Today saw the unveiling of two new Harley Davidson Softail motorcycles (Low Rider and Deluxe) as they enter the 115th Anniversary year of the brand strengthening the Softail portfolio in the country. Low Rider and Deluxe are an addition to the four MY18 Softail models launched in October 2017.

The new motorcycles feature a stiffer and significantly lighter frame built to harness the high torque output of the new dual-counterbalanced Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. With high-performance dual-bending valve front suspension and an easily adjustable hidden rear monoshock, the aggressively styled 2018 Softail models are faster, lighter and better handling than any of their Big Twin cruiser predecessors.

At the launch event, Peter MacKenzie, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India and China said, “The Indian market has evolved and customers look forward to innovation in technology and comfort. This is evident from the growth in the leisure riding segment for premium motorcycles. We have received an excellent response to the MY18 Softail lineup so far and we are excited to introduce these two new models that demonstrate our focus on reinventing products for motorcycle enthusiasts and aspiring riders in the country.”

Harley-Davidson India also announced a price revision for their popular Touring and CVO lineup. Road King that was previously priced at INR 2,837,000 will now be available for INR 2,499,000, while Street Glide Special that was priced at INR 3,350,000 will now be available for INR 2,999,000. Likewise, the new price for Road Glide Special is INR 3,299,000 against the old price INR 3,561,000 and CVOTM Limited is now available at INR 4,999,000 against the old price INR 5,372,000.

The Fat Boy Anniversary edition will also be available across stores at INR 1,979,000.

The handling of a Softail now enters a new era with a lighter, more rigid frame that elevates form and function to a higher plane, while maintaining the classic look of a hardtail and delivering a thoroughly modern ride. Benefits of the new chassis include increased lean angles for many models, sharper turn-in response, quicker acceleration, nimble flickability, lighter weight and easier side-stand lift off than previous models.

A new high stiffness carbon steel tubular frame forms the core of the 2018 Softail chassis and combined with the swingarm significantly increases the rigidity of the chassis. The frame itself is 65% stiffer than the outgoing Softail design, which leads to a 34% increase in overall chassis stiffness. Its design also achieves reduced complexity with a 50% reduction in component parts and 22% reduction in welds.

There are two unique swingarms, one for narrow and one for wide rear tires. The wide chassis is 5.89kg (15%) lighter, while the narrow chassis shaves 8.16kg (20%). The swingarm transfers rear wheel movement to the under-seat monoshock while maintaining the pure, classic lines of a hardtail frame.

Brand new high-performance dual-bending valve front suspension – first introduced on 2017 Touring models – delivers damping performance that’s similar to a cartridge fork but with improved, more responsive damping characteristics. It’s optimised for both comfortable cruising and spirited riding with 130mm of travel. Revised rake and trail also enhance handling ability.

The new monoshock rear suspension preserves the classic hardtail look while revamped geometry improves ride quality, traction and control. Easily adjustable for spring preload it enables a 217 kg range of payload capacity for increased passenger comfort and optimum handling.

The models are up to 17 kg lighter than before, delivering an improved power-to-weight ratio that provides quicker acceleration, better braking and dynamic cornering capability combined with increased lean angles for many models. Some models feature new tires specifically designed to work with the new Softail chassis and feature optimised constructions and improved compounds for confident, long-wearing performance in all riding conditions. New seat designs and materials provide an improved fit for a wider range of riders and greater comfort for cruising.

All 2018 Softail models get a new heartbeat from the most powerful engines ever offered in Harley-Davidson Big Twin cruisers, the new Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin. Milwaukee-Eight engines retain the iconic 45-degree V-Twin cylinder angle with a broad-shouldered top end accentuated by a single camshaft design that tapers to a slim bottom end for a muscular contour.

The new Softail frame’s rigid mounting points are engineered to tightly package the engine and reinforce chassis stiffness. Milwaukee-Eight engines for Softail models also feature a refined, dual internally counter-balanced system that reduces engine vibration while maintaining the familiar Harley-Davidson feel.

Milwaukee-Eight107 specifications

  • (107cu.in./1745cc) Standard on all models
  • 100 mm bore and 111.1 mm stroke, with 10.0:1 compression ratio
  • 0-60 mph – 10% quicker acceleration than the High Output Twin Cam 103
  • 60-80 mph/5th gear – 16% faster acceleration than the High Output Twin Cam 103

Harley Davidson Softail models and their features

Low Rider

Inspired by the individualism of the ‘70s custom chopper era that birthed the original, the new Low Rider model is lighter and faster with corner-carving handling unimaginable back in the day.

  • Throwback-style dual tank mount speedo and tach gauges, headlight visor and fuel tank graphics
  • 19-inch front and 16-inch rear Radiate cast wheels
  • 2-into-2 Shotgun exhaust
  • Standard ABS

Deluxe

A classic hi-line showstopper that stands out on any boulevard, the Deluxe glistens with bright chrome while delivering the ride of a seriously modern machine

  • Retro-Modern Styled LED lighting from front to back: headlight, running lights, Tombstone tail light and blade-like turn signals
  • Signature pull-back handlebar
  • 33-pound weight reduction to previous model
  • Standard ABS