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Harley 2018 Range..What do YOU think??

The Harley Davidson 2018 Range.  

No less than EIGHT New Softail Models...Bullseye or Missing the target completely...Here's an overview & some of Fat Skeleton's thoughts...we'd love to hear yours....Read on & join in the debate....

Here's the Fat Skeleton's Teams view on the new range...we'd love to hear yours

We LOVE...

The Look of the New Fat Boy

The Softail Slim...this is more Heritage than the model that now carries its name

The Low Rider...reminds us of the early 1908's Yamaha V Max

The 115th Anniversary logo & colours, much much better than recent Anniversary designs

We really DON'T LIKE

The Heritage Classic & the absence of the chrome etc

The location of the licence plate on most models...the number plates in the UK will probably end up in some compromise location to suit EU regualtions which will no doubt spoil the overall look & balance on the machines

The apparent lack of heel change on the models

What we'd really like to see.

Five year 100,000 mile warranty as offered with 2018 Indians!!

Anyway...her's the overview & photo's

There was a time, not too long ago, that the annual September launch of the next years models was, well, pretty flat.

Granted, there was always the expectation of which model the CVO department would be blinging up to the max, and the odd year that they’d catch the industry by surprise with the launch of a modern classic like the Breakout, or a maverick design such as the now defunct Crossbones or Rocker models.

In fairness, last year’s launch of the Milwaukee 8 engine was a fairly major milestone.  This was only the 9th time in the Company’s history that they introduced a new motor. The new engine now graces all of the “Big Twin” models who also feature a newly designed Softail chassis.

Harley are claiming that the new Softail models are up to 17kg lighter.  This has been achieved by losing 6kg off the steel frame (Indian’s are aluminium) by using 50% fewer components, which means less welds which increases frame strength-65% stiffer that the “old” Softail.  There are two swing arm designs, accommodating wider rear wheels on the Breakout. Combined with the bigger engine, it should add up to better handling and performance.

Mainstream 2018 models get either the 107 (1745cc) or an optional 114 (1868cc) cube version.  There’s also a “Screaming Eagle” ‘117’ (1923) that will be in some of the CVO models. 

Torque figures for the 3 models, in ascending order at 3000 rpm are 107lb-ft, 119lb-ft  & 125lb-ft.  In terms of horsepower this equates to approx. 92hp, 100hp & 105hp respectively.


All 2018 Softails now feature the highly rated “Daymaker” LED headlights as standard.  Rear hidden shocks have an easily accessible preload adjustment “knob”, it will be interesting to see just how these look in the flesh.  One welcome, and long overdue piece of tech is a USB socket on the steering head.

New look Fat Boy now weighs in at 307kg, 107 or 114 engine option & also available in two 115th anniversary colour schemes.  The “Lakester” wheels are the usual Fat Boy solid style, but have a modern stylish 3D custom look.  The headlamp nacelle in particular may make this a “Marmite” machine….you’ll either love it or hate it!….

Heritage Classic, features a half blacked out detachable screen and lockable panniers (at last)! Most of the traditional “Heritage” chrome parts are now blacked out, and 2018 features dull satin chrome.  The panniers have lost their stud & tassels, and white wall tyres are no where to be seen.

The Softail Deluxe now looks more “Heritage” than the bike that now carries that tag!  

Old School Tombstone taillight & blade style indicators.  It’s only available with the smallest 107 engine 

Softail Slim.  Now even skinnier weighing in at 291kg & a 107 engine only option.

The best selling Breakout’s 13.2 litre petrol tank features a newly styled smooth top.  Wheels are now a gloss black aluminium finish. Choice of 107 or 114 engine except the 115th anniversary model available only with the 114 version.

The 2018 Street Bob has a real chopped fender look to it, black spoke wheels & a digital instrument screen.

Fat Bob has twin front disc brakes & 43mm USD forks & a 15kg weight reduction, 107 & 114 engine options.

Low Rider features new “Radiate” wheels, & a two into two shotgun exhaust.

There’s 3 new CVO “Tourers” which all come with the 117 engine.  They’re fully loaded with the latest “infotainment” systems & built in communications.

The marketing team have continued to busy in the naming department.

CVO Street Glide has “Talon” wheels & an ear busting six bi amped speakers.

CVO Road Glide has “Knockout” front wheels & a Shark Nose fairing.

CVO Limited has heated seats with adjustable rider & passenger backrests, central locking panniers & Brembo brakes.

AWOL from the 2018 is any Wide Glide model, but by far the biggest surprise was the complete axing of the twin shock “Dyna” range and for 2018 the are NO V Rod’s!!  The bikes that were the fastest, most powerful Harleys of all have been dropped.

As with usual launches, there are new colour ways & slight tweaks to the Sportster & touring ranges, but 2018 headlines are rightly all about the Softail & the new Engine sizes.


1 comment

  • certainly a different ride to original fb 114 is very fast . handlebars are wider comfy ride . didnt notice any effect from the bigger tyres . wind blow not much difference . no 6th green light lol but constant gear changes on console . no key knob on tank just flick engine run. vibration in bars when riding  easily sorted with thicker grips.the smaller front mudguard really chucks the crap at the oil cooler rad

    mike g

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