Best And Worst Year Heritage Softail Classic – Know Before You Buy

The Heritage Softail Classic has been a beloved model in Harley-Davidson’s lineup since its introduction in 1986. Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic might just be the bike for a classic ride with a timeless style.

It has been around for decades, being a staple of the Harley-Davidson lineup. With its classic design and modern features, this bike has captured the hearts of riders worldwide.

Over the years, the Heritage Softail Classic has undergone numerous updates and changes, making it a top choice for those looking for a combination of nostalgia and performance. However, with each passing year, some models have stood out more than others, earning the title of the best and worst year Heritage Softail Classic.

We will look closely at some of these models and see what differentiates them. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or are considering purchasing a Heritage Softail Classic, here we will provide valuable insights into this iconic motorcycle’s best and worst years.

Worst Year Heritage Softail Classic

A Brief Overview Of Heritage Softail Classic

A Brief Overview Of Heritage Softail Classic

Harley Heritage Softail Classic is indeed a retro-style cruiser with a combo of the nostalgic look and feel of a vintage motorcycle. Besides, integrating modern technology has increased its fame over the years. You will love its classic styling, comfortable ride, and incredible amenities.

Specification Details
Model Heritage Softail Classic
Type Cruiser
Engine Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin
Displacement 1746 cc
Transmission 6-speed
Seat Height 26.3 inches
Weight 697 lbs
Fuel Capacity 5 gallons
Front Suspension Showa Dual Bending Valve
Rear Suspension Hidden, horizontal-mounted coil
Front Tire Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series D402F
Rear Tire Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series D401
Brakes 4-piston fixed front and rear

This motorbike features a classic-style frame, chrome-plated components, and multiple choices of colors and graphics. In the latest 2023 model, an 1868cc Milwaukee-Eight™ 114 engine provides 94hp power at 5020rpm. Even the suspension is adjustable for a comfortable ride.

Also, the brakes are solid and responsive. Some unique accessories and features are leather saddlebags and windshields to chrome trim and saddlebags. It has a 6-speed transmission, ABS brakes, and a security system.


  • Cruise control,
  • ABS,
  • Keyless ignition
  • LED lighting
  • Detachable windshield
  • Hard saddlebags
  • Two-up seat
  • Price: Starting at $18,999
  • Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Best And Worst Year Heritage Softail Classic – Follow The Guide

Best And Worst Year Heritage Softail Classic - Follow The Guide

The Heritage Softail Classic is an iconic motorcycle known for its timeless design and smooth ride. Whether embarking on a long road trip or cruising the city, this bike exudes a sense of freedom and adventure. Equipped with a powerful engine, the Road King offers a thrilling experience on the open road.

The tensioner ensures optimal performance and reliability, while the engine guard provides added protection. With the Electra Glide, riders can enjoy the perfect blend of comfort and style, making every journey an unforgettable experience.

The best and worst year for the Heritage Softail Classic can be a topic of much debate among motorcycle enthusiasts. This iconic model from Harley-Davidson has a rich history and has undergone various changes. Here, we will examine the best and worst year Heritage Softail Classic, considering factors such as performance, design, and overall customer satisfaction.

Best Years For Heritage Softail Classic

Best Years For Heritage Softail Classic

The heritage of the Harley-Davidson Softail Classic is undeniable, and it is often regarded as one of the most iconic motorcycles in the industry. Regarding determining the best years for the Heritage Softail Classic, there are a few standout models that enthusiasts often praise. Here we are in a detailed discussion below:

2005 Heritage Softail Classic

The 2005 Harley Heritage Softail Classic underwent a significant update, including a new frame, suspension, and engine. Its new frame provided the rider with a more comfortable ride. On the other hand, the updated suspension and 1449cc engine improved handling and performance. It even brings back a retro look for the redesigned fuel tank and fenders.

2007 Heritage Softail Classic

Probably, most riders after 2000 have talked about the 2007 model years. It will be on the top choice list for upcoming years. In this model, Harley Davidson introduced the Twin Cam 96 1584cc engine. It provides a significant boost in power and torque. Also, this model year is suggested for introducing a six-speed transmission that provides smoother and more efficient gear shifting.

2010 Heritage Softail Classic

A new seat design, chrome accents, and a new exhaust system are the core adjustments of the 2010 model year. Also, the 4-stroke, 45° V-Twin 1584cc engine is another reason to fall in love with this Heritage Softail Classic. These updates gave the bike a more refined and sophisticated look with a fabulous performance.

2014 Heritage Softail Classic

Another lovely model year is 2014. The manufacturer introduced the High Output Twin Cam 103 1690cc engine for the Heritage Softail Classic. Consequently, it provides sufficient power and torque to increase the heat of the streets. Many riders consider this model year for the beginning of anti-lock brakes to give consistent stopping power and control.

2018 Heritage Softail Classic

The 2018 model year brought a significant redesign to the bike. It has got a new frame, suspension, and 1868cc engine. Likewise, its new Softail frame provides an even more comfortable ride. Riders have improved handling and performance with the updated suspension and engine. Additionally, you will love the vintage and elegant loo for its new fuel tank and fenders.

Besides these model years, people admire a few others, mainly after the 2000s. But you may still face some unexpected issues over time, which you may quickly deal with by yourself or by calling the dealer’s assistance.

Worst Years For Heritage Softail Classic

Worst Years For Heritage Softail Classic

People from the debut of this series of bikes loved them for their appearance, comfy ride, and high performance. Still, there have been some years when the Heritage Softail Classic didn’t perform as well as expected. In my research, We have found several worst years for the Heritage Softail Classic after the 1990s. They are:

2009 Heritage Softail Classic

Riders experienced some reliability issues, including problems with the transmission and electrical system. Also, it caused a lousy starting issue, as one rider complained – “sometimes starts OK, then will not start but can hear relay operating when the start button is pressed.” Again, several reports were about fuel system issues that led to unexpected breakdowns.

2011 Heritage Softail Classic

The starting problem appeared again in the 2011 model year. Several reports plot this issue. Thus, some electrical problems also cause bike riders to face many redundancies while on the road. “While cruising, my dash lights go out, and the check engine light comes on. After a while, the dash lights come back on again, and the check engine light goes off.” – one rider on HD forums criticized his 2011 model in this way.

2013 Heritage Softail Classic

The 2013 model year was a difficult one for the Heritage Softail Classic. Many riders reported problems like idling, AUX lights burning out, and fuel pump issues. With its iconic Softail chassis, the 2013 Heritage Softail Classic offers a smooth and comfortable ride, perfect for long-distance cruising.

Featuring a powerful V-twin engine, this motorcycle delivers ample torque and a thrilling performance on the open road. Its low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution make it easy to handle, whether you’re navigating city streets or exploring winding country roads.

In terms of design, the 2013 Heritage Softail Classic showcases a retro-inspired style with its balanced fenders, studded leather seats, and chrome accents. It also boasts a range of convenient features, such as a detachable windshield, leather saddlebags, and a comfortable two-up seating arrangement.

What Did Harley Do Differently?

The Heritage Softail Classic is a popular model from Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, known for its classic styling and comfortable ride. In terms of the best year for this bike, many riders praise the 2018 model for its improvements. Harley-Davidson made several changes, including increasing the size of the fuel tank to 5 gallons, improving the counterbalanced engine for smoother operation, and addressing engine heat issues.

However, it’s important to note that some riders have reported engine issues in certain models, particularly those with higher mileage per mile. As with any motorcycle purchase, it’s advisable to thoroughly research and test-ride different years and models to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Are Other Years Still Good Motorcycles?

Are Other Years Still Good Motorcycles

The Heritage Softail Classic has had its ups and downs; it remains a solid choice for motorcycle enthusiasts. Regarding engine performance, the Softail Classic delivers a powerful and smooth ride. The seat height is comfortable for most riders, and the passenger seat provides ample space for a companion on longer rides.

While some may argue that newer touring bikes offer better ride quality, the Softail Classic still provides a smooth and enjoyable experience on the road. So, while there may be variations in different model years, the Heritage Softail Classic remains a reliable and beloved option for riders looking for classic style and performance.


Certain years stand out as the best and worst when the Heritage Softail Classic. Features like a fuel gauge and fuel injection have greatly improved the overall riding experience of this classic motorcycle. However, it’s important to note that not all years have been created equal. Some models may have higher mileage or lack certain desirable features. Before making your purchase, it’s crucial to research and understand which years are considered the best for this iconic bike.

So, these are all about the best and worst year Heritage Softail Classic of Harley. If you want to buy a used model, try to choose the bike produced after the 2000s. They are updated, reimagined, and introduced to new technology. Also, you will find lots of discussions about the latest models and their virtues and faults.


What Is The Best Year For A Softail?

The best year for a Softail can vary depending on personal preference and specific model features. However, some popular motorcycles include the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy and Heritage Classic. It’s best to research different years and models to find the one that suits your needs and preferences.

What Years To Avoid Softail Deluxe?

When looking for a Softail Deluavoiavoidingrally recommended 017 due to reported issues with the models generally recommended. It’s always a good idea to do thorough research and consult with experts when considering classic motorcycles.

What Year Was The Heritage Softail?

The Heritage Softail is a motorcycle model that Harley-Davidson produced. It is known for its classic design and comfortable ride, making it popular for long journeys, including highway miles.

Is A Heritage Softail A Good First Bike?

Yes, a Heritage Softail can be a good first bike. It offers a comfortable ride, classic styling, and a manageable size. However, it’s important to consider your riding experience and comfort level before choosing any motorcycle as your first bike.

What Is The Best First Harley-Davidson Cruiser?

The best first Harley-Davidson cruiser is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Some popular beginner options include the Harley-Davidson Street 750, Iron 883, and Sportster 1200.

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