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Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce FXSTD review

Go to hell

A devil’s work paired with solid engineering: The Softail Deuce, the top model of the series, beguiles with an outrageously exciting and at the same time puristic lines. And the new engine.

It used to be impossible to test a Harley just like that. Describing boring criteria such as ride comfort, braking power, torque development, cornering behavior and the like regularly led to a dead end. Because a Harley hardly braked, accelerated moderately, performed an egg dance in curves, vibrated terribly, cracked when changing gears and maltreated the spine. But nobody wanted to hear that. The tester therefore took refuge in philosophical considerations, tried to capture the charisma of the American way of ride in winding sentences, and struggled to explain what made the appeal of the American bike. Interviewed outsiders why they got shiny eyes when looking at the cult device. “Boy, does it look great. It certainly costs "a lot of money" and you got to hear other generalities. But that’s it.
And today? The reason to buy a Harley is still to be found in the brand over-radiating image. A Harley is a Harley, is a Harley. And that’s that. But today you get a lot on offer. Let’s take the brand new Softail Deuce and let the facts speak for themselves. About the new engine. It’s really new. The Twin Cam 88 B now has two powerful balancer shafts that are held in check by two hydraulic chain tensioners. They take away a fair amount of vibration from the engine, but not too much. Because they are simply part of a Harley, which is why the engine is rigidly bolted to the frame without rubber elements. Tea manufacturer promises increased durability compared to the Evolution engines and lower maintenance costs. What remains to be proven. The engine and gearbox housing now form one unit, whereas the Evos had separate housings.
The signs of life of the mighty V-engine with a displacement of 1449 cubic centimeters express themselves almost gently, which already finds a balanced idling at 800 revolutions per minute. And thanks to the choke it starts reliably, even after a cold night. Gone are the cruel cracks that used to come from the switch box and made the unbeliever worry about the end of the gear wheels. Precise Japanese – please don’t take it badly – the gears lock into place, the idling between the first and second can be found at any time. Real progress.
The oil bath clutch, which requires only moderate manual force, engages as soft as butter, and with a considerable advance the motor proves that it stands well in the drilling. With 67 HP, which is already available at 4800 rpm, the test machine actually delivers a little more than is written in the papers. This ensures sufficient power reserves when overtaking on the country road, and the cruiser can also accelerate from standstill to 100 km / h in 5.2 seconds. For the sake of completeness, the maximum speed of 175 km / h should be mentioned, but it makes no sense to extend it. Not that the chassis is bothered by this speed, but who likes to hang around like a water skier with legacy stretched forward and a crooked back in tow? Sliding along in fifth gear, casual lounging on the step-shaped bench is the order of the day.
Because word has got around as far as Milwaukee that there are a few other road users in densely populated Europe and that a functioning brake system is therefore no damage, four-piston brake calipers on 292 millimeter discs at the front and rear are now doing the deceleration work. And it can be dosed, although the front brake requires a lot of gripping. In doing so, however, the beautifully chrome-plated and emotionally appealing fork reaches its limits, whose equally shiny chrome stiffening plate cannot prevent the spring element from twisting.
For those unfamiliar with Harley it should be explained that the Deuce – in German devil – is the top model of the Softail series. Softail, on the other hand, describes the Harley philosophy that is intended to recall the legendary rigid frame models. Of course the stern is sprung, but you can’t see it. The triangular swing arm clings to the main frame, while the two suspension struts are hidden under the engine. And feathers damn soft. Certainly not a mistake on American highways, but West German country roads reveal that the coordination is too much in the direction of comfort. The struts hit the bumps.
Apart from the Harley-typical relatively low lean angle – the forward, folding notches quickly come into contact with the asphalt, and the huge chrome-plated primary drive units approaches the ground threateningly when cornering quickly – but the criticism of the chassis is exhausted. Effortlessly, because it has a low center of gravity, the heavy vehicle rushes through narrow and wide bends, swings into the opposite incline with a slight pull on the handlebars. The 21-inch spoked wheel with narrow tires keeps the track cleanly. If the rear wheel with a 160 tire slips on wet spots, don’t panic. The load stabilizes immediately thanks to the huge wheelbase of 1691 millimeters. In general: the rear wheel, a mighty aluminum disc. Great to look at.
The Deuce has beautiful details in abundance. Anyway, it seems advisable to stop occasionally and take a look at the part. Then you know why you have the Deuce. Because she just looks cool. Relevant and style-defining for the Softail series: the small chrome-plated lamp pot. Likewise the chrome-plated instrument console, which is embedded in the tank. A tachometer is missing, but you don’t need it either. The tiny lights for turn signals, high beam, etc. are barely visible, but the fuel gauge, which is hidden on the left in the aluminum cap previously used as a fuel filler neck, shows when the fuel is running low. The real fuel nozzle is on the right. The Harley designers have redesigned the rear – with an integrated rear light. Otherwise, a lot of chrome parts shape the look: the chrome-plated air filter box, the oil tank cover, the fork, the primary box cover, the horn cover, the ignition coil cover and, and, and. Chrome wherever you look.
D.aher should the future Deuce owner besides the necessary change ?? at least 33,300 marks ?? Above all, have one thing: a complete range of chrome care products and plenty of time on sunny Saturday mornings.

Deuce Screaming Eagle

Let it be said in advance: This is how we want the ultimate Softail Deuce. Why is? Countless customizers and tuners tamper with Harleys and blow a lot of power into the inherently somewhat limp V-engines. Harley is now launching its own Big Bore kit. It turns the Deuce into a real grenade. 91 HP from 1550 cc displacement is unfortunately the alternative that is not entirely legal. The tuning parts cost 4650 marks at the friendly Harley dealer plus around 700 marks labor costs (see technical data on the right). The nice thing about it: You can’t see it from the outside. But you can feel it. The inflated Deuce goes forward quite differently. Apart from the fact that it is now gaining a top speed of 195 km / h, it takes the normal version a whopping 5.6 seconds when accelerating from standstill to 160 km / h. Even more: the passage has gained tremendously. In numbers: 100 to 140 km / h in 6.1 seconds instead of 9.2. The driving experience is easy to describe: The Screaming Eagle simply hangs much better on the gas. And reacts more agile when opening the throttle valve. In doing so, it bubbles out of the cat-free silencers without being annoying. Under no circumstances does it make any noise, as the name "Screaming Eagle" would suggest. Unfortunately, the drilled one takes much longer after a cold start before it runs smoothly. Presumably a result of the coordination of the constant pressure carburetor, which has grown to 44 millimeters in diameter. The undercarriage, which was lowered by two and a half centimeters at the rear by longer struts, is not impressed by the 23 horses that have been won, it goes along with it. Question: Why not like that right away? The Buell can do it too.

Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce + Tuning Version (T)

The following parts were installed: Big Bore cylinder with 1550 cm³ displacement piston kit with 10.25: 1 compression (original 8.8: 1) CV constant pressure carburettor with 44 millimeter diameter (original 40) 44 millimeter intake manifold ignition kit with limiter speed at 6200 rpm (original 5600 rpm) K&N air filter US exhaust system without catalytic converter (80 dB / A) Lowering kit on the rear wheel by 2.5 cm longer struts Measured values: (two people in brackets) Maximum speed: 195 (185) km / h Acceleration: 0-100 km / h: 3, 9 (4.8) seconds, 0 ?? 140 km / h: 7.8 (9.4) seconds, 0 ?? 160 km / h: 11.2 (13.9) seconds, pulling through in fifth gear: 60 ?? 100 km / h: 5.1 (7.0) seconds 100 ?? 140 km / h: 6.1 (8.8) seconds 140 ?? 160 km / h: 4.5 (6.7) seconds Price: 4650 marks plus installation costs

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