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Thread: 2018 Harley Davidson Softail

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    2018 Harley Davidson Softail

    As most of you are probably aware, Harley Davidson has killed off the Dyna line and improved the suspension of the Softails.

    What do you think? Reviews seem to be good for what it is. Obviously not going to handle like a bike that is made to handle. But it seems a vast improvement over the old design. And since I do not ride very aggressively it might be just the ticket. Other than spending $20K for a bike that you are paying up for the name.

    I like my 1992 softail, but I worry about riding it very far and poor brakes, etc.

    And, of course, I need a bike that goes with my Pirate outfit.....

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    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Haven't ridden one of the new softies, yet. I got one of the last Dyna's. Riders like the new "M8" engine (except for the sumping issues.) I wouldn't look to Harley for handling unless you think a shopping trolley half full of custard is a benchmark.

    Why do you have reservations about your 1992? That EVO will outrun/outlast the new stuff. The only issue I found for older Harleys is things like clutch cables are not stocked anymore by HD. The aftermarket still has plenty of them tho. They've also ceased carrying the EVO oil filter.

    If you just like to have a warranty, then go ahead and buy your bike. But, beware, HD is using substandard parts during assembly to save a buck. Specifically, in the bearing dept.
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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post
    Haven't ridden one of the new softies, yet. I got one of the last Dyna's. Riders like the new "M8" engine (except for the sumping issues.) I wouldn't look to Harley for handling unless you think a shopping trolley half full of custard is a benchmark. .
    I understand that handling is contextual. But it sounds like the new softails handle significantly better than my 1992.

    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post
    Why do you have reservations about your 1992? That EVO will outrun/outlast the new stuff. The only issue I found for older Harleys is things like clutch cables are not stocked anymore by HD. The aftermarket still has plenty of them tho. They've also ceased carrying the EVO oil filter. .
    I have electrical concerns. I have considered replacing the wiring harness. I have a wire on the ignition switch that I have replace three times. I have a short of bad ground someplace. I also like the idea of ABS for safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post
    If you just like to have a warranty, then go ahead and buy your bike. But, beware, HD is using substandard parts during assembly to save a buck. Specifically, in the bearing dept.
    Not worried about warranty, but thanks for the heads up on the substandard parts.

    I do feel that my 92 is built like a tank. It could be passed down to my kids and their kids if we keep up with the maintenance. I do not think I could get much for it, but at this point, I do not think it is going down in value. Might even be going up in value. Don't see many EVOs on Craigslist. A lot of twin cams. I will not be surprised if the EVOs become more valuable than the twin cams at some point.

    I also like the character of my 92. It is rugged. Has some blemishes. It feels like a Harley is supposed to feel like to me. I am not sure I will get the same experience out of the new one. If I want to spend $20K on a motorcycle for something more modern and safer, maybe I should buy a BMW.

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    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
    Harley Davidson has killed off the Dyna line...
    After reporting tanking sales, they kill off their most popular line of big twins. Brilliant, just like something Honda would do.

    They also pulled another page from Honda's playbook by calling one of their entry level bikes a Street Rod (which was a name originally seen on one of the V-Rod models, a la Honda's new line of not-Rebels).

    ...and now they're discontinuing EVO parts, unheard of considering how folks bragged about being able to Buy parts for any bike back to 1936 (save for the AMF era).


    Harley copied Honda.
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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
    After reporting tanking sales, they kill off their most popular line of big twins. Brilliant,
    From the reviews I read, the new softail handles better than the old Dyna's. They are expecting that the new softails will satisfy the market for the old Dynas. Seems plausible if the handling claims are accurate.

    But I have not ridden either the new softail or the old Dynas so I can't say.

  6. #6
    I'm ok with my HD RK ... but seriously talking improving the handling of a softtail to be "better" than a dyna ... is a bit of putting lipstick on a hog. I had a friend that had the old Dyna Sport and he would try to stay with me on my ST1300 when I was riding in verrah mild mode ... with him showering sparks every corner.

    He finally got a FJR1300 and never looked back ... Saying handling and Harley in the same sentence is about like saying aerobatic and Waco ... yeah it'll do aerobatics ... about like flying Dumbo the elephant.

    Like I said, I own a Harley ... but am under no illusion it "handles" ... Take a look on Ebay for the huge numbers of HDs going cheap. The "baby boomers" are moving out of motorcycling in droves (whimps) and used Harley prices are being murdered ... )

    Not everyone cares about handling ... and that's fine. But if it's just you got money burning a hole in your pocket ... the 2018 Africa Twin Adventure Sports looks verah interesting ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
    Harley copied Honda.
    Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, now that they've gone to Showa suspension components,
    my guess is the next big H-D innovation will be Nissin brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
    From the reviews I read, the new softail handles better than the old Dyna's. They are expecting that the new softails will satisfy the market for the old Dynas. Seems plausible if the handling claims are accurate.
    Looking at the Softail line up, it looks like they simply converted some of the Dynas to Softails. Gotta say though I'm surprised the dumped the Wide Glide along the way. Still, the Super Glide was their best bargain for a Big Twin and it's gone (technically the Low Rider was a lowered Super Glide with a higher price), with a BT starting at an even $15K now.
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    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Yes, many of the "Harley faithful" don't like the new power plant because it is too refined (like the soul less Honda.) They can't complain about the increase in power though.
    I also think it was a huge mistake to scrap the Dyna line. I like Dyna's. I've had 2 of them. Shoulda kept my old 1995. Didn't leak but started using oil a few years ago.

    Harley's next generation of riders isn't there in big numbers. They're too interested in their phones and video games. Luckily, HD is closing the KC manufacturing complex. That should help with demand. There sure are a lot of Harley's, sitting in garages across America, that don't see the light of day. (Except when they go on CL or Cycle-trader.)

    Looking on CL, I'm seeing a lot of butchered (sorry, BOBBED) Shadows lately.
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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    I'm ok with my HD RK ... but seriously talking improving the handling of a softtail to be "better" than a dyna ... is a bit of putting lipstick on a hog. I had a friend that had the old Dyna Sport and he would try to stay with me on my ST1300 when I was riding in verrah mild mode ... with him showering sparks every corner.
    Improved handling can be appreciated at every point along the continuum. And it can mean different things to different riders. When I bought my softail, it had been lowered, had original suspension and one of the front forks was dry. I replaced front and rear shocks and returned it to factory height. There was a noticeable handling improvement. That does not make it a bike that handles well, but the improvement was enough to make it more fun for me to ride.

    My Versys has handling characteristics that are far beyond my ability to use. It is fun too. I like riding both.

    For most of the putting around town that I do, I like the Harley. But if I were to get down to one bike, I would be torn between the Versys and the Harley.

    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    Like I said, I own a Harley ... but am under no illusion it "handles" ...
    It "handles" everything handles. Handling is all relative. The touring frame you have on your Road King handles better than the softail frame I have on my Harley. That does not mean your RK handles well but it handles better than my softail. I have considered a RK. I think I would like that bike. I have never ridden one. A Craigslist RK or Dyna twin cam for $6K is probably a smarter choice than a new softail for $20K. Okay, not probably, definitely.

    But I am not using the dual sports much. I do not ride to the point that I need the handling characteristics of the Versys. I like my softail, If I could modernize it and improve the handling a little, it might do it for me. Maybe the new softail is exactly that. In the long run one $20K bike probably cost me less than four $4K bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    Not everyone cares about handling ... and that's fine. But if it's just you got money burning a hole in your pocket ... the 2018 Africa Twin Adventure Sports looks verah interesting ...
    I have a friend who likes that bike. But I do not see myself using the characteristics of that bike. Although the R1200GS has always appealed to me even though I would not use the characteristics of that bike either.

    But for me, it is less about the performance characteristics and more about the feeling it provides as I tool down the road. I guess that is what I like about my softail. It just makes me smile when I ride it.

    Maybe I like my typical baby boomer fantasy of a badass biker rolling down the road while the reality is everybody looking at me is seeing an aging desk jockey going through his mid-life crisis.... but hey, its my fantasy. I have considered selling all the bikes and getting a boat. But then I have to get a different vehicle to tow it and it is such a production to go to the lake. I can jump on one of my bikes and take a quick 30 minute ride, no muss not fuss. And a motorcycle takes much less room in the garage.

    Of course four motorcycles take up almost as much room as a small bay boat. I think I could fit a 16 ft bay boat and one motorcycle in the garage. Maybe two motorcycles....... Hmmmm.......

    No airplanes, nope, not getting an airplane.

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