Slimming The Softail | Softail Slim Road Test
The Softail Slim ($15,884 as tested) is a new model for 2012. It’s a being marketed as a variation of old and new with a “bobber” appearance mixed with a modern power plant and ride. The Hollywood handle bars and chopped rear fender expose a narrow rear tire that screams classic bobber and the blacked-out twin cam and round retro air cleaner complete the old-school look. Some of the more striking bits include floorboards with heal-toe shifter and a seat height even the shortest of riders will appreciate. The twin cam 103 has enough hitch in the giddy up to make fun when cracking the right wrist open. Sitting behind the handlebars is almost like being in a video game with the handlebars just in the lower peripheral vision. The full-length floorboards quickly become reminders to slow down scraping rather easily when taking corners at quick speeds, but offer a comfortable resting spot for your piggies when cruising straight. Also they sit far enough forward to not interfere when Flinstoning thorough the parking lot. HB
John Z’s Take
I fell in love with the minimalist style and mixed use of black and chrome on the Slim. I think my dark days are almost behind me and the use of both is a nice transition without going full chrome again. I do feel the headlight nacelle on the red model should be chrome as the black looks out of place on the chrome forks. Overall, the bike has enough retro styling without being a bad copy of the past. I have to say I loved riding the Slim and those words are not said lightly. Had I owned one myself, I’d purchase a passenger seat for the ’ol lady, let that 103ci be heard through some fishtail pipes, find me the smallest yet functional mirrors, and hit the open road. The Slim is one bike I wouldn’t hesitate to ride everyday to work or blast to the canyons to my favorite meeting spot.
Jeff G’s Take
From the first time I sat my booty on that tuck and roll seat and gripped the retro Hollywood-esque handlebars, I like the fit and comfort of this bike. I really liked the power of the 103ci motor when I put my wrist into it and the six-speed tranny shifted like butter. The stance of the Slim was nice since I like to flatfoot my bikes at stoplights and don’t mind draggin’ the floorboards. As far as the looks of the bike, I like the retroness of the dash, handlebars, seat, nacelle, and the headlight, but I am not too keen on the shorty front fender.
If I was to buy one for myself, I would buy a Vivid Black model, slam it as far as I could possible get it, yank the signals and mirrors, swap out the pipes for something black and loud, and head for a long-ass stretch of highway for days.
I just want to know, with a poofy front wheel and wide glide on it, why did they hang the moniker “Slim” on it? The world may never know.