HARLEY-DAVIDSON BREAKOUT (2018 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£240|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Punchier with a stronger, lighter chassis, revised styling and improved details such as its minimalist clocks and LED lights, the new Harley-Davidson Breakout is better in every way. Who needs the V-Rod?
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The chassis, as with all the new Softails, is the standout news: an all-new steel double cradle now with a single monoshock under the seat (complete with natty remote preload adjuster) rather than the rather crude, dual items below the gearbox on the old Softails.
On the Breakout, to deliver its ‘drag bike’ poise, this is mated to a kicked out 34-degree head angle at the front (the other new Softails are either 30 or 28 degrees) bracing new telescopic forks which in turn hold a new design, skinny, 21-inch front wheel. While at the rear, a special, wide swingarm holds a simply massive, 240mm-wide, 18-incher. Turns, of course, thanks to that combination of kicked out front and dumper truck rear, come less, er, naturally: the Breakout takes some setting up, tillering in and all-round acclimatization. But once in the groove is still entertaining.
EngineNext up: Reliability
As with three other members of Harley’s new Softail family, the new Breakout now uses the four-valve, partially oil-cooled ‘Milwaukee Eight’ 107ci V-twin, as introduced in its 2017 touring range, with the option also of the 114ci version. Both are modified for Softail use via a new oil cooler subtly positioned between the downtubes and, as they’re rigidly mounted in the new Softail frames (in the tourers they’re rubber mounted) come with two, not one, balancer shafts.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Along with the new frame, uprated engine and cycle parts plus new equipment such as lights and clocks, the build quality of the new Breakout, and indeed all the 2018 Softail family, has been noticeably improved. This powertrain is based on the proven ‘Project Rushmore’ touring family and quality seemingly raised throughout, so we’ve little cause for concern as far as reliability goes.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Harley ownership never comes cheap and with prices starting at over £17K that’s certainly not changed here with the new Breakout. On the positive side, few motorcycles have more presence at traffic lights and its uprated performance simply begs to be unleashed at every tyre-squealing opportunity. The new Breakout is better is every way than the old; a hoot to ride and a pose like no other.
Engine and chassis apart, the biggest news with the new Breakout is a styling makeover. There’s new, low slung, drag-style bodywork (including new 13.2litre tank) while along with the new frame and uprated engine there are new LED headlights, stylish new clocks and more. OK, there’s still no electronics and little by way of luxury but it is a classy machine and Harley have noticeably raised their game.
|Engine type||45º pushrod V-twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||13.6 litres|
|Front suspension||Showa telescopic forks, no adjust.|
|Rear suspension||Mono shock, adjustable spring pre-load|
|Front brake||1 x 275mm disc, four-piston caliper. ABS|
|Rear brake||275mm two piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||130/60 x 21|
|Rear tyre size||240/40 x 18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£240|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||86 bhp|
|Max torque||107 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2018 - all new
Owners' reviews for the HARLEY-DAVIDSON BREAKOUT (2018 - on)
2 owners have reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON BREAKOUT (2018 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£240|
Annual servicing cost: £135
Stunning looking bike but rides like a tractor. Swapped for a Diavel. It doesn’t look as good but no comparison.
No cooler looking bike on the market but doesn’t like roundabouts or tight bends ha ha! Not very pleasant on the motorway.
All the power and low down grunt you need.
Battery problems and rear indicators very delicate.
Harley dealerships drove me away, IMO no Customer loyalty whatsoever. The bike is the best looking bike on the road but Harley-Davidson dealerships are horrendous!
Everything you need.
Buying experience: Bought from independent but the PX offered by Preston Harley-Davidson was around £4000 below going rate.
Annual servicing cost: £350
Compared to something like a BMW R1250RT which costs around the same, the Breakout is a little sparse on creature comforts. But put the two side-by-side at a set of lights and the Breakout is the one getting the admiring stares.
For a gentle cruise along a sweeping country rode, the Breakout is hard to beat. On longer runs, the smaller tank on the new models, (3.5 US Gallon down from 5 US Gallons on previous models) will mean more frequent fuel stops, but your pillion will welcome that, as the rear seat is far from plush.
The 114ci "M8" engine is smooth as silk, whilst still retaining that typical Harley rumble and the low-end torque threatens to remove your arms from their sockets if you take a handful of throttle. HD's are definitely not for those that like high-revving power monsters though. Peak torque comes at 3000 rpm and the motor red-lines at 6k
So far so good. Coming from a Sportster 48, the Breakout has more of a quality feel about it.
Everything to do with Harley-Davidson is expensive. It's a premium brand like Porsche or Bentley, so you don't buy one if you're looking for cheap thrills and obviously, that 240 rear tyre is going to be costly.
ABS comes as standard and Harley-Davidson finally introduced a digital dash, albeit tiny, but perfectly legible. As with all HD's you need to pay "The Harley Tax". ie after-market exhaust, (or mufflers), if you're looking for that quintessential Harley sound.
Buying experience: Bike purchased from a Harley Dealer and the price, is the price. Going back to premium brand thing, HD donlt like to sell themselves cheap. Although, you can strike a decent deal on finance options and trade-ins as second-hand values hold up well.