HARLEY-DAVIDSON is launching eight new higher-performance Softail models for 2018 in the face of renewed competition from Japan and a resurgent India.
The company says the aggressively styled 2018 Softail models are faster, lighter and offer better handling than any of their Big Twin cruiser predecessors.
The Softail now has a lighter, more rigid frame, while maintaining the look of a hardtail.
A new high-stiffness, carbon steel tubular frame, combined with a new swingarm, increases the rigidity of the chassis, which has half the component parts of the previous model and 22% fewer welds.
The new Softail models are up to 17kg lighter than before, improving the power-to-weight ratio, providing better braking and increased lean angles for many models. New seat designs and materials have been designed to provide an improved fit for a wider range of riders and greater comfort for cruising.
The new engines on the Softail models also feature a counter-balanced system that reduces engine vibration.
Harley-Davidson claim the engine’s trademark ‘potato-potato-potato’ sound is still there, but with less intake and mechanical noise.
The new Softails cost between £12,295 for the Street Bob and £17,545 for the Fat Boy.
Read more News and Features in the October issue of Classic Bike Guide – on sale now