Softail line help, please: FB vs. Deluxe vs. HSC

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by htiger, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. htiger

    htiger Member

    I am nearing a decision as to which bike to buy--new--and it's coming down to the Fat Boy, the Softail Deluxe and the Heritage Softail Classic.

    I am 6'2" tall and weigh 190lbs. I want to mostly ride day-trips in the country on the weekends and, now and then, perhaps an overnighter. I've ridden (demo'd at the HD dealer) a Street Bob, a Rocker and an HSC. I do not have a bike now; I ride a friend's Honda Shadow 750 or Yamaha 1300T occasionally and enjoy both of those.

    My preference is a bike that retains the look of a motorcycle. While a windshield is good for trips and nights, I sort of like being in the breeze and don't really care for fairings and attached luggage. Thus, I'd want saddlebags that go on and come off easily.

    My question is: What's the difference (besides the obvious accessories) between the three? After all, they're all the same frame and engine, right?

    If there is little or no difference, why am I told that the Deluxe will feel too short for me and that the Fat Boy is probably best for a younger guy (I'm 55) and the HSC will be oh-so much more comfortable?

    To me, and this may reveal my inexperience, if I put a windshield and some saddlebags on a Fat Boy, I have most of an HSC. On the other hand, a local guy rides his HSC without bags or a windshield around town and it look very good--very Fat Boy-ish! Where am I wrong? Can anyone help me sort all of this out?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and insights!
  2. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators


    FatBoy sounds perfect for your intended use. For an overnight you could use a TBag over a "sissy bar" backrest and not even have to mess with saddlebags. Quick detach windshield and your all set. Personally I don't like the looks of saddlebags on a FatBoy because of the stacked pipes. If you're set on using saddlebags, I'd go with the HSC.

    Now you have my 2 cents worth.
  3. SeaRider04

    SeaRider04 Active Member

    I've been in the same boat before and decision was made on the HSC due to the look and the bags, the way I look at it is, it's easier to remove the bags and the windshield from the HSC than add them to FB. On the other hand, it's seem like there are more accessories made for the FB than for the HSC, they are almost the same but exhaust set up.... , but I haven't has any trouble to find accessories add-on for my HSC yet.
  4. biscuit

    biscuit Junior Member

    We have 2 Fatboys and a Deluxe.My brothers ride the Fatties;one is 6'2",and the other is 6'5" and both comfortably outweigh you.They love them.Think they're the perfect bike.I'm 6' and weigh 115 kgs(more than you)and love my Deluxe.The only shortcoming it seems to have is cornering AND ground clearance.On a personal note,i cant say i'm rapt about the looks of the Heritage-they seem quite staid and colourless.Especially when compared to a Fatboy or a Deluxe

    When i ride a Fatboy,i really notice sidewinds affect the bike because of the solid wheels;extremely obvious to a wire wheel owner.The tallest brother had to fit forward controls because he couldnt fit,but again that's a personal preference.Why don't you take testrides on all 3 and see which fites you best?
  5. little_earl

    little_earl Active Member

    I'm 6 foot 3 and a fat 230 lbs and my hsc fits me perfect. I won't ride without the windshield though, got hit by a june bug one time and it about knocked me off the bike.
  6. Tigg

    Tigg Junior Member

    If it were me I would go with the HSC I like the softails . I went from a Night Train to a Road King Classic. The ONLY reason I didn't get a Heritage from the start is I didn't like the saddle bags on the Heritage (every one I have seen sag ). Once I got used to the vibration of the Road King I was in love. I love the vintage look of the RKC.
  7. deni

    deni New Member

    An the reason you're not considering a RoadKing is why ?
  8. htiger

    htiger Member

    First, thanks to all for the helpful replies so far.

    Now...I'm gonna' get on some really thin ice: I like the Road King Classic look; but, I (personally) really don't care for the hard baggers or bikes with fairings. Just a personal preference.

    Compared to the RK Classic, specifically, I preferred the lower balance feel of the HSC. Maybe that's strictly a personal feel thing, too.

    I want a bike that I can easily strip off the bags, the sissy bar, the passenger seat and the windshield and go riding around the countryside on a bike that looks and feels like a traditional motorcycle--with face and chest and arms and legs in the breeze. And, on the other hand, I can put all that stuff back on if I want to do a longer jaunt or an overnighter.

    Really, the only thing I don't like about the HSC are those heavily studded bags. I'd probably see if I could find some bags that are very plain--no studs. I guess I'd have to just try to ignore the studs on the seat and those little tassle things (conchos? is that what they're called?). I know a lot of folks like that look, and that's fine, it's just not for me.
  9. glider

    glider Veteran Member


    Hey....I resemble that remark!:D
  10. DeluxeDoug

    DeluxeDoug Member

    I went throught the same issues a year ago. I owned a Fat Boy a few years ago and sold it. Got the ole lady interested in riding and we bought two 1200 Sportsters. Didn't take long to realize I looked and felt like a circus bear on a tricycle. Sold the Sporty and messed around for two months trying to find the perfect bike. Came to the conclusion that I need/want is two bikes. One for running with the pack around town for our weekly bar runs (no one drinks), and one that wouldn't beat me to death on a long trip. I bought a Deluxe and did Stage 1 to it. Added Leather Pro detachables bags, detachable windshield. Detachable sissy bar and rack. This bike has been great for the few months I've owned it. I put 4 thousand miles on it in 90 days. Now I'm about 6 weeks away from buying a Night Train to play with. There is no perfect bike. IMHO