In India, the Heritage Classic sits at the top of Harley-Davidson’s all-new Softail range. And just like the Fat Boy, the Heritage Classic comes with a number of updates. However, the major highlights of this new classic cruiser are definitely its updated chassis, new Milwaukee-Eight engine and upgraded suspension. All these combined have really transformed the motorcycle and brought it in tune with the times.
Unlike the shiny Fat Boy, the Heritage Classic is all about blacked-out styling and paying homage to the company’s classic motorcycles from the 1950s. Consequently, the styling is more restrained and has some typical cruiser elements, such as a large windscreen, big saddlebags, wire wheels and a hard-tail look. However, these classic aspects are now complemented by modern technology. There’s a new LED headlight, cruise control, ABS, keyless ignition, and more. The saddle, as you’d expect on a Harley cruiser, is superbly comfortable and supportive – with back support. On the whole, the Heritage should appeal more to mature riders looking to clock some highway miles.
Part of the reason that the Heritage Classic feels like a true retro modern cruiser is its 1,745cc Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. Its 144Nm of torque pours thick dollops of pulling power all the time. The refinement levels and throttle response are just amazing. Vibrations? They’re a thing of past now. These new Harleys have really come of age.
The Heritage Classic has a new lightweight frame, which has helped the motorcycle lose 17 kilogrammes. And it shows when you throw the bike around corners. Also, since it comes with a 130-section front and 150-section rear tyre, it’s easier to turn this thing around a corner than, let’s say, the Fat Boy. Well, of course, it didn’t set any lap records at the BIC, but it definitely felt more agile and easier to turn than before.
Again, at the end of the day, the Heritage Classic caters to a niche segment of buyers, which means it’s a bit one-dimensional in its approach, and that’s why it loses points in the larger scheme of things.