Hardtail vs. Softail Motorcycle | Timber Town Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Hardtail vs. Softail Motorcycles

What’s the difference between a Hardtail vs. a Softail motorcycle? A Hardtail motorcycle has a single-piece rigid frame, while a Softail motorcycle delivers a smoother ride thanks to a rear suspension system and shock absorbers. However, don’t expect to see new Hardtail models for sale at Portland dealers anytime soon. Although Hardtails ruled the roads up until just a few decades ago, their popularity declined rapidly with the advent of Softail motorcycles. It’s easy to see why this new type of Harley dominated: with their enhanced ride quality, Softails could be ridden comfortably all day long.

You may not be surprised to learn that Harley-Davidson played a major role in the evolution of Softail motorcycles! As a result, many H-D models have “Softail” in their name. Dive into Harley history and compare Hardtail vs. Softail models below with the team at Timber Town Harley-Davidson.

Hardtail vs. Softail Motorcycle Design Differences

The Softail motorcycle was developed because riders wanted bikes that could be taken on long-distance rides. That evolution arrived with a rear suspension system and a two-piece frame, but these structural differences didn’t change the overall aesthetic. Comparing Hardtail vs. Softail motorcycles visually, you’ll find that they’re very similar. In fact, Softail motorcycles were designed to look as much like Hardtails as possible, with the shock absorbers hidden behind the transmission.

Harley-Davidson Softail® Motorcycle Models

Harley-Davidson Softail® motorcycle models are far and away the most popular in the lineup. These models tend to be great all-purpose bikes, comfortable enough for long rides and sporty enough to handle downtown Albany traffic. Thanks to their popularity, Harley Softail motorcycles are also highly customizable. Every Harley-Davidson Softail® motorcycle has an eight-valve Milwaukee-Eight Big Twin engine and a classic lightweight Softail® frame.

Test Ride a Harley-Davidson Softail Motorcycle at Timber Town Harley-Davidson

Get a closer look at a new Harley Softail motorcycle at our Salem dealership today! Our team is happy to help you customize your new ride, get ready for winter in Lebanon, ride in the rain, and more.

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