Hardtail Look for the New Rocker Softail Harley-Davidson

Who doesn’t like the slammed look of a rigid frame with the rear fender tucked close to the rear tire? Who doesn’t prefer a comfortable ride? The Harley-Davidson Softail family grows in a new direction for 2008 with the introduction of the FXCW Rocker and FXCWC Rocker C 2 Softail models with the hard tail look. These factory customs are developed around an all-new Rockertail rear section that faithfully reproduces the profile of a slammed, hardtail frame but delivers the smooth, comfortable ride of a modern suspension. What Harley calls the “Rockertail Rear End” mounts a broad expanse of rear-fender sheet metal directly to the swing arm, just an inch over a massive 240 mm x 18-inch rear tire. When the Rocker rolls, the rear fender and wheel move together with a 3.4 “ of travel. The solo saddle is just 24.5 inches off the ground.  New this year, in contrast to the paint job there is a new Satin Stainless Metallic powdercoat finish on the fork lowers, triple clamps, headlamp, handlebar riser, tank console, swing arm, turn signal housings, hand controls, belt guard, oil tank and engine trim. A very good thing that custom builders always do, the frame is now custom color-matched to the bodywork. Tell me what you think? 

48 Responses to “Hardtail Look for the New Rocker Softail Harley-Davidson”

  1. 1 Rick Celia Jul 11th, 2007 at 9:10 am

    It appears that Harley has come up with a winner. I just wonder who paints the tail section on their rigid a different color than the rest of the frame?! How much better would it look to have the tail match the rest of the frame!!?? Very odd to me.


  2. 2 Matt Jul 11th, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Wear glasses. Rear fender & frame are painted the same color

  3. 3 Marcelo Lopes Jul 11th, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Well if you take a closer look Matt you’ll see that the sswingarm has a silver finishing wich is a different color than the frame!! I agree with Rick, but I can see that they matched with the color of the engine.

  4. 4 Troy Jul 11th, 2007 at 10:48 am

    With a 240 rear tire, 49mm forks, & a Harley title, this should be a winning combination. The custom seat manufacturers like High End Seats will make a KILLING selling nice looking seats for this bike. I think Harley tried to hide the mis-matched color of the swingarm by installing the small discrete reflector on the side.

  5. 5 Danny Jul 11th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I hope this thing is reworked with Photoshop…please tell me it is…

  6. 6 Chet Burozski Jul 11th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I have no idea what you guys are looking at but that’s the most hidious seat configuration I have ever seen

  7. 7 Vincent Dayne Jul 11th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Fugly. Harley should hire a couple of good custom builders.

  8. 8 Pop Jul 11th, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    The C model rocker is a better photo. Need to see the rear view before passing judgement.

    Frankly, they are kind of late to the fat tire party. I guess there’s still some want to have a go but it’s yeaterdays news.

    At least they are changing it up some. VRods ain’t gonna bring in new market share. Not sure Rockers will either, but at least it’s not just throwing a springer on a Glide and calling it “new”.

    Oh yeah, one more year comes and goes and the old thumper is still air cooled. Not to fear, by January the rumor mill will be all wound up again for the umpteenth time about how the ’09’s will be water cooled.

  9. 9 Mike Jul 11th, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    How does this thing handle with left side drive and I assume the 1.5″ offset to clear the 240mm tire ? Seems like yesterdays news as far as fat tires are concerned.

  10. 10 Fred Jul 11th, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    It takes a minimum of 5 years for Harley to integrate concepts developed by custom builders and then seen in the streets. When Harley is releasing a new model it’s usually 4 years too late. A 240 mm rear tire? Too late. A hardtail look? Why Harley doesn’t offer a true rigid frame bike? With the right look (Springer Bobber) it would make a killing. In addition, after looking at the pictures on this site I don’t see what can be very exciting to attract a young clientele.

  11. 11 Big Joe Jul 11th, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Look at it one way and unfortunately it looks like someone with no eye for style threw some potentially cool parts and the overdone fat tire at a Deuce and said voila, “The new spring line for the Factory.”

    Look at it another way and fortunately for us in the kustom industry and the average guy in his or her garage, this bike falls short and we have the opportunity to fix the Factory’s mistakes.

    Alone the wheel design is nice, the oil tank appears cool from afar and I’m curious about the swing arm and the beefy forks are nice. I pass on the 240.


  12. 12 Nicker Jul 11th, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    240 tire is way over, swing arm should-a been painted, and that seat needs to be a Bates replica with chrome springs and a pillion pad.

    Oh ya, and Bob that fender.

  13. 13 Asa Jul 12th, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Well I have to agree with some of what everybody has said its almost Cool , But again its almost to late also. we all already have stuff better than this from our truly inovatores like Cyril so these bike will most likley be bought by the guy trading in his v star for his first real motorcycle,the old side walk comandos theme. Hope all you guys are in the wind kickstand s up and safe . God Bless Ab

  14. 14 David Jul 12th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    The front half of the motorcycle looks like a normal design for Harley-Davidson and is within limits of what I would expect. The back half of the motorcycle misses their intended design by a country mile.
    Harley-Davidson came on the best looking design in 1936 with the introduction of the Knucklehead; this is a look that they continue to aspire to today. Clearly, the visual flow of this particular design is poorly implemented.
    To pull this intended look off they would have needed to make the line of the top frame member a straight line from the headstock to the rear axel, and not arched like it was bent in a crash. The gas tanks should have been lowered to match that line. The seat is a joke; the previous comment by Nicker is right on. Sorry, it looks pretty clunky in the current configuration.
    You have to wonder if Willie is listening.

  15. 15 Mike Tomas, Kiwi Indian m/c's Jul 12th, 2007 at 10:34 am

    I’m with Big Joe, it leaves a lot to be desired but it has some cool parts on it and is a good start.
    Wide fat ass tires are yesterdays flavor.
    It’s a great opportunity for us kustom builders to develop a new line of cool parts.
    It’s all good mates!

  16. 16 Michael Schacht Jul 12th, 2007 at 11:21 am

    The Rocker C ? Move the C in front and what do we have? C Rocker, CRocker, Crocker ? Hmmmmmmm. Where have I heard that name before?

  17. 17 Marc Frantz Jul 12th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I wish, I wish, I wish they would enter into a contract with me to allow me to build them a prototype or two. They know who I am, and they certainly like my prototypes (Cyril, Willie G loved the Cyril Huze tribute bike whilst in Daytona and called me "The Copper Kid). Perhaps I need to build a few more prototypes before they give me a call.

    Soon, my latest creation that I created for a customer will appear in the magazines. I build my bikes to look like they came from the factory, with the idea that they can easily make the changes on the production floor with little cost translated down to the customer. I just want to help Harley build cool factory bikes and keep their customers coming back for more. Hell, I would do it for free if I could afford it, but a guy’s gotta eat, and it does cost a chunk of change to create these things. So come on Mr. Davidson, and Mr. Netz, give me a try like you did with Eric Buell. I can guarantee they will be winners, as the other two prototypes I submitted have been.Now, with Cyril’s permission, and so the readers don’t think I’m crazy, here are some links to the prototypes I’ve created (privately) hoping the motor company would take notice and give me a chance. Have a look, and have your say on what you folks think of my prototypes. God bless & keep safe, all the brothers of the two wheeled religion.

    Kind Regards,
    Marc Frantz






  18. 18 Nicker Jul 12th, 2007 at 6:36 pm


    “… allow me to build them a prototype …”

    That supposes that the answer to their sales slump is a “new model.” Moreover, this new killer-model should be a “custom,” because that’s what the public wants.

    If custom scooters are the answer, then several thousand of the same bike is a self-defeating strategy. Where the prototype is certainly a custom, the subsequent knock-off won’t be.

    Instead, let me propose this:
    HD manufacture a “platform” and ships it to dealers where the customer selects the stuff (after-market or HD made) to finish it off.

    Think of it like house paint. Your supplier has a bunch of white base. You select the finished color by adding tint.

    The stuff the customer (and builder?) select will determine how Unique/custom the end product is.

    just a thought.


  19. 19 dragon Jul 13th, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    ok this bike would look so much better if well i don’t have the time to tell everything that is wrong with this bike but i do like the style of it one thing to much paint and not enough crome

  20. 20 dragon Jul 13th, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    ok so kill me i spelled it wrong

  21. 21 johnny rockets Jul 14th, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    i think everybody is wrong, its the right step for harley

  22. 22 Harleychick13m Jul 14th, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    FABULOUS, I didn’t think Harley had it in them, It just goes to show you that money talks and B/S walks. But the big question is what will the value of older models do? 07 models were a disaster to the 88 CI. values.

  23. 23 Brian Jul 14th, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    The rear tire should be a 180 instead of the overstocked and undersold vrod 240mm size. The gas tank should have been designed for this bike and not the left over deuce gas tanks. As for the seat, someone do something else please!

  24. 24 Brian Jul 14th, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Other than the things listed above the bike looks fine. I do like the front fork sliders that are flaired and the cast aluminum oil tank flows well with the frame and engine, also the exhaust headers flow nicely.

  25. 25 Dan Jul 16th, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Well, listen to all the p—ys out there. From the factory, come on. It may not be the perfect bike; but if it was, there would be no need for accessory’s. which is another part of buying a Harley, is to make it your own. From paint to mirrors to tail light configuration. I cant wait to see what they want for this bike, it would look good with my burning skulls and s curve tail pipes. As far as the seat goes, the “c” model is a rad new way of a b—h seat. It really offers old style setting as in the early forty models when the seat had actual springs under them and sat up above the frame. So if you want, go buy a rice bag{Yamaha,Honda,Suzuki} for you crying dirt-bag ass. On a scale between 1-10, I rate it a nine because nobody is perfect. Keep the dirt off your knees and give her hell boys, I’m sure she can take it. Ride on Brother. Clubber

  26. 26 Russell Jul 17th, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Been do that for Years, Harley does a nice job. Send me you Harley and it will look better than that.

  27. 27 Dave Jul 19th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Harley’s answer to the custom market has been staring them in the face for years. Very simple, take a softtal rake it,stretch it, put a true stretch tank on it and sell out of every bike they make. The rocker is a start, but the seat is awful. Tall riders are going to be cramped, and it blows the lines on the bike. Who cares about a strut to handle the weight,come on Willie open up your eyes and look at the competition.

  28. 28 Mike Jul 19th, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Bunch of f*@#ing whiners. Looks awesome to me. I’ll take one today. If you look at it from the back, the seat is wider than it looks. Hell I lide alone, so what do I care!

    Be good

  29. 29 Malamapono bradah Jul 21st, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    I think this bike makes a nice starter,as with every bike ,you customize it and make it your own.

  30. 30 Mark Jul 24th, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    This is the perfect ride to fit a woman’s smaller frame. The new Sportster.

  31. 31 Jay Aug 1st, 2007 at 5:23 am

    Christ Guys, You know how Aussies seem to be kicking ass over any other Harley infected country at the oment for custom harleys, Well I am from Aus and to be honest, I have put my money on one already, the Metallic Blue “C” Model. The reason is, yes! not everybody has 100000k to spend on a Custom just to follow the latest and greatest series of TV shows on at the moment. This latest inclusion to the Softail Line is pretty fricken good as far as I am concerned, ( Only the Chrome Version) Remember Harley is all about Sound, Appearance and Chrome. The Rocker “C” has it all and the added bonus is a large % of the world can still afford one. Guys , I can have my Boat, House, Damn Good Car, and my Factory Custom Softail Harley all at the same time. For sure there is a few things that can be changed and will be but hey!! Its a great start.

    Cheers to all.

  32. 32 Reece Aug 14th, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    This bike has issues. Has the looks of a bobber in the back, should have went with a tank all of its own, not the old Deuce tank. It’s just not passing the test. To me, its a mut! Not a chopper, not a deuce and not a bobber. I’m not sure what it is, but because its Harley, it will sell ok the first year. I hope they improve on the concept in years to come.

  33. 33 luke Aug 20th, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    The tank could be stretched with slight contour to frame(I agree left over deuce tank). I would put drag bars on.Rear tire seems a little much.But on the whole its the best Harley has done since the first softail !Think about it Harleys FIRST chopper WITH fat tire – 6 speed tranny they’ve been selling bikes with inadequate trannys forever I know I own one always reaching for another gear.Evidently they’ve also fixed a clucking sound associated with this drive train.But the best part you get the chopper feel you customize it AND YOU CAN GET A PARTS MANUAL A WARRANTY AND DEALER SUPPORT ACROSS THE U.S. OF A. Try gettin that from xyz chopper builder. I not knockin the small guy I’m just sayin for 18,000 us dollars that ain’t BAD.I can’t wait to see how see RIDES thats what I’m talkin about!!!!!I thinking about selling my 03 fatboy for one if the ride is right.

  34. 34 luke Aug 21st, 2007 at 12:02 am

    typo-she rides

  35. 35 Greg Aug 21st, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Looks great till you get to end of gas tank and then it just drops off the face of the earth. Needs to be at least 4 in longer, drag bars, pan seat, 21 in chrome spoke wheels, side mounted rear brake light and license plate, etc to be a real bad ass modern chopper. A little mix of old school and 2008 design. Other than that, not bad for HD. Maybe J&P Cycles will step up in year or two and offer the above. Oh..BTW, flat black should be a color option.

  36. 36 dingle Aug 24th, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    “…it’s the right step for harley”

    That is correct. Harley has been walking towards the Elton John/metrosexual crowd for several years now. This is the logical next step.

    Seriously though, I agree with the guy who said they should make a true rigid, with a springer frame. But can you put the balls back onto a neutered dog (hog)?

  37. 37 Iggypop Sep 2nd, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    John Covington has had this style of rear end for years. But with a monoshock suspension. Wish he’d get back to building bikes!

  38. 38 hiutopor Sep 17th, 2007 at 4:34 pm


    Very interesting information! Thanks!


  39. 39 Jim Openheimer Sep 17th, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    The best news in the business. Even when it’s not good news! Thanks, Cyril.

  40. 40 james flanders Oct 5th, 2007 at 4:05 am

    just ordered one .a cracker.and will be a classic.well done harley davidson

  41. 41 T.D. Oct 8th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Apparently most of you guys havent paid attention or looked at other photos of the new Rocker OR read any ride reviews. The higher end CWC ‘CHROME’ version has the tail section painted to match the fender. The tank is NOT the same old Deuce tank but is a stretched Duece tank with increased capacity. The tank is ‘stamped’ to accept an emblem that is actually recessed instaed of just stuck on. The seat may not be the most ideal custom in apprearance BUT is a design miracle because you simply flip up the seat forwrad and underneath is a hidden “floating” passenger pillion pad that folds under the drivers seat that sets up in seconds ! You wont get that from some after market seat!
    Harley put alot of thought into this bike! Read the ride reviews. Unlike other choppers that are built for pure art appreciation on an extreme level, without the use of CAD design, this bike has all the elemnts of a chopper BUT has computer designed geopmetry and handles excellent even with the rake and huge rear tire set up…it can actually be RIDDEN comfortably on a long haul and handle twisty roads to boot. Most hard tail choppers could NEVER claim that !
    HD kept the look simple with a single speedo, BUT gave it a mini computer with a ‘reverse’ fuel gauge that will display how miles you can go till you need to fill up ! COOL as well as UNIQUE!
    It may not be AS radical in the overall look, and paint finish as other radical customs, BUT it is a RADICAL departure in its own way from other choppers considering its features, the fine styling details and the fact that you can easily RIDE this bike COMFORTABLY without the learning curve that most raked out chopper frame / steering geometry requires!
    The hidden passenger seat design alone qualifies this bike to get a ’10’ !
    I give this bike a HUGE thumbs up..and before you pass judgement guys…DO YOUR HOMEWORK!


  42. 42 Mikey Nov 6th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    For what it’s worth, I have toyed with owning a Harley for years, and this is the first time a model has appealed. In fact, I put down my deposit last week and am settling in for a nine month wait until my Blue Rocker C arrives here in New Zealand.

    I love the chopper styling without it being so radical that it becomes too niche and “out there”. Sure, it’s not a custom – but I suspect that the market it appeals to would never consider a custom anyhow.

    Here’s hoping the new styling brings a whole new generation of buyers to H.D

  43. 43 Dinger Nov 20th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    when is the rocker c coming to ontario canada

  44. 44 Dinger Nov 20th, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    I love the look of this bike. I am looking forward to take this one out for a test ride. This one will be a winner to make it your own ride. you heading down the right road harley. Ride hard Ride safe.

  45. 45 rocked Dec 17th, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I also have considered buying a HARLEY DAVIDSON for years, since I cant afford a big dog etc. Also I was going to dedicate 5 years to build my own. It wold take me that long to come up with money. Then came the ROCKER. Mine should be here in january.

  46. 46 Critter Mar 31st, 2008 at 9:42 am

    My Dad bought one like this,”Red”, one of the ugliest Harleys ever, he had the previos Softail model that looked like a Harley, now it looks like a BMW bike with a HD stiker on the tank.

    I must say that this bike drives, feels and sit’s very nice, comfy.
    Drive i’ll give it a 4\5 , but looks -2\5.


  47. 47 Clueless Jun 12th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Well, that’s new for me, a hardtail look for a softail HD? well, that’s really new good to my ears. New style and new bike.

  48. 48 Albino May 21st, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hello there

    i love that bike it looks very good. I was wondering if any one know the color code or the color of Crimson red sunglow Deluxe for a 2008 Rocker C? Someone hit my bike well it was parked and i get find the color for it. i know that Harley Davidson has the color for it but it cost a lots of money for it. So could anyone help me out there please.

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