I don't know about softer, but it's definitely thinner. I've seen Kuryakyn stuff with chrome so thin you could see the copper thru it. Word to the wise - never clamp a chrome Kuryakyn piece in a vise with steel jaws. It bruises the chrome every time.bigjailerman said:You are right about the chrome products of other than HD in general in a lot of instances - why is that? Is the chrome "softer"?