Big Kid Kandy

Tested

2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe Hard Candy Custom

In the custom world, there are certain trends that rise and fall in and out of popularity, but there are certain elements that stand the test of time and always remain in fashion. Flake has been a part of the custom culture for decades and makes a bike sparkle like a jewel. In times past, actual glass particles were crushed and mixed in with the paint to create that sparkle affect. Today, flake comes in several different sizes of metal pieces ranging from the size of a grain of salt to super-fine sand. The flake particles act as millions of little mirrors and reflect light, such as the sun, as your eyes stream across the surface.

In 2012 H-D released the Seventy-Two Sportster in a brilliant red-and-green-flaked paint scheme. For 2013, there are two more choices of green and gold that are available on the Street Bob, Blackline, Forty-Eight, and this Softail Deluxe. Now you can get that aftermarket custom look straight from the factory, with a warranty!

We had this bike built for an upcoming Build vs. Buy story coming later this year. In the meantime, we’ve been rockin’ it around town to see the reaction of both the general public and other riders. We started with a stock Softail and opened up the Parts and Accessory catalog and got to ordering. For starters, we added a set of Screamin’ Eagle pipes to open up the sound, while still remaining legal. We also had a set of mini-apes put on for the knuckles-up look. Finally we opted for a solo seat that makes this new bike look straight out of a ’70s chop shop. All of the parts are available direct from the dealer, including the paint, and can be tacked on to your financing and spread over the loan. The result is a Deluxe looks like a custom-built motorcycle straight from the factory.

While the Softail Deluxe is far from a new model, it hasn’t changed much over the years for good reason. If you want all the looks of a hardtail classic, with all the reliability and comfort of a modern bike, then a Deluxe is the way to go. The bike is comfortable to cruise and represents the quintessential Harley. With all-day riding comfort, knees-in-the-breeze riding and a laundry list of parts available, any variation of a Softail should be at the top of a short wishlist of bikes to buy. Coming in at $17,399 in black or $18,599 for the Hard Candy Custom paint, it ranks right in the mid-pack in terms of pricing.

After spending some time on the bike, there haven’t been too many places that we have stopped without someone saying, “Nice bike.” I love riding it to the store, work, or all day up and down the canyons and highways. For a box-stock bike from H-D, this is one bike that just might find a permanent home in my personal garage.

“If you want all the looks of a hardtail classic, with all the reliability and comfort of a modern bike, then a Deluxe is the way to go”

Specifications

Powertrain

Engine type Twin Came 103B V-twin

Transmission Six-speed

Brakes

Front Single four-piston caliper anti-lock optional

Rear Single two-piston caliper

Exhaust Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance Slip-On

Fuel capacity 5 gallons

Options Hard Candy Lucky Green Flake Paint, Solo Spring Saddle White Diamond seat, 16-inch Fat Ape Handlebar Kit with Riser

Second Opinion Jeff G. Holt

I have been rolling Softails from just about the time they were introduced, and the tried-and-true chassis is a comfy one that rides well in most any condition that our American roads can throw at it. The rear suspension is also very popular for its “rigid” looks and the newest design of the frame and hidden pull-style rear shocks work much better than earlier models. I would have to say that the Softail Deluxe is a classy bike that has a great stature for riders of both sexes, and I have seen just as many women as men on board these machines. This model Softail definitely takes its design cues from the ’50s and early ’60s Harleys and it looks great jetting down the road outfitted with the sum of its retro-inspired parts. A ton of people have been doing all sorts of customizing on their personal Deluxes and I do like that H-D has also been one of the leaders in aftermarket parts for this bike with its P&A catalog.

On this bike in general, I have to tell you that I wasn’t such a big fan of the green flake paint, since I am more of a black and chrome kind of Harley rider. I also personally didn’t care for the white solo seat since I think that having a sprung seat on a bike with rear suspension on it already is very redundant. As both of my gripes were about as minimal as a flea on a fly and don’t really have anything to do with the production version of the Deluxe, I will shut my trap now.

the Softail Deluxe is a classy bike that has a great stature for riders of both sexes, and I have seen just as many women as men on board these machines.