The new Softail top models Fat Boy Special and Softail Slim Special offer more steam in the boiler thanks to a full 1801 cm³ and a dark to classic look. In addition, all standard Softails have more power and equipment.
“Strong visual presence” characterizes the Forty-Eight, a mix of black, lacquered and chrome-plated surfaces.
Form and function: The chic, light cast wheel is intended to reduce unsprung mass.
Exclusive to the Forty-Eight: fork with fat 49er instead of 39er standpipes and massive lower clamp; Integrated fork stabilizer over the mudguard.
Dizygoti twins: The 1200 on 16-inch (right) is lighter than the 883.
Better: Almost all brake components on the 2016 Street 750 “made in India” are new: double-piston floating calipers at the front and rear with 300 mm discs, brake pads, hand lever and pedal.
Not really good: Unfortunately, ABS is still missing until 2017.
Always painted in bad black, the Street Bob Special rolls out. Their hallmarks: flat Fat Bob handlebars on high risers, forward pegs for the driver and two-person bench including pillion foot pegs. Their cast wheels are new.
… progressively wound fork springs, changed spring rates and new damping valve.
Tone on tone: matt black on the tank, exhausts, wheels and steel fenders, glossy black fork, headlights and oil tank.
Power plant: The 1801 cubic V2 has a “Screamin ‘Eagle” fan air filter and a torque-optimized exhaust system.
Feist: The fat, 1.25-inch thick buffalo horn handlebar is great to hand. The hydraulic clutch and cruise control are new.
The hallmark of all Softails: two spring struts that are parallel to the transmission and are loaded with tension. Function? OK!
The Bobber with narrower 16-inch spoke wheels touches down almost as early as the Fat Boy with 17-inch disc rims. But Hollywood handlebars with a central strut and a smaller seat on the Slim look less comfortable, their chassis a little softer.
Olive-green paint with a white star on the tank, as on Harley’s WLA military machines around 70 years ago.
The Iron 883 is new and better …
… Infinitely adjustable, progressive struts and cartridge forks, …
Harley-Davidson models 2016 in the driving report
The new Harley-Davidson Softail top models Fat Boy Special and Softail Slim Special offer more steam in the boiler thanks to a full 1801 cm³ and a dark to classic look. In addition, all standard Softails have more power and equipment.
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy has long been an icon of motorcycle construction. This “first cruiser ex works” appeared in 1990. Massive disc wheels, fat tank, massive fork fairing, thick headlights – everything on this macho Softail was bigger, more powerful. As early as 1991, Arnold Schwarzenegger set a monument for her in James Cameron’s science fiction spectacle Terminator 2: “I want your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.” The sentence is film history. In the fat saddle of F.at boy the terminator saved the world. Your Big Twin grew from 1340 cm³ back then to 1690 cm³ currently. In the basic version.
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Harley-Davidson models 2016 in the driving report
Softail Slim Special is the Biggest Twin that the company can use in cruisers: Screamin ‘Eagle Performance V2s have so far been reserved exclusively for the strictly limited CVO models. Now there are two series machines with the XXL-V2: 101.6 instead of 98.4 millimeters bore with an identical 111.1 millimeter stroke make 1690 full 1801 cubic meters. Together with the power air filter, a real power boost.
146 Newton meters with only 4000 tours
Arnie would be happy about it: a full 92 hp instead of 79 of the standard models that are still offered are an announcement. Above all, this applies to a full 146 Nm of torque instead of the previous 132, with just 4000 tours. You stand in the first row – in Barcelona there is extra space for motorbikes right at the front of the traffic lights – and below you this primitive V2 stomps its low-frequency “Potato, Potato, Potato”. Even when you are idling you can guess the power of this engine. 980, 970, 990 show the liquid crystals in the fade-in LCD tachometer inside the speedometer housing. The ship’s diesel engine runs smoothly and smoothly.
All Softail V2 are rigidly bolted to the frame and are calmed by two balance shafts. Also the Twin Cam 110 B with 110 cubic inches. That’s why the mighty motorcycle remains completely calm when stationary, does not tremble. Red, yellow – you pull on the hydraulically operated clutch. No, this is not a “pussy clutch”, this lever needs a treat in the forearm. Kalonkk! First gear engages relentlessly. Green, now it’s time! The fat 200 Dunlop D 408 claws into the asphalt, whimpering for traction. There’s something going on. Judgment Day. Swarms of scooter riders all around. Hasta la vista, baby! Logically today there are much more powerful motorcycle engines, 200 hp and more, of course a Passat station wagon TDI is objectively better than a Chevrolet Camarro.
Bigger Twin turns up more freely than a standard Big Twin
But this T-Rex on wheels serves elemental force in an inimitably archaic way, with two camshafts below, four bumpers and cylinders the size of a jug. You step in the second and third gear with the rocker switch, the six-speed gearbox engages hard but precisely. Your soles rest on crescent-shaped running boards. The curved handlebars are so perfectly at hand, as if you had taken measure yourself. And the wide saddle with a pronounced seat recess offers plenty of space and comfort. Terminator feeling!
The 333 kilos of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy S can be managed surprisingly easily through the bustle of the big city, despite the bad boy image. Behind the city limits, the fat boy has free space. Between 3000 and 4000 tours it changes pitch and character. Now he’s getting mad, stomping forward like a wild bull. He’s doing something, he doesn‘t just want to play … “Fast forward”, the eagle shouts! Full power is available at 5000 rpm, and the limiter switches off the ignition at around 5600 rpm. The crankshaft turns only 2300 times at 100 km / h. The Bigger Twin turns up almost more freely than the standard Big Twins with 1690 cc!
SECTION? A matter of honor, hidden out of sight
The singular front four-piston caliper has a grueling job. Like the Terminator T-800, aka Arnie. SECTION? A matter of honor, hidden out of sight. A lot of feeling, mentally and physically. Until the first bends in the mountains come, krrikk, krrakk, krrikk – the running boards take asphalt samples early. But when their boom touches down, the curve radius is cemented, making it impossible to waver any further. So be careful! The same applies to the twelve kilo lighter Bobber Softail Slim S with spoked wheels. Its military look cites Harley’s WLA models from the Second World War, which were subsequently converted into civilian bikes en masse.
A cruise control is now predestined for cruising with 2016 Softails: the Fat Boy S, Softail Slim S, Heritage Softail Classic and Softail Deluxe come as standard, and are available as options for the other Softails. All standard Softails now have the “High Output Twin Cam 103 B” with a fuller torque curve thanks to new air filters and camshafts. The full pressure of the two S models costs just 1200 euros extra compared to the basic versions. The Biggest Twins seem well worth it.
Harley Sportster series
Goodbye, lazy spring elements, hello damping: In 2016, all Sportster 883 and 1200 will finally get better forks and struts.
The Sportster are well received in Europe: still affordable, agile and yet genuine Harley-Davidsons, a statement on wheels that everyone understands. Upgraded again in 2016. This is ensured by new cartridge “cartridge” forks with progressively wound springs, as well as spring struts with progressively wound springs that are continuously adjustable in preload. Only now do Sportsters offer smooth cushioning and bottom-out reserves even when braking hard and on rough roads. This is already shown by the baby boomer Iron 883. Its chassis works well off manhole covers and thick road thresholds and responds cleanly enough. A real advance in driving behavior!
V2 makes the stem shake when idling
The US chassis provides information about the road surface without letting you suffer from it, and it is definitely convincing. However, the 39 fork twists when the single-disc brake is operated (new, floating brake disc!). In the city, the 900 is easy and bustling, falls slightly on a narrow 19-inch model at the front and the 150/80 at the rear: New nine-spoke cast rims with strikingly milled surfaces are supposed to be lighter, reduce unsprung masses (more suspension comfort!) And handling improve.
When idling, the V2, which is mounted in rubber elements, makes the entire front end tremble – the meaning of the quake. That turns on. When starting, the Baby Harley gets off the ground well, with little load change when the gas is opened, closed, opened again. And so the 883 is actually a great city bike. But on country roads the propulsion becomes more difficult, 53 HP and 71 Newton meters seem almost underpowered with a full tank of 256 kilograms. In addition, there is the long translation, Tempo 100 is only 3250 tours. The new, slimmed-down seat and centrally positioned footrests fit like a glove. The quality workmanship is right – with tinny fenders and ABS. Everything a Harley needs. At a price of 10 125 euros, it simply gives you a good feeling despite the low-tech.
2016 Forty-Eight from 12,345 euros
This applies even more to the bigger sister Forty-Eight, a real successful type: since its market launch five years ago it has found 6,047 buyers in Germany, and was mostly Harley’s top model. Of course, your 1200 45 degree V2 tears a little more on the easy-care toothed belt. It also lifts 67 hp and 96 Newton meters with a lighter (!) 252 kilogram weight. There is Schmackes behind it when starting up, enough 2700 tours in the final fifth gear for 100 km / h. All Sportsters since 1957 have four camshafts below. And also a little more liter capacity than the Big Twins.
But only the 2016 Forty-Eight has a particularly well-damped, thick, torsion-resistant 49-millimeter fork at a price of 12,345 euros. It also carries lighter 16-inch cast wheels. Ergonomically, the footrests that are mounted further to the front and the other handlebars take getting used to. Typical for a Sportster: poor knee grip on the tiny 7.9 liter tank and the air filter hindering the right lower leg. Harley sees the Sportster as an entry point into the world of customizing. 83 percent of all Sportster buyers were new to the US brand. Most will stay true to it for a long time.
Street 750 and Street Bob
Harley-Davidson has heard criticisms of the Street 750’s poor brakes. In 2016 she should stop more confidently. There is also a new Dyna version.
The criticism of the Indian-built Harley-Davidson Street 750 in MOTORRAD 8/2015 was clear: “Difficult to brake carefully when a braking system is as blunt as this one. The Street 750’s front brake, in particular, requires enormous manual force for effective deceleration. In the dry, the front wheel can hardly be overbrake, but caution is advised on damp or wet roads, precisely because the Michelin Scorcher 11 is not known for unlimited wet grip km / h already increased sharply in the second attempt, before the brake then failed due to overheating during the third braking. That can’t happen! Therefore, Harley’s Asia bike with water-cooled, 57 hp 60-degree V2 will score points in the new model year with improved brake hardware: double-piston floating calipers at the front and rear, brake lever and pedal, brake pads, 300 mm discs and lines are new. Only ABS is not available. And the price? From 8045 euros.
Street Bob Special with flat, wide handlebars
An important pillar in Harley’s model range was the Street Bob shortly after the dinosaurs became extinct. Their towering ape hanger handlebars let them literally stand out from the Dyna range. But constant ventilation of the armpits doesn’t seem to please everyone: For 2016, the Motor Company is offering a new version of the 79-hp chopper, the Street Bob Special. It features a flat, wide Fat Bob handlebar that, like its risers, is painted black. In addition, their forward rider footrests should guarantee a relaxed seating position. Also new is the slim “Badlander” bench seat for two people with passenger footrests. Shared happiness is double happiness. The factory custom bike rolls on black, 19 and 17 inch cast wheels. Milled areas adorn their five double spokes. A black “pork chop” air filter is intended to underline “the dark character of the bike”. The machine is only available in the matt black denim shade for 15,335 euros.
Dizygoti twins: The 1200 on 16-inch (right) is lighter than the 883.
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