|CARS & BIKES
Deuces are wild!
another ace with the launch of the new Softail Deuce. Jack G. Beasley
watches in awe.
Photos courtesy of
Back in 1903 the first Harley-Davidson factory was built in the backyard of
William C. Davidson's home in Milwaukee. Ten years later the first Harley arrived in
Japan. Today, Japan is the second largest market for "The Motor Company." All
the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have tried to copy the Harley look but all have
fallen short of the mark. Meanwhile, the Harleys just keep on rolling.
The new Deuce uses new technology to bring the classic design into the 21st century. The
big challenge was to incorporate the newly developed 1400cc, 88b cubic inch power plant
into a Softail frame, preserve the classic look and reduce vibration. The Deuce design
team approached the problem from scratch, with a totally blank sheet of paper. When they
were done, they had completely revised the model platform and reduced the number of parts,
including a 50% reduction in frame parts alone. Addressing the vibration problem, the team
utilized twin counter rotating balancers, harmonizing the relationship between frame and
Other improvements on the Deuce include a new, one-piece, five-gallon fuel tank with
integrated fuel gauge, a larger oil tank with an easier-to-read dipstick, sealed wheel
bearings that eliminate greasing, a maintenance-free sealed battery, a new transmission
which allows for smoother gear shifting and improved brakes that utilize a new rotor
design and four-piston caliper, so less effort is required to stop. It's about time - in
the past, Harley brakes have been known to be real dogs. The side stand has been relocated
for easier use - if you ever actually want to park the thing!
combines the classic Harley look with new technology
Willie G. Davidson, Vice President of styling, has a theory about motorcycle design:
"Form follows function, but both report to emotion." And that's what you have in
the new Deuce: A functional, well formed, yet emotional motorcycle.
Of course, this is a Harley-Davidson, and it's the little details that will impress you
the most. I know from experience that when cleaning your beloved ride, you'll find many
things you like or dislike about the way it's put together. For example, where the oil
drains are on the Deuce, you'll find out how easy it is to remove the seat to check the
battery or fuses and how easy it is to see the indicator lights in the sunlight.
Custom features on the new Deuce include a full length chrome tank panel, chromed front
forks and stock bullet signals. Hidden front fender mountings, a new flush tail-light,
stacked shotgun and exhaust and a new rear fender with hidden support hardware all make a
style statement on the FX STD Deuce. And don't forget the 160/70 rear tire on a 17-inch
rear wheel, giving this Softail model that final crowning touch.
The Deuce comes in nine color schemes, although not all will be imported to Japan. A new
touch by Harley this year is the Color Shop custom paint program, where you can order your
new Deuce, as well as other Harleys, with flames, a retro look or extreme colors - of
course at an extra charge, however, much less than a custom paint job.
little details on the Deuce that will impress you the most
Softail Deuce will be on sale in January with a base price of JY2,228,000. If you become a
lucky owner, ride carefully, keep both wheels on the ground and don't forget to LOCK IT UP
- someone else wants your Deuce too.