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Freedom 101: Anatomy Of The 2018 Softail Family

Posted by Dan Novit

Jun 7, 2018 9:51:12 AM


Well folks, we’re pretty much sitting smack-dab in the middle of 2018 and, by now, hopefully you've had the chance to experience the reinvented Harley-Davidson's Softail® lineup. As you may have noticed, the most recent generation of Softails bring a wealth of visual and performance changes that simply can't be ignored. So it's only natural that you may have some questions regarding the recent changes, or perhaps you're wondering why the Dyna® family was left out of the 2018 new model year launch.



We'll take some time in this post to ease those concerns and address some of those lingering quandaries regarding the redesigned 2018 H-D® Softails.

Now some of you may be protestors of change, but if there’s one thing to know about Harley-Davidson®, it’s that change isn’t a process of throwing out the old, rather optimizing the classics to modernize- yet preserve and respect- their legendary roots.

With that being said, if you’ve taken a gander at the 2018 lineup, you may be under the impression that the infamous H-D Dyna family simply didn’t make the cut this year- but the truth is quite the contrary. When you step back and take a look at the new Softails, you’ll realize that the flesh and bones of the beloved Dyna are still very much alive within the Softail family.

What Happened To Dyna?

Die-Hard Dyna lovers can find solace in the completely reimagined Street Bob®, Fat Bob®, and Low rider®, with everything you love about these fan-favorites, sitting even prettier within a brand-spankin’ new body, optimized for style and performance. 


                       2015 Dyna Fat Bob                                                     2018 Fat Bob


You’ll notice that these classics share the same, improved frame design as other members of the Softail family; the Fat Boy®, HeritageBreakout®, Deluxe, and Softail Slim® are now the brothers and sisters of the former Dyna kids- without the sibling rivalry. But let’s not forget the mid-model birth of the newest addition to the Softail family: the Sport Glide®, which comes equipped with detachable, locking saddlebags and a mini-fairing.                       








                          2018 Sport Glide

But enough about change- let’s talk about what this new Softail lineup has in common.

What's New About The 2018 Softail?

We’re talking a re-engineered frame, improved suspension, and newer light-weight components that shave more than 30 pounds of meat off the bones. In essence, each new Softail- including the redeveloped Dynas- have been revamped for better
handling, lighter weight, and improved rider/passenger comfort.                                                                                                                                Redesigned Softail Frame

                                             How The Milwaukee-Eight® Completes The Package                                                                                                        

In 2017, Harley-Davidson redefined riders’ freedom experience with the introduction of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight® engine, the 9th- and most breathtaking- addition to the H-D V-Twin family. While the Milwaukee-Eight’s debut entrance was exclusive to the touring line, many Harley-lovers quickly realized that it’s massive power couldn’t possibly be restricted to a single Harley® family.

So it came with little surprise (though much excitement) when the reintroduction of the new-and-improved Softail family revealed it’s most prominent feature, nestled comfortably within it’s newly designed frame: the roaring presence and unmatched glory of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 & 114 engines.

If you’ve already taken a new Softail for a spin, the experience speaks confidently for itself, especially when paired with the immense torque of the M-8. But, for those who haven’t swung-a-leg over one of these for a test-ride yet, we’ll do our very best to describe the Milwaukee-Eight experience with words. 

milwaukee8-107                                                                     Milwaukee-Eight 107

She’s got power - The M-8 comes equipped with 4-valve heads, a higher compression ratio, and even larger displacement. That’s more torque behind your throttle-roll, and the adrenalin to match.

She’ll give you good vibes -  With a dual internally counter-balanced system, 75% of your primary vibrations are cancelled out while at idle, and both rider and passenger will experience a more refined feel and increased comfort. This comes with no sacrifice to the iconic- and satisfyingly intimidating- V-Twin design.

She’s still loud- and even more proud - While the Milwaukee-Eight makes no apology for it’s thunderous roar, the less-desirable mechanical thuds and powertrain noise have been eliminated, thanks to lighter valves, optimized cover designs and driveline improvements. It meets global noise and emissions standards, yet retains it’s classic and boisterously authentic Harley tone.

She’ll keep you cool - With the rider in mind, Harley has improved thermal comfort by reducing heat absorption, increasing heat rejection and redesigning the exhaust system, which directs hot airflow away from the passenger.


The Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight engine not only pays homage to it’s ancestors through a well-preserved historical design, but implies a modern, mechanical dominance through innovations in comfort and efficiency. Harley-Davidson continues to hold a dominant position in the motorcycle community, and the M-8’s presence in the market certainly makes a bold statement.

So who knows what changes we’ll see this coming August with the release of the 2019 models? The most important thing to remember- for the moment, anyway- is that everything you've ever loved about the Softails continue to live and breathe, reincarnated as a powerful new breed amidst the rumbling H-D family. But don’t take our word for it- there’s no reason you should wait to experience the full-potential of a new Harley-Davidson Softail and it’s most sophisticated V-Twin yet. The only way to feel the difference is to head on over to ISSHD for a test ride. Freedom awaits.

Schedule a   Test Ride Today 

Topics: Service & Maintenance, New Bike, Test Riding, Softail, Dyna

How To Put Your Harley-Davidson® Motorcycle In Transport Mode

Posted by Dan Novit

Aug 2, 2017 2:21:00 PM


Have you ever trailered your Harley-Davidson® a long distance, only to discover that- somehow- your battery died on you? Believe it or not, it actually happens more often than you'd think- and here's why:

If you've got a Harley-Davidson equipped with a security system, your motorcycle's motion sensors are going to trigger the alarm when it senses that it's being moved. After 600 miles or so in the back of that trailer, all those blinking lights will have run your battery dry.

Luckily, there's a solution.

Your Harley has a feature called Transport Mode, which disables the motion detection sensors linked to your motorcycle's alarm system. This way, your bike won't sense that it's moving and, therefor, won't panic when it thinks it's being kidnapped.


Remember that- although you've disabled your motion sensors- your security system is still active. So other activity, such as attempting to start the engine with your fob out of range will still trigger your alarm.

So, let's get right down to it. Here's how to put your Harley-Davidson in transport mode so your bike will be ready to ride when you are.

2014 models and newer:

  1. With an assigned fob within range, turn the ignition switch to IGNITION.
  2. Before the security system lamp goes out, turn the ignition switch to OFF.
  3. Within three seconds, simultaneously press both the left and the right turn signal switches.
  4. The turn signals will flash once, and the system enters transport mode. 
  5. Remove the fob- your motorcycle can now be moved without triggering the alarm.

To exit transport mode, make sure your assigned fob is within range, and turn your bike’s ignition switch back to IGNITION. Now you're ready to ride.


*Note that activating transport mode on CVO models and models 2013 and older will be a little different. Check out the video tutorials below for step-by-step instructions. 

CVO models-2014 and newer:

*This information is accurate for Harley-Davidson CVO Models 2014-2018

2013 models and older: 

If you have any additional questions regarding transport mode and your particular Harley-Davidson model, refer to your owners manual or stop in to Southside Harley to speak with one of motorcycle specialists.

Topics: Service & Maintenance, Maintaining Your Bike

Extending the Life of your Harley Davidson Battery

Posted by Sherry Long

Oct 27, 2014 2:03:00 PM

Harley-Davidson Service

First of all, you need to know why you should buy a Harley Davidson Battery for your motorcycle.

It's simple.

All motorcycle batteries were NOT created equal.

  • Harley Davidson Batteries

• are specifically designed and built as part of the vehicle's electrical system to meet the strict H-D design and test standards.

  • • have a patented flush-mounted and strong molded-in terminal design for superior cable contact and longevity.H-D Battery

  • • are completely sealed and leak-proof to protect you and your bike

  • • have internal components that are designed to meet the H-D electrical and vibration profile, which provides superior durability

So, ditch that "Other" battery. Sure, it may have saved you a few bucks when you bought it, but no bargain brand can ever compete with the quality and durability that comes with a genuine Harley-Davidson battery.

harley davidson battery 

Batteries tend to get forgotten about. They're just expected to work. Here are a few things everyone should know about motorcycle batteries:

Did you know that even when your motorcycle is parked and turned off, it’s losing juice? Even in ideal conditions, your bike’s battery loses about 3% of its charge every month. And when these Indianapolis summer days get hotter than
70 degrees outside, you double that discharge rate.

  • To a battery, a big load for a short time is the same as a tiny load for a long time
  • When a motorcycle is parked, the load on the battery is small but never zero - given enough time, parking will dischage any battery
  • Motorcycles with added accessories, such as alarm systems, have even larger loads discharging their batteries with parked
  • A battery discharges continuously in small internal loads called "self-discharge" - it speeds up drastically as the temperature rises
  • A discharged battery can't start a motorcycle
  • A battery discharged too deeply, for too long, may be permanently damaged

So, what's the solution to extending the life of your Harley Davidson battery?

Use a battery tender. It will provide a continuous flow of just enough energy to offset loads and self-discharge without overcharging. If you regularly use a batter tender it will add years to the life of your battery. The key is to plug your motorcycle's battery into a battery tender, not just over winter, but any time you are not on the bike.

It's simple, if you don't keep your battery charged with a tender in this way, you will be buying a new battery much more often.

my harleyI can attest to the validity of that last statement. From the day I bought my new '03 H-D 100th Anniversary Dyna Low Rider, it's always been plugged into a battery tender when I'm not riding it. Even if I'm going to ride the next day, I still plug it in. I didn't have to replace my original battery for over nine years. When I finally replaced it, the guys at the counter couldn't believe it was the original battery. - Sherry Long


Here are two H-D Battery Tenders to consider for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle:

battery tenders

  • 750mA SuperSmart Battery Tender. This compact battery tender is superior to a traditional auto-parts store trickle charger. It features built-in “smart” circuitry cycles that turn itself on and off automatically as needed. That way, your battery never overcharges. This model comes with a five-year manufacturer's warranty. Part #66000038 - Cost $39.95
  • 800mA Waterproof Battery Tender. This waterproof battery tender is ideal for both short-term and seasonal storage, even if moisture gets into your storage area. The 3-step charging system consistantly monitors battery voltage to bring the battery up to full charge and switches to float mode to maintain the charge over extended periods. The vibration-resistant battery tender is reverse polarity protected and spark-proof, even when the leads touch.

Shop for these and other great H-D products, and learn more about them at your Central-Indiana Harley Home, Indianapolis Southside H-D.

Topics: Service & Maintenance