Posts Tagged ‘Softail’

ijustwant2ride.com

Can you spot the rear shock adjuster?

Harley Davidson is not holding back or onto tradition by the looks of it. The release of the 2018 Models show that they are serious about making changes.

Gone is the Dyna line of motorcycle.  Three “nameplates” of the old Dyna line have been retained but they are now part of the “new” softail family.  The Wide Glide and Low Rider S are gone completely along with the exposed twin rear shock Dyna frame.

The V-Rod and its 125HP right out of the box engine is gone too! No more V-Rod Muscle or Night Rod.  Those bikes have been around for more than a decade but have been rolled out of the lineup for whatever the future is bringing.

The softail line has been totally changed!  New engines (the Milwaukie 8), new frame and a new rear shock.  Gone is the under frame, dual shock configuration, replaced with a mono-shock that is hand adjustable from the outside of the motorcycle!

As noted above, some of the old Dyna names moved over to the softail world.  The Street Bob, Low Rider and Fat Bob models are additions to the softail lineup while the Softail Slim S and Fat Boy S have been dropped.  Speaking of the Fat Bob… wow they really hit the styling cues out of the park, well at least for me!

Everything said and done, excluding the Sportsters, all the motorcycle in the Harley Davidson stable are now water cooled… or twin cooled to use their terminology.  Harley Davidson is making waves with all the changes.  Their promise of 50 new models in 5 years and 100 in 10 is well underway.

So what is my take?  I like it!!  Harley Davidson took a big step on technology with the Softail family.  While the bikes might look the same, it is only sheet metal.  Folks that have been complaining about how Harley does not embrace new(ish) technology cannot say that now.   Between the new engine, water cooling, monoshocks, this is not your Dads’s softail or maybe not even your brother’s or sister’s softail.

P.S.  Mr. Davidson also stated that their electric bike will be out within the next two years, how is that for embracing new technology.

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The FAT BOB is looking good!

Motorcycle.com put together a “Top 10 Harley Davidsons” list by asking people in the industry what they thought were the best bikes.  The bikes on their list covered a large swath of Harley history.

Although they did not ask me I will give you my #1 Harley.  For me, it is the Heritage Softail Classic.  With this bike Harley has encapsulated their historic look with current technology. Styling from the 1940’s, softail replacing ridged, fuel injection, saddlebags and lots of chrome; this is a bike that blends it all together.  This bike has been around for a while too, starting production in 1986.

Plus I own one!

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“Harley, we have a problem”, to paraphrase a classic NASA moment.  While this recall is not as bad as being stranded in orbit, it is pretty bad.

Even though the NHTSA has been closed Harley has taken the initiative to issue a “DO NOT RIDE, DO NOT DELIVER” notice to owners and dealers on the following 2014 bikes built between May 3, and Oct. 14:

25,185 Touring motorcycles,

FLHTCU,20131016_052728_harleylogo

FLHTK,

FLHTP,

FLHX,

FLHXS,

FLHTKSE

FLHRSE,

and 3,861 Softail CVOs and Trikes, models

FLHTCUTG,

FXSBSE,

FLSTNSE

The problem is with the new hydraulic clutch system.  The hydraulic clutch may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch. If the clutch does not disengage as intended, the rider may have difficulty slowing or stopping the motorcycle, which could result in an accident.

If you own one of these machines contact an authorized Harley dealer immediately to arrange for an inspection.  The press release states that “The dealer will pick up, inspect and make the necessary repairs at no cost to the owner.” (bold underline is mine)

You can read more from Harley press release here.

WP_20131006_005I recently turned 28000 miles on my 2008 Softail!  I do feel bad about this though I have only put 1100 miles on this bike so far this year.  The Ultra Limited, on the other hand, has nearly 6000 miles to date.

If the weather holds I hope to get to at least another 1500 miles total before the end of the year.

Recently I have had battery issues on my Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic.  The battery does not hold a charge for more than one day of nonuse.

To connect my charger, I have to remove both seats and attach the clamps to the battery.  As often as not the clamps would slip off and the battery fails to charge.

Harley has Battery Charging Harness with LED Charge Indicator for $14.95 (that’s right not HD (hundred dollar)).  This product not only lets me charge or maintain the battery but flashes a red LED when it reaches a level that it requires charging. I bought the device at Frederick Harley Davidson.

Installation was straight forward: remove the seats, attach the leads to the battery, tuck in the fuse, zip tie the lead to the frame and put the seats back on.  After I have used this for a while I will let you know what I think of product.


Debbie and I rode to Waugh Harley Davidson in Orange, VA to participate in their 21st Annual “Big Damn Bike Show”! The ride to the dealership was nearly eighty miles and about ninety minutes long, passing through some of Virginia’s best farm and country land. Getting to and from the show we traveled on the James Madison Highway, the 29th Infantry Division Memorial Highway, the Seminole Trail, and the Zachary Tyler Highway.

We entered our bike, along with about 300 or so other bikes, into the show. There were another 600 to 1000 additional bikes lining the streets around the dealership which made this a bike watchers paradise. Waugh Harley Davidson, it turns out, has its own attached park called “Legends Park”, because of the tents erected in front of it I could not get a good picture of the park sign. The HOG (Harley Owners Group) club for this dealership has a sweet setup!

In addition to the bike show there were more than a dozen vendors and displays, including the ever present bikini bike wash! One of the more interesting displays was by a limo company; they had a stretched Harley Davidson Ford F250 Pickup with bubble bath in the truck bed.  It was quite amusing each time a bunch of soap bubble would come floating across the park.

Musical entertainment was provided by the Zen Daddy band.  They covered most of the hits from the 80’s, 90’s, and the 00’s (is 00 the right way to do that?).  Debbie and I thought the band did a fine job.  Mr. Waugh himself came out and played a couple tunes on the harmonica, for “older” gentlemen I was quite impressed with this talent and lung capacity.  If you have time take a look at Waugh’s Facebook page for more pics and videos of the event.

Our bike finished second in our class and after looking at the winner I have some clear directions on what do for next time.  Of course that means more chrome!