Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023)


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Harley Davidson Breakout 117

Get ready to embark on a thrilling ride with the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117, the latest addition to the legendary lineup of motorcycles. With a rich history dating back to its first release, this model has captured the hearts of riders and enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will delve into the design, performance, comfort, features, and ride experience of the Breakout 117. From its head-turning aesthetics to its impressive engine specifications, this motorcycle is truly in a league of its own. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or looking to join the Harley-Davidson family, read on to discover what sets the Breakout 117 apart from the pack.

Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) – A muscular urban cruiser that will leave you speechless

After a short break on home soil, the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 is back in 2023. The muscular urban cruiser is more powerful, brawnier, and more comfortable than before. It still retains its dual missions, going fast in a straight line, and making you look and feel great at any speed.

The last time the Breakout was on the books was in 2020. Back then, it came with a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine but it has now been upgraded to a 117 version of the V-twin. Some other highlights include a larger 5-gallon fuel tank (up from 3.5), standard cruise control, a ¾-inch taller handlebar riser, and available traction control. This cruise is all about style but it doesn’t sacrifice substance.

The bike made its comeback in 2023, with the manufacturers bragging that the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 2023 model packs “more muscle and flashing bright new styling over its long-and-lean chopper profile”.

Harley Davidson Breakout 117 (2023)

2023 Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 Review

There is something truly special about the stance of the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) that sucks you in visually, especially its rear three-quarter view. The super fat 240 rear tire has an ultra-clean bobbed fender with minimalist indicator/brake lights and the Softail rear end looks just right. The bike has returned after a hiatus and it is better than ever. 

The bike sucks you in with the long and low custom-cruiser stance but it certainly delivers on many levels beyond its image. The Breakout 117 is a survivor and it doesn’t have a lot of competition. One of the few that can match up to this bike is Honda’s Fury. There’s simply no denying that the company has the formula down. Even though the Breakout 117 and Fat Bob are the only two motorcycles in the lineup with a custom-cruiser profile, Harley-Davidson has definitely delivered a style-heavy machine that performs in a manner that its competitors haven’t been able to replicate.

It might not have the broadest range of capability as you aren’t going to be going touring on it but for what this motorcycle was designed to do, it certainly impresses. The Milwaukee-Eight 117 is amazing, making the bike a stoplight-drags hero. The cockpit and riding position are quite comfortable and there’s no question that the over-the-top styling stands out in the sea of muted colors and matte-black finishes.

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If you’re looking to get a more in-depth view, then you’re at the right place. In this review post, you will be able to learn more about what the new Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) has to offer and what makes it so special.


The Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) has the 45-degree counterbalanced Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin engine, which is the biggest engine currently offered in regular-production Harleys. Harley-Davidson has announced other releases but for 2023, the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) is at the top of the food chain. The Milwaukee-Eight has been around since 2017 and it first came with 107ci and 114ci displacements. They have since grown with the 114 becoming the standard size and ultimately, the 117 becoming the largest offering in select models like the Breakout.

The motorcycle comes with the Milwaukee-Eight 117 (1,923cc) and has 103.5 x 114mm bore and stroke dimensions respectively at a 10.2:1 compression ratio. The “Eight” here will designate the fact that this bike has an eight-valve engine. A single four-lobe cam will actuate a pair of pushrods on each cylinder, which will, in turn, operate a pair of rockers in each hand. The hydraulic roller tappets maintain valve clearances. The oil will get supplied through a dry sump and is circulated through a cooler. The bike produces 94.2 HP at 4,790 RPM and 118 lb-ft of peak torque at 3,250 RPM at the rear wheel, which is close to Harley-Davidson’s claimed numbers of 101 and 125.

One of the main goals that was projected with the Milwaukee-Eight was heat management. A shallow combustion chamber helps in dissipating heat quickly while the bridge between the exhaust valve is cooled by passages that circulate oil to the mini radiator. Moreover, all Milwaukee-Eight engines feature the Engine Idle Temperature Management System, which tends to deactivate the rear cylinder at a preset temperature if it starts to get too hot.

The engine will be fed air through a chromed Heavy Breather intake into the throttle body with fuel delivered through Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection. There are a pair of spark plugs, one in the center of the combustion chamber and the other offset on the side of each cylinder. Burned gases will exhale through the catalyst-equipped 2-into-2 staggered exhausts wrapped in chrome heat shields.

Power will be transferred to the compensator in the primary drive and through the chain to the wet multiplate clutch that features assist functionality, making the pull at the bar lighter. The power will then be supplied to the six-speed Cruise Drive transmission and onto the rear wheel through the belt final drive.

Model NameSoftail® Breakout®
Engine Size1923 cc (117 ci)
Engine TypeMilwaukee-Eight 117 V Twin
HorsepowerNot provided
Torque169 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Dry Weight653 lbs (296 kg)
Wet Weight683 lbs (310 kg)
Length93.3 in (2370 mm)
Wheelbase66.7 in (1695 mm)
Ground ClearanceNot provided
Fuel Capacity5 gallons (18.9 liters)
Fuel Efficiency47 US MPG (5 L/100km)
Seat Height26.2 in (665 mm)
PriceMSRP: $20,999
CoolingAir / Oil
Valve ConfigurationOHV – Pushrod
Compression Ratio10.2:1
Fuel TypeGas
Fuel RequirementsPremium
Fuel InjectorYes
Transmission TypeManual
Number Of Speeds6
Primary Drive (Rear Wheel)Belt
Front Suspension TypeTelescopic Fork
Rear Suspension TypeTwin Sided Swing Arm
Front Brake TypeHydraulic Disc
Rear Brake TypeHydraulic Disc
Anti-Lock BrakesStandard
Seat TypeTwo-Piece
Number Of Seats2


The Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) is low and long, with a steel backbone frame and swingarm. The Softail design features a hidden shock with 3.4 inches of travel and provision for spring-preload adjustment using a remote toolless knob. Up front will be a 49mm conventional fork with 5 inches of travel. The wheelbase measures 66.7 inches and the rake angle is set at 34 degrees with 5.7 inches of trail. The seat height is super low as it comes at 26.2 inches. The claimed wet weight will be 683 pounds and it is fueled up and ready to roll.

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The key to its stance is the wheels and tires. Upfront will be a 3.5 x 21-inch 26-spoke cast-aluminum contrast-cut wheel having a 130/60-21 Michelin Scorcher 11 tire. At the back will be a monstrous 8 by 18-inch matching wheel that is mounted with a 240/40-18 tire. The braking will be handled by a conventionally mounted four-piston caliper punching a 300mm disc at the front. At the rear will be a twin-piston caliper and 292mm disc. Meanwhile, ABS will be standard.


The view from the cockpit will be dominated by the straight, chromed handlebar that is set on a slightly taller riser (+3/4 inch) compared to the previous Breakout and it’ll be topped by a small LCD instrument screen and multiple rows of warning/indicator lights underneath.

The bike has keyless ignition with a fob whereas all gauge info can be easily accessed from the left-handlebar mounted pod. You can love them or hate them but the turn signals are split, with the left on that side and the right one on the other. The motorcycle’s standard cruise control will be operated on an intuitive malfunction switch on the left whereas the optional TC could be turned off on the right-pod switch.

Lighting up front will be from a roval-shaped all-LED headlight whereas the turn signals/taillight combo setup still uses incandescent bulbs rather than LEDs. There is a USB power outlet and it puts out 2.4 amps to keep a bar-mounted smartphone topped up while navigating.

Harley Davidson Breakout 117 (2023)

Riding impression, tire, and suspension

Custom-style cruisers like this are essentially one-trick ponies as they appear to feel great only cruising the local boulevards. However, things aren’t always as they seem. Once you dig a bit deeper with the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023), you will know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

It is fun to launch the bike from spotlight to spotlight, treating each green light like a “tree” at the dragstrip. However, the bike delivers a ridiculously flat torque curve from 1,750 RPM to 4,000 RPM, making it tough to keep from chucking the clutch lever out and allowing it to catapult off the line. However, there is more to the bike than merely straight-line performance.

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With so much low-to-midrange torque available and a perfectly linear climbing power curve, there isn’t a lot of benefit to revving the thing to the moon. Short-shifting a bit and staying in the meat of the curve can be rewarding and almost impossible to avoid. With a nice feel from the clutch and shift action from the transmission, keeping your motorcycle on the boil will be quite fun.

The Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (2023) comes with an optional traction control ($200), which seems to be a no-brainer. It is pretty fun to turn it off and allow the rear tire to smolder off the line, but with all the torque, if you want to hook it up, the TC will definitely help.

Speaking of the tire, the bike’s massive rear tire will keep the motorcycle from snapping into corners. Instead, it’ll require a firm countersteer at the bars for initiating the turn and letting the lean work its way to the edge of the tire. The tighter the turn, the more effort will be needed but it won’t take you long to get accustomed to it.

With the low 26-inch-tall seat, finding a firm footing at stops could be easy for most riders and help to manage the bike when maneuvering into a parking spot. Meanwhile, the forward foot controls will certainly help by staying out of the way of your legs and feet when stopped.

One look at the stretched position, with your feet thrown out front, will make you wonder if you can possibly feel comfortable for more than 15-20 minutes. After I spent a day riding the Harley-Davidson 117 (2023) around town and in the mountains, I was surprised at how fresh I felt. I felt that the seat with its deep pocket definitely offers great back support whereas the reach to the flat handlebar will be quite relaxed.

While around-tow handling will feel heavy and need extra effort at the bars, the bike will feel at home on big sweeping mountain corners. Instead of feeling like the rear tire is fighting you, it’ll offer a lot of midcorner stability. Hairpins will be another story and replicate the sluggishness of the urban setting but once you take it on the road, the Breakout will be really fun. As the motorcycle likes to meander over onto the side of the tire rather than snapping from side to side, it can be easy to gauge the last bit of lean before the pegs begin to grind into the asphalt. Once it starts to grind, it can be easy to pick it back up and save your boot from the heel getting smoked off.

Another area where this bike hits it out of the park is the suspension. With 3.5 inches at the rear, you may wonder how the motorcycle reacts over pavement but the combination of the Softail rear end and the deep, plush seat make the ride very comfortable. When testing, I came across a lot of bad pavement but the long stable chassis and 5 inches of front-end travel meant that the bike was composed throughout the ride.

Once you’re comfortable with the motorcycle’s handling and composure and a quicker pace, you will discover that the single front brake was up to the task to get the near-700-pound machine bogged down. The feel of the lever isn’t in any way sportbike aggressive but the power is definitely progressive and predictable.

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