The Softail range features 8 models from Dyna and the CVO range, all of them share the same platform, chassis and the new “Milwaukee 8” engine, either in 107 cubic-inches sizes or 114 cubic-inches one. Right now, Harley is portraying the new Fatbob as its flagship 'Softail' motorcycle but is there any other softail under Rs 15 lakh which is better than this one. Let's find out.
In this article, we will compare the cost along with all the features being offered on a particular model to crown the best among them. In India, we have 6 Softail bikes and we will see the features of 3 of them to determine the best cruiser among them. To keep things simple, we are going to compare all the 3 bikes with a single engine size i.e. 107 Cubic inches. Since the new Softail chassis is shared among all of them, we will compare them largely on their ability to cruise.
Harley Davidson Street Bob: The cheapest Harley Davidson in the Harley Davidson line up, is also the lightest in its class, even when its wet. The wheelbase of the Street Bob is an impressive 1630 mm and the seat height is a low 675 mm. The 107 motor makes around 144 nm at 3000 RPM across most of the soft-tail bikes. The overall styling of the street bob is bobber like, which allows it to shed most of its weight. The fuel tank, however, is a small 14-litre one which empties under 250 km.
The handlebar features an integrated LCD screen which quite cleverly replaces the need for a big screen or console. Its downside is that installing an aftermarket handlebar becomes a headache because of all the electronics that need to be managed. The seating position is laid-back on this bike and there is only a single disc at the front and at the back for braking. The ex-showroom price of Street bob is Rs 12,59,000
Harley Davidson Low Rider: The second most affordable Softail Harley is the Low-rider, which is a replacement for the old “Low-rider” and the “Low-rider S”. It has the longest trail among all the three motorcycles, at 163 mm. It also has the biggest fuel tank among its cousins. With a 19-litre fuel tank, the 287 kg of dry weight goes all the way up to 305 kg. The seat height is a manageable 680 mm and the ground clearance is around 130 mm.
The overall look of the bike actually pays homage to the old styled chrome-laden cruisers which dominated America in the past. The bike is a true blend of retro styling and modern performance. The seating is similar to Street Bob, the difference is in the arm position. In this bike, your arms remain lower as compared to Street Bob. For braking, there is a single disc up front and at the rear. The ex-showroom price of Low-rider is Rs 13,59,000.
Harley Davidson Fat Bob: Probably the meanest looking softail in Harley's line up. Fat Bob makes its presence felt with massive tyres and a brand new LED headlight. It has the highest seat height among all, at 720 mm, this Harley gives its rider a more aggressive position. Due to its tall nature, Fat-bob also has the highest lean angles than both of them as mentioned above. It also produces highest torque at 145 Nm; the bike is kept in control by dual discs at the front and a single disc at the back. It is also the one which has upside down forks among all the three.
Despite all of its pros, the bike misses out on essentials like a big fuel tank. With only 14.1 liters of fuel capacity, Fat-bob stops for fuel very often. The overall styling of the bike is modern. There is no chrome, no shiny parts and no tacky vinyl. It is a matte finished modern Harley that looks mean and tough. It comes with an ex-showroom price of 14,59,000.
Verdict: The Harley Davidson Fat-Bob is the best among all the bikes in terms of performance but it rides less like a cruiser and more like a cruiser/naked hybrid. Also, the small fuel tank on it makes it a headache for touring long distances. With Rs 15 lakh to spend, the Low-rider, with its 19-litre fuel tank and true cruiser styling makes the most sense and is probably the best Value for money Softail in its price range.
By: Yetnesh Dubey