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Thread: 2018 Harley Davidson Softail

  1. #11
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    I think what Harley has been doing for a long time is similar to what Ford, GM and Chrysler have done with the Mustang, Camero and Charger. They have modernized the old muscle car feel and look. I doubt the new ones handle well compared to cars that really handle well, but they handle much better than the old ones.

    Similarly, Harley has tried to keep a connection to the motorcycles that were made in the past while modernizing. They have been behind on the modernization because they have had a loyal customer base who did not care so they did not have to. Now that loyal customer base is fading so they have to up their game.

    Most motorcycle riders do not have the skills to appreciate handling at the level OBX does. I don't have the skills and they way I ride does not require performance handling. But something a little better than my softail would be nice. Maybe the touring frame or old Dynas would be enough for me. Maybe the new softail is even better.

    I think I will take a test ride and see if I can tell the difference. But I do not think I will be plunking down $20K any time soon. Perhaps I will wait a few years and see if I can find a low miles one that has been sitting is somebody's garage for a while.

  2. #12
    Yes you are correct in that handling is relative. Even my RK out handles my '67 BSA all to heck. And the '09 RK has improved handling over the '05 due to stiffening of the frame and a couple of other improvements ... but you have to push the bike to notice it. Most of my Harley only friends think I am a maniac for riding my RK the way I do ... but then again most of them just putt along. Which is fine ... for them.

    It's just when you compare the HDs to just about anything else ... I have a friend who went from a RK to a BMW R1200rt last year and he still hasn't stopped with the OMG!s.

    You should, of course, buy what you want. I bought my fire breathing KTM 500 because I'm 69 years old and it's not like waiting 5 years would be better but many of my friends were ready to have me committed. The result is I am going up (and down ... down is oft more ... "interesting") mountain trails I've never even tried before. But that's not to say my "old" bike is crap. The DRZ400s is the second best dual sport I've ever ridden. And really ... the KTM is a dirt bike with lights on it ... which is to say Dual Sport in name only.

    I'll just mention if you had a 1200GS or an Africa Twin you would own 3 ideal bikes to make the progression to "Adventure Rider". The KLX for fundamental offroad, the DRZ for advanced offroad and the bigger bike for your trip around the world ...

    Just sayin' ...
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  3. #13
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post

    Looking on CL, I'm seeing a lot of butchered (sorry, BOBBED) Shadows lately.
    You were right with the first term. Actual bobbing is turning into a lost art.
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  4. #14
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    The HD website claims a monoshock rear suspension (welcome to the high tech seen back in the 80's!!!) so better handling is probably true. Still, one has to wonder why their touring line still has dual shocks...
    Sent from your mom's phone
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  5. #15
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    I'll just mention if you had a 1200GS or an Africa Twin you would own 3 ideal bikes to make the progression to "Adventure Rider". The KLX for fundamental offroad, the DRZ for advanced offroad and the bigger bike for your trip around the world ...

    Just sayin' ...
    Good point, but I need to develop the skills on the KLX and DRZ first.

    The point about pushing it enough to notice the difference makes sense. Although you do not have to push my softail much to notice the difference between the old suspension and upgraded suspension I put on it. hahahahaha..... I guess that is a benefit of riding a bike with terrible handling, you do not have to be very good to notice an improvement....

  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
    The HD website claims a monoshock rear suspension (welcome to the high tech seen back in the 80's!!!) so better handling is probably true. Still, one has to wonder why their touring line still has dual shocks...
    My guess is that they are working on it for the touring line. The monoshock design for the softail does not look to me like it would be enough for the touring line. I suppose the appeal of upgrading the softail is that it was probably not difficult to make a dramatic improvement and the buyers would not be as discerning. I am thinking more work will be required to come up with something that will make the touring frame customers happy.

    Unfortunately for Harley, the days of just slapping the HD logo on the bike and call it good enough are over.

  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Then again, I ran an errand on the Versys this morning and went and came back.

    Yesterday and this afternoon, I ran errands on the Harley and took the long way home both times. I get on it and I don't want to get off. Something about it I just like.

  8. #18
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered'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,
    Actually, it was the Softtail name that was retained. Both chassis were discontinued. The new bikes have the Softtail name because that was the name that sold most. The new chassis is a significant step forward for both.

  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
    The HD website claims a monoshock rear suspension (welcome to the high tech seen back in the 80's!!!) so better handling is probably true. Still, one has to wonder why their touring line still has dual shocks...
    Cost saving
    and wisely: they are not using inhouse components but going with world class proven technology.

    The motor re-design to make something that shakes less was a very wise move, it will allow them to build a better motor/frame combination. You can't use the motor as a stressed frame member if it shakes like a rototiller.
    .. and you are correct they are designing things like it is the 1980's

  10. #20
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZridered View Post
    Actually, it was the Softtail name that was retained. Both chassis were discontinued. The new bikes have the Softtail name because that was the name that sold most. The new chassis is a significant step forward for both.
    Do the pre-existing softail models have new designations? I.e. the Fat Boy is no longer a FLSTF but something else?



    P.S. I just saw the V-Rod is gone as well.
    Sent from your mom's phone
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    Support your FLIBS (Friendly Local Independent Bike Shop)
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