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HARLEY-DAVIDSON INTRODUCES NEXT CUSTOM REVOLUTION

NEW CHASSIS, ENGINE & DESIGN: HARLEY-DAVIDSON INTRODUCES NEXT CUSTOM REVOLUTION WITH EIGHT NEW ICONIC SOFTAIL MOTORCYCLES

Largest-Ever Product Development Project Launches Harley-Davidson
into its 115th Anniversary Year

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.

Model Year 2018 Campaign
Model Year 2018 Campaign

“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.

Model Year 2018 New Model Photography
Model Year 2018 New Model Photography

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

•          3.6-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

Experience the ride and feeling that proves the new 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycles are Harley-Davidson’s most powerful, agile and responsive line of Big Twin Cruisers ever by taking your own test ride.

*Varies by model. FOR EVEN MORE INFO, CLICK HERE.

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Since 1903, Harley-Davidson Motor Company has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom with cruiser, touring and custom motorcycles, riding experiences and events, and a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gear and apparel. For more information, visit www.h-d.com.

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FOR 2016

Harley has introduced its 2016 lineup but don’t expect any major changes. This year’s models sport some darker colors and military theme paint and some models got upgrades in the engine compartment. Also the Road Glide Ultra makes its return after being on hiatus for a couple years. Here’s Harley’s announcement:

Two new hard-hitting Dark Custom models, the most powerful cruiser lineup in company history, and a broad range of performance and styling enhancements throughout the range highlight Harley-Davidson’s powerful new model lineup for 2016.

The 2016 H-D Motorcycle Highlights:

New Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models assert Harley-Davidson’s Dark Custom leadership with motorcycles inspired by the rebellious spirit of the past updated with modern design and new suspensions that put a little extra smooth in the Harley-Davidson soul.

New S series limited-edition cruisers feature big power and cutting-edge style. The Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S combine rich finishes with the impressive Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine to deliver head-turning style and performance.

Previously only available in Harley-Davidson Touring bikes, the High Output Twin Cam 103 engines upgrade the power for all Softail and Dyna models (except Street Bob), rounding out the most powerful cruiser lineup in Harley-Davidson history.

Project RUSHMORE’s touring revolution expands with the return of the Road Glide Ultra motorcycle.

“This is another historic year for Harley-Davidson,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re introducing the most powerful collection of cruisers in our history, including the brand-new S series. We’re raising the bar on Dark Custom motorcycles with the new Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models, the purest expression of the design movement we started in 2008. And we’re extending our lead in touring with the return of the Road Glide Ultra and redesign of the popular Heritage Softail Classic.”

Dark Custom Soul

The new Iron 883 is intentionally raw and rough around the edges, with a modern design inspired by garage-built bobbers past and present. All-new front and adjustable rear suspension, lighter-weight mag wheels and improved seating increase comfort and control to smooth the road ahead. The new Forty-Eight achieves its menacing stance with a burly front tire, new mag wheels and a massive front end with new 49mm forks, and also benefits from improved adjustable rear suspension and seating. Retro styling cues and a perfect ratio of black, color and chrome give this bike a bold visual presence. Riders navigating rough and tumble urban streets on the lean and nimble Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 models will appreciate the improved confidence from new front and rear braking systems.

Most Powerful Cruiser Lineup Ever

Rear tires will beg for mercy with the most powerful cruiser model lineup in Harley-Davidson history. Powered by the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, the new Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S cruisers deliver power and performance once reserved for Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models. Both limited-edition models feature dark styling for menacing looks that match their muscle. The Softail Slim S is available in a new Olive Gold Denim color with military-inspired styling, paying homage to the post-war customs that launched the bobber movement. Harley-Davidson gives more riders a dose of Project RUSHMORE performance by making the High Output Twin Cam 103 engine standard in every other 2016 Softail model. The High Output Twin Cam 103 is also the new standard engine for all 2016 Dyna models except the Street Bob model.

Fat Boy S
Fat Boy S

Softail Cruise Control

There’s more cruiser news in 2016; for the first time ever electronic cruise control is available on all Harley-Davidson Softail models. The convenience of Harley-Davidson electronic cruise control, enabled by new electronic throttle control, is standard equipment on 2016 Heritage Softail Classic, Softail Deluxe, Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S models and available as an accessory for all other 2016 Softail models.

New Sportster Suspension

All 2016 Sportster models will tame rough roads with all-new front and rear suspension and improved seats working together to enhance rider comfort and control. The new seats incorporate premium materials and revised shapes to provide more supportive comfort. The re-engineered Sportster suspension pairs emulsion coil-over shocks with new front cartridge forks. Nitrogen gas-charged shocks resist oil aeration and feature an internal valve stack with 36mm pistons and high-performance oil to provide superior compression and rebound damping control that reacts quickly to small bumps and keeps the tires in contact on uneven road surfaces. Progressive-rate spring pre-load is adjustable by a threaded collar using a spanner that stows under the seat. Tuned to complement the shocks, the stout forks feature a calibrated piston and valve stack and progressive rate springs for consistent feel throughout the compression and extension range of the suspension. The triple-rate spring and oil lock allows the forks to resist wheel hop under hard braking.

Road Glide Ultra

A two-year absence from the Harley-Davidson Touring line was time well spent infusing the Road Glide Ultra with enhanced style, outstanding aerodynamics and optimized touring ergonomics for rider and passenger– the full influence of the customer-led Project RUSHMORE product-development effort. Propelled by the unrelenting performance of the Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrain, the new Road Glide Ultra will exceed the expectations of the most demanding touring motorcyclist.

Heritage Softail Classic

Combining nostalgic style with smooth, modern Softail performance, the Heritage Softail Classic receives refreshed styling for 2016 plus the High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrain, standard electronic cruise control, and a new and improved saddlebag support structure.

The new 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and accessories start rolling into Harley-Davidson dealerships immediately. Visit Harley’s website to see all 2016 Harley-Davidson models and to find a local authorized Harley-Davidson dealer.

 Source and image: Harley-Davidson