Harley-Davidson® Softail® History

September 5th, 2018 by

Over the years, Harley-Davidson has had a number of market-defining developments. After all, you can’t get to be as old and established as Harley-Davidson is without leaving a pretty big mark on the motorcycle industry. But if you ask just about any Harley enthusiast, you’ll probably find a good number of them think there’s one category of motorcycles that is the perfect blend of power, performance, and style: the Softail bikes. This family is hands down one of the most popular from the H-D lineup.

How did this happen? That’s what Harley-Davidson of Yuba City is here to help you figure out. We’ve provided a brief history of the Softail family as well as some of the Softail bikes you can find at our location in Yuba City, California. If you decide you want a closer look at these awesome bikes, then stop by today. We proudly serve Sacramento, Lincoln, Rocklin, and Chico.

The Beginning
The Softail family is one of the younger motorcycle groups from the factory. Young for Harley-Davidson anyway. And it doesn’t have the most conventional origin of a stellar motorcycle. The beginnings of the Softail trace back to the mid-1970s and a mechanical engineer by the name of Bill Davis.

Davis owned a 1972 Super Glide® and liked the way it looked, but wasn’t too thrilled about some of the jerkiness of the performance. He was looking for a way to improve the suspension without giving up any of the aesthetic, so he developed the beginnings of the now iconic monoshock rear suspension system. It was designed to tuck the suspension away so it didn’t ruin the look of the bike, but still provided superior support and performance to make riding easier and more enjoyable. Davis brought the design to Harley-Davidson and together they improved and fine tuned the design until it was ready to release to the public in 1983 in the form of the very first Softail motorcycle.

Today’s Models
Over the last thirty years, each new Softail model and yearly upgrades have gradually improved the design even more so you only get the best of the best. Some of our favorites are listed below and you can find them here at Harley-Davidson of Yuba City.

Softail® Slim
The Softail Slim gives you a unique, low-slug design to really give you the feeling of being firmly grounded. Many riders prefer this feeling and it gives them more confidence, and this bike throws in a nostalgic post-war muscle bike look that you won’t want to pass up. And even though it’s one of the slimmer bikes, you’ll still get plenty of power with the all new Milwaukee-Eight® 107 V-Twin engine.

Fat Boy®
This ride is more than a little true to its name: it’s packing the muscle and the bulk so no one’s going to miss you rolling down the street. But recently, Harley has been working to make this ride lighter, so it’s easier to handle, without missing out on the power and performance you’d expect from one of these bikes. Use the powerful engine and racing-style design to dominate the pavement.

Heritage Softail® Classic
The Heritage Classic takes everything you thought you knew about Softail motorcycles and darkens the mood. You’ll get a meaner, tougher look with all the classic features of an awesome Softail. It ditches the nostalgia for a more modern look and you’ll be able to have your pick of suspension performance and engine power with all the great features offered with this bike.

Softail® Deluxe
The Deluxe is the top of the line when it comes to motorcycles you’ll want to show off. Every inch is designed to give it the best look, the kind that’ll turn heads and raise eyebrows as you’re passing through. From the chrome laced wheels and whitewall tires to the pull-back handlebars and killer engine, there’s no part of this bike that you won’t appreciate every time you hit the road.

Ready to check out some of the Softail motorcycles in person? Stop by Harley-Davidson of Yuba City and ask one of our staff to give you the full tour of the models we have available right now. We welcome all riders from Yuba City, Sacramento, Lincoln, Rocklin, and Chico, CA.

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