Harley-Davidson's big twin range – powered by the Milwaukee-Eight – has plenty of big bike character, but that has come with a big bike price to match. Until now.
Entering the market this year is the new Harley-Davidson Softail Standard, which brings the character and heft of the Milwaukee-Eight down into the sub-$25,000 market.
Harley describes the new model as a lean bobber profile steeped in attitude, with the "dynamic performance of the Harley-Davidson Softail chassis and the unrelenting power of the Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin powertrain."
While sportsbike riders will undoubtedly question the Motor Co.'s performance claims, they're not exactly who H-D is targetting with the Softail Standard, with those who are stepping up from the entry-level Street 500 (yet wanting to avoid the ageing Sportster range) will definitely feel the difference in power and handling. It's a traditional Harley-Davidson after all.
Styling is based around a classic Vivid Black paint scheme which is highlighted with gleaming chrome and polished finishes for that classic Harley aesthetic.
Harley's aim here was to present a bike that defines what a Harley-Davidson is in its most distilled form and that certainly appears to be what they've achieved here.
Other styling touches include a solo seat and chopped rear fender combination along with an all-black Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine highlighted with polished rocker, primary and timer covers. Cylinder head fins are not highlighted accentuating the very minimalist look.
The exhaust is always an important part of any Harley, and the Softail Standard is no different. Breathing through a 2-into-2 offset shotgun exhaust with chrome shields and mufflers, the exhaust helps to enhance the long, low profile of the bike.
Rolling stock comes in the form of a 19-inch and 16-inch spoked wheel combination while the look is finished with a set of mini-ape handlebars.
Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand have set the pricing of the new Softail Standard at a very attainable $22,750 – with owners naturally able to spend much more if they want by dipping into the extensive Harley-Davidson parts catalogue.
On top of the usual additions, Harley-Davidson is offering four packages of Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories have been created by Harley-Davidson as a customization starting point for the Softail Standard Model.
Each represents a different custom direction and all components of each package can be ordered by an authorised Harley-Davidson dealer.
Day Tripper Custom Package: Combine classic bobber style with next-level versatility by adding a pillion and a 21-inch detachable sissy bar with pad so a passenger can come along for the ride. This package also includes passenger foot pegs and mounts, forward foot controls, and a black leather Single-Sided Swingarm Bag designed to hold essentials.
Coast Custom Package: Capture the elements of the performance-oriented, West Coast style. Components include a Softail Quarter Fairing, black anodized aluminum Moto Bar handlebar and matching 5.5-inch tall riser, a Bevel two-up seat and passenger foot pegs, and BMX-style foot pegs from the rugged 80GRIT™ Collection.
Touring Custom Package: This package outfits the Softail Standard model for the long haul, with a comfortable Sundowner™ two-up seat and passenger foot pegs, a 14-inch-high light smoke quick-release windshield, classic black Detachable saddlebags, and a 14.5-inch detachable sissy bar and backrest pad.
Performance Custom Package: Amplify throttle response and mid-range acceleration with a Screamin’ Eagle® Stage II Torque kit for the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine and a Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner to dial it in. Complete the package with a free-flowing Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather Performance Air Cleaner and Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon mufflers for a deep-bass exhaust note. It’s a factory-engineered performance upgrade that retains the original equipment factory warranty when installed by an authorised Harley-Davidson dealer.
Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand is yet to confirm a solid release date for the Kiwi market, but with the bike labelled "a mid-year addition to the 2020 Harley-Davidson motorcycle line" we expect it is still a couple of months away from arriving in dealerships.