Harley-Davidson Slim. The Naked Softail.

When unveiled on February 1st, 2012 ,many qualified the new Harley Slim as just another Fat Boy. As its name indicates, the Slim is exactly the opposite of Fat. It’s, a stripped-down Softail with narrow styling, pared down to its essential elements, almost no chrome and  lots of details inspired from the parts used on 1940’s era Harleys. Powertrain, counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B and 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission are Milwaukee’s latest technology, but all the Slim’s chassis lines and accessories are conceived and chosen to mimic those of a vintage Harley.

It starts with a narrow 16 x 3″ rear tire wrapping a black steel laced wheel under a chopped rear fender kept as clean as possible by the use of a combination stop/turn/tail lights and of a side-mounted license plate. Saddle is slightly narrowed versus other Softail models and sits the rider at a low 23.8″ from the ground. Stitching is done in a tuck-and-roll pattern for some rock n’ roll attitude. If gas tank is the traditional model used on Softail models, its appearance turns retro by the addition of a Cat Eye style dash inspired by the one that Harley started to use in 1939 on its Knucklehead model. In the front the Slim is equipped with a 40s and 50s wide bend and cross brace black Hollywood handlebar (a pull-back riser can be installed to move the handlebar back 2″ without changing control cables and lines) and a big Hydra Glide style headlight recessed into a black painted louvered nacelle. Other period styling cues include the return of the half-moon rider floorboards used by Harley-Davidson on its models from 1940 to 1966, a round air cleaner cover, and gloss black wheel rims and hubs.

The Slim is a a back-to-basics motorcycle where less is more, not afraid to expose its beautiful hardware, recalling classic bobbers of the post world war II era and without a doubt the new factory model with the most Harley Soul. U.S. MSRP Vivid Black $15,499. Color $15,884. (pictures @ Harley-Davidson)

Key Features:

Length (in./mm)
Seat Height (laden) (in./mm)
Wheelbase (in./mm)
• Front
• Rear
Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall front and rear
D402F MT90B1672H
D402 MU85B1677H
• Front
• Rear
Black Steel Laced
16 in. x 3 in. (406 mm x 76 mm)
Black Steel Laced
16 in. x 3 in. (406 mm x 76 mm)
Fuel Capacity (U.S. gals/liters)
Weight as Shipped (lbs./kg)

Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103B™
Displacement (in./cc)
Fuel System
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Miles Per Gallon
42 MPG combined City/Hwy
• Vivid Black
• Black Denim
• Ember Red Sunglo

20 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Slim. The Naked Softail.”

  1. 1 Brutus Apr 18th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Will not be surprised if it becomes the best selling Softail.

  2. 2 Ray Apr 18th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Change the exhaust. Paint the fork cans in black and it’s a very good looking bike. $2K too expensive 🙁

  3. 3 Greeko Apr 18th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Except price, difficult for the Victory Judge to compete with the Slim. except if you are mad at Harley for being too foreign parts made.

  4. 4 Seven Apr 18th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I saw one on the street the other day. I was very impressed! It did not really impress me in the showroom though.

  5. 5 Luis Apr 18th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I’d like it w/ pegs instead of boards. Looks like a larger harley 48

  6. 6 CafeSportyTC Apr 18th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    if i wanted something like this i would buy a used fatboy and get to modifying….

  7. 7 Luis Apr 18th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I like it because it looks like an upsized Harley forty-eight.

  8. 8 razorwire Apr 18th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I’m thinking that they should have put a 180 or 200 on the rear. It would almost be 1/2 of the price of the bike the get that switched over..

  9. 9 BrotherTiberius Apr 18th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I like this design.

    But I don’t understand why this is working and the Rocker C didn’t.

  10. 10 WS Apr 18th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Just zip up your jacket why don’t you? Riding around with that jacket flapping around you like a little school boy. Tsk.

  11. 11 Septic the Sceptic Apr 18th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Slap some 18 inch rims on it and it would be Swweeeeeet.

  12. 12 Steve Kelly Apr 19th, 2012 at 5:13 am

    It is getting there, but it still needs to go to Exile Cycles for a makeover and to shift some excess fat. An easy enough job for Russell and his team as they have been pimping out high quality Exile Softail kits for some time now.

  13. 13 Cantrell Apr 19th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I’m with CafeSportyTC. Buy a used bike and start taking crap off like we did in the early days. Save a few bucks and spend it on important stuff like guns and beer!


  14. 14 SIG FREED Apr 19th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Would look even cooler with mini apes.

    PS – when will the Motor Co get rid of all those cables running from (well, spoiling) the handle bar. Eg internal throttle cable mechanism can (nowadays) be made in your own garage, clutch cables are easily routed through handle bar, etc.

  15. 15 FlaNativ Apr 19th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I’m with Cantrell……..never have too many guns and beer……..

  16. 16 Englishman Apr 23rd, 2012 at 8:01 am

    It looks way better in person than the cheap looking Fatboy low.

    I guess my biggest disappointment was the 103″ engine, how can you have that many cubic inches and it still feel like a slug? My 80″ Shovel feels zippier.

    Oh, and I felt like my left thigh was being grilled at every stop light.

    Overall, not bad looking, handles OK and it’s comfy.

  17. 17 REV.JIM Apr 23rd, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Cafe sporty t/c was close, change the fenders and add some boards and you have a fatboy, just flat black!

  18. 18 DRAGON Apr 24th, 2012 at 5:03 am

    got one and love it and it bets the hell out of having soild wheels

  19. 19 Jet Blackfoot Jun 3rd, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I’m with Razorwire, all it needs for me is a rear 180 or 200 and it would be perfect. I guess it wouldn’t be the Softail ‘slim’ then, but, what the heck, the 150 is a a little too skinny for my taste. Check out this Softail Slim after being fitted with a rear 200: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1sMT9FGuqg

  20. 20 Drake Jun 3rd, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Jet Blackfoot. Why buy a slim to make it Fat? Explain to us.

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Cyril Huze