THE NEW HARLEY-DAVIDSON® SOFTAIL® SLIM™

Harley Davidson Softail Slim Harley-Davidson has released a second new model to coincide with the release of the Seventy-Two™. These two new exciting models increase the wide range of American-made motorcycles and are sure to be a hit because of their unique ‘old-school’ styling.

The new Slim, priced from £14,695 (ROI €20,340), slots neatly into the existing Softail® range of motorcycles and is styled to thrill with its pared down stance. From its narrow rear end to its trimmed front fender, there’s simply less of the Slim; fewer covers, a solo seat, smaller wheels and tyre sizes, and minimal chromed parts. Call it stripped. Call it old school. Call it lean and mean. But what’s left is the elemental Softail profile and iconic Harley-Davidson style that recalls classic custom bobbers of the 1950s.

To keep the rear of the motorcycle simple and clean, the Slim has combination stop/turn/tail lights. The rear fender struts are left uncovered, exposing the forged steel and fasteners. A thin formed-leather strap covers the fuel tank seam. The engine is finished with polished covers instead of chromed items, and the black cylinders left unhighlighted. The FL front fender is trimmed to expose more of the tyre.

The Hollywood-style handlebar, identified by its wide bend and cross brace, was originally an accessory for pre-war Harley-Davidson models with a Springer® front fork. The name may have been coined because owners of that era who used the cross-brace to mount lights and bags had “gone Hollywood” with excessive accessories. For the Slim, Harley-Davidson chose a cross-braced handlebar finished in gloss black, with matching gloss black hand controls and louvered headlight nacelle.

Other period styling cues include a gloss black “cat eye” tank console with a retro speedometer face, half-moon rider footboards, an oval air cleaner cover (also finished in gloss black), and gloss black wheel rims and hubs. The solo seat shape is specific to the Slim, and the upholstery is finished in a tuck-and-roll pattern.

A counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B engine is rigid-mounted within the frame, creating a solid connection between rider and the machine. The Softail chassis mimics the clean lines of a vintage hardtail frame, but utilises rear suspension by coil-over shock absorbers mounted horizontally and out of sight within the frame rails. With the combination of a 650mm seat height and rider foot boards, the Slim comfortably fits a wide range of riders and offers light side-stand lift-off. A pull-back riser from Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories can be installed to move the handlebars back two inches without changing control cables and lines.

“It’s time to once again make the engine the design focal point of a motorcycle,” says Senior Designer Casey Ketterhagen, “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, 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.

“My personal street bike doesn’t even have a front fender,” says Ketterhagen, “but unfortunately we can’t go that far on a production model. The Slim is intended to be a direct interpretation of home-built customs of the 1940s and 50s, and we used a number of components that evoke that era, beginning with a Hollywood handlebar.

“The seat really gives you the feeling of sitting in the bike, rather than on it,” says Ketterhagen. “The bars are nice and low, too, so when you’re riding you have an unobstructed view forward, which reinforces the idea that this is a very elemental motorcycle, a real back-to-basics ride.”

Key features of the 2012 Harley-Davidson® Slim include:

  • Rigid-mounted, air-cooled, 1690 cc Twin Cam 103B counter-balanced engine with Automatic Compression Release (ACR) rated at 132Nm peak torque at 3250 rpm.
  • Engine finished in black powdercoat with polished covers.
  • 6-Speed Cruise Drive Transmission.
  • Chromed, over/under shotgun exhaust with slash-cut mufflers.
  • Round Oval gloss black air cleaner cover.
  • Classic 18.9 litre Fat Bob® fuel tank.
  • Black cat eye console holds electronic speedometer with retro-style face.
  • Dunlop 16-inch (MT90B16) front and rear (MU85B16) tyres.
  • Steel Laced Black wheels.
  • Hollywood handlebar with cross-brace
  • Gloss black headlamp with chromed trim ring.
  • Gloss black nacelle with punched louvers.
  • Half-moon footboards with retro-style foot control pads.
  • Chopped rear fender exposes rear tyre.
  • Trimmed FL front fender.
  • Combination stop/tail/turn rear lights.
  • Solo seat with black tuck-and-roll vinyl cover.
  • Forged gloss black rear fender struts.
  • Gloss black oil tank.
  • Color choices include Vivid Black, Denim Black, and Ember Red Sunglo.
  • Security Package includes: Smart Security System with proximity-based, hands-free security fob and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
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