Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout

Is it a bobber? Is it a dragbike? Pundits will argue over the semantics, but there’s no denying that the Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout brings 672 pounds of unbridled aggression. With a claimed 119 foot-pounds of torque readily available from H-D’s Big Twin powerplant (on the 114ci version) this premium custom cruiser mixes top-shelf features and finishes with a muscular stance and slammed profile inspired by classic gasser dragsters of the 1950s and 1960s.

True to its gasser roots, the Harley Breakout keeps bodywork to a minimum, with the front fender barely big enough to cover the wheel, and the rear fender cut back to the struts to expose that chunky 240mm rear rubber. Up front is a 21-inch Gasser II front wheel, with a drag-style handlebar mounted up high to provide a perch for instrumentation. Between the short handlebars, forward controls, and deeply dished Softail seat, you’re in for an aggressive riding position.

From there the minimal pillion pad covers the chopped fender with a tucked-under LED taillight to finish out the hardtail-looking rear. But down below sits a Softail chassis, with a coil-over monoshock under the seat attached to a special swingarm—with spring-preload adjustability via an external dial. That chassis is key to the Breakout’s improved road manners; the factory dialed in the Softail lineup’s handling by lightening and stiffening the frame, and swapping the previous front suspension in favor of Showa’s Dual Bending Valve fork to tame the bumps.

The base-model Softail Breakout runs the 107ci (1,746cc) Milwaukee-Eight, but you can upgrade to the 114ci (1,868cc) version (the 115th Anniversary Edition only comes with the larger engine). Either one is hugely entertaining, with the air-cooled M-8 107 V-twin pumping out 109 pound-feet of torque, measured at a low 3,000 rpm. But given the Softail Breakout’s menacing attitude, it seems only natural to go big and get the beefier engine.

Pros: Lean, mean lines, a radically improved suspension, and the wickedly powerful Milwaukee-Eight engine in two displacement options

Cons: Single disc front brake and a fat rear tire don’t necessarily play well together in the twisties.

Harley Softail Breakout Specs & Pricing

Stout and brooding, the Harley Softail Breakout has all the attitude of a 1950s-era gasser but with the modern benefits of the Softail chassis. Twist the throttle and revel in that Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, available in 107 or 114ci configurations. The Softail Breakout comes standard with ABS and Harley-Davidson security included.

Engine: Milwaukee-Eight V-twin
Displacement: 107ci/114ci
Transmission: 6-speed Cruise Drive
Compression ratio: 10.0:1/10.5:1
Valve train: Single-overhead cam; 4 valves/cylinder
Cooling: Air-/oil-cooling
Overall length: 93.3 in.
Seat height: 26.2 in.
Ground clearance: 4.5 in.
Wheelbase: 66.7 in.
Front suspension: Nonadjustable Showa Dual Bending Valve fork
Rear suspension: Spring-preload-adjustable monoshock
Wheel size, front: 21 in.
Wheel size, rear: 18 in.
Front brakes: Disc w/ fixed 4-piston caliper
Rear brake: Disc w/ floating 2-piston caliper
Fuel capacity: 3.5 gal.
Running weight: 672 lb.
GVWR: 1,160 lb.

The price of the Harley Softail Breakout in the 107ci configuration is $19,049 in Vivid Black, with color options costing $19,499. Meanwhile, the price of the Softail Breakout with the 114ci engine is $20,449, with custom colors costing $20,849. Spring for a custom color and the price of the 114ci Breakout goes up to $21,399; two-tone custom color costs $21,599.

Softail Breakout Parts & Accessories

The Softail Breakout features a low profile that sells the look of a rigid frame, but it's a Softail, which means it’s carried by the lighter, stiffer Softail chassis, and powered by the impressive Milwaukee-Eight engine solidly mounted to the chassis. The M-8 employs dual counterbalancers to cancel out primary vibration.

Although it looks totally badass right from the factory, you can create your own custom Harley Breakout as the bike is a great canvas for more modification. You can easily source Harley Breakout parts and accessories straight from Harley-Davidson, or from any number of aftermarket companies. On the Softail Breakout the most common components to get upgrades and mods include the Milwaukee-Eight engine, followed closely by handlebars, grips, and controls. Naturally the air intake/cleaner, engine tuning (like this Vance & Hines Fuel Pak3 and exhaust parts are high on the list of Softail Breakout modifications.