and Top Spoke Rentals
$17,395 - $19,765
Throw a leg over a Heritage Softail® Classic and, just like
that, you’ve bought yourself a one-way ticket to happier
days. One look at the studded leather bags and you can’t
help but grin ...
Beefy tires on optional Chrome Profile Laced wheels, graced by
chrome-accented fenders. King-size detachable windshield. Low
two-up seat with back rest. Giant chrome headlight and passing
lamps. This is how the early dressers did it. Today’s version
combines all this with the best of today’s technology. For
example, the Classic gets a wrinkle black and chrome Twin Cam
88B® engine with smooth-riding dual counter balancers. This
Twin Cam B™ engine was fuel injected with a stage one performance
kit installed and upgraded exhaust pipes.
I told Lumpy, Hacienda Customs, CFO, the other day that I wanted
to spend some time on the Heritage Softail® for a review on
Motorcycletestdrive.com. He said “sure thing.” Five
days and 2,000 miles later I brought the ride back covered with
dead bugs and a lot of mud and dirt. To my relief, he was not
mad at all. After 2,000 miles you learn a lot about a bike. And
most of it was great. View
pictures from trip.
First a note about riding and me. I have a bad back and the first
thing that I did was adjust the classic touring handlebars as
far back as possible so I would not have to lean forward. This
helped a lot, but was not enough for me. I found that after many
hours of riding in this position, the muscles in the back of my
neck get tied up in knots, making it very uncomfortable. If I
were going to purchase this motorcycle, I would have to replace
these handlebars or put on pull back risers. I will evaluate this
motorcycle as though this was not a problem for me.
I found the bike to be very dependable and it was consistent as
anything that I can remember. It always started on the first compression
stroke. It always felt the same whether it was turning, breaking
or acceleration. No surprises. Just like a really good friend
that you know you can depend on. And boy am I glad this ride had
a stage one kit installed. If there was anything that I found
less than great was the time spent in the passing lane. It needs
a little more power. Of course, it did not help riding with a
friend that had an 80-inch V-ROD.
The Twin Cam B™ engine is sure nice and smooth. You can
hardly tell it is running at idle, unlike the rubber-mounted twin
Cam engines in the touring bikes. But at speed, I think the rubber-mounted
engines run a little smoother. Not much though.
Now with this ride I had floorboards for my feet in the place
of foot pegs. It even had rubber cushions in the floorboards.
How nice is that? I found no use for the heel shifter. It got
in the way. I will have to ask long time riders who have this
option if they use it often. I found it was in the way and several
times when I started up from a stoplight, when I placed my feet
on the floorboards, I would put my boot on the heel shifter. I
also found that it gets in the way after several hours on the
highway and you move your feet around; you can’t move your
left foot back very far because the heel shifter gets in the way.
I did notice that it could be removed very easily. If the ride
were mine, it would be gone.
The fuel injection worked great. We went from about 900 feet to
over 11,000 feet in elevation and the Twin cam never missed a
beat. One thing that I did notice was that when you return the
throttle to the off position, it feels like the injectors shut
down. I guess this is OK, but it sounded weird. Normally you have
the fine noise of that big twin rumbling down with a crackle here
and there. With the engine running about 3 to 4 thousand RPM and
you return the throttle to off it sounds as though your engine
shut off. It does not sound very Harley to me. I have never noticed
this before on other bikes. But then I don’t spend much
time on injected bikes either. Then when you get down to about
2,000 RPM or you crack the throttle, you hear a little pop and
then the rumble from the exhaust when the injectors kick in again.
Again, this was absolute and predictable every time the throttle
was retarded. I do not have a clue what map was used with this
injection system, but I am sure it can be changed.
The first day that we rode, there were a lot of cross winds. At
first I thought that this bike handled about as bad as my Sportster
in the crosswinds. I was riding with a good friend, Jerry, and
he had his V-ROD. I wanted to see how his handled the crosswinds
so we switched bikes for a short time. His bike was a handful
in the crosswind also. I decided that it was not the bike, but
the heavy crosswinds. I felt better now. Not sure how a Road King®
or an Electra Glide® would have behaved?
Climbing hills and going around corners was great except for the
lack of power. I did find the 29° lean factor limit called
out on the Softail® spec sheet. I did drag the floorboards
on a couple of corners. It was refreshing to find that when they
scraped, they did not set the bike up with a bounce effect. Again
the bike was very predictable in every aspect.
The low seat and huge detachable windshield was always welcome
on the road. I must have killed a million bugs. Riding at night,
you have to keep the shield clean or it becomes a pain looking
though the mess. I also noticed that the high beam indicator at
night seemed to create an annoying glare from the indicator located
on top of the tank. Maybe it was just that led was aimed at my
I was able to get from about 40 mpg to around 50 mpg with the
Softail®, depending on how fast we rode. It never even used
a drop of oil for the entire 2,000 miles. Again very predictable
and no surprises. This was a great ride.
Smooth Twin cam B™ engine with luxury plus. Very predictable
and a lot of fun to drive. Needs more power for passing and the
mountains in Colorado. You can throw away the heel shifter, keep
the low seating and the big windshield for the highway. Also I
did notice that the back of the seat where the buddy seat begins,
gave a lot of support for your lower back. That helped a lot.