Zero Engineering Type 9 Softail

Well known for its vintage styling, no gadget or chrome approach in building rigid custom motorcycles, Zero Engineering style has often been imitated. But now that the company is offering an exclusive multi-link frame offering a rear suspension system, Zero regains a distinct advantage versus its direct “old school” competition. Although I already featured this ‘suspension articulated swingarm” system, I thought you would be interested in seeing the complete bike so-called the Type 9 model, with its final list of proposed components. Still looking like a rigid, but offering the equivalent comfort of a Softail. 

Zero Engineering likes to use S&S new retro engines, either Panhead, Shovelhead or Knucklehead. So, make your choice. Frame style and geometry didn’t change with a no-stretch/38-degree rake offering a very safe and easy handling 4″ trail. On this featured model a Harley-Davidson 5-speed transmission is being used and is coupled to a 3″ BDL open primary customized for security with a guard rail. Zero guesses that if you opt for their rear suspension model you want to ride for the long haul. So, a much larger gas tank replaces the usual peanut version of its previous bikes. The Type 9 is fitted with a re-designed and re-enforced Springer front end. Wheels are still a duo of spoke 16″ x 5 wrapped in Avon rubber. A compact speedo and mini dash instrument panel in the front and a simple taillight/turn signals system in the rear are enough to make this model legal in most states. Paint by Masaya Narita. .

5 Responses to “Zero Engineering Type 9 Softail”

  1. 1 BrotherTiberius Mar 26th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Love this

  2. 2 Mar 26th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    If I remember correctly didn’t Aaron Greene do a similar softail/rigid frame? I think (????) is was called his Softrigid or something of that nature.

    Over & Out,


  3. 3 Troll Mar 26th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Except for the open primary/leg snagger, no front fender (legally required) and the crap tires, this is GREAT!

  4. 4 Mar 26th, 2012 at 5:19 pm


    Yes Aaron did and showed at Cinci, but not enough interest. Looks OK, but you wouldn’t catch my bald ass going a 100 mph or a hundred miles on it.

    Maybe someone should really do old skool again with the rear axle valve springs combo…whaddyathink?

    Boss Hawg

  5. 5 nicker Mar 30th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    The Brits tried that “sprung axle” strategy in BSA’s, Triumphs, Ariels and others…..
    Can’t recall any of em being real good handlers.
    A big fat pogo stick seat is still the most comfortable combo on a ridged frame.

    IMHO anyway.

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