2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - First Look

Inspired by drag racing.

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

Breakout is an unexpected name for a motorcycle inspired, at least in part, by drag racing. In bracket or handicap racing, you “break out” when you post a quicker elapsed time than predicted. Unless your opponent does something stupid—red lights, crosses the centerline or fails tech—you lose.

That's not what Harley-Davidson has in mind with the 2013 FXSB Breakout. After sending the floating-rear-fendered Rocker to Softail heaven two years ago, The Motor Company needed to fill the "premium long custom" gap in its lineup. Closest existing model was the FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide, but that's, well, a Dyna, not a Softail, and base price is "only" $14,999.

Aimed directly at Harley’s core-enthusiast audience (Bar & Shield tattoo on any body part will suffice), the Breakout lists for $17,899 in Vivid Black and $18,299 for Big Blue Pearl or Ember Red Sunglo—premium, indeed. And with a wheelbase of 67.3 inches, only the aforementioned Wide Glide is longer.

“With Breakout, we got down to motorcycle essentials,” said H-D Styling Manager Kirk Rasmussen. “The black and chrome engine visually pops out of the center of the bike, and then, to maximize the impact of the tires, the fenders are chopped. We wanted a lot of rubber showing to give the Breakout a tough, muscular look.”

That air-cooled, rigid-mounted, counterbalanced 103B V-Twin displaces 1690cc and pumps out a claimed 95.5 foot-pounds of torque at 3000 rpm. It’s mated to a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission with Harley’s usual belt final drive. If you squint, the gloss-black muffler shields all but disappear, leaving only staggered chromed headers.

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

According to Rasmussen, the 21 x 3.5-in. front and 18 x 8-in. rear Gasser wheels exclusive to the Breakout are “loosely inspired” by drag-racing wheels from the 1960s and ’70s. Each wheel has 10 half-circle spokes, with the gloss-black powdercoating machined from every other spoke (as well as the edges of the rims) to expose the aluminum. Dunlop supplies the blackwall tires, a bias-ply 130/60 front and a 240/40 radial rear. ABS is optional.

Keeping with the straight-line theme, a drag-bend handlebar mates to 49mm fork legs spread 1.75 inches wider than on previous FX models to allow the fatter front rubber. The bar, headlight bucket, fork lowers and brake-disc carriers are painted glossy black. Same goes for the single-rib, cast aluminum oil tank. Rear fender braces are forged aluminum and polished, eliminating cosmetic covers and approximately seven pounds. The passenger portion of the two-piece seat can be removed without tools. Claimed dry weight for the bike is 680 pounds.

Further lowering the bike’s profile—“laden” seat height is just 24.7 inches—the black-faced speedometer is mounted on the chromed handlebar riser, exposing more real estate on the gas tank. “We topped the tank with a black leather strip,” said Rasmussen, “that covers the seam and a chrome-plated pod that’s just high enough to conceal wiring and vent lines.” Glass-filled medallions are the crowning touch.

Dragstrip also-ran? Breakout of the pack is more like it.

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - fuel tank

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - fuel tank

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - cockpit

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - cockpit

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - studio

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout - studio