Feature 5.75 headlight trim ring
5.75 headlight trim ring Visor Style Headlamp
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Review sportster motocycle driver
On the Cycle World Dynojet dyno, the numbers backed that up, with the torque curve going nearly straight up from idle before peaking at 99.37 pound-feet at a low 2,500 rpm and mostly leveling off for 1,000 rpm before heading downward.
The dyno run also revealed a peak power output of 72.74 hp, which seems lackluster on paper, but any H-D owner will tell you it’s all about the torque; cruising at 80 mph on the Softail Standard you’re still only turning 2,950 rpm, for a forceful but unhurried vibe. I found there was plenty in reserve for easy passes around sluggish RVs, and although the vibes rise with revs (higher-frequency pulses come mostly through the bars) it’s almost negligible until you get north of 75 mph.
Also, 5.75 headlight trim ring new the Standard’s power output is on par with the many other Softails we’ve run in recent years; for example, that 2018 Street Bob we mentioned earlier showed 73.94 horses at 4,950 rpm and 104.79 pound-feet of torque at 2,570 rpm. None of these are rocketship numbers by any means, but in the real world, they’re good for ear-to-ear grins and add to the classic feel of this excellent engine.
The next few days were spent cruising to the coast and zipping around town, unburdened by luggage, with a couple of runs in the canyon for good measure. The Standard’s riding position fit me pretty damn well initially, though the 26.8-inch tall seat was lower than I’d like (and I’m 5-foot-7 with a 29-inch inseam, so that’ll tell you something). Both the Bob and Standard have the same seat height, and combined with their similar mid-mount control layout (or more accurately, forward-biased mids) that meant the hip-knee-foot triangle was more acute than I was used to, but still reasonable for my dimensions.
I can’t say the same would be true for anyone over 5-foot-9—they’d definitely need forward controls (available as an option), as resident beanstalk Gales demonstrated after copping a squat on the Standard. No joke, at 6-foot-4 he was literally squatting. But for my stumpy physique, things felt natural, with the high-and-narrowish mini-apes putting my hands straight out in front of my shoulders, and offering almost dirt-bike-like leverage when bombing into tighter corners.
The riding position is still compressed for a Big Twin, 5.75 headlight trim ring price so this Softail can feel almost like a Sportster from the cockpit, but that also gives the rider a greater level of control. I’d argue the Standard is more fun to fling around mountain roads than even the Fat Bob, thanks to the not-so-wide H-D-branded Dunlops which provide good grip and offer less resistance to directional changes. Steering is overall lighter than on most of its series brethren, and the bike just feels (relatively) nimble.
The Standard may be the lightest of Harley’s Big Twins (or at least close), but you definitely feel its 650 pounds (fueled) when wheeling it around the garage. There’s a caveat though; the Standard is heavier than it looks, but rides lighter than it seems like it should. Because it carries its weight so low, the bike feels super manageable and sure-footed, qualities that will definitely build rider confidence.
In fact, turn-ins are remarkably easy, and the mini-apes make it cinch to change your line, even midcorner. Add the claimed 28.5 degrees of lean angle on either side, and unlikely as it may seem, the Standard can be called—within reason—a canyon carver.
Or at least until the turn tightens up and the pegs start scraping, which they will do fairly quickly despite the lean angle, and especially if you go deep at the apex. After that happens, you’ll hear the exhaust contact pavement on the right, so it’s best to use the peg scrape as a warning to ease up. Not helping matters is the fact that the dished seat will limit any body movement aboard the bike as well.
Fortunately the Standard’s shifting setup doesn’t require much foot action to engage, plus the ratios are well-spaced, with sixth being a full overdrive. You’ll never find yourself winding the Standard out anywhere near redline. Neutral comes easily too, and clutch pull is lighter than we remember, but it still has some weight to it.
A big reason for that better-than-expected handling is the Softail chassis and upgraded suspension, both of which help distribute the Standard’s 650-pound payload evenly. Up front you get a nonadjustable 49mm right-way-up fork with a touch more than 5 inches of travel, but they do pack Showa’s dual bending valve stems for a more even damping response.
A horizontally mounted monoshock under the seat modulates hits with just 3.4 inches of travel and is adjustable for preload—though you do have to take the seat off to get to it, which is a bit annoying. In town, the dual rate springs up front will absorb moderate pavement nuisances without much complaint and there’s never a wallowy feel, with good stability on the tighter bends and a general composure.
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