cruiser motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Softail Low Rider: Detailed Specs, Background, Performance, and More

Harley-Davidson Softail Low Rider Detailed Specs, Background, Performance, and More

There’s nothing like  Harley-Davidson. This company digs deep to give us better performance and more power, whether you are a beginner, a professional rider, or have never ridden a motorbike.

The company always has something for everyone. Every bike and model produced by the company has its unique shape, name, and purpose.

H-D has a wide range of motorcycles including  Dyna ,  Street, and  Softails, providing you with a number of options to select the ride from between  touring and  cruising. Regardless of age,  cruiser bikes have almost always been the choice for riders who prefer long-distance riding or cruising around the town. Meanwhile, the touring bikes are for the admirers who love to travel on scenic  motorcycle roads and highways.

Among all the Harley models, the Softails have their own identity for being popular classic cruiser bikes with authentic styling and comfortable riding stance. In this article, we’ll be discussing the Harley Softail Low Rider, an iconic bike made by the company for riders who love to customize their bikes and riding comfort.

Jump down to read Softail Low Rider specifications, history, performance, and many more.


The Low Rider can trace its roots back to the ‘70s when Harley-Davidson observed that it was becoming habitual for motorcyclists to customize their own rides. They were adding low-slung seats, pull-back handlebars, and lowering their suspensions. The customized bikes were typically cruisers, leaving very little space between the road surface and the bike, so cornering became an interesting challenge. Motorcyclists customized their bikes to make them special, help to ride comfortably, and just for fun.

In 1977, Harley-Davidson introduced the first FXS Low Rider to the world. Also, the company added a few of its own touches for customization, which included mag wheels and raised white lettering. This bike has gone through a number of updates and improvements over the years. However, it retains its basic concept and remains a favorite among riders.

    • This was a unique bike that was released mid-season. The 1977 Low Rider featured a 74-cubic-inch 1206 cc V-Twin engine and was able to reach a top speed of 105.6 mph. This bike was introduced to the world as a sleek-looking grey model with orange-red graphics across the fuel tank. Furthermore, this bike has a seat of 27 inches which allowed riders to stop flat-footed.

    • The black color was added to the silver and orange-red designs on the 1978 and 1979 Low Rider models. Also, the company decided to retire the 74-cubic inch V-Twin engine with the 1978 model year. An 80-cubic-inch V-twin took its place in the 1979 Low Rider.

    • The 1980 Low Rider, which was powered by an 80-cubic-inch V-Twin engine, followed in the footsteps, or tire tracks, of the 1979 Low Rider. It had 67 horsepower @ 5800 rpm and a top speed of 102.5 mph.

    • In 1981, Harley-Davidson named this model the Sturgis after the week-long rally held in Sturgis, South Dakota every August. This version was black with small splashes of chrome and orange. The name was revised to the FXB and received an update from the traditional chain drive to the belt-driven drive train.

    • In 1982, the FXB Sturgis received modifications and the top of the fuel tank was outfitted with a tachometer, speedometer, and fuel filler caps. Now the riders had two options for starting up the bike.

      1. A kick-start option
      2. Push-button option
    • In 1984, the Evolution engine was introduced by Harley-Davidson, which offered a lot of improvements to durability and reliability.

    • 1991, this year marked the beginning of the Dyna chassis. Dyna rubber mounts were added to decrease the vibration of the engine within the frame. Also, an attractive feature for riders, which was released with this model year, was the self-canceling turn signals.

    • In 1992, Daytona Bike Week celebrated its 50th anniversary that year after the Sturgis Rally. Harley-Davidson took part in the celebration and introduced the special edition FXDB Daytona. The Daytona was designed with a traditional amount of chrome and a brighter pain color.
    • At the beginning of the 20s, the bike disappeared from the market but made a comeback in 2014. H-D recreated the bike while focusing on the idea of making it accessible to all riders. The bike had handlebars with a riser assembly that could be adjusted to fit the rider's height. Moreover, this model of the Low Rider came with an adjustable seat to accommodate tall and short riders.

    • 2017 was the last significant year for the Low Rider being part of the Dyna series. This model year came with a few changes to the bike. The bike was “blacked out,” not only the paint but the engine and exhaust pipes were also given a black color scheme.

    • After many years of production, the Dyna Low Rider became history and married into the Softail family in 2018. The 2018 Low Rider came with some major changes, including a lower seat height of 27.2 inches and a Milwaukee-Eight engine that replaced the Twin Cam engine.


The Harley-Davidson Low Rider is powered by a 1746 cc Milwaukee Eight engine with four valves per cylinder with pushrod actuation. This engine is shockingly refined for such a large displacement motor and is extremely quick to rev up as well. There’s plenty of grunt in every gear with 145 nm of torque coming in at 3000 rpm. The engine performance is optimal, so you can cover long distances so long as there are no issues with your posture.

The Low Rider is an attractive cruiser bike with a 70’s styling and paint scheme. The bike looks quite handsome with a large 19-inch front wheel and a tiny fender. The rear end features a full-size fender with a wide 180-section tire and a small 16-inch rim. This bike has a 1200 custom style headlight and the pull-back “buckhorn ” handlebars with bar-mounted indicators.

This bike features the tank-mounted speedometer pod with built-in digital MID and a second pod with a tachometer mounted right below it. These twin pods with vertically stacked configurations have a charming look. The seat of the bike is designed to be efficient so it is accessible to riders of all heights. Footpegs are mid-set and lifted up so that you are sitting in a knees-up riding position. Its buckhorn handlebars are easy to reach for short riders while the taller riders find the bars too close, which may lead to a slightly awkward riding posture. Lastly, there’s an interesting fact that the seat of this bike is borrowed from the Fat Boy, which can be extremely comfortable.


3.1 Does the Softail Low Rider A Good Beginner Bike?

The Softail Low Rider has a classic ‘70s design with a comfortable riding position. This bike has an adjustable seat and handlebars with a riser assembly that could be adjusted to accommodate riders with longer and shorter heights. These exclusive ergonomics make them suitable for beginner riders.

3.2 Differentiate Between Low Rider and Low Rider S?

The Low Rider is a bit of a step back from the modern look. The design on the fuel tank has a retro ‘70s look and there is much chrome on the bike. Meanwhile, the Low Rider S has many of its parts blacked out. Moving on, the Low Rider is slower and less sporty, having the smaller ‘107’(1746 cc) engine while the Low Rider S is powered by a rigid mounted Milwaukee Eight 114 engine.

3.3 What is the Cost of Low Rider Harley-Davidson?

Estimated the Harley-Davidson Low Rider ranges from $15,499 to $16,230.



Engine Type Milwaukee-Eight­™ 107
Displacement 1746 cc
Bore 100 mm
Stroke 111 mm
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Fuel System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust 2-into-2 shotgun; catalyst in the muffler


Engine Torque 145 Nm
Engine Torque (rpm) 3000
Engine Torque Testing Method EC 134/2014
Lean Angle, Right (deg.) 29.6
Lean Angle, Left (deg.) 29.6


Primary Drive Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (Overall) 1st 9.311
Gear Ratios (Overall) 2nd 6.454
Gear Ratios (Overall) 3rd 4.793
Gear Ratios (Overall) 4th 3.882
Gear Ratios (Overall) 5th 3.307
Gear Ratios (Overall) 6th 2.79


Wheels, Front Type Black, machine highlighted, Radiate cast aluminum wheel
Wheels, Rear Type Black, machine highlighted, Radiate cast aluminum wheel
Brakes, Caliper Type 4-piston fixed front and 2-piston floating rear


Length 2355 mm
Seat Height, Unladen 690 mm
Ground Clearance 130 mm
Rake 30
Trail 163 mm
Wheelbase 1630 mm
Tires, Front Specification 110/90B19,62H, BW
Tires, Rear Specification 180/70B16,77H, BW
Fuel Capacity 18.9 L
Oil Capacity (W/Filter) 4.7 L
Weight, As Shipped 287 kg
Weight, In Running Order 300 kg


Lights (As Per Country Regulation), Indicator Lamps Turn signals, neutral, high beam, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, low battery voltage, ABS, low fuel
Gauges 4-inch analog speedometer with digital gear, fuel level, clock, odometer, range and tachometer indication; 4-inch analog tachometer


The Low Rider was launched by Harley-Davidson for the riders who love to customize their bikes to suit their tastes and riding comforts. This bike is an iconic model from the Softail family, giving you endless ways, options, and ideas to customize it.

So if it's your bike, you can always attach a pair of good quality saddlebags to carry your daily essentials while riding around town. Also, the riders who love to make one-day trips or camping trips can attach a luggage bag to enjoy traveling long miles while having their camping tent, rain suit, and many more luggage items along with them.

As mentioned above, there are endless ways for the modification of this bike. You can always satisfy your cravings by changing your bike your own way. Many riders like to have a sporty look while riding on their beauty. Wearing a backpack can intensify their riding look and can increase their sporty attitude.

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