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 2003 Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce 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 2,763 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 Group, 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 Deuce, a free-spirited vibe starts with a small fender which leads the eye to a 5-gallon fuel tank that’s fitted 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 small fender that’s trimmed with silver bullet turn signals and illuminated by a crystal clear tail lamp. 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, a chrome ‘smooth look’ fork rides between a traditional headlight, smoked turn signals and ‘fat’ handlebars that feature custom Aileron grips, buckshot hand controls and chrome, bullet-style mirrors. Below that fork, a slotted, 3-disc brake system achieves confidence-inducing stops via braided and clearcoated lines and chrome-detailed calipers. Between those brakes, a custom, low-profile seat offers the right mixture of comfort and support while providing a great view of simple, silver-faced gauges. And at the sides of those gauges, high quality Aileron foot pegs 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 a lowered Profile suspension and two slotted, 6-spoke wheels which wear sticky Dunlop 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 95 cubic inch (1550cc) Screamin’ Eagle twin cam that sits in Harley’s traditional V-twin configuration. Introduced for the 2000 model year, the brand’s proven twin cam utilizes 9.4 to 1 compression and electronic sequential port fuel injection to make this 712lb. cruiser both engaging and inspiring. More powerful than the 88 it replaced, the Twin Cam 95 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 smooth, 5-speed transmission utilizes a constant mesh primary, double row chain and poly chain belt to provide years of solid and reliable shifts. And the addition of a multi-plate clutch reduces shifting effort, making transitions faster and smoother.
With just under 3,000 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 Deuce!