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So, What’s The Big Deal With Harley Davidson Softails?

By David Menu

The Harley Davidson Softail motorcycles provide great rides at affordable prices. They are undoubtedly some of the best bikes you can find or ride on the road today. Many people consider them the king of the road and the best vehicle for traveling. Harley Davidson first introduces the softail in 1984. However, it was not an overnight sensation. The company kept adding new features of designs in mechanics and other types of technological advancements along the way and it has grown more popular over the years.

The term softail is used due to the fact the rear end suspension system of the bike is able to move and absorb the shock of hitting bumps, potholes and other minor road hazards using shock absorbers or springs. The cool thing about the softail suspension on the Harley softail is that the shock absorbers or springs are out of view and installed underneath to give the appearance of a rigid or hard-tail frame. Over the last 28 years, Harley has produced several different softails designs such as the Rocker, Bobber, and Fatboy. All three of these types are ruggedly individualistic and true Harley Davidson’s. Let’s take a look at these three types of softails.

The Fatboy Harley Davidson softail motorcycle is a very popular within the Harley Davidson culture amongst softail enthusiasts. Some riders like the classic Sportster look that the Fatboy offers, as well as the dual seating arrangement so that they can take a traveling companion with them on those long hard rides. The handlebars are also set so that the operator can comfortably reach the throttle, brake, and clutch making it safety easier to maintain. The foot pegs are also in an optimal position to reach the foot brake and the shift pedal. This bike is popular with most softail riders and these riders will more than likely be the family man.

The Bobber softail motorcycle that is manufactured by Harley Davidson hearkens back to the classic motorcycles of yesteryear. The two most common looks for the Bobber softail are the old school chopper look and the early years racing style bikes that Harley put out in the 1930′s 40′s, and 50′s. The true definition of the word Bobber with regard to motorcycles means that anything that has nothing to do with speed and acceleration is eliminated from the motorcycle. However, the truth is that Bobbers and choppers are not really the same thing at all. A true bobber does not have things like turn signals, saddlebags, buddy seats, or even any fenders. Most purists will be the ones to own the Bobber.

Last but certainly not least, is the venerable Rocker Harley Davidson softail motorcycle. Harley Davidson attempted to mass-produce a bike that would be considered a custom motorcycle. However, one has to ask the question can a factory production bike be considered a custom bike? Not likely, but Harley did make a nice effort at making the Rocker look a little more edgy and uniquely stylish. A truly customized softail will reflect the rider’s individual taste exclusively and this cannot be mass-produced. Your typical Rocker rider will almost certainly be the most individualistic character of all of the softail riders and their bikes will reflect that.

Selecting your Harley Davidson Softail. Read the authors blog at:

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Menu, David "So, What’s The Big Deal With Harley Davidson Softails?." So, What’s The Big Deal With Harley Davidson Softails?. 25 Aug. 2010. 15 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Menu, D (2010, August 25). So, What’s The Big Deal With Harley Davidson Softails?. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Menu, David "So, What’s The Big Deal With Harley Davidson Softails?"

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