6 Best Years Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

The story of Harley Davidson would be incomplete without a Heritage Softail Classic. Heritage Softail Classic had a magnificent past and gorgeous present, spanning over 4 decades.

Due to this rich history, the Softail Classic has a strong legacy, especially when people are still its fans. In these four decades, Harley has launched a number of Heritage Softail Classic.

Some years have been great since they brought good value for money and an amazing rider-satisfying performance

This article highlights the Best Year Heritage Softail Classic you should be looking at.

Our team has gone through days of research and hours of trial on the following best years for this motorcycle.

Best Year For Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Now, for the battle of Heritage Softail Classic Best years, we nominate the 2000, Heritage Softail Classic, 2008 FLSTC Heritage, 2009 Softail Classic, 2011 FLSTC, 2018 FLHC, and 2020 Classic.

We came to nominate these mentioned years after a detailed research and investigation.
We had a chance to test-ride 2008, 2009, and 2018 and over trials proved them to be good.


1. 2000 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

2000 HD Heritage Classic Softail is a starting point for making things noticeable and good.

In fact, if you had a chance of time traveling back to its launch, you would confirm it through its engine sound that’s been dramatically improved.

Compared to 90 model Softail Classic machines, the vibration has gone a bit low, and Harley made the platform pretty stable.

This not only makes it durable but also manoeuvrable.


Amongst its highlights, the very first notable thing is going to be its engine, of course.

The 21st century’s first-ever Softail Classic was welcomed by a nicely incorporated Twin Cam engine for added stability and improved vibration.

Harley decided to use counterbalance technology in this specific model to make things better for the very first time. This brand-new twin-cam engine was revving more power and performance.

This particularly improved engine still had a 45° cut. The engine was 1450cc this time. It was based on a four-stroke motor and utilized air-cooled technology not to spread the heat.

It had a better transmission than the 1999 model due to improved connecting rod placement and effective operation of both the carb and pushrod valves to get the most out of it.

Not only did the engine improve, but the build quality, suspension, brakes, and electronics were improved too. 

Though the electronics can frequently fail, they had a good output back then.

2. 2008 Harley Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic

Moving to another great archive, which shifted the course of Softail classic growth for the next decade. Not this 2008 model alone, but later ones, too. 

However, 2008 was the second good thing that happened to the Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic after the 2004 model.


2008 Heritage was a featured cruiser by Harley, introducing a 1573 cc engine with a four-stroke motor. It was based on a V-twin motor and used fuel injection instead of carbs.

Due to the fuel injection motor, the performance was improved a lot and brought superb fuel economy on the information cluster.

The motorcycle had an improved compression rate, contributing to better performance and improved economy. This twin-cam motorcycle had an air-cooled engine, by the way.

A 6-speed cruise drive manual transmission was added to boost power efficiency and transmission from the engine to the wheels. 

The gearbox was not clunky, but it had problems and fixable issues.

The R16 Dunlop tire provided a better road grip and safe traction on the paved roads. Also, the ABS was available for this model, but it was not the standard option.

You had to pay extra for that. The speedometer was improved, displaying all the gears and oil levels with the help of fuel gauges. But it was still an analog meter, not a completely digital one.

3. 2009 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Later on, you will not notice a huge jump in the best years because Harley already started to take serious notes for improvement in this machine, to make it an invincible cruiser of its time.

The 2009 Softail classic was a cruiser by definition, but it also had touring touches in it.


With a dry weight of over 700 lbs, it definitely was not made for beginners but for expert riders having experience handling such gigantic and bulky machines.

Its weight was the major drawback of the 2009 model. Anyways, all thanks to the 1584cc twin cam engine for saving the lives of its owners by not making it bulky in rides but handleable.

Engine-wise, the 2009 heritage classic was an amazing machine, undoubtedly. However, its design was improved quite a lot, which made people go crazy over this motorcycle.

The powder-coated engine in black with chrome components makes it look like you are in Terminator 3. It had a large headlight, a large seat, and a large handlebar with a clamp too.

2009 Softail featured many convenience features, making it a worthwhile machine in the long run. If you need stable and accurate cruise control along with a smooth riding experience, go for the 2008 HD.

4. 2011 Harley Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic

While looking at the Heritage Softail classic, you must be curious if you could find some kind of budget machine. 

So, yes, you can have the 2011 Heritage Softail Classic for under $5,000, and that too in mint condition.

This particular model will truly amaze you due to its charming design.


Harley Heritage Softail Classic will get a similar engine as of 2009 model, i.e., the 1584 cc V-twin engine with the four-stroke machine.

Due to the Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection module, this motorcycle is capable of producing over 93 ft-lbs in torque and 67 HP in power figures.

Of course, it’s a low-speed engine with a 5200 RPM range, but more than enough to provide a stable touring experience.

The 2009 Softail classic is a 6-speed cruise drive transmission machine, having a decent compression ratio and also providing a decent speed on the roads

This particular model has a convenient riding position which is comfortable on long rides too. The city tours are just amazing, but they have a limited top speed of just 75 MPH.

Harley offers this motorcycle in saddlebags, decent quality and comfortable seats, wind protection, and a charming engine

You can also take a passenger along with you on long trips. 

It does have overheating issues which might become a deal breaker if you prefer doing distant traveling. Sometimes, the issue can get worse and may also cause engine stalling.

5. 2018 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic FLHC

The year 2018 was a prosperous year for the Softail engines since Harley launched several models in this engine. 

The most prominent ones are Softail Slim, Fat Boy, FXDR 114, and the Softail Classic, FLHC, of course.

Because Harley made significant changes to Softail in 2018.


With the newly designed frame and durable engine mounts, the 2018 Softail Classic was truly a masterpiece meant to last for life. The design got smashed, which added more bulkiness to it.

Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine was installed in 2018 Softail classic making it to produce over 85 HP in power and 113 ft-lbs in torque at a low RPM range of 3000.

Harley improved its transmission, too, now adding a 6-speed cruise drive transmission with chain and belt in its primary and final drive mechanism. It not only improved to 120 MPH.

Further, its large 19-liter tank provides you with over a 47 MPG average, pretty decent than its predecessors. Yet, the curb weight was increased to over 725 pounds, manageable for expert cruising riders only.

2018 Heritage Softail Classic had a low seat height and medium handlebar height.

The stock seat is comfortable as usual, allowing you to travel long distances with no problem or discomfort. 

ABS comes standard in this machine and its rear suspension was manually adjustable.

6. 2020 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic

2020 HD Classic Heritage was a major shift upward when it came to adopting a modern design in the cruiser without skipping the traditional feel.

And Harley has completed this job nicely.

For a premium feel, beautiful ergonomics, and modern looks without compromising on performance is what you all need, the 2020 HD Heritage Classic should be on top of your list.


For its highlighted features, the motorcycle has chrome garnishings as its prominence, and overall you can adjust your hair by seeing on it without needing to open the front camera.

This bulky cruiser weighs a little less than 700 pounds. Further, it offers a stable and convenient handlebar with loads of control on it.

The weight and handlebar make your rides smooth and precise on the highways, with a blend of immense power right out of its engine.

This particular machine is equipped with a V-twin Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine based on a four-stroke motor.

With its 110 ft-lbs low RPM torque and 94 HP in power figures, you can experience a boost in its road performance. 

The 6-speed clutch assist manual transmission makes your day by shifting smoothly and improved fuel injection provides over 46 MPG in fuel economy.

With this MPG and 5-gallon tank, you can expect a tank range of around 200 miles if the engine is well-maintained and healthy.

If you’re interested in Harley Road King learn about its worst years.


Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic Review

Harley Davidson Heritage Softail | Forbes

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