I chose the Heritage Softail because it was a “best fit” for my height, riding style and basic comfort. This was a first-time purchase with my brand-new class 6 license [the license required to ride a motorcycle in Canada – Editor]. The height and power of this machine suit me and my riding style very well. I appreciate the looks of it, but more than that, because I am tall, the Heritage Softail fit me like an amazing pair of perfect jeans! You know what I mean—that dream pair that make you feel like a million bucks every time you wear them? This motorcycle makes me feel like a million bucks every time I ride it.
The weight balance points are amazing. A lot of women comment on that. When I passed my road test, my husband and I went shopping for my first ride. With our last name being “Davidson,” there was only one place we felt we wanted to shop. We met the same salesperson who sold my husband his 2006 Road Glide. He was so great about my lessons and license—very encouraging. He invited me to throw a leg over every single model of Harley-Davidson in the showroom. I stood each of them up and did a “best fit” comfort check. I settled on the Heritage Softail as the one most suited and asked to take one for a demo ride. The dealership was quick to get me out on the road, and after a 10-minute cruise, I knew I had the right machine. That was April 2007. Ive logged more than 10,000 kms on it since then. Furthermore, Ive rented this same model in Phoenix and Maui while on vacation. Each time, Ive reveled in the comfort and ease of operation of this magnificent machine!
When training and doing all the road rides with the professional instructors, I found I had serious problems with a lot of the clutches on their training machines. No such problem with my Harley. What dont I like about the motorcycle? Absolutely nothing. My only negative is related to weather, but frankly, thats every motorcycle enthusiast’s challenge.
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WRN Buyers Guide: Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail
18 thoughts on READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2007 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail
Hello. Thanks for the great review on the Heritage Softail. I would like to ask your opinion on whether you think the Heritage Softail Classic would be a good trade up from a Softail Slim. I love my 2013 Softail Slim. I replaced the stock seat with a Mustang Solo and just love, love riding it. Just two days ago, my husband pointed me toward the direction of the 2016 Heritage Softail Classic. I am excited and worried about the prospect of a) parting ways with my beloved Softail and b) not being able to handle the added weight and accoutrements of the Softail Heritage, i.e., the two saddlebags, new handlebar, etc.Do you have any experience riding the Softail Slim, and how would you compare it to the Softail Heritage Classic? I am 5 feet 8 inches and can sit flatfooted no problem on the Slim.Thank you for your reply in advance.
I’ve not ridden the Slim, but I know it has a much lower seat height than the Softail Classic, so right there, you will notice the Softail Classic being “taller” but at your height you should be able to handle it.As for the weight, with any different motorcycle you try, the weight distribution will be different. I love the Softail Classic, but can truly say it has a higher weight distribution than those lower Softails, like the Fat Boy, Fat Boy Lo and I suspect the Slim. I’ve ridden both Fat Boys and know the Slim rides similarly to them, very low… and super easy to handle.My question is: why are you even considering not riding the Slim anymore? Can’t you just put windshield and bags on it for touring? It has a the big beefy FL front end, which makes the bike feel very solid and planted for long rides; it has the same engine as the Softail Classic so power is the same. I would urge you to test ride the Softail Classic before you give up something you’re very comfortable with. Hope that helps.
(Kathy of Vancouver) and others: I too had issues raising the kickstand. Taking an extra side molding (stainless steel) from a ’50 Plymouth, I cut off a 3 inch end, and slipped it over the end of the end of the protrusion on the kick stand. It looks works perfectly. It also looks far nicer the the extensions of the later models.For those also with upper shoulder pain after rides, try a 2-inch pullback handle extension. Cured my discomfort, and can be done with existing wires and cables.
I just bought a 2011 Heritage Softail, my very first! I passed the rider’s course exactly one month ago. Now I am getting ready to practice. I am all of 5 feet 2 inches and it seems to fit well, but I am really nervous for my first time. I will be practicing, practicing, practicing before going too far on this beautiful bike. I am trying to figure out where and how to get more confidence and less nervousness. I guess that will come with practice. Oh my gosh! Wish me luck!
I absolutely love my 2007 Heritage Softail Classic. I had a lot of people want me to get a Heritage Deluxe, but I soon found out that the seat position scooted me too close to the handlebars. The Heritage Classic was perfect for me. It just happened to have Bubba forward controls. At 5 feet 9 inches, I have really long arms and legs, 34-inch inseam. This suits my frame perfectly, and at 6 feet 5 inches my husband loves riding my Heritage more than his own Ultra Classic Electra Glide.
I've logged 5,000 miles on this bike and it is extremely comfortable on short or a week long ride. A lot of people trade out the stock seat for a Corbin or Mustang brand seat, but for me the stock seat is perfect for my hiney.
I just bought a 2009 Heritage Softail Classic and I too am 5 feet 4 inches. My only problem is the kickstand — it is too far away. I have to stand up and practically straddle the gas tank to barely reach the kickstand to pull up. Does anyone else have this problem? They don't make a kickstand extension for models newer than 2006. There has to be some kind of solution.
Currently have a '04 Heritage. Love the color (teal). Had an 04 Road King (great bike). I like the Heritage better. Have a '05 883R Sportster. Great bike. Heritage feels less top heavy at walking speeds. Sportster does handle “quicker” at slow speeds around corners due to shorter wheelbase. Sportster will handle 65 -70 mph well, but Heritage is much better, but is just as good on back 35 -45mph back roads as the Sportster.
Heritage is smooth compaired to pre '99 models, but has more mechincal chatter then RK due to counter balancers. Only worry I have is: will the counter balance system (ie. chain guides) last as long as the rest of the engine?) Outside of a sometime hiccup from carburetor at low speeds I have had no problems. Made a back rest for the drivers seat, now it is fantastic for long trips for a 5-feet 8-inch, 160 pounds, 62 years young. Safe riding to all.
I love my 09 Heritage classic. I am 5-feet-6 with short legs. My shoulders do come forward and on long rides there's no back support. I need a backrest but the stock seat doesn't come with it. So I am in search of a solo seat with backrest. I rode from Houston to Memphis, 13 straight hours. I think if I had a backrest I would have been fine after five hours. My shoulders were hurting bad. I recently installed a mustache highway bar. It helps tremendously. Puts me back into the seat a bit. If I had a backrest I'd be ridin' pretty. Wish Heritage had more choices.
I tried out a Heritage for fit because of the low seat height, but just couldn't get my feet flat. I'm 5-feet-2, but along with that, happen to have a very short inseam length of 26.5 inches. That's the key to the proper fitting bike, not so much your height. The bike's body, seat width and floor boards was my problem. I ended up with a Dyna Low Rider and Reach Seat but still had to have it lowered in front and back by 2 inches to get flat footed. I would have loved to own a Heritage, but actually I've got more than enough bike to handle with my Dyna Low Rider.
As Teresa, I too was surprised at 6 feet that Hedy found a perfect fit with a H-D Heritage Classic but everyone's leg length and arm reaches are different no matter how short or tall you may be. When I purchased my 07 Classic in Nov 06, at 5-feet-3, I still needed to customize with reach handlebars and lowering the back then it was a perfect fit. The weight balance, compared to the H-D Sportser Low 883 (which I still had to lower the back), is incredible. Even at 750 pounds, it's a dream to corner, smooth to stop, and just an all around comfortable ride.
These were wonderful to hear. Just bought a 09 Heritage Classic and I haven't taken my riders course yet but will be Mothers Day weekend. Super excited!
I agree completely with these ladies. I'm 5-feet-8 and love my 2001 Heritage Classic. I find it to be an all around perfect bike for both local rides and long runs.
I am a new rider and have a 2007 Heritage Softail. Some may think this is too big for a beginner but I have found it to be comfortable to handle. I am new to the road having just graduated from the parking lots this weekend. Logged 120 miles in two rides this weekend, Made some mistakes, need to go back to what I learned in my basic rider course. Have also discovered what looks nice isn't always best. The previous owner had installed these really nice looking hand grips, too, big for my hands and causing me problems with giving it too much throttle. My husband is going to change them back to stock grips and see how we do.
I am 5 feet 3 inches with a short inseam and rented the Heritage in Honolulu, HI, and this bike was the perfect fit. I rode all day around the island and the bike was a joy to ride. I have a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 at home (with an aftermarket saddle) and I love it. However, for twice the price, the comfy Heritage shall remain at the dealership.
I was surprised to hear that Hedy at 6 feet found a perfect fit in the Heritage. I am only 5 feet 2 inches and also have found a perfect fit in the Heritage. The wider front tire and the weight balance were also a big plus in riding comfort.
The beauty of this motorcycle is that it can accommodate a wide variety of size riders. Some motorcycles are built to do that.
Ditto to Hedy's comments, too. After riding a Sportser for the last seven years and taking some really great trips anywhere from 1000 to 5000 miles, I “upgraded” to my 2009 Heritage Softail. What a wonderful difference. We have already made two three and four day trips and I'm looking forward to more. The bike is extremely comfortable and handles easily.
I feel the same as you do about your Softail Heritage. You took the words right out of my mouth. It fits. I just picked mine up November 08 so I haven't had much time on it due to cold. But, the time I have had on it has been great! I'm ready for a long haul on it.