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Author Topic: The Harley Davidson Softail Turns 30  (Read 12226 times)

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May 02, 2015, 02:15:58 PM
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HDBitchin

Administrator
After reading this article (linked below) on the evolution of the Softail I thought some of you might like to read it. The Softail is now 30 years in the making.

With the first Softail being introduced in 1984 HD's softail family is certainly a style that is easily recognized and has sold well for Harley dealers over the last 30 years.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/harley-davidson-fxst-30-years-softails-cruisers-motorcycles

Another article that came out on the history of the Softail...

http://cyrilhuzeblog.com/2014/10/29/did-you-know-the-story-of-the-harley-davidson-softail-frame/
HDBitchin aka Tank

When shopping for anything look for Made in the USA and save American jobs and families


May 02, 2015, 04:14:39 PM
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NoSuperSlabs

Supporting Member
The Harley Softail is truly what many people who don't even own a Harley would recognize as a Harley. The Softail family is an icon.
Two Lane Highway

May 02, 2015, 07:55:11 PM
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bc45

Global Moderator
The soft tail is a great Bike, That was a good article.

May 03, 2015, 08:53:52 AM
Reply #3
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WantMore

Supporting Member
One of the key things that this article mentions is the adoption of another company's frame/shock design. Here is a some extra info on the Road Worx Sub-Shock that was the design that HD went with when they launched their Softail design.

http://www.softaildeuce.net/origins/

Below are a couple advertisements from the original company.
Smoke em if you got em
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May 03, 2015, 07:12:50 PM
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NoSuperSlabs

Supporting Member
Good history find about the Road Worx Sub-Shock WantMore.
Two Lane Highway

May 04, 2015, 04:41:05 PM
Reply #5
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HDBitchin

Administrator
Good history find about the Road Worx Sub-Shock WantMore.
Yes WantMore as NoSuperSlabs said that is good additional information (history) on the Softail design. Thanks for posting it.
HDBitchin aka Tank

When shopping for anything look for Made in the USA and save American jobs and families


May 04, 2015, 05:53:45 PM
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FerrousBueller

Global Moderator
  I decided the Softail Custom was the the bike for me many years ago.  In addition to drop dead good looks the bike fit me perfectly every time I sat on one at the dealer or a motorcycle show.  I sat on all the other offerings from HD, the Softail always fit me the best.  I wonder, could there be enough difference in the relationship of the Grips, Seat and Pegs compared to other models to get that perfect fit , (for me)? 

Cheers!
Ferrous

August 27, 2017, 11:49:48 AM
Reply #7
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HDBitchin

Administrator
Looks like we came back full circle on the Softail frame.

The first picture below is the frame that Bill Davis designed. As posted earlier in this thread he had the company called Road Worx that designed what he called the Sub-Shock. His designs were eventually sold to H-D.

This early version of his design (in the first picture below) had a shock located under the seat area. Later he went with a shock in the lower position that we see Harley using up until the 2018 Softail models where they went back to a shock under the seat and got rid of the traditional oil tank location that Softails have had for years.



The next picture below is the new 2018 Softail frame. Looks familiar eh??



As said, the new 2018 Softail frame brings the shock back up under the rider seat area. The oil tank is removed from under the seat with this new frame in the 2018 Softail motorcycles.
HDBitchin aka Tank

When shopping for anything look for Made in the USA and save American jobs and families

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August 28, 2017, 12:05:14 PM
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WantMore

Supporting Member
Ha ha! Maybe that early design by Bill Davis was the best after all. And it gets rid of the oil sumping problem.
Smoke em if you got em
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October 04, 2017, 02:53:41 AM
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badcooky


I remember when they came out , here in OZ they came in 85 a year after the US I think .
My mate had an FXWG oddity at the time I think it was a 5 speed in 84 yea like a Evo gearbox in a Shovel ,strange to me anyway.
Cheers
Cheers bro !

 




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