s a hobby a couple enjoys together, a new purchase might pay off after 5/10 years. I think it depends on the riding season, too. We get about 5-6 months of good riding time here in Oregon, so the season is short. For a guy like me who only does 1 or 2 overnight trips each year, the bike I have is just fine. 400 miles is a long day on any bike, especially if you’re hitting the back roads. An expensive touring bike won’t necessarily make the ride feel shorter.

  2. Your Uncle Bob says:

    I have to laugh at the negative Nelly posts. These bikes will top all the “Best” lists. Harley hit a dinger.

    I dare anyone to test ride a new Street Bob or Deluxe or Low Rider and, unless you’re just strictly a racer-boy, not flip.

  3. Joe says:

    Something about them stylewise just does not seem right! I cannot put my finger on it. The engineering improvements and the addition of the Milwaukee 8 are to be applauded.

  4. Fivespeed302 says:

    I like the 2017 Lowrider S. it’s the only one that should have the 117″ motor. I don’t see it in this lineup. The regular 2018 Lowrider makes me want to puke. Looks just like any other bike you see around town.

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      The Fatbob is acceptable, but just barely.

      • WSHart says:

        I agree with you on the 2017 Lowrider S but not on the 2018 Fatblob. That itsy bitsy pussified fuel tank makes the bike unworthy of riding anywhere beyond the comfort zone of readily available gas stations (e.g., every 90 or so miles).

        I suspect that the Mofo Company will soon offer a Screamin’ Fleagle “extended range” tank soon for $1,500 or so. It will be 3.9 and will allow you to tour like your were born to tour. It’ll cost you more if you want it painted and even more if you want it color matched to your Fatblob. FTMC.

        Freakin’ Imitation of lifestyle pansies. If they call the 2.1 gallon Sportster ’72 tank a “peanut” tank, what ever shall the fadbasterds be calling the new iconic fuel cells on the Fatblob and Breakout. Tumor Tanks. It’s not a tooomah…

        Again, FTMC. Riders want to go places not just sit there posing and making fart sounds. For going somewhere, a Roadking or Springfield is a much better choice than these new Softsnails.

    • Philip says:

      Agreed. Lowrider S was the best Harley had to offer. Kid in college. No can do at this time anyway.

    • Daimyo says:

      I’ve seen this sentiment echoed a lot. Considering how well regarded the low rider S was – and well regarded amongst younger people at that, I would hope it’s only a matter of time before HD introduce a replacement model.

      I actually started out really liking the looks of the new fatbob but after seeing one in person I was turned off, which is the opposite of most people’s experiences I’ve heard.

      I think what Harley really needs is some better looking and cheaper models than the ‘street’ bikes (blech) – maybe a sportster update is on the way soon?

  5. WSHart says:

    So, I went to a local HD shop today and saw the new Fatbob. Great looking bike that is made useless to an adult by the stupid dinky fuel tank. WTF was HD thinking? Oh..They weren’t thinking at all. What a crock of crap. You’d think they would’ve learned from the mistake of the Sportster ’72 and it’s even stooopider 2.1 gallon tank. No one wanted those things and if they did, once they got tired of fueling up every 60 miles, they either got rid of the damn thing or put a larger tank on.

    If HD personnel are reading this they need to make a 6 gallon (US) tank standard on all big twins. I ain’t paying extra for what should come standard. Not that they’ve yet figured out that a tank that small (3.5 or 3.6 US gallons) is nothing but stylefag stupid. Even a 1200 Sportster “Custom” comes stock with a 4.5 gallon tank. Just how pathetic are these Harley people? The must not ride further than a Piggly Wiggly and back home.

    The Pirate lifestyle is enough of a pathetic imitation of life but really now…A 3.5 or 3.6 gallon tank on a bike with a motor that size is just incredibly stooooooooooooooopid. And they write about how on a bike as torque laden as the Fatbob is, you need triple disc brakes to bring it to a stop but on a bike with the same BIG motor and teensie weensie tank (the Breakout) they give it a single mofo disc up front.

    Talk about stupid and cheap!

    So then, Harley-Davidson, you can eat boogers and die. I am not paying more for less. I like Harleys. I despise these new and neutered models you foisted upon the public and you can keep them in Milwaukee cuz no on with even a modicum of riding desire wants to take one on the road to a gas station and back home. WTF?

    Indeed.

    • Fast Eddie says:

      I could not agree with you more.. I have been saying the same thing for years about Harley’s. You pay top dollar for a bike that is basically stripped, then you have to dump another 4 or 5 grand into it to get it the way you want it.
      My buddy bought a 2015 Ultra Limited base price around 3200. By the time he got it the way he wanted it, it was over 40 grand.. Crazy just Crazy..
      I’m looking at a new Indian Cheaftan Limited. It’s only $24900, and it comes loaded.

    • Don says:

      “stooopider”, “stupid”,
      “stooooooooooooooopid”, “stupid”

      Nope, it’s still not clear yet, so please tell us how you really feel about Harley’s latest move – and DON’T HOLD BACK THIS TIME!

  6. Bob S. says:

    All Milwaukee 8 engines are counterbalanced. The solid mount counterbalanced engines still have some vibration that would be undesirable in a touring bike, so they kept the rubber mounts on those.

  7. JPJ says:

    I think Harley is making the smart move on droppin’ the Dyna chassis bikes. Obvious sales are down on new bikes, for all manufactures. I currently own a 2001 HD Heritage Softail, it’s been the best bike I’ve owned,(so far). I would not be hesitant to purchase another new Heritage. What’s not to like lighter weight, better suspension, better brakes, LED lighting, more power. I’ve purchased many new bikes, and rode many others, since 1982. I hope HD is successful with the new bikes. As motorcyclist we all win with better products, better choices.

  8. Frank says:

    These bikes are classically styled cruisers, and will likely never receive huge, but incremental changes. These ‘new’ models have received improvements which will improve and increase rider satisfaction. Good job HD.

  9. DennyP says:

    More detail images…http://newatlas.com/harley-davidson-2018-softail-motorcycles/51045/#gallery

    Man oh man…. antiques lovers rejoice!

  10. gary t says:

    It seems the Fat Bob is the one getting the attention. With the fat tires and all that torque it would be fun exiting corners on a tight windy back road. I’m guessing the rider would be a little lighter also (mainly the wallet)! I hope they sell a bunch of them. The haters were writing the obituary for the motor Company a couple weeks ago. They aint dead yet!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “They aint dead yet!”

      as they say, the rumors of the Bar and Shield’s demise have been (are being) greatly exaggerated.

    • Don says:

      I’m looking at Harley’s web site and they show the least torque (107ft.-lbs.)for the Fat Bob of all the Softails. It’s obviously their performance image model so what gives? Did they cam it for horsepower instead?

  11. dt 175 says:

    what did they used to call it? a UJM? seems we have a 21st century equivalent…

  12. Half Baked says:

    Wow. It’s like Christmas in summertime fresh meat for the grumpy old men to piss and moan about. Good on ya Harley. I didn’t peruse the comments that throughly but I don’t believe I say the ubiquitous Zzzzzzzzz. So there it is.

  13. Mark says:

    I like the new bikes! It’s about time. The FatBob is awesome but needs Brembo brakes, the Fatboy is great, but needs two front Brembo brakes. How about a Dirt Track replica? I get a kick out of all the “Old Pirates” whining about the upgrades! There are plenty of used Harleys. The Motor Company had to progress…or die.

    • Kev says:

      Mark, I work for a supplier to the Motor Company and the brakes on the new softails including the Fat Bob are made by Brembo, just labeled H-D. Sportster brakes are made by Nissin for H-D. You’ve got your wish!

  14. Mark says:

    I like the new bikes! It’s about time. The FatBob ois awesome, the Fatboy is great, but needs two front Brembo disks

  15. carl says:

    They need to remove weight to compensate for owners getting heavier yearly!! SUPERSIZE that!

  16. Dave G says:

    Weight loss on a Harley. Might have been more cost effective to just offer gym memberships with each purchase..

  17. fred says:

    weight loss on a Harley WOW!

  18. Norm G. says:

    re: “nimble flick-ability”

    ok HD take it easy, i like what you’re doing (applause) but now you’re pushing it. those kinds of marketing “buzz words” are reserved for the Euros and the Japanese.

  19. Montana says:

    How about a scaled-down, minimalist Road King with the V-rod engine?

  20. PN says:

    Well, good for H-D but, paradoxically, it’s still projecting conformism.

  21. Bubba Blue says:

    Which models have standard or optional cruise control? The press release doesn’t say.

    Other than that, these motorcycles will easily top all “Best” lists. They’re fabulous. World’s greatest improvements.

  22. gt08 says:

    Where is the electric bike ???
    That would be something new !

  23. Auphliam says:

    I like them. That new FatBob looks like a bike I’d certainly like to try and wear out on some back roads. Shrewd business move for the MoCo. While Indian seems content to keep hyping their heritage and adding fringes, HD takes a substantial step toward modernizing their product. Your move, Mr. Wine.

    • SausageCreature says:

      I’ve always liked the Fat Bob, and this new one looks great. I’m concerned about the move to the Softail platform though.

      Whenever I research HD’s, I read a lot about the handling deficiencies of Softails when compared to the Dyna and touring models. I hope they’ve got that bit figured out, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the ride reviews to come in.

      Dunno, maybe I’ll consider a used or remaindered Dyna-based Fat Bob instead.

      • Neal says:

        This new frame design is a huge leap forward from both the old Dyna and Softail designs. This is related to the old Softail in name and superficial design only.

      • Bill N says:

        As I understand it, the old Softail shocks extended for a bump and the new Softails compress for a bump. Should be a big improvement.

  24. EZ Mark says:

    Dropping the Dyna line for the counterbalanced Softtails is a good idea.
    The big question is why didn’t they use the counterbalanced engine in the baggers and get rid of the Mickey Mouse rubber engine mounts. Solid mounted engines give lower weight and better handling.

  25. steveinsandiego says:

    well, all i can say is i tested an old/new 2015…er…maybe a 2016, street bob. i loved everything about it except the spoked wheels and the patented HD shake at idle, which disappeared as soon as i cracked the throttle. but i could not justify the price, even tho’ i had cold cash in my pocket.

    i hope the new bikes attract a faithful following.

  26. WSHart says:

    Other than the Road King…Pass. What a crock of BS from HD. Smaller tanks. Flamin’ paint jobs. Cheapass single disc brakes on heavy bikes. And more lifestyle foo foo. I like Harleys but not these Harleys.

    FTMC.

    • sbashir says:

      Only two bikes have the smaller tank, for styling sake. They are not tourers. Cruisers always have single brakes to show off the front wheel. Which Harleys do you like?

      • WSHart says:

        Heavy bikes require better brakes. And a smaller tank on a bike with that size engine means you’re not going anywhere but the gas station. As I said, the Road King is pretty much it for me. The standard RK, not that WT “special ed” version. That thing is fugly.

        I have no interest in showing off my wheels. I prefer to ride and when it comes time to stop, I prefer to stop. Speaking of stopping, I want to stop when I choose to and not when I run out of fuel at 90 or so miles because my HUGE motor sucks fuel at 30 mpg or worse and my tank is 3.5 or 3.6 gallons. That is just freakin’ stupid. And tubes on a modern motorcycle? How ridiculously and abysmally pathetic of HD and any others that use that primitive poop.

        All riding is touring. Except when you have to stop every 60 or so miles (think Harley Sportster ’72) or maybe 90 miles like these stupid new Softails with the emasculated fuel tanks.

        I like Harleys, just not these new versions of the Softail. They suck and whether or not they sell is of no consequence to me as I won’t buy one. Those that do will rid themselves of their teensie weensie tanked Softails once they keep having to ask their riding friends to wait for them to fuel up again and again and again…

        The Street Bob is fey to the maximum and sports a girlie tank incapable of going anywhere on. But then, like so many other bikes from all make, it lacks range. Ride to pose, pose to ride.

        The full dressers are nice but I can get a decent car for that kind of money and NOT get wet when it rains. 😉

        There’s plenty of ’17s and still some ’16s available at dealerships. Some might want the newest but not when it’s also the dumbest.

  27. WSHart says:

    The majority of these new Harleys are pretty much fugly. Especially so that butchered up Heritage Softail. What a turdlette on tubed wheels. The Street Bob is disgusting. And speaking of disgusting, what Harley styling genius decided shrinking fuel capacity was a good idea?

    Answer? A total maroon. The same maroon probably had a non-opposable thumbed “hand” in killing off the Dyna series. And of course the 117″ engine is just as ridiculous as any of the ego felching improvements to the HD family of fugly. FTMC. And just so the webmaster feels better, that stands for Forget The Motor Company. Yeah…right.

    Worse has been said here and allowed for all the world to see. The only HD worthy of not only interest, but my own hard-earned money, would be the Road King. Maybe. Oh! And those CVO models are again in need of having Eric Cartman stand in front of them and their garish paint jobs singing, “In the Ghettooooooo…” Talk about attention seeking prostitute paint work?

    If HD goes belly up it’s because the fatass goldfish has been eating it’s own ad copy for far too long. I am a fan of Harleys but not this pile of steaming poo that is being foisted upon an undemanding pubic…errrr…public.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “those CVO models”

      did somebody say 2018 117″ CVO’s…?

      https://tinyurl.com/y74r3sfr

    • sbashir says:

      Got off on the wrong side of the bed today?

    • mechanicus says:

      dont hold back none now

      • WSHart says:

        Nope. Got up just fine and never hold back. So many here whine about HD because they hate them for no reason. I don’t hate Harley I just refuse to buy something that has been emasculated. Neutered. Made useless by the company’s “stylists”. Where are you going to ride a bike that will doubtless deliver shitty mpg and the range of bike with a 3.5 gallon tank and a stupid big motor?

        Answer – Around the block to nowhere.

        FTN of HD.

        • Don says:

          I’ll bet the Street Bob will go 120mi. before a fill up. That’s a pretty long block and probably far enough on that seat with no windshield.

  28. Jeremy in TX says:

    I like the Softail line. The Deluxe is mighty tasteful.

  29. Jdilpkle says:

    Sounds like the start of last ditch PR efforts attempting to lighten and dress up all HD pigs that are eventually destined to the slaughterhouse. I may be wrong, but could it be that the writing is finally the wall for HD. Men dressed up like pirates riding belching three legged-dinosaurs only goes so far. Too bad they blew both kneecaps off of Erik.

  30. joe b says:

    35 lb weight reduction on a 750 lb bike, 250 lbs to go.

    • Provologna says:

      Thanks for putting the “weight loss” program into perspective. 35 lbs is hardly much to write home about.

      Personally, Indian putting HD out of business can’t happen fast enough.

      • sbashir says:

        Indian is the one that is going to go out of business, not HD. Wait till Polaris pulls the plug. They are very good at it too.

    • Tom R says:

      It’s not called the Fat Bob for nothing.

  31. CrazyJoe says:

    When I first saw the Fat Bob I thought I was looking at a sportster. I like it. 47 mpg on the 107 not bad. Does the 28 inch seat mean more than 2″ rear suspension travel? Info missing on the Web site. I’ve been warming up to the Dyna but it seems gone along with the 103. Hard to believe because it was the bike to custumize.

    Come on harley a new Sportster engine has to be in the works. Show indian, bmw and triumph what can be done with a 1200.

    • Provologna says:

      Re. your last sentence: You’re kidding, right?

      • CrazyJoe says:

        Why not? The engine needs an update. I think the Bmw and triumph are the most desirable bikes in the market today and harley should learn from them. The indian is a better bike but it’s ugly if anything harley learned looking at some of these new soft tails they learned from Indian. So why not a updated engine.

  32. falcodoug says:

    O.K. whatever.

  33. ApriliaRST says:

    Lighter weight is a true step in the right direction.

    The Harley-speak fork (dual-bending valve front suspension) provides performance “similar” to a cartridge fork. Like “Jiffy Stand” for side stand, Harley-speak.

    130mm of suspension travel is about 5″… Okay, but it took H-D till 2017 to exceed 3″ of travel!?

    Will Harley EVER have a windshield that is electrically adjustable?

    Otherwise… nice.

    • paul246 says:

      The “dual-bending valve” is a Showa design first used in 2014, Honda uses these as well, along with that term “dual-bending”.

  34. Gham says:

    While I don’t expect a rush to the dealership I applaud the improvement just the same,shedding weight and improved handling are a plus.They can always re-introduce the Superglide and WideGlide in Dyna form mid-year and create some interest.

  35. bmbktmracer says:

    Do they come with complimentary vests and chaps?

  36. Moto-Kafe says:

    ……their 0-60 time percentage comparisons are based on increasing engine displacement, not necessarily weight reduction/performance mods.
    103ci’s vs 107
    107ci’s vs 114

  37. Doughboy says:

    Will it still be slower than my 25 year old Nighthawk? Maybe if I cough up a few grand for a chrome aircleaner and some loud pipes it my just keep up with my old Japcrap ( just on the straights mind you) . I wish HD would make a bike I could afford to buy and one that would handle great. No luck so far…… No thanks, no koolaid for me.

    • sbashir says:

      There are plenty of used Japanese bikes on the market. Why should HD compete with them?

    • WSHart says:

      Can you still get important parts for that Nighthawk? If you own a 40 year old Harley you can still get parts for it. Your Honda is a great bike though and hopefully it won’t need any parts.

  38. Don says:

    What – just that one far off pic?? The other guys really scooped you folks on this one!

  39. austin zzr 1200 says:

    Loud yawn. 18 lbs on one model, 35 on another wont make a difference on a 700lb pig. HD should put out their own version of a Rascal to chase their base around Walmart

    • WSHart says:

      If you own a ZZR then by comparison to a more modern ride, your bike is just as fat a pig. Get over it. It ain’t all that light unless you can pick it up, shoulder and carry it.

      I’d wager your ego weighs a ton. Good think you have all that horsepower to haul that fat thing around.

  40. Neal says:

    Fat Bob and Street Bob are Softails now? That *is* a radical development. If that front bike with the upswept exhaust is the new Fat Bob, HD may well be killing off the Dyna.

    • Jay1975 says:

      They did. The Dyna line and V-Rod’s have been discontinued for 2018.

      • Scotty says:

        V-Rods?? No way. That’s a sad end to an interesting line of bikes.

        • Jay1975 says:

          Unfortunately, Harley riders want nothing to do with liquid cooled and those who do, don’t want the Harley price…or name on their bike.

    • skytzo says:

      They are killing off the Dyna. Both the Dyna and Softail lines have been combined into one on this new platform.

  41. paul246 says:

    Losing that 35 pounds is a good thing. I’ll be able to drink an additional 6-pack per week and gradually enlarge my beer gut without any real (or sort of) performance loss…. burrrrp.

  42. Tom R says:

    That is the mother of all press releases.

  43. Cagefree says:

    Harley recently made the claim they will be adding many (like 75) new bikes in the coming years. This is about what I expected, lots of variations of the same drivetrain. Boring.

    • Tom R says:

      Yes, “new” models from H-D is like human years vs dog years. 75 really means about 8 or 9.

    • beasty says:

      Well, the whole Softail rear suspension is all new and the new motors are different from the twin cams so……………

    • sbashir says:

      You want a 100 different drive trains?

      • austin zzr 1200 says:

        think about how many drive trains the big 4 or even smaller players Ducati / triumph have? Lets face it, HD is closer to Moto Guzzi in this regard than any other make..

  44. Selecter says:

    This article has piqued my curiosity a bit. I’m obviously aware of how heavy H-D Softail series motorcycles are, but I guess I’d never been aware of exactly how much of the weight was contained in the engine/transmission assemblies, and how much the rest of the bike weighs. Because it’s always seemed to me that of an 800-lb. Softail, it *looks* like the engine/trans are probably 300 lbs. just by themselves… but I’ve never actually looked into the true numbers.

    This is in contrast to my SuperTen – whose engine puts down about 90WHP, and seems impossibly small and light considering it’s a large-bore, 1200cc mill. But it’s balanced out by the rest of the bike is very heavy for what it is… pretty sure the frames alone on the Ten have got to be close to 100 lbs!

    • Mean Chuck says:

      Softails don’t weight 800lbs, they just feel like they do. My Rocket 3 feels lighter and is easier to push around a garage than a Softail (even though it’s heavier) I guess the Rocket is just much, much better balanced.

    • blitz11 says:

      I ride a SuperTen as well, primarily ’cause i am 6’5″ tall, and i need the room. Pushing that around the garage is a workout, but once it’s rolling, it’s super (pun intended) easy to ride. I bought a KTM Duke 690 for every day ’cause the Super 10 is a pain for every day riding. Big and heavy (for what it is).

      I rode a street glide a few weeks ago (i had to buy $1K worth of transmission parts for the kubota, and the H-D dealer is next door, so I eased the pain of the parts cost with a test ride). I understand the allure of the H-D bike. If you want to gobble highway miles, that’s the machine. i was surprised at how much i liked it. Stock airbox, stock exhaust, and it sounded phenomenal. I couldn’t take it to the twisties, but my guess is that it is good there as well if you consider what it is. i was expecting to be disappointed, but I wasn’t.

      I’d consider a low rider, but man, those things look tiny. I don’t know whether i’d fit, but i’ll keep an open mind when they hit the showroom.

      Kudos to H-D for an aggressive move. Pretty gutsy to consolidate the Dynas into the soft tail architecture.

      • Vrooom says:

        Each to his own, I find the seating position is horrible for gobbling miles, seeming to put too much weight on my tailbone. My brother has one, so I’ve ridden it pretty often, but he considers 250 miles a long day, which might be the difference in our assessments. I know there are folks that ride these things on saddle sore 1000s, so it must work for some.

        • blitz11 says:

          Hmmmmmm. Good point. I rode it 3 miles. Maybe I’ll rent one for a 600 mile weekend to see how it really is.

          Thanks – great point.

          • beasty says:

            At 6’5″ be picky about which model you rent. Being cramped up on any motorcycle is a recipe for misery. But 200 miles on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each isn’t too bad.

        • sbashir says:

          My 2007 Softail Custom seat is very comfortable. I did several 1000+ per day rides on my previous 1986 Softail.