5. The new Softail chassis is superior; abandon all hope, ye Dyna diehards. The minds from the marketing department were keen to point out that the 2018 Softail chassis is 34 percent stiffer than the previous generation Softail and 64 percent stiffer than the put-to-pasture dyna. While I can’t verify the numbers, the feeling validates the general claim of increased rigidity.
When pushing the 2018 Harley-Davidson Low Rider into corners, there isn’t a hint of unsettling flex, nor is there any headshake present when getting on or off the gas. Updated geometry and torsional stiffness has cured several quirks, making it a far more confident ride while also increasing lean angles.
6. The suspension is for the new age. While the 2018 Harley-Davidson Low Rider remains true to tradition and employs a conventional fork, though the internals make use of a modern cartridge solution. The now single-shock Softail rear end is sprung for comfort (preload is adjustable) and the damping characteristics are dramatically improved. That chassis settles quickly over any inconsistencies in the road—freeway expansion joints, potholes, or mid-corner dips be damned! What once sent a jolt into the rider or upset your line is now barely felt.
7. The Low Rider has completely compliant handling. Certainly, one of the most intuitive models in the 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail line, the Low Rider requires little input to get going, whether at low speeds or hitting the canyons. With its 30-degree rake (a half-degree less than last year), roomy 64.2-inch wheelbase (unchanged) and smaller diameter rear wheel (17-inch last year; 16-inch this year), the Low Rider is remarkably sure footed, yet remains quite comfortable on the edge of the Harley-Davidson branded Michelin Scorcher 31 tires. The Low Rider is a bike great for a wide variety of riders and skill levels.