Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight: The Gen-X Sportster

01/22/2010 @ 1:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler56 COMMENTS

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight (or is it 48?), has made its way out of Milwaukee in time for the 2010 model year. Based on the Sportster 1200 platform, the Forty-Eight is the latest addition to Harley’s “custom” offering. It differs from its Nightser et al counterparts with a bobber meets cafe racer appeal, but keeps the ubiquitous orange and black color schemes.

Fatties on the front and rear rims, the black on polish Forty-Eight gets its motivation from the 1200cc Evolution v-twin motor that’s wedged into the Sportster chassis. The bike is certainly an attractive piece from Harley-Davidson, but also fails to really distinguish itself from the rest of the Harley line-up. Mirrors are underslung, the license plate is side mounted (we doubt the DOT saw that), and a 2.1 gallon fuel tank keeps things a strictly “around the town” sort of affair.

While Harley-Davidson is clearly targeting the under 40 crowd with the Forty-Eight, we’re still not sure the cruiser brand has really figured out to appeal to the next generation of rider yet. As such we’d probably never buy a Harley, but if we did, the Forty-Eight is probably closer to what we’d be looking for from Milwaukee. Pricing starts at $10,499, and the Harley Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight comes in Vivid Black with Brilliant Silver, and Mirage Orange Pearl is also available.

Harley-Davidson Press Release:

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® FORTY-EIGHT™ IS A RAW AND RADICAL RIDE

New Sportster® Model Brings Brawn as Chiseled Custom with Power and Performance

MILWAUKEE (January 22, 2010) – The new Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight motorcycle is a factory custom in the legendary tradition of the hot rod Sportster line with the raw, elemental appeal of the Dark Custom™ bikes.

Riding low with a slammed suspension and featuring the classic 2.1-gallon “peanut” fuel tank, the Forty-Eight backs up its bulldog appearance with the performance of its blacked out and polished rubber-mounted Evolution® 1200 cc V-Twin engine. The low solo seat, under-mounted mirrors, side mount license plate, clean rear fender and tall and fat front tire emphasize the Forty Eight’s focus on chiseled customization.

And while the Forty-Eight model may break bad when it comes to radical attitude and straight-on style, it won’t break the bank starting at just $10,499 MSRP in Vivid Black.

“With its classic bulldog shoulders stance, the Forty-Eight strikes a distinctive look and low profile that could only come from Harley-Davidson,” said Ray Drea, Harley-Davidson Senior Director of Styling. “The Forty-Eight model has a collective past life experience and broken-in look that is raw and authentic.”

As a Harley-Davidson Dark Custom motorcycle, the Forty-Eight is ready to ride as a radical custom and also primed to take on its rider’s character and personality. Dark Custom accomplices of the Forty-Eight include the Nightster®, Iron 883™, Cross Bones®, Fat Bob® and Street Bob®. Check out more on Dark Custom motorcycles at www.harley-davidson.com/darkcustom.

Harley-Davidson Sportster models like the Forty-Eight have retained an aura of rebellion since their introduction in 1957, when the foundation of custom culture was being formed by hot rod gear heads hanging out on city street corners, in gritty garages or at dusty dragstrips. Sportster motorcycles became an iron canvas for many legendary choppers of that hot rod era and beyond.

Lying low from tire-to-tire, the Forty-Eight model showcases more of its black 1200 Evolution V-Twin engine with polished accents and other components with a clean look highlighted by the traditional peanut fuel tank, small solo seat and lightening holes in the backbone mounting bracket. The Forty-Eight has more than just custom cool styling with the smooth ride on new front fork sliders, a tall and fat front tire and slammed rear suspension.

With Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and performance tuning with a broad torque curve, the Forty-Eight motorcycle delivers a powerfully responsive ride with smooth clutch effort. The pipes on the chrome, shorty dual exhaust pound out the distinctive Harley-Davidson American V-Twin sound.

The Forty-Eight embraces the street up front with forward foot controls, low profile custom handlebar, under-mounted mirrors, fork-mounted turn signals, slammed speedometer mounting bracket and fork brace with lightening holes. A unique dual texture solo seat with a height of 26 inches fits the lone rider, while a passenger pillion, footpegs and backrest are some of the many accessories that can be added.

The black chopped rear fender with combination stop/turn/tail lights and a side mounted license plate help show-off the 150 mm rear tire and 16-inch Black Steel Laced wheels. The front tire also rides on a wide black wheel.

The Forty-Eight model comes in Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver and Mirage Orange Pearl colors and will be available soon at Harley-Davidson dealers.

Forty-Eight features and highlights:

Blacked out rubber-mounted Evolution 1200 cc V-Twin engine with polished covers
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Steel 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank with lightening hole mounting bracket
One-piece, solo Sportster classic seat
26-inch seat height
Tall and fat 130 mm Dunlop MT90 front tire
16-inch Black Steel Laced wheels
Low profile custom handlebar
Under-mounted mirrors
New front forks with wide triple clamps
Chopped front fender mounted on fork brace with lightening holes
Blacked components including air cleaner cover, clutch and brake levers and turn signals
Chopped rear fender
Stop-turn-tail lights
Side-mounted license plate
Two-year factory warranty
Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.

Source: Harley-Davidson