"Tougher & darker" HDs for 2016

August 2015


Softail Slim S | Fatboy S | Iron 883 | Forty Eight

2016 Softail Slim S



Let's talk tough first and direct your attention to the 2016 Harley-Davidson limited edition Softail Slim S (image immediately above). What makes it tough is the fact that the bike will be offered with the 1801cc, 110-cubic inch Twin Cam motor to bolster the "dark styling" and "menacing looks that match their muscle".


Why the hell we want our motorcycles to be dark and menacing (and broody and aggressive) is a mystery. It can only be a matter of time before the marketing people get bored with that and switch to stuff like "sly and shifty" or "downright bloody nasty" or even "cute and cuddly".


But if this bike floats your boat, you'll be interested to know that these Hogs, with their Olive Gold Denim livery "with military-inspired styling, paying homage to the post-war customs that launched the bobber movement" are on the way to help win a sales war that has recently seen Harley-Davidson suffer a lot of collateral damage.


The 101.6mm (bore) x 111.1mm (stroke) 9.5:1 compression engine pumps out 106.9 ft/lbs of torque. The weight of these Yankee, 6-speed behemoths is, comparatively, not too bad at 679lbs (dry). That's about 300lbs north of our ideal weight for a motorcycle. But there's a lot of meat with those potatoes-potatoes-potatoes, and modern Harleys really can crack on. So they acquit themselves pretty good in real world riding, and they handle okay-ish.


Additionally, all Softails for 2016 (both limited edition models and standard bikes) will be equipped with electronic cruise control—which kinda defeats the object of gripping those macho 'bars with your downhome forearms and going for a long and deliberate self-regulating, anarchic ride with yer mates. Some things in life, after all, just can't be delegated, least of all the electronics. But MoCo probably knows what buttons need pressing to get everyone's attention (and dollar), so we ain't putting up much of a fight over this. Note that the standard Softails will be supplied with the 103-cubic inch motor.


Regardless, even at £17,195 we think the bikes will find a few new homes. And as ever, you either "buy" into the Harley scene or you don't. Just remember to dress up like Captain America before you plant your rear end on the tarmac-scraping saddle.


2016 Sportster Iron


Meanwhile, the 2016 Sportster Iron 883 gets cartridge front end suspension and adjustable nitrogen-filled rear shocks, lighter "mag" wheels (which are actually cast aluminium wheels as opposed to magnesium alloy), and "improved seating". Or put another way, not a lot has actually been changed for 2016. But then, the 883 Iron was always pretty good, so it's mostly a matter of warming up the dish and re-serving it on a fresh plate. The price? £7,496 OTR


2016 Sportster Forty Eight


For 2016 there's also a new Forty-Eight model with a "menacing stance", a new (49mm) front fork, adjustable rear shocks and "mag" wheels. HD also tell us that it's a "perfect ratio of black, colour and chrome."




From this angle, the new Forty Eight "low slung urban brawler" looks a bit lardy and over-stylised with those chromed silencer covers, split (and flaky looking) 9-spoke aluminium alloy wheels, and the huge rubber donuts. ABS is optional, and so is HD's Smart Security System that locks/unlocks the bike as you walk away from it, or walk towards it. Harley-Davidson will be asking £9,675 OTR for privilege of owning this bike. Interested?


2016 Fat Boy S


Lastly, the (immediately above) 2016 Fatboy S limited edition model can be yours for £18,195. The engine on this "dark" smash-yer-face-in-and kick-yer-teeth-down-yer-throat bruiser is the redoubtable 1801cc, 110 cubic-inch Twin Cam lump as fitted to the Softail Slim S (main image this news item). ABS and the Smart Security System is standard. The only option listed is the Engine Idle Temperature Management System (EITMS).


We still prefer the Fat Boy in the original gunmetal grey and yellow livery But no one cares wot we fink.


Check here for Sump's Harley-Davidson Fat Boy buyers guide.

Check here for details of the new Harley-Davidson Street 750


— Girl Happy



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