It is pretty easy to sum up the 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout 114. It’s badass, and you look badass when you’re riding it. That’s pretty much the review. Okay, there’s a bit more to it.
Of all the Softails, the Harley-Davidson Breakout might have been the biggest beneficiary of the update two years ago. Between the addition of the Milwaukee-Eight 114 option, the greatly improved chassis, and the more enjoyable ergonomics, the new Breakout was better in every way.
This year, Harley-Davidson isn’t playing games—it’s go big or go home, as the 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout only comes with the 114 powerplant.
Are we going to complain about the lack of choice? No, we aren’t, and once you ride the Breakout, you’ll understand that the 114 mill is exactly what you need.
Everything about the 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout 114 is about going in a straight line. Start with the 66.7-inch wheelbase. Heck, the average woman in the US is shorter by a couple of inches. The rake is 34 degrees. That’s more than a third of the way to the Showa Dual Bending Valve fork to being mounted pointed straight ahead. For the coup de grâce against agility, the rear Michelin Scorcher 11 tire is 240mm wide, and the Gasser II cast aluminum front rim measures 21 inches across. This 672-pound motorcycle handles like a battleship to keep the 114 motor in line.
When you have 119 ft-lbs of torque at your disposal at just 3000 rpm, the real-world acceleration you have on urban streets is nothing less than addicting. It’s all about twisting the throttle and having your way with the pavement, as you will exceed any city speed limit before your eyes finish blinking—not that many Breakout 114 owners will want their eyes closed for long.
Unlike the previous version of the Breakout, the 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout 114 is reasonably comfortable. It retains its feet-forward pro-street stance, though with the handlebar bending just far enough back to the rider to prevent the dreaded jackknife riding position. The firm two-piece seat works as a backstop for your tail as it gets pushed back when hard on the gas. There is a decent perch for the passenger, if one is brave enough to hop on. The Breakout 114 doesn’t have all-day ergonomics or the plushest seat—it’s about instant adrenaline boosts.
I’m a bit embarrassed to even mention how it handles in the twisties. I can’t imagine anyone who wants a motorcycle that changes direction to bother considering the Breakout 114. Regardless, the Breakout doesn’t require a Hulk level (Incredible or Hogan) of steering effort, thanks to the narrowish 21-inch front wheel. The Milwaukee-Eight 114’s power prevents the Breakout from feeling ponderous, which is why The Motor Company likely insisted that you get the bigger motor with this configuration.
However, when you commit to a line in a corner, there’s no going back. The Breakout 114 is set in its ways. The only exception to this is loose, slalom style sections where you aren’t getting close to the edge of the Michelins. Those minimal changes of directions feel pretty good, especially at speed, and the Breakout 114 isn’t overly resistant to the minimal redirections.
Steering around in a parking lot can get sketchy if you’re turning on a speed bump or a drainage channel. When that happens, the Breakout 114 gets very confused about which way it wants to go, and it’s not interested in your opinion. Driveways can have the same effect, so keep your wits about you—tipovers don’t look cool, and everyone will be looking at you. On the upside, if someone cuts you off, a stern glare typically elicits a contrite grimace from the offender.
Wherever you go aboard the Breakout, people will comment on your motorcycle. It’s as long as a limo, and draws attention and curiosity. The homeless guy in front of Rick’s In & Out in hardscrabble Wilmington was so busy asking me about the Breakout that he forgot to panhandle me. I rewarded him with a double cheeseburger and fries, and the chili cheeseburger for me—good choices all around.
This is not a complicated motorcycle. It goes fast in a straight line, and is rock solid doing it. It profiles aggressively while delivering a congenial ergonomics. Wherever you go, the 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout 114 looks badass, and you will be considered badass by association. That’s as good a reason as any to buy a motorcycle.
Photography by Don Williams
- Helmet: HJC RPHA 11 Pro
- Jacket: Harley-Davidson Votary
- Gloves: Harley-Davidson Commute
- Jeans: Dainese Tivoli Regular
- Boots: Harley-Davidson Dipstick
2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout 114 Specs
- Type: Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin
- Displacement: 114ci
- Bore x stroke: 4.016” x 4. 5”
- Maximum torque: 119 ft-lbs @ 3000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 10.5:1
- Valvetrain: Single cam w/ pushrods; 4 vpc
- Exhaust: 2-into-2
- Cooling: Air
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Primary drive: Chain
- Final drive: Belt
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable Showa Dual Bending Valve inverted 49mm fork; 5.1 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable shock; 3.4 inches
- Wheels: Gasser II cast aluminum
- Front: 21 x 3.50
- Rear: 18 x 8.00
- Tires: Michelin Scorcher 11
- Front tire: 130/60 x 21
- Rear tire: 240/40 x 18
- Front brake: 300mm disc w/ 4-piston fixed caliper
- Rear brake: 292mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 66.7 inches
- Rake: 34 degrees
Fork angle: 36 degrees
- Trail: 5.8 inches
- Lean angle, right and left: 26.8 degrees
- Seat height: 26.2 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.5 gallons
- Estimated fuel consumption: 47 mpg
- Curb weight: 672 pounds
2020 HARLEY-DAVIDSON BREAKOUT 114 COLORS/PRICES
- Vivid Black; Midnight Blue: $20,499 MSRP
- Barracuda Silver; River Rock Gray Denim; Performance Orange: $20,899 MSRP
- Stiletto Red: $21,449 MSRP
- Zephyr Blue/Black Sunglo: $21,649