cruiser motorcycles

Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard

Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard

1. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard

Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe

Harley Davidson Softail Standard

The Harley Davidson Softail series is one of the most popular motorcycle lineups among American motorcycle enthusiasts. Their hidden rear suspensions distinguish the Harley Davidson Softails under the seat that complements their retro looks. The Harley Davidson Softails are designed to provide a smooth riding experience and high power output at all gear levels.

The 2022 Harley Davidson Softail Standard shares a few structural features with the 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe. The Softail Standard is a stripped-down and slimmer version of the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe with high-mounted handlebars. Both motorcycles have round headlights, a teardrop-shaped fuel tank, chromed dual mufflers, and a solo rider seat.

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe and the Harley Davidson Softail Standard are powered by the iconic Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine. Both motorcycles have a 10:1 compression ratio, a 3.9-inch bore, a 4.4-inch stroke, and a six-speed transmission. Despite having the same type of engine, the Harley Softail Standard produces 1.36 Nm more torque than the Harley Softail Deluxe at 3,000 rpm.

The Harley Softail Standard is more lightweight than the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe, making it a nimbler motorbike that is easier to handle. Both motorbikes are fitted with an Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) system that provides a fuel economy of 47 mpg. However, the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe has a larger fuel tank capacity of 5 gal compared to the Harley Davidson Softail Standard’s fuel tank capacity of 3.5 gal, making it ideal for touring and long trips.

2. Detailed Specs Comparison Between the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe & the Harley Davidson Softail Standard

2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe 2022 Harley Davidson Softail Standard
Identification
Harley Davidson Maker Harley Davidson
Softail Deluxe Model Softail Standard
2020 Year Model 2022
Cruiser Motorcycle Type Cruiser
$18,399 Base Price $13,949
Engine and Performance
1,753 cc Displacement 1,753 cc
Milwaukee-Eight® 107 Engine Design and Type Milwaukee-Eight®107
Air-Cooled Cooling System Air- and Oil-Cooled
Two No. of Cylinders Two
Two Valves Per Cylinder Two
147.78 Nm at 3,000 rpm Torque 149.14 Nm at 3,000 rpm
N/A Horsepower N/A
4.4 in Stroke 4.4 in
3.9 in Bore 3.9 in
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) Fuel Injection System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
10:1 Compression Ratio 10:1
Six-Speed Transmission Six-Speed
Belt Final Drive Belt
47 mpg Fuel Economy 47 mpg
Two-Into-Two Shorty Dual Exhaust with Catalyst in Mufflers Muffler Two-Into-Two Shotgun, Catalyst in Mufflers
Steel Frame Tubular Mild Steel
Electric Starter Electric
Dimensions and Weight
5.7 in Trail 6.2 in
30° Rake 30°
5 gal Fuel Tank Capacity 3.5 gal
4.5 in Ground Clearance 4.9 in
37.6 in Width 34.1 in
44.3 in Height 45.7 in
95.1 in Length 91.3 in
25.9 in Seat Height 25.8 in
64.2 in Wheelbase 64.2 in
316.15 kg Wet Weight 297.1 kg
303 kg Dry Weight 291.2 kg

3. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley-Davidson Softail Standard: Design

3.1 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Design

The 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe is a modern cruiser equipped with the latest features, including ABS, LED lights, counter balancers, and an upgraded front fork. Its retro-style look is enhanced by its lustrous chrome front forks, Hiawatha headlights, engine, exhaust pipes, laced wheels, and whitewall tires.

The Harley Softail Deluxe comes with stylishly cut large front and rear fenders that complement its whitewall tires. The chrome side mirrors are mounted on wide, swept-back, and low-mounted handlebars, and the gauges are mounted on the fuel tank. The Harley Softail Deluxe has an extended wheelbase of 64.2 inches and a low ground clearance of 4.5 inches which can result in the metal parts scraping against the ground while riding over bumpy roads.

3.2 Harley Davidson Softail Standard Design

The 2022 Harley Davidson Softail Standard is a simple motorcycle with a compact design. It has bobber-style front and rear fenders, chrome front forks, handlebars, and parallel mufflers. The chrome side mirrors and front turn signals are attached to high-mounted, swept-back handlebars.

The Harley Softail Standard has a trail of 6.2 in, a rake angle of 30°, and an extended wheelbase of 64.2 inches. Most of its parts are blacked out and available in only a vivid black color scheme. The Harley Softail Standard comes with silver annihilator cast aluminum wheels and Dunlop tires.

4. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Engine and Performance

4.1 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Engine and Performance

The 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe is fitted with a 1,753 cc air-cooled Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine capable of a torque of 147.78 Nm at 3,000 rpm. Its engine is well-known for delivering smooth power output at all gear levels. The Harley Softail Deluxe is a heavyweight motorbike with good handling and quick acceleration. In 2018, the Harley Softail Deluxe was given major upgrades, including LED lighting, better suspension, and a lighter frame which reduced its overall curb weight by 16.85 kg.

The Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin engine produces a lot of vibrations that are reduced due to the two counterbalancers. The 1,753 cc engine’s air-cooled system is less effective in keeping the engine cool on longer rides or in hot weather conditions.

The 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe’s wheelbase of 64.2 inches and low center of gravity make it easy to handle. The Harley Softail Deluxe is fitted with a six-speed gearbox connected to the rear wheel via a belt drive. Though the engine’s power output is evenly distributed at all gear levels, the clutch is a bit stiff, requiring extra effort to pull and shift between gears.

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe’s Showa front forks perform better on damaged roads and ensure a smooth riding experience at highway speeds due to its improved linear damping rates.

4.2 Harley Davidson Softail Standard Engine and Performance

At the heart of the Harley Davidson Softail Standard is a 1,753 Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine that can produce a torque of 149.14 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The Harley Softail Standard has a simple design, making it ideal for customization, all at an affordable price of $13,949. The Harley Softail Standard’s engine can be upgraded to 128 cubic inches using a Milwaukee-Eight Engine Stage IV Kit.

If you are not a fan of customization, the stock Harley Davidson Softail Standard offers a smooth riding experience due to its Showa Bending Valve fork. The Harley Softail Standard is equipped with the same engine and produces similar torque as the 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe. However, the Harley Softail Standard performs better at highway speeds due to its lighter overall weight. You will require a windshield to protect yourself from incoming winds when traveling on the highways.

The Harley Davidson Softail Standard comes with a six-speed transmission connected to the rear wheel via a belt drive. This motorbike has a quicker throttle response and acceleration at all gear levels.

The Harley Davidson Softail Standard is suited for traveling through cities and on highways. At highway speeds, the Harley Softail Standard does not require frequent downshifting which ensures the ride is effortless.

The Harley Davidson Softail Standard’s braking can be slightly improved. An ABS is not a standard feature on the Harley Softail Standard, as a rider would have to pay an additional $819 to have an ABS installed. The Harley Davidson Softail Standard’s Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine does not produce a lot of vibrations at low and mid rpms. However, at higher rpms, a rider can feel vibrations in the handlebars and seat.

5. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Comfort and Ergonomics

5.1 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Comfort and Ergonomics

Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Comfort and Ergonomics

Photo Credit: @autocarindia

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe has a relaxed riding position due to its low-mounted, swept-back handlebars. The rider can comfortably adjust his/her position so he/she is closer to the handlebars. The Harley Softail Deluxe has foot controls positioned towards the front, ensuring comfortable legroom for even taller riders. To improve comfortability, the Harley Softail Deluxe comes with floorboards so the rider can comfortably rest their feet while cruising.

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe has comfortable cruiser ergonomics. However, because it is a heavyweight motorbike with an extended overall length, it is not ideal for shorter riders or beginners. Though it ensures good handling and cornering at both low and high speeds, beginners may find it difficult to make U-turns or maneuver at low speeds. Also, a shorter rider has to lean slightly forward to be able to reach the handlebars.

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe has a ground clearance of 4.5 inches, which is lower than the Harley Davidson Softail Standard’s ground clearance of 4.9 inches. Its low ground clearance can cause the metal parts to scrape against the ground while riding on bumpy roads.

5.2 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard Comfort and Ergonomics

Harley-Davidson Softail Standard Comfort and Ergonomics

Photo Credit: @ultimatemotorcycling

The Harley Davidson Softail Standard’s distinguishing feature is the ape-hanger handlebars that ensure a comfortable riding experience. The Harley Softail Standard has a stretched riding position and stable handling due to its trail of 6.2 inches and a rake angle of 30°.

The Harley Davidson Softail Standard’s tall and wide handlebars have switches that are easy to access while riding. The mid/forward foot controls put the rider’s shin and thighs perpendicularly to each other. This can make longer rides for taller riders slightly uncomfortable. The Harley Softail Standard’s tuck and roll seat is slightly hard yet surprisingly comfortable.

6. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Technology and Features

2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe 2022 Harley Davidson Softail Standard
Technology and Features
Standard ABS Optional ($819)
Cruise Control
Tank-Mounted Gauges Handlebar-Mounted
Speedometer
Odometer
Tripmeter
Tachometer
Fuel Level
Range Indication
Gear Display
Clock

7. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Pros and Cons

7.1 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Pros and Cons

Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Pros Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Cons
Lightweight frame
ABS is a standard feature
Powerful engine
Handles well
Classic cruiser design
Comfortable ergonomics
Forward foot controls
Rider floorboards
Reliable
Comfortable seat
Aesthetically pleasing
Quality parts
Smooth power delivery
Ideal for taller and heavyweight riders
Expensive
Difficult to maneuver at low speeds
Difficult to make U-turns
Engine can overheat on long rides
Engine produces heavy vibrations
No windscreen
Low ground clearance

7.2 Harley Davidson Softail Standard Pros and Cons

Harley Davidson Softail Standard Pros Harley Davidson Softail Standard Cons
Lightweight
Powerful engine
Produces high torque
Smooth power delivery
Good low- and mid-range performance
Ideal for shorter riders
Good for daily commutes
Engine produces less vibrations
Handles well
Better city and highway performance
High ground clearance
Comfortable riding experience
Stretched riding position
Good for customization
Affordable
Nimble
Less-effective brakes
ABS is optional
Small fuel tank capacity
Simple design

8. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Which Is Better?

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe and the Harley Davidson Softail Standard are both classic cruisers built for different purposes. The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe is designed for touring and long rides. Its low seat height, low center of gravity, longer wheelbase, and swept-back handlebars ensure comfortable cruiser ergonomics suited for touring. Meanwhile, the Harley Davidson Softail Standard is a versatile lightweight cruiser designed for both city travel and touring. It maneuvers well in traffic and handles well at highway speeds. The Harley Softail Standard can be used as a daily commuter, but can also be transformed into an ideal tourer with a few modifications.

Overall, the Harley Davidson Softail Standard is the better and cheaper option between the two. The Harley Softail Standard can be customized, has a powerful engine that produces less vibrations, and has nimble handling due to its low weight and narrow design.

9. Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe Vs. Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Colors and Cost

 

Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe: Colors and Cost

Harley Davidson Softail Standard: Colors and Cost

10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

10.1 Is the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe a Good First Motorbike?

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe is not ideal for beginners as it is powered by a 1,753 cc engine, which can be too large and powerful to handle. Ideally, a beginner should start with a 125-500 cc motorbike. Though the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe has low seat height, a low center of gravity, and good handling, its heavy weight makes it difficult to maneuver at low speeds.

10.2 Is the Harley Davidson Softail Standard a Good Beginner Motorbike?

The Harley Davidson Softail standard is a maneuverable, easy-to-handle, and lightweight motorbike, but its engine is too powerful for beginners. The Harley Softail Standard produces high torque and has a quick throttle response. Its braking is substandard and does not come with an ABS, ultimately making the Harley Softail Standard an unsuitable beginner motorbike.

10.3 What Is the Most Comfortable Harley Davidson Motorbike to Ride?

The Harley Davidson Electra Glide is the most comfortable touring motorbike produced by Harley Davidson. Its rider and passenger seats are extremely comfortable, with the latter including armrests and backrests. The Harley Davidson Electra Glide comes with a batwing fairing and a large windshield for protection against heavy winds. For touring, long-distance, and two-up riding, the Harley Davidson Electra Guide is the best option out of all the Harley Davidson motorcycles.

11. Takeaway

The 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe and the 2022 Harley Davidson Softail Standard share several similar features, including engine size, bore, and stroke size, wheelbase size, fuel economy, and a six-speed transmission. However, both Harley models differ in terms of performance. The Harley Davidson Softail Standard is a lightweight, nimble, and versatile cruiser better suited for riding through traffic or cruising at highway speeds. Meanwhile, the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe is a heavyweight cruiser with comfortable cruiser ergonomics designed for touring and longer rides.

The Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe and the Haley Davidson Softail Standard’s touring capability can be improved with a few modifications. To increase storage capacity, Viking Bags has specially designed saddlebags for the Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe and the Harley Davidson Softail Classic. To improve safety and provide a place to mount your sissy bar bags, Viking Bags also has specially designed SISSY BARS for your Harley Davidson Softail Standard.

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