I have to admit that when it comes to doing a review like this Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, Matt Laidlaw does give a very good straightforward unbiased review and road report. Laidlaw’s being a major Harley Davidson Dealer it is all too easy to be over enthusiastic about the product and this mostly will not come across well as seeming to be an unbiased review. While I don’t ever intend to show any favouritism when it comes to a new HD review I prefer to focus on Matt Laidlaw for that reason only, plus of course he does know what he is talking about. But – I do have a couple of other independent reviewers I will use if they have done a constructive review of the particular HD bike I want to report on. The same applies to Indianand any other American manufactured bike I review.
Back to the Harley Davidson Heritage Softail this has been a longtime favourite for Harley Davidson, since 1986 in fact. But the gas tank goes back even further and is same as it was 40 years ago, so hats off to HD for keeping that classic look going with lots of chrome, leather saddle bags, removable wind shield. The Softail was developed so HD could keep the classic hardtail look but give a sprung rear wheel ride, and they do this by having the traditional shock absorber mounted horizontally within the frame so visually it appears as a hard tail, especially with the leather bags in place.
The Heritage Softail has been upgraded quite a bit in recent time including better brakes with a smoother ABS, suspension improved, rev counter and gear indicator added, a whole host of colours to choose from, and a bigger better engine. The engine is still rigid mounted but this didn’t seem to cause any adverse vibration comments from other riders reviewing the same bike. Strange perhaps that HD didn’t use the Milwaukee 8 engine same it has in its other touring bikes like the Road King but I guess this is HD’s way of keeping the price down while maintaining the traditional Harley Davidson look. This bike is still strictly a touring bike, it is quite softly sprung and doesn’t like being pushed too hard. If you do then you can expect it to wobble around corners and bottom out on bumps. Back it off a bit and you have a very comfortable cruiser doing exactly what it is designed to be.
Come join in on a ride and review of this classic beauty of a bike.
Special thanks to Matt Laidlaw for this review. Photos are video screen shots.