Harley-Davidson has revealed the 2018 Softails, and we’re happy to report that they’re not just minor nip-and-tucks. The 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail models feature some serious changes, including new engines. The Milwaukee-Eight engine has made its way from the brand’s Touring line to the Softail line. The big overhaul doesn’t end there though, as the chassis for the new Softail line is new as well. Another important news with the 2018 Softail lineup is the merger of the Dyna line into it. The three Dyna line models have been merged into the Softail range, and there won’t be any new Dyna H-Ds on offer.
All the eight 2018 Harley Davidson models are familiar nameplates namely Fat Boy, Fat Bob, Street Bob, Low Rider, Heritage Classic, Deluxe, Slim, and Breakout. As mentioned before, Street Bob, Low Rider, and Fat Bob have been moved from Dyna Line to Softail Line.
The recenty introduced and very modern Milwaukee-Eight engine will make its debut on the Softail Line of H-D motorcycles. All the new models would come equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. However, if you want more power, the Milwaukee-Eight 114 is available as an option on four models – Fat Bob, Fat Boy, Breakout, and Heritage Classic. As goes without saying, the new engine will endow the new motorcycles with superior acceleration from a standstill, and better in-gear acceleration as well. The difference between the performance of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 and 114 motors is also quite significant.
Apart from the new engine, the chassis for the 2018 Harley Softail lineup is also brand new. The frame has shed weight while still boasting more stiffness. If one goes by Harley-Davidson’s official claims, the chassis is now 34-percent stiffer compared to the previous versions. Apart from being lighter and stiffer, the new frame has also been simplified with lesser joints and welds. The overall weight for the motorcycles has gone down by as much as 16 kg.
Also new is the suspension on the entire 2018 Softail lineup. The motorcycles will get Showa dual-bending valve fork, along with a new monoshock suspension at the rear. The motorcycles will feature spring-preload adjustment for rear shock absorbers. The Fat Bob, Fat Boy, and Breakout will get tool-free adjustment feature for the rear shock.
As somewhat evident, the changes mentioned above will lend the 2018 Softail lineup with better dynamic ability than their former versions. Some of the models will also get better ground clearance while some others will get new tires to cope with more power and better handling.
In addition to the significant mechanical changes mentioned above, all the new 2018 Softail motorcycles will get new fuel tanks, new instrumentation, keyless ignition, security systems and a USB port on the steering head as standard equipment. All the 2018 Softail motorcycles will also get the Daymaker Signature LED Headlamps as standard fitment.
For the 2018 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic, there’s a new detachable windscreen, new lockable weather proof bags, a higher riding suspension and a more load lugging capability.