Interesting Facts About the 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Lineup
For 2018, Harley-Davidson aims to give their Softail lineup some modern touches to go along with its classic styling. Here's how they're doing it.
1. Touch of Modern
For 2018, Harley-Davidson decided to roll out an all-new Softail lineup. But the new model year also brings the controversial decision to fold Harley's Dyna models into that revised Softail lineup. And while that move might be grabbing all the headlines, it's well worth mentioning that the returning Softail models feature a number of interesting and exciting new features. Most of which rest underneath that beautiful retro styling.
2. Newfound Agility
No one is ever going to confuse a Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle for some kind of canyon carving sport bike. But better handling and ride quality is always a good thing, even for the stodgiest of cruisers. And for 2018, Harley has mated an outstanding chassis to its Softail bikes. The new design makes the nearly 700-pound bike much more responsive to input than the outgoing model. Harley even improved cornering clearance by 8.5% in the right and 4.8% on the left, which means you have to push a little bit harder if you want to scrape those floorboards.
3. Smooth and Plentiful Power
The centerpiece of the new Softail is, without a doubt, the Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. After making its debut in the Touring lineup, Harley has trickled the smooth and powerful engine down to the Softail family, and we're sure glad they did. No matter which version of the M-8 you choose, you'll get more power and much smoother delivery than the outgoing Twin-Cam, and that's a good thing in anyone's book.
4. Improved Ergonomics
It's not like the old Softail was uncomfortable, per se, but the new one is still a vast improvement. The redesigned seat is super supportive, and the grips are positioned in a way that just feels natural. The floorboards are likewise positioned very intuitively, and the formerly intrusive air cleaner is in a better place. Put simply, you can ride bikes like the new Deluxe for hours without a problem. Well, as far as the five-gallon gas tank will take you, anyway.
5. Refined Comfort
With all of its improvements, perhaps the biggest and best change to the Softail lineup is the simple, single shock taking up residence under the seat. The new Showa Dual Bending Valve cartridge design fork trickles down from the Touring line as well, and it all adds up to a much more enhanced feeling out on the road. The modern chassis is both lighter (33 pounds so) and stiffer than the outgoing setup, giving the new Softail a much more comfortable and predictable ride.
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