It’s a big call for the new 110-cube Screamin’ Eagle Slim S model to top Harley-Davidson sales given the success the past couple of years of the Softail Breakout and the more recent success of the LAMS-approved Street 500.
However, I’ve been riding around on one for a couple of weeks and I think this bike has the potential to be Harley’s new rising star.
With a mix of all the following 10 factors, the Slim S should become the new champion for Harley Down Under:
1 110 CUBES
Let’s face it. There is no replacement for displacement. Already dealers are reporting this is the top-selling model because of the engine. The Fat Boy S and the coming Low Rider S, both with 110-cube Screamin’ Eagle donks, will also sell well and we suspect there are bound to more 110 models coming soon and that this won’t be the limited-edition model they say.
2 STREET 500
There was a huge pent-up demand for the learner-approved Street 500 and more than 745 returned riders, new riders and females bought one. However, the pent-up demand may now be largely satisfied, hence the softening of sales toward the end of last year. They will still sell strongly, but they were overtaken at the end of the year by the Breakout.
This breathtakingly beautiful Softail model has been Harley’s top seller for a couple of years but surely it must be nearing the end of its reign. Aussies love a Softail, so I figure it will either be the Slim or the Fat Boy.
4 CVO BREAKOUT
There is now a 110-cube CVO Breakout at $42,495 so it will take some of the sales from the “standard” Breakout, but not a lot. After all, not everyone can afford this much.
Which is where the Slim S and the other S models win … they are really so cheap. Just an extra $2500 when it would cost $6000 to have a 110 SE engine dropped in. At $28,995 it’s $755 cheaper than the standard Breakout with a 103 Twin Cam.
6 SEAT HEIGHT
The Slim has one of the lowest motorcycle seat heights on the market for a full-sized bike at 650mm. That makes it very attractive for those who want their backside skimming the ground with that added sense of speed, plus short riders, females and returned riders who like to be able to plonk their size nines on the ground.
This beast really makes a statement with its small headlight, gloss black minimalist frame and forks, the beautiful sheen of the olive green satin finish paint and, of course that big US Army star on the tank. It also comes in black, but who wouldn’t want the hero-model paint job?
8 CAPTAIN AMERICA
Although Captain America actually rode a Breakout in the Marvel Comics films, the olive paint with the lone star tank smacks of Captain America and doesn’t everyone want to be a comic book super hero?
9 TIDY UNIT
Aesthetics is one thing, but this also marries minimalist tidiness to make a very bold statement. In fact, from the riding position, this is one of the tidiest front ends on the road. The internal wiring in the handlebar and neat cabling including a kinked fly-by-wire throttle cable make this very pleasing from the rider’s saddle. Even the blinkers are discretely placed so you can’t see them from the cockpit.
A cruiser is only better with cruise control so you can acknowledge the admiration of passersby rather than glue your gaze to your speedo as you crawl through the urban jungle with its sly safety cameras hidden in the bushes. The fly-by-wire throttle on all Softails makes cruise possible, but it’s not included on every model, only the S models, Deluxe and Heritage, although it is available as a factory aftermarket accessory.