It’s easy to think of Harley-Davidson as old school, traditional and highly averse to risk. But one look at the ever-expanding (and shrinking) family tree suggests they regularly pivot, break things and clean up nicely afterwards. After taking a semester or two abroad in European markets, the Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout is back in the U.S.A. for 2023.
The time abroad failed to refine or soften the Breakout’s edges. It still retains a drag-centric silhouette, with stance and rake made for quarter-mile stoplight contests, not country trips for fresh baguettes. That’s good news for fans of Milwaukee’s most aggressive Softail. It’s thankless work crafting press releases, so let’s give one to the H-D scribe: “The Breakout model is designed to rule the street with style and power.”
Deleted from the Motor Company’s cruiser rolls in 2022, the Softail Breakout returns with a slightly bigger engine, the venerable Milwaukee-Eight 117 cubic inch mill. This bests the previous 114 cubic inch motor’s torque by 8 ft lb, landing at 127 ft lb of torque. This number is based on Road Glide and Street Glide ST models, so final tuning may vary slightly.
Other than its beating heart, the Breakout hasn’t changed much. But there’s a few tweaks, revisions and improvements. It now gets a 5-gallon fuel tank, a sizable upgrade from the previous 3.5-gallon cell. Bars and riser have been revised, they’re now 0.75 inches taller for better reach. Notably, cruise control is now standard, with Traction Control optional.
They say chrome don’t get you home. But it never really left, so it’s replacing some earlier matte paint finishes. Rear fender supports, side covers, muffler shields, turn signals, mirrors all get the treatment. A sporty pod-style air filter caps the Heavy Breather intake, and it gets new 26-spoke cast-aluminum wheels finished in gloss black with machined details. Mathematically speaking, It’s a 30% upgrade from the previous 20-spoke wheels. Official color names haven’t been released, but lifestyle images feature Harley Orange, a nice nod to traditional competition livery. Two gloss black versions with differing logo colors plus a grey/silver option are being offered.
Release date forthcoming.
2023 Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout Technical Specifications and Price
|ENGINE||117c.i., oil-cooled, 8-valve, 45-degree V-twin|
|BORE x STROKE||103.5 x 114.3mm|
|FUEL DELIVERY||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection|
|CLUTCH||Hydraulically-actuated w/ assist and slipper function|
|TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE||6-speed, belt drive|
|CLAIMED HORSEPOWER||106 horsepower @ 4750 rpm (Based on Road Glide ST specs)|
|CLAIMED TORQUE||127 ft-lbs @ 3750 rpm (Based on Road Glide ST specs)|
|WHEELS, FRONT/REAR||Cast aluminum; 19 in./16 in.|
|RAKE/TRAIL||34.0º/5.7 in. (Based on 2020 Softail Breakout)|
|WHEELBASE||66.7 in. (Based on 2020 Softail Breakout)|
|SEAT HEIGHT||26.2 in. (Based on 2020 Softail Breakout)|
|FUEL CAPACITY||5.0 gal.|
|CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT||TBD|