Harley-Davidson Softail Slim | First Look

Trimming the Fat

[Note the deliberate gap between the seat and tank, so the rider can see the engine. "I like to see what's moving me," Slim designer Casey Ketterhagen says.

**WORDS: Aaron Frank **

PHOTO: Harley-Davidson

Call this one the Anti-Fat Boy. Harley-Davidson has put its signature Softail on a diet to create the new Softail Slim, a stripped-down bike built to recall an old-school bobber. With cut-down fenders, a solo seat and minimal accessories, the no-nonsense Slim delivers a lighter, cleaner look that makes the massive Big Twin engine the focal point. Chrome details are scant, in deference to the painted parts that typified a ’50s Harley.

The counter-balanced Twin Cam engine, upsized to 103 cubic inches last year, is rigid-mounted and rated for 98.7 lb.-ft. of torque at 3000 rpm. The same rear end as the Softail Blackline, complete with a chopped fender and integrated taillight, plus black-painted 16-inch wheels front and rear give the Slim an athletic profile. The cockpit is pure vintage-chic, with a unique, cross-braced “Hollywood” handlebar—a faithful replica of a Harley accessory from the ’40s—along with a louvered headlight nacelle, genuine leather tank strap and tuck-and-roll saddle. It’s a winning re-style of a popular model, proving that everything old is new again—and even a Fat Boy can get back in shape.