Softail improvesona classic
Harley-Davidson comes up with ways to make the Deluxe model even better, writes Mark Hinchliffe
HOW do you modernise a classic? Harley-Davidson has the answer in the new Softail Deluxe. This is a bike with minimalist lines and gadgets, yet an ocean of chrome and bling.
But customers want some modern touches and Harley has been able to oblige without cluttering the look or spoiling the traditional lines.
One such update is the slightly larger LCD screen, which now includes quite a bit of info for a traditional cruiser normally known for its simplicity.
The info on the LCD screen can now be toggled via a handy switch on the top of the light switch on the left handgrip, rather than the hard-to-reach position on the back of the speedo.
The screen not only includes features such as a clock and a distance-to-empty indicator, but also a rev counter and gear shift indicator.
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Adrian O’Donoghue says the modification, which is common to all Softail models, is customer driven.
‘‘Previously, there was only a sixth gear indicator light, but many customers asked for additional gear indicators,’’ he says.
‘‘Therefore, when we updated the Softail electronic system, we were able to add this highly requested feature.
‘‘Some customers also want engine RPM information, but they also want to keep the look of their Softail clean and, therefore, they don’t want to add a separate tachometer. For customers who don’t want to add a tach, they can now get this information through the new system.’’
The 2011 Softails also include HarleyDavidson’s new electronic system, with new hand controls.
‘‘The hand control switch technology was updated and includes an improved tactile response,’’ says O’Donoghue.
‘‘The previous switches had a longer travel with no tactile feedback, while the new switches have a shorter travel and include tactile feedback. These changes were made to enhance rider feel.’’
All Harley-Davidson Softail models except Cross Bones now feature ABS. Other new Softail features include: TRIP switch selection moved to the left-hand control (removed from the console/speedo) for easier rider access. FEWER wires to make it easier to change or replace handlebars. HAZARD on/off moved to a single button on the right-hand control, instead of previous activation by holding down the two indicators. NEW fuel tank panel and sissy bar trim on the FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic. NEW mirror chrome fuel tank medallion on the FLSTF Fat Boy.
Customers get their way: The Softail Deluxe has minimalist lines and gadgets but lots of bling.