2003 Harley-Davidson® Heritage Softail®: yellow and white

A softail (shortened form of soft tail) motorcycle intentionally looks like vintage motorcycles with a rigid hard-tail frame that has a triangle of steel tubes at the rear axle, like on a bicycle frame, but on a Softail these tubes are actually a triangular swingarm, with the shock absorber(s) hidden, as opposed to clearly visible regular twin shocks on both sides of the rear wheel on standard bikes.

Since the introduction of the Harley-Davidson FXST Softail in 1983 as a registered trademark of the Motor Company, softail has become a genericized trademark for other models of cruiser motorcycles with rear suspensions hidden for retro style reasons. This was done even though the rear wheel was often hidden behind bags or exhaust pipes.

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