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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them

Review: 2018 Harley-Davidson Softails

Comprehensive detailed review of each of the eight new models

By Tricia Szulewski, Editor

Easy Rider – The Low Rider

Inspired by the custom chopper era of the ’70s and the iconic movie Easy Rider, the Low Rider is a good choice for women who ride a Sportster and are looking to graduate to the Softail line. Studying the new Low Rider, one might quickly forget this bike ever had exposed twin shocks, as its heritage is with the old Dyna family.

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider foot pegs
I may look a little cramped riding this bike, and, in fact, the tall guys were, but my 5 foot 7 inches fit very comfortably on the Low Rider. I like this footpeg position, which is somewhere between mid-pegs and forward pegs.

Once I got moving on the Low Rider, I very quickly learned its strengths. The light weight, easy turning, great lean angle, and of course, the Milwaukee-Eight power all comes together to deliver a very comfortable, fun, sporty ride.

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider handlebars
The curve of the pullback handlebars brings the grips right to me and creates a very comfortable riding position with no strain to reach.

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider new look
The 2018 Low Rider sports a moderate rake, dual tank-mounted gauges, headlight visor, cast wheels, and “throwback graphics.”

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider seat
The Low Rider’s one piece ribbed stepped seat is comfortable and reminds me of the “king and queen” seats many old chopper customizers used.

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider dash
The two-piece dash display includes a standalone analog rpm gauge, and is the only Softail with this setup. You have to move your eyes down away from the road to read it though.

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider led
The small LED headlight has a chrome visor which is an important style element for carrying forth the Low Rider heritage.

review 2018 harley-davidson softails low rider seat height
The Low Rider’s seat height of just 26.2 inches and small rider triangle makes it very user-friendly for shorter riders.

Lifting the Low Rider off its sidestand was super easy. At 661 pounds, it’s the second lightest Softail in the lineup (the Street Bob is the lightest). It’s easy to ride, but far from boring. The light, stiff frame coupled with the new suspension make this “easy rider” a fun motorcycle to push beyond your limitations or just relax and enjoy the wind in your hair.

Specs at a Glance: Low Rider FXLR
Engine size: 107 ci (1746cc)
Seat height: 26.2 inches
Weight: 661 pounds
Fuel capacity: 5 gallons
Colors: Vivid Black, Wicked Red, Electric Blue, Bonneville Salt Pearl
Price: starts at $14,999 (ABS $795)

Click here for the next Softail.
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