Metric Thunder Report – New Upgrades and a New, Slammed Hardtail Look for the Harley-Davidson Softail Platform
The Harley-Davidson Softail family grows in a new direction for 2008 with the introduction of the FXCW Rocker and FXCWC Rocker C. These factory customs are developed around an all-new Rockertail rear section that faithfully reproduces the profile of a slammed, hardtail frame but delivers the smooth, comfortable ride of a modern suspension.
The Slammed MC Line
The Rocker and Rocker C are part of a seven-model Harley-Davidson Softail line for 2008. Each Softail model represents a distinct branch of the factory-custom tree; the nostalgia of the FLSTN Softail Deluxe and FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic, the long chopper profile of the FXSTB Night Train and FXSTC Softail Custom, and the massive presence of the iconic FLSTF Fat Boy. Each Softail model interprets a styling statement with premium components and an appreciation for the kind of detail and craftsmanship that catches and holds the eye.
Why a Softail is a Softail
The Softail name is derived from the design of its rear suspension, which features a swingarm section that faithfully replicates the lines of an original, hardtail frame but provides a smooth, comfortable ride. The hidden horizontal coil-over shock absorbers for the rear suspension are mounted below the powertrain and out of sight.
The heart & Soul
The counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B powertrain is rigid-mounted in the Softail frame to give the rider a more-direct connection to the motorcycle, and also to enable a low seat height that gives the rider a feeling of sitting “in” the motorcycle. Harley-Davidson ESPFI fuel injection is standard on all Softail models, as is the 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission. A horseshoe-shaped oil tank located below the seat and a fuel tank-mounted console and ignition are other distinctive features of each Softail model.
New FXCW Rocker
The Rocker replicates authentic hard-tail styling, but has a hidden twist. The Rockertail rear end mounts a broad expanse of rear-fender sheetmetal directly to the swing arm, just an inch over a massive 240 mm x 18-inch rear tire. When the Rocker rolls, the rear fender and wheel move together as the Rockertail glides through 3.4 inches of travel.
The Rocker replicates authentic hard-tail styling
The solo saddle is just 24.5 inches off the ground. Forward controls and independent V-Bar handlebars put the rider in a fists-forward position. Brilliant paint on the sheetmetal contrasts with a new Satin Stainless Metallic powdercoat finish on the fork lowers, triple clamps, headlamp, handlebar riser, tank console, swing arm, turn signal housings, hand controls, belt guard, oil tank and engine trim. The frame is custom color-matched to the bodywork. The new Stop/Turn/Tail lights incorporate the stop and tail lamp functions with the rear turn indicators, eliminating the traditional tail lamp from the rear fender. (See separate release for more details on the Rocker).
The chromed-out cousin to the Rocker, the Rocker C features an industry first with the Trick seat design, which conceals a passenger pillion and struts under the solo seat cushion. To accommodate a riding partner, simply lift off the seat and the pillion folds out to deploy over the Rockertail rear section. Brilliant chrome plating replaces most components finished with Satin Stainless Metallic powdercoat on the Rocker, including the headlamp and triple clamps, the handlebar riser, the fork lowers, and the tank console and speedometer. The finned aluminum oil tank, frame and swingarm are color-matched to the sheetmetal, which features a swirling pinstripe flame from fender to fender.
FLSTF Fat Boy
One of the most recognizable motorcycles on the road, the FLSTF Fat Boy defines Harley-Davidson for many people. Still going strong after 18 years and as massive as it is iconic, the Fat Boy rolls on a 200 mm rear tire and chopped FL rear fender. Laced leather and bullet studs trim the two-up seat and tank strap. A big 17-inch front wheel and bright chrome fork nacelle lead the way. Bullet Hole Disc Aluminum wheels identify this Softail as the one and only Fat Boy.
FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic
The Heritage Softail Classic offers long-range touring comfort and nostalgic, dresser style with big FL front end, chrome passing lamps, studded leather saddle bags and a full windshield. A smooth ride and comfortable position carry the Heritage Softail rider far beyond the horizon. The passenger seat and the windshield can be quickly detached for laid-back cruising.
FLSTN Softail Deluxe
FLSTN Softail Deluxe is dripping with nostalgia, from its integrated luggage rack and seat with check side panels with a chrome grab rail, to its full-length footboards and wide whitewall tires on Chrome Laced Steel wheels. A classic tombstone tail light is perched on the rear fender. Pull-back handlebar and a low, 24.5-inch seat height add cruising comfort. Classic paint combinations, intricate cloisonnÃ© and sparkling chrome combine help the Softail Deluxe stand out from the crowd.
FXSTB Night Train
The sinister FXSTB Night Train features an all-black powertrain with wrinkle-black trim on the engine covers and air cleaner, oil tank and rear fender supports, and a black fuel tank console. The raked-out FX front end and narrow 21-inch laced front wheel contrast with a meaty 200 mm rear tire on a slotted cast disc covered with a wide bobtail fender. Drag bars and forward foot controls create an aggressive posture for the rider.