THE NEW MODELS WILL GET EXTENSIVE COSMETIC UPGRADES WHILE THE SOFTAIL RANGE HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REVAMPED
The big news is Harley-Davidson merging its Dyna and Softail models into the all-new 2018 Softail range. The new lineup will be powered by three new Milwaukee-Eight V-twins. They are the ‘114,’ 1868cc motor that makes 101PS; the '107' 1746cc mill; and a '117', 1923cc, 105PS motor exclusive to the CVO model lineup.
The 2018 Softail range gets an all-new chassis with a concealed underseat rear monoshock. The front end uses Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) forks. The new frame is 16 kilos lighter and claims to improve ride and handling. While frame architecture remains the same, their steering head rake angles, ride height and swingarm width are different on different models. The Dyna models, like the Softail, will now have solid engine mounts instead of the rubber mounts employed before.
This biggest of the lineup - the Road Glide Special, Road King Special and the Street Glide Special, all get a blacked out design theme. The panniers are longer to give the bikes a stretched-out look. All bikes get LED headlamps now.
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy:
Harley's most iconic bike, the Fat Boy gets a makeover. The most obvious is the switch from the round chrome headlamp cover to a square one that hides a new LED headlamp surrounded with oval DRLs. The alloys look milled out of a solid piece of billet aluminium.
The 2018 Fat Boy gets a 1745cc Milwaukee-Eight engine which now makes 144Nm of torque at 3000rpm, 12Nm more than the current model. The engine also gets stiffer mounts to make the frame more rigid. The tubular steel frame is now 65 percent stiffer and 34 percent more rigid. The Fat Boy is 11kg lighter. The front end too is lighter and gets Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) forks that were seen on Harley's flagship touring range last year. The new suspension setup offers increased wheel travel and improved damping. The Fat Boy gets keyless ignition and ABS as standard.
Harley Fat Bob:
This is Harley's vision of the bike to survive the apocalypse. The muscular alternative to the Street Bob has a new front and rear end and now gets a shorter bodywork. The redesigned fuel tank is now smaller. The bike gets a blacked out theme and with the LED headlamp look decidedly cool. The new Softail frame is stiffer and helps reduce weight by 16 kilos. The front end has a 28-degree rake for sharper steering feel and 43mm Showa upside-down forks. It gets the '107' Milwaukee Eight motor that makes 149Nm of torque.
For 2018, Harley-Davidson will expand the ‘S-Series’ lineup, which will also include higher-spec versions of its new bikes now. Currently, there are three- the Low Rider S, Softail Slim S and Fat Boy S. The upcoming ones are the Breakout S and the Heritage Classic S. The Fat Bob will get a variant with a larger engine and will be called the Fat Bob 114.
To celebrate Harley-Davidson's 115th anniversary, the Milwaukee-based bikemaker will launch the Breakout S Anniversary, Fat Boy S Anniversary, Tri Glide Ultra Anniversary, Heritage Classic S Anniversary, CVO Ultra Limited Anniversary and Ultra Limited Anniversary. There will be two special versions of the Fat Boy S, called the Anniversary V and Anniversary X.