June 3, 2012

Harley Davidson HD 2012: Harley Softail Slim

With styling that's minimal and clean, the new bike is meant to evoke a custom bobber from the 1950s. It features gloss black ‘Hollywood’ handlebars, a low-set single seat, an absence of chrome and a thin leather strap that covers the central seam of the five-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank.

According to Harley-Davidson Senior Designer Casey Ketterhagen, “It's time to make the engine the focal point of the motorcycle, so we put a Softail on a diet to get the proportions back in check. Scale down the rear with a narrow tyre and chopped fender and the heart of the bike, the motor, once again becomes the focus. We left a gap between the nose of the seat and tank so the rider can see the top of the motor. I like to be able to look down and see what's moving me.”

And that engine is a rigid-mounted 1,688 cc Twin Cam 103B that produces 133 Nm (98.7 lb/ft) of torque at 3,000 rpm. Power delivery to the 16” rear wheel is through a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission.

Prices for the Softail Slim vary according to which paint colour is chosen. In Vivid Black it costs £14,695 in the UK (US$15,499 in the United States), while the Black Denim or Ember Red Sunglo finishes are £14,995 (US$15,884).

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