As Harley-Davidson enters its 115th Anniversary year, they’ve announced a glut of new custom models combining the Dyna and Softail families under the new Softail banner – all with massive weight reductions, an all-new chassis, new engines, and a leap in suspension spec.
“The new Softails are the result of the most extensive research and development program in the company’s history,” says Paul James, manager of Product Portfolio, and H-D. “Thousands of hours of research and testing were put into the complete ground-up design of these new cruisers. We focused on taking the total rider experience to a higher level, where authenticity, heritage and soul meet the modern edge of technology for a ride that must be felt to believe.”
Designed under the largest new bike development project in the company’s history, the new bikes benefit from a stiffer and significantly lighter chassis and the more powerful and refined Milwaukee-Eight 107 and 114 engines. Keeping the new chassis and engines in check are the Dual-Bending Valve front suspension and an easily adjustable hidden rear monoshock.
The big news is the all-new frame that is common to the new family of models. Lighter, and more rigid, it maintains the classic look of a hardtail but with a thoroughly modern ride. Benefits include increased lean angles for many models, sharper turn-in response, quicker acceleration, more nimble flickability, less mass and easier side-stand lift off than previous models. A new high-stiffness carbon steel tubular frame is a claimed 65% stiffer than the outgoing Softail design, which leads to a 34% increase in overall chassis stiffness. There’s also half the number of component parts and 22% fewer welds. The wide chassis is 5.89kg (15%) lighter, while the narrow chassis is an even more impressive 8.16kg (20%) lighter.
Article Source: MCN