The Hard Facts on the Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
Harley-Davidson Softail touring bikes are nothing short of beautiful. Since its introduction in 1984, it has been a staple in the famous brand’s motorcycle lineup. The 2017 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic continues with its famous legacy.
The bike is a back-to-basics kind of ride that comes complete with classic styling. The bike went through a refresh in 2016, but not much has changed with the exception of a couple of new two-tone color schemes. Otherwise, you still get all the goodies that come standard with this motorcycle including plenty of leather options with conchos on seat and saddlebags, passenger sissybar, quick-detach windshield, triple headlights, tall and wide bars, whitewall tires, and cruise control.
This classic bike is chock-full of nostalgia the moment someone sits on the bike. If it isn’t the looks that immediately attract a prospective customer, it’s the details that are on the bike itself. The hidden suspension gives off the authentic look of a hardtail without the rough ride of one. Add in the comfort of cruise control and a low center of gravity, and you’ve got one heck of a comfortable ride. Added incentives such as standard ABS and a High Output Twin Cam 103B engine make this the bike to have. Simply put, the classic look is maintained while re-inventing the ride.
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This motorcycle comes fully equipped with the original dresser spirit and modern touring technology which makes for a smooth ride no matter where (or how far) you take it. Any rider will enjoy smooth performance, comfortably low seat height, plentiful space for luggage, wind protection, and accommodations for the passenger. All of this adds up to the quintessential cruiser even when the windshield is detached. It’s all in the looks, too, and you’ll see it with the Softail rigid-mounted engine and twin hidden rear shocks. The cutting-edge technology is the backbone of the smooth ride coupled with a counter-balanced High Output Twin Cam 103B engine that delivers ample torque. The 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission evenly distributes power for the ultimate ride.
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What Are the Pros vs Cons of the 2017 Heritage Softail Classic?
Pros: The look of a Softail is unmistakable. Both old-school and newer riders would agree that there’s just nothing that compares to the full-bodied look of a Softail Classic. A famous complaint about the Softails of old was their clunky shifting and rough rides, but no more. With an updated transmission and drivetrain for the 2017 model, the bike makes for a much smoother ride which helps on those long-distance trips.
Cons: A common complaint from riders is exactly what old-school riders consider a plus: the similar design to those seen on past editions. Some of the complainers think there should be a complete redesign instead of, for lack of a better phrase, a reinvention of the wheel. Another complaint from riders is the short seating position. If you’re a shorter rider, then it is a very comfortable position, whereas a taller rider won’t find it very appealing.
An additional complaint is the rear suspension setup. According to riders, it all depends on where you live and the road conditions that surround your area. If the roads are in great shape, it’s like riding in a recliner. On the other hand, badly maintained roads or highways will have the opposite effect leaving a rider feeling like they wish the suspension was more versatile.
FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic Specs and Details
- Bore and stroke: 3.87” x 4.374
- Motor: High Output Twin Cam 103B; pushrod, 2vpc
- Compression ratio: 9.6:1
- Fuel: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
- Fuel capacity: 5 gallons
- EPA fuel consumption: 42 mpg
- Curb weight: 755 pounds
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Hydraulically actuated assist-and-slip
- Front suspension: Non-adjustable 41 mm forks; 5.1 inches of travel
- Starting MSRP of $20,999
- Vivid Black
- Superior Blue
- Black Quartz
- Mysterious Red Sunglo/Velocity Red Sunglo
- Crushed Ice Pearl/Frosted Teal Pearl
- Black Hills Gold/Black Quartz
- Bonneville Blue/Fathom Blue
Long live the Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail! It’s a classic bike with all the modern gadgets and technology that make it feel borderline futuristic. If you’re on the fence about purchasing one, take all the pros and cons into consideration and make the decision that best suits your situation. And remember, keep the rubber on the road and the shiny side up!
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