In conjunction with its 115th anniversary this year, Harley-Davidson has launched eight new Softail models that merge the hard-riding performance of the Dyna line with the custom look of the Softail line.

Designed under the largest Product Development Project in Harley-Davidson Motor Company history, the new bikes feature a stiffer and significantly lighter frame built to harness the high torque output 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 monoshock, the aggressively styled 2018 Softail models are faster, lighter and better handling than any of their Big Twin cruiser predecessors.

The company’s Product Portfolio manager Paul James said the new Softails are the result of the most extensive research and development program in the company’s history.

“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.”

The eight new Softails feature all-new designs that strongly differentiate them from their predecessors and each other.

Benefits of the new chassis include increased lean angles for many models, sharper turn-in response, quicker acceleration, nimble flickability, lighter weight and easier side-stand lift off than previous models.

A new high stiffness carbon steel tubular frame forms the core of the 2018 Softail chassis and combined with the swingarm significantly increases the rigidity of the chassis.

The frame itself is 65% stiffer than the outgoing Softail design, which leads to a 34% increase in overall chassis stiffness.

Its design also achieves reduced complexity with a 50% reduction in component parts and 22% reduction in welds, and there are two unique swingarms, one for narrow and one for wide rear tyres.

The wide chassis is 5.89kg (15%) lighter, while the narrow chassis shaves 8.16kg (20%).

The swingarm transfers rear wheel movement to the under-seat monoshock while maintaining the pure, classic lines of a hardtail frame.

Brand new high-performance dual-bending valve front suspension – first introduced on 2017 Touring models – delivers damping performance similar to a cartridge fork but with improved, more responsive damping characteristics, optimised for both comfortable cruising and spirited riding with 130mm of travel, while revised rake and trail also enhance handling ability.

The new monoshock rear suspension preserves the classic hardtail look while revamped geometry improves ride quality, traction and control.

Easily adjustable for spring preload it enables a 217kg range of payload capacity for increased passenger comfort and optimum handling.

The all-new Softail models are up to 17kg lighter than before, delivering an improved power-to-weight ratio that provides quicker acceleration, better braking and dynamic cornering capability combined with increased lean angles for many models.

Some models feature new tyres specifically designed to work with the new Softail chassis and feature optimised constructions and improved compounds for confident, long-wearing performance in all riding conditions.

New seat designs and materials provide an improved fit for a wider range of riders and greater comfort for cruising.

All 2018 Softail models get the new Milwaukee-Eight 107 and 114 V-Twins, which 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 engines for Softail models also feature a refined, dual internally counter-balanced system that reduces engine vibration while maintaining the familiar Harley-Davidson feel.

The 1,745cc Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine is standard on all models, while the optional 1,868cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 is available one four models – Fat Bob 114, Fat Boy 114, Breakout 114 and Heritage Classic 114.

Fat Boy

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
• A 160mm front tire, the widest-ever on a Harley-Davidson production model, wraps the
solid Lakester front wheel
• 16kg weight reduction to previous model
• Standard ABS
• 240mm rear tire with solid Lakester rear wheel
• Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine Heritage Classic

Design cues evoke the blacked-out styling of vintage 1950s 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

• 17kg 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 is lighter and faster with corner-carving handling unimaginable back in the day.

• Throwback-style dual tank-mount speedo and tachometer 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 Slim 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
• 17kg weight reduction to previous model

Deluxe

A classic hi-line showstopper that stands out on any street, 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
• 17kg 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 Breakout model takes long, lean muscle to a modern edge.

• New smooth-top 13.2 litre fuel tank
• Long and wide with low-slung raked out 49mm front forks
• 18-inch rear (240mm tire) and 21-inch front (130mm tire) Gasser-style gloss-black powder
coated cast aluminum wheels
• Distinctive Daymaker Signature LED headlamp
• Low-profile riser-mounted digital instrument screen
• 17kg weight reduction to previous model
• Standard ABS
• Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine

Fat Bob

Tarmac-eating traction, pothole-devouring suspension, agile cornering and a blacked-out take-no-prisoners look make the Fat Bob 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
• 13.2 litre fuel tank
• 15kg weight reduction to previous model
• Inverted 43mm cartridge style front forks
• Optional: Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine

Street Bob

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

• Smooth-top 13.2 litre fuel tank
• Black spoke wheels with chopped fenders
• Low-profile riser-mounted digital instrument screen
• 7kg weight reduction to previous model
• Lowest MSRP in Softail line

The Softails feature Daymaker Signature LED headlights on all models, improved electrical system charging, easily adjustable rear shock pre-load settings which can be adjusted with an under seat spanner wrench on the Softail Slim, Street Bob and Low Rider, external hand adjustment knob on the Fat Bob, Fat Boy and Breakout and under seat socket adjustment on the Deluxe and Heritage Classic, new instrumentation, keyless ignition and security system standard, steering head mounted USB charge port and new fuel tanks.



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