2018 Harley-Davidson Deluxe Review | Living Up To Its Name
Much of the news about the all-new 2018 Harley-Davidson Softails has been the transferring of former Dynas to the Softail platform.
While that is undoubtedly a tectonic shift at Harley-Davidson, it is worth remembering that the returning Softails are also all-new machines—and that includes the revered 2018 Harley-Davidson Deluxe.
1. The 2018 Harley-Davidson Deluxe has a new motor, and it is a great one. The Milwaukee-Eight motor that debuted on the Touring line is now the mainstay of the Softail family. In the case of the Deluxe, it gets the 107 version that puts out 109 ft/lbs of torque at just 3000 rpm. The new air-/oil-cooled motor decimates the previous High Output Twin-Cam 103B powerplant, and is much smoother due to more effective counterbalancing in the motor. This is a huge upgrade.
2. All new for 2018, the Softail chassis is outstanding. Now there is a single shock under the seat, and its action is far superior to the previous design. The new Showa Dual Bending Valve cartridge design fork is also noticeably better, and another trickle-down from the Touring line. The new frame is lighter and stiffer, giving the Deluxe a greatly enhanced feel of the road. The old Deluxe looked retro and had a retro chassis—this is a 21st century chassis that is befitting the muscular Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant.