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Harley davidson review

Донецьк, Донецька область, Украина

OK kids, time for a history lesson. You see, back in the day Harley used the old rigid-style frame for its FL models, but in ’49, a new bit of fandanglery known as the hydraulically-damped telescopic shock found its way onto the front end, and it would be almost a decade before the shock-and-swingarm would see the light of day. It is this time period that Harley targets with its Softail Slim.

Fat front forks are made to look even fatter with classic fork skirts that come in blackout to match the fork sliders, headlight can, handlebar, instrument panel (hooray!), jugs, breather cover and rear fender struts. Both front and rear fenders come heavily bobbed so that the front is close to the effective minimum size and the rear has just a few inches of reveal past the struts, just like the old-school bobbers. The blackout trim and polished-aluminum tripletree is an unusual arrangement, and I can’t say I’m a fan of the naked headlight though I understand that it looks more bobberish that way, but I think a blackout nacelle would look sweet.

Black rims set off the polished spokes just as the black jugs accentuate the polished nosecone and rocker boxes for nice contrast all around. Seat height is slung way low at 25.5-inches off the ground, so not only is the center of gravity low, but it’s a short trip from ground to hip so it should land in flat-foot territory for all: great for leverage, comfort and confidence at stops.

The solo saddle comes with a classy, tuck-and-roll finish that looks really cool, but will have you digging in the accessories catalog right off the bat if you plan on sharing your adventures with a friend. A side-mount plateholder helps keep the rear end clean to fit in with the rest of the bike for an overall low, clean and custom look.


The Softail family has never been know for its agility, but the redesign for the new generation is quite a bit more eager in the corners and easier to handle.

It’s the frame — or more specifically, the swingarm — that really makes the look work. Harley took its Softail frame that had remained more-or-less unchanged since its inception in 1984 and gave it a complete redesign. Half of the frame members hit the shop floor. What remains is stiffer and much lighter than before with the same faux-rigid swingarm that articulates with an under-seat shock to soften the jolts.

The rear shock is limited to a preload adjustment and though the front end is non-adjustable, it isn’t quite pure vanilla thanks to the Dual Bending Valve technology from Showa that delivers a superior ride via demand-driven damping. While that’s an improvement, it’s still far behind the curve.

Fat, 16-inch hoops round out the rolling chassis with a 130/90 up front, a 150/80 out back and the whitewalls mounted on the inside. A four-piston anchor grabs the single front disc with a twin-pot caliper in back. You can have ABS if you want it, but it will set you back another eight Benjamins.

Overall, the chassis is rather simple compared to some of the alternatives in the current market, but the ride quality belies that simplicity. The Softail family has never been know for its agility — quite the opposite in fact — but the factory rectified a multitude of sins with this redesign and the new generation is quite a bit more eager in the corners and easier to handle, relatively speaking since the steering head measures out at 30 degrees of rake with 5.8 inches of trail which lends it a fairly stable nature, so do try and keep it in perspective.

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