Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe Review

  • Published On: 15 May 2018
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The new Softail line-up is nice to look at and also a pleasure to ride.

The Deluxe looks classic while being modern underneath.
Chrome bits cover many surfaces.
The engine on this motorcycle is covered in chrome as well.
The seat is low and sculpted.
The bike offers a pliant ride on our roads.
The Deluxe looks classic while being modern underneath.
Chrome bits cover many surfaces.
The engine on this motorcycle is covered in chrome as well.
The seat is low and sculpted.
The bike offers a pliant ride on our roads.

Harley-Davidson revealed its huge plan of merging the Dyna and Softail range into a larger Softail family. While it was a huge move from the American bike maker, original Dyna fans are very pleased with the move. The biggest talking point is the new design language; Harley has had to be careful while keeping in mind the entire heritage.

The Deluxe stands out in the bike maker’s portfolio as the classic-styled motorcycle. It does this with the significant amount of chrome that it uses. The bike also has retro 16-inch spoke wheels shod with white-wall tyres which look good. The headlight on the motorcycle is a LED unit that uses two smaller lights on both sides. Additionally, this motorcycle has a lot of areas where it has good details. The indicators on the bike are sharp and the chrome trim can be seen on the edges of the mudguards. The bike also has a bright blue paint colour that attracts a lot of attention. The bike can also be had in four other colours, if the blue is too flashy for you.

Once you hop on the saddle, you are greeted with an impressive view. Chrome covers the fuel cap, handlebar and the instrument cluster housing. The bike comes with a low seat height from factory. However, it is a single seat; the pillion unit can be added as an optional extra.

As one would expect, the build quality on the motorcycle is top-notch. The engine on the motorcycle is chrome as well and fits snug within the frame. Further, the wiring and oil-cooler is also hidden away nicely. The bike uses a keyless start/stop system however; unlocking the handlebar still requires a key. The bike also has an alarm system that requires one to get close to it turn off – which can be annoying if your home is far off from where you park.

Other things that make the Softail nice are the engine, frame and suspension. Firstly, the engine – it is a 107 Milwaukee Eight motor. This is a 1,745cc unit that uses two counter-balancers to reduce vibrations. The bike also has linear throttle response and a huge amount of torque. The bike can get off its feet really quickly, but you be happier cruising down the highway.

The frame on the bike is seen on all the bikes in the Softail family. It hides the monoshock and allows for the motor to be mounted rigidly. The chassis is also now considerably stiffer which in turn has improved the handling significantly. Additionally, the bike uses front and rear Showa suspension that has resulted to an evolution in terms of ride quality.

For the motorcycle that is so heavy, the Deluxe comes as a surprise. The low centre of gravity and the increased stability meant we could get through heavy traffic without a problem. Let aside its heavy clutch, the motorcycle isn’t too bad to commute on as well. The bike behaves stable at higher speeds and it makes for a valuable partner. When compared to the older motorcycle that felt hard, this motorcycle feels miles ahead. It isn’t plush like a ADV motorcycle but does manage smaller potholes without fuss.

With a ground clearance of just 115m, you have to be extremely careful on speed breakers. Otherwise, you pay hear the painful sound of metal scraping the tarmac. In terms of braking, the bike does a decent job but requires a strong pull. Luckily, the ABS system is effortless and can be relied upon for emergency stops.

Should I buy one?

If you haven’t figured out yet – we really enjoyed this motorcycle. The styling is fresh while remaining classic. Additionally, there is the fact that it is a big American cruiser – which will always be impressive. The Deluxe offers old-school design with a sprinkle of modern technology. All of this however, comes at a price – Rs 18.65 lakh (ex-showroom, India) to be precise. In Harley’s Softail line-up, the Deluxe is the second most expensive bike, however it is also one of the most desirable.

Author: Droom

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