Custom choppers are basically the street rods of the motorcycle world. They’re great to look at and fun for short cruises, but their usefulness as proper vehicles fades as the odometer rises. In short: if you plan to take long trips, you’ll need a more refined piece – one capable of providing a comfortable ride and good ergonomics over any distance. That’s why, despite the plethora of custom builders that appeared and disappeared over the last decade, bikes like this 2010 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe continue to sell like hotcakes. Wrapping modern touring technology in vintage, all-American looks, this Harley doesn’t skimp on visual cues or the ability to fulfill your road trip dreams. And after just 456 original miles, this essentially new hog is not only a great travel companion but also the perfect canvas for adding unique personal touches. Whether you’re looking to join the Harley owners club, want a great addition for your existing collection, or just want to pick up a new favorite pastime, this awesome Softail is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss!
The original Softail was introduced in 1983, but its heritage dates back to the mid-70s. Bill Davis, an avid Harley rider and engineer from St. Louis, Missouri, invented a motorcycle frame that featured a cantilever swingarm which pivoted at its base, sprung at its top and hid under the rider’s seat. Davis eventually built a prototype, based on his own 1972 Super Glide, patented the design and contacted Willie G. Davidson in August of 1976. Davidson was certainly impressed, but replied six months later that, while his company was interested in Davis’ work, it would not be able to use his design. Undaunted, Davis continued development and attempted to produce his new invention as the Road Worx Sub-Shock. But after a bit of time, and a failed business venture, he eventually re-established contact with Harley-Davidson and began negotiations to sell. The Softail’s patents, prototype, and tooling were officially sold to Harley-Davidson in January of 1982. And after further testing and development, the 1984 Harley-Davidson FXST Softail stormed the market.
Since Davis’ design was based on an existing Harley-Davidson architecture, it automatically translated to timeless good looks. At the front of this Deluxe, a vintage vibe starts with a fat chrome-edged fender which draws the eye toward a five gallon fuel tank that’s complete with a large console. Classically shaped and hand-finished, that attractive tank flows perfectly into a Two-up leather seat which complements eternally impressive paint. That paint shines to a second chrome-edged fender that’s capped with a chrome luggage rack, trimmed with silver bullet turn signals and illuminated by a trademark tombstone tail light. And overall, this bike features a super clean look that’s sure to age just as well as its high quality components.
Designed and built to mix timeless aesthetics with today’s best modern technology, there are plenty of rider-friendly features that make Softail ownership a very pleasant experience. Up front, fat chopsticks ride between a seven inch headlight and stainless handlebars that are complete with chrome pullback risers. Below those sticks, a 4-piston front and 2-piston rear brake system inspires confident stops. Between those brakes, a slimmed seat offers the right mixture of comfort and support while providing a great view of simple tank-mounted gauges. And at the sides of those gauges, full-length footboards increase comfort, isolate vibrations and promote proper heel-toe shifting techniques.
Underneath this bike’s attractive body, Harley-Davidson engineers took their time crafting a rigid frame that’s capable of handling the rigors of extended cruising. All of the chassis’ electrical components are artfully hidden to ensure a premium appearance and excellent fit and finish. Part of the Softail’s appeal is its classic hard tail appearance; and Harley has become downright masterful at hiding horizontal rear shocks that ensure hours of pleasant traveling. That ride comes courtesy of two steel laced wheels which spin Dunlop wide whitewall tires that are specifically treaded for outstanding grip. And naturally, the bike’s steering and maneuverability is specifically tuned to create a unique riding experience for each individual.
Drivetrains are always the focal point of world class road bikes, and this awesome Softail boasts a 96 cubic inch (1584cc) twin cam that sits in Harley’s traditional V-twin configuration. Introduced for the 2007 model year, the brand’s proven 96B utilizes 9.2 to 1 compression and electronic sequential port fuel injection to make this 728lb. cruiser both engaging and inspiring. More powerful than the 88 it replaced, the twin cam 96 features a new crankcase design where its starter is bolted directly to its inner primary housing. This eliminates the starter jackshaft and provides improved starter performance. Due to the internal oil passages between the bike’s engine and transmission, external oil lines and fittings are also eliminated. Vibration is reduced and performance enhanced with lighter pistons and shorter connecting rods. New, hydrostatic cam bearings replace roller bearings to offer increased durability and quieter operation. And thanks to new feedback sensors and bigger fuel injector nozzles, the engine’s improved electronic fuel injection system reduces exhaust emissions while improving overall drivability and performance. Behind that top notch motor, a 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission is quieter and requires less maintenance than Harley’s stalwart 5-speed. Its shift points are optimized to perfectly match the performance output of the engine. And the addition of dog ring shifting reduces shifting effort, making transitions faster and smoother.
With just under 500 original miles and all the right hardware to make cruising a real pleasure, this pristine Harley is the perfect bike for anyone looking to hit the road in comfort and style. If there’s room for Harley in your life, don’t miss the chance to own this awesome Softail Deluxe!