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2020 low rider s YouTube: Matt Laidlaw
YouTube: Matt Laidlaw

Don’t call it a “comeback.” Though the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S was gone for a couple years, the 2020 version of the classic favorite is designed outside of its ancestor’s Dyna blueprint.

So, what makes the 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S so special, besides the somehow more aggressive-looking matte black finishes? Well, this isn’t your standard low rider. It’s more performance-oriented, and it’s got a cool custom styling that you might not expect from a new Harley.

Take a look at the specs to see what makes the Low Rider S stand apart from the pack.

It’s Not a Dyna Low Rider

To create the 2020 Low Rider S, Harley-Davidson looked at what made a low rider cool in the first place. The goal was to create a bike that paid homage to the origins of the the low rider, with SoCal/West Coast styling and the high-performance, responsive handling of 1980s low riders.

According to Harley-Davidson, the new Low Rider S can give all the credit for its newfound speed and agility to the new Softail chassis.

What Powertrain Does the Low Rider S Offer?

The 2017 Low Rider S came with a Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110. Not bad, not bad, but the 2020 version takes things to a new level with a four-stroke, 1868cc/114 cubic inch, rigid-mounted Milwaukee-Eight V-twin engine. For an idea of the kind of power you’ll be dealing with on this performance cruiser, consider this engine provides 119 ft/lbs of torque at 3,000 rpm. You’re looking at a compression ratio of 10.5:1, so you won’t exactly be tinkering around at scooter speeds.

At the same time, you won’t be rumbled out of your seat. Harley’s dual internally counter-balanced system tunes the engine vibration down without completely losing the pulse.

Performance is enhanced with a ventilator air intake and exposed filter element, which brings a higher level of airflow into the engine. 2-into-2 offset shotgun mufflers are on board, too.

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How Does It Ride?

The wheelbase on the Low Rider S measures 63.6 inches, with a seat height at 26.5 inches above the ground.

In order to create more response in the handling, Harley-Davidson has reduced the 30-degree rake on the Dyna low rider to a 28-degree rake. The suspension has been given a little extra engineering, too. The single shock, featuring emulsion technology and spring-preload adjustment, has been dropped between the cast aluminum swingarm and frame with a front 43mm inverted fork.

The cast aluminum wheels measure 19 inches at the front end, and 16 inches in the rear. You’re looking at a ground clearance of 5.11 inches. The wheels are finished in matte dark bronze with Michelin Scorcher 31 tires hitting the road.

While previous Low Rider models included a single disc brake, the Softail low rider has dual 300mm brakes with 4 pistons calipers at the front end, and a 292mm floating brakes with 2-piston caliper behind.

The riding position can best be described as “aggressive.” The solo seat has a higher back, and the motocross-style handlebar is mounted on 4-inch risers.

Ok, But Does the Harley-Davidson Low Rider Look Cool?

Unlike its 2017 predecessor, the 2020 Low Rider S comes in two colors: Vivid Black and Barracuda Silver.

The headlight fairing is color-matched, but the previously bright finishes are now clad in black. The tank, powertrain, and primary cover are Wrinkle Black. The intake and lower rocker covers are Gloss Black. Mufflers and exhaust come in Jet Black. Forks, riser, rear fender support, and handlebar are Matte Black. In a nutshell, it’s got enough gloss to catch your eye, but the overall matte styling makes it look all business and performance.

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While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no one is going to mistake this bike for anything less than a Harley-Davidson real-deal Low Rider.

If you’re looking to add a new Harley to your garage, the Low Rider S isn’t a bad place to start. As a returning model, it has a lot of smart additions that give it more of the qualities riders look for and love. That includes long and short distance performance, as well as looking incredibly cool as it travels. As a West Coast style performance-cruiser, it gets a lot of things really right without even trying too hard, which is a lot to admire in a low rider. Or any bike, come to think of it.

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