Mike Freeman’s 2005 Softail Deuce Harley-Davidson has quite the family history. The bike was initially purchased new by Mike’s brother. However, when he realized he wasn’t using the bike very often, he sold the bike to their cousin, who also didn’t use it as often as he had anticipated. In turn, he sold it to Mike.
“I get a lot more use out of it than they did,” Freeman says.
He mostly drives the bike around the Des Moines area, but when his grandfather passed away, he drove it more than 500 miles to attend the services in Wisconsin and back. Though he primarily drives the bike to and from work, he likes to take it for cruises around town as well.
The Softail has shock absorbers located along the axis and hidden by the frame to ease the bumps and jolts of riding. Though a registered trademark of Harley-Davidson, the word “softail” has grown to include other motorcycles which have similar hidden rear suspension. The word has also begun to encompass rear suspension bicycles.
According to “The Harley Davidson Century,” a book penned by Greg Field, the Softail was designed by Harley rider Bill Davis in the early 1970s. However, the first Softail didn’t became widely available until 1984. Out of the 12 available models of Softail, the Deuce is the only one with a two-inch backbone stretch.
Freeman says he likes just about everything about his motorcycle but points out the chrome detailing as his favorite aspect of the bike. Softails offer narrow X-type pipes or fat FL-type forks. Freeman’s bike has the latter.
“The two-in-one pipes are my favorite, and just the way it looks,” he says.
Freeman says he get a lot of compliments when he takes his bike out, but the best compliments come from his girlfriend of two years.
“She loves it,” Freeeman says. He says she also enjoys riding the bike, and when the couple can find time away from their 9-month-old son, Jerry Lee, they like to spend that time out riding.