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Harley-Davidson Softail Slim | First Look

Trimming the Fat

harley davidson softail slim1 1024x768 photo

Note the deliberate gap between the seat and tank, so the rider can see the engine. "I like to see what's moving me," Slim designer Casey Ketterhagen says.

WORDS: Aaron Frank

PHOTO: Harley-Davidson

Call this one the Anti-Fat Boy. Harley-Davidson has put its signature Softail on a diet to create the new Softail Slim, a stripped-down bike built to recall an old-school bobber. With cut-down fenders, a solo seat and minimal accessories, the no-nonsense Slim delivers a lighter, cleaner look that makes the massive Big Twin engine the focal point. Chrome details are scant, in deference to the painted parts that typified a ’50s Harley.

The counter-balanced Twin Cam engine, upsized to 103 cubic inches last year, is rigid-mounted and rated for 98.7 lb.-ft. of torque at 3000 rpm. The same rear end as the Softail Blackline, complete with a chopped fender and integrated taillight, plus black-painted 16-inch wheels front and rear give the Slim an athletic profile. The cockpit is pure vintage-chic, with a unique, cross-braced “Hollywood” handlebar—a faithful replica of a Harley accessory from the ’40s—along with a louvered headlight nacelle, genuine leather tank strap and tuck-and-roll saddle. It’s a winning re-style of a popular model, proving that everything old is new again—and even a Fat Boy can get back in shape.

Categories: Harley-Davidson , Industry