By John Burns
You want more Harley content, you got it. Render unto MO what is Caesar’s. In this mercifully short, action-photo free H-D Springer Softail review from 25 years ago, Fortune’s son guides us along the road to simpler times, on a bike that’s “good as long as the road is smooth, and the distance to travel short.” Amen.
Timeless Classic Big Twin
Want a thoroughly modern Milwaukee V-Twin, but long for the look of simple lines from a simpler era? Something with that classic biker look? Something truly unique? Well, gaze no farther than the ’96 FXSTS Springer Softail, a modern re-creation of 1940’s H-D customs. Clean, classic styling, with several new enhancements for the 1996 model year.All Softail models feature electronic speedometers this year, along with new, self-cancelling turn signal modules that contain an integral sealed connector. This, coupled with new surface mount technology, results in smaller sizes and increased durability. Softails also feature new one-piece instrument consoles, and round-key ignition is now standard.
But it’s the laid-back ergonomics that really draw you to this Softail. Retro-look chrome springer front end, high bars, bullet-shaped headlight, and long, low ride. A reminder of decades past.
On the road, the Springer Softail emits the classic Harley feel. Its solidly mounted 1340cc Evo engine is one of the smoothest running Harley V-Twins to be found this side of the iso-mounted FLH models. Although the motor rumbles in typical Harley fashion, vibration only becomes intrusive above 65 – 70 mph, where handlebar grips and footpegs give off an annoying buzz. Below this speed though, the Springer is an enjoyable ride. Once warmed up, jetting on the Keihin CV carb is spot-on. Roll on the throttle at 35 mph in top gear, and the FXSTS will accelerate smoothly and evenly without protest, pulling strongly …read more