For nearly thirty years, Harley-Davidson® riders have been divided. You defined yourself as either a Softail® or a Dyna. Well, the times they are a changing. In what could be the biggest undertaking in The Motor Company's history since the launch of Harley-Davidson® itself, the Softail® and Dyna have merged into a single platform.
The best of both platforms have come together to form one perfect union. That classic hard-tail aesthetic with a hidden suspension is injected with premium handling to form one architecture. Harley-Davidson® wanted to mount the Milwaukee-Eight® engine onto their Big Twin Cruiser lineup, but the Dyna chassis was not capable of accommodating the performance demands of the modern M8 engine. The Milwaukee-Eight® engine had simply outgrown the Dyna chassis. H-D had to develop a frame that could replace the Softail®.
The goal was to improve handling, dynamic capability, and payload capacity in a bike that could handle the increased torque of the dual-counterbalanced Milwaukee-Eight® 107 and 114 engines. To accomplish this, the significantly stiffer frame offers a fifty percent reduction in parts and a twenty-two percent trim in weld points resulting in a bike that is twenty-two to thirty-three pounds lighter depending on the model. In this marriage of history and technology, riders have the best of both worlds with eight distinctive Softail® platforms. Which model will you take home? Here they are. Each with their unique fit and feel.
When you need to get away from the mundane or the coming zombie apocalypse, the 2018 Fat Bob has you covered. By carrying her weight low, the center of gravity drops for agility in the chicanes. Find your favorite canyon and make the most of the 16/16-inch wheels, with rapid-fire beach-cruiser tires that give provide 31-degree right, and 32-degree left lean angles. Aesthetically, the pipes are not chrome or black. Instead, these pipes warm to a golden glow. This bike is thirty-three pounds lighter than its 2017 predecessor and built to have agility in the corners and massive torque in the straightaways. Particularly in the 60-80mph range. Fill the 3.5-gallon tank to capacity and attack the horizon on a 27.7-inch seat height.
Just like any piece of art you create with your own hands, you want it to be seen. That's why the heads on the Milwaukee-Eight® are the center piece. To give the rider access to this viewing pleasure while in motion, H-D narrowed the 3.5-gallon fuel tank. Other styling points include bare bones frame with pushrod tubes and a single headlight bezel. This one-soldier revolution's mantra is attitude. Pure and simple. Stripped down to minimal fenders, seventeen pounds were removed from its 2017 predecessor. Throw your right leg over the 25.8-inch saddle and throw a fist towards the sky.
If you have sided with the Dyna camp, this is the 2018 Softail® for you. The slim, short-arc fender and bobbed rear let you lean this bike how you've never known you wanted. Infinitely customizable, this bike gives you the freedom to make the nine-spoke Black Radiate cast wheels with machined highlights, and dark cylinder fins your own. Check the option box for ABS and experience the ride feel a 26.2-inch seat height provides.
In tribute to the iconic Panhead from 1949, the Heritage Classic includes PD-style windscreen, dual chrome pipes, fat tires, and a Hydra-Glide-look fork. The unifying them of all eight 2018 Softail® models is the single rear shock. This design change allows for weight reduction and an efficient load direction that travels through the triangulated rear frame directly to the steering head in a nod to a different design icon -- the groundbreaking 1937 DL with its hardtail design. Lock your gear in the bags-without-sags, fill up the five-gallon tank to capacity, and give some throttle to the 16-inch wire-spoke wheels.
By increasing the compression and valve area by up to fifty percent, the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 reduces 0-to-60 time by ten percent. Then, when you increase the displacement from 107 to 114, you grow nine percent faster in 0-to-60 time. With the 2018 Fat Boy, riders will get to experience the 114 engine while riding on 160F/240R lowest-profile tires mounted to 18-inch disc wheels. Even with the 1949 Panheadesque “boulder-sized” headlamp and bobbed rear fender you still come in 31-pounds lighter than its predecessor. Where will the 5-gallon tank take you? Wherever you want to go.
When it comes to performance, suspension tops just about everything. By mounting high-performance front suspensions with easily adjustable hidden rear mono-shocks, the 2018 Softail® motorcycles handle better and go faster than their ancestors. Styling cues on the Softail® Slim include a single headlight, a gloss-black Hollywood handlebar, and dark engine cylinders. Even with its blacked-out fork and bobbed rear, the H-D made the Slim slimmer by reducing the weight by thirty-five pounds. Tick the option box marked ABS and empty the 5-gallon tank.
For someone who enjoys spending their weekend afternoons with a tin of Nevr-Dull in their hands, this is the motorcycle you'll enjoy. Chrome is in abundance on this bike with 16-inch drop-center wire-spoke wheels. Riders with long legs will appreciate the 25.9-inch seat height the 2018 Deluxe offers as well as the quicker-responding Softail® chassis. This bike is 33 pounds lighter than the 2017 model even with added features like its Daymaker LED forward lighting, keyless ignition, and USB charging port.
The Breakout 114 has only been around since 2013 making it the youngest of the lot. And like anyone trying to get noticed by their peers, this bike commands your attention with a unique personality. The backward thrust from the acceleration will make your teeth rattle as if you were strapped into an Apollo rocket. This long and low bike sits on low-profile tires mated to 20-spoke, 18/21-inch wheels. When you consider the 35-pound weight reduction from the 2017 model, you'll appreciate agility the Breakout 114 delivers at low speeds. Not that you'll want to take advantage of the bottom end of the speedo. Fill up the 3.5-gallon fuel tank and ride hard against the wind.
Since the beginning, Harley-Davidson® has symbolized freedom. This company does more than manufacture high-quality motorcycles in the USA. The Motor Company offers freedom from the grind, freedom from the every day, from the mundane, and now, with eight new models to choose from, Harley- Davidson® gives us all the freedom of choice. By merging the Softails—Slim, Deluxe, Breakout, Heritage Classic and the Fat Boy with the Street Bob, Low Rider, and Dyna line—Fat Bob, they have eliminated the twin-shock Dyna platform. The frame has been reinvented to harness the powerful torque of the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 and 114 engines engineered exclusively for the Softail® models. In 1903 they began a revolution, and as we enter 2018, they just gave the wheel one big spin. Are you ready to join the revolution? Come to our Harley-Davidson® dealership to test drive each of the new 2018 Harley-Davidson® models.