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:


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

  • lawrence1

    How is this better than the XR1200?

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  • froryde

    “… backs up its bulldog appearance with the performance [eh?!] of its blacked out and polished rubber-mounted Evolution® 1200 cc V-Twin engine.”

    “…emphasize the Forty Eight’s focus on chiseled customization.”

    “…break bad [is there even such a phrase?] when it comes to radical attitude and straight-on style…”

    Wow – I think I just pooped my pants. That’s the biggest load of bullcrap I’ve heard in a while. Who exactly are they trying appeal to with such “bad” (as in ‘poor’, not bad as in ‘cool’) marketing speak?

  • Jim

    Attractive and only a 20 year old will have a lower back that will take the beating of that short suspension.

    Some what off point. Went to the NY MC show yesterday, the large impressive trade show displays of HD’s marketing past are gone for what appears bikes scavenged from local dealers and a weird arch left over from some Broadway show. It was so unimpressive that we missed the display the first time we walked through the show due to the crowd (on a good note the show was packed). The displays of the HYKS’s seemed smaller than last year, Ducati larger and BMW the same.

  • I miss Buell. The 48 costs $500 more than the 2010 XB12Ss, but it weighs 150 pounds more, carries less fuel, has less horsepower, less torque and less of just about everything else.

    I miss Buell.

  • AJ

    I work for an H-D dealership… I can’t wait to be able to afford to quit.

  • James

    It’s not a bad looking bike at all if you want classic looks. I think everyone is done with the looks thing though. You can buy a Harley and tweek it yourself. What everyone wants is a rip snorter….WE WANT MORE POWER. I would LOVE to see a bike that looks like this but is like a motorcycle version of a hot rod muscle car. Then, these will sell the way they want.

  • Jamie

    One the best looking motorcycles I have seen in years… A very nice blend of bobber and cafe styles that suits me just fine. Finally, someone who understands the retro imagery… Don’t think I’m serious? I just put $ down on one!

  • jason

    its a great bike,idiots who compare it to the xr1200 are retarded,2 different purposes ,2 different bikes.and if want to compare it to a buell xb12 put buell heads,pushrods;and cams you will be just as fast,and you should consider a 1125cr while they are still avaible.this bike is a great bobber ,dont disrespect cause its not your thing.my sporty blows away big twins and sport bikes up to 80mph,so unless were at the track.oh and i also race 2 aprilia sport bikes,so i dont mean any disrespect

  • Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight: The Gen-X Sportster http://bit.ly/aTHUDS

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight: The Gen-X Sportster http://bit.ly/5Z1Qhi

  • peter

    It’s a great looking bike, on the whole. Lots of people tricked out the Iron 883 to look like this *(sans fat tyres).

    Quite where it competes is beyond me. If you want true cafe style -off the shelf – buy an equal pedigree Triumph Thruxton – after all we Brits invented cafe racing (cafe as in ‘kaff’ not ‘kaffey’). If you want a bobber, surely this is about doing it yourself (yes, you could say the same about cafe racers).

    Also, this type of bike should have mid controls for the ‘proper’ look.

    Just my two -penneth…

  • Jamie

    Hmmm, good point. In my humble opinion, it competes in a small but growing niche of cyclists who like the look but tire of the very low cafe bars and admire the lines of the 40’s style Harley’s…

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  • aj

    1948 was the first year of the flat bottom p-nut tank

  • Marcel

    Very nice bike, i will bye it in Holland!

  • Chachi

    Wrong. Forty Eight is for 48c.i.=1200cc’s. Congrats to H-D for ripping off the style of the bikes Shinya Kimura was doing when he was at Zero- 6 years too late. That massive gumball up front should really improve the handling. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, at least it has a real Sportster tank and the seat isn’t as fugly as the ones other XL’s are stuck with.

  • ciscokid

    AJ is right about the tank. it was a harley model 125 I believe. PS i have a 96 cubic inch S&S and it works out to be 1600CCs 48 is not 1200CCs do the math.

  • Doctor Jelly

    I’ll oblige CiscoKid and “do the math” for you…

    1 inch = 2.54cm (this is a generally accepted conversion number, and not perfectly exact). 1 cubic inch (or 1 inch to the 3rd power, or 1x1x1) therefor equals 2.54 centimeters to the third power. 2.54 multiplied by itself 2 more times (2.54×2.54×2.54, AKA to the third power, AKA cubed) equals approximately 16.387064 cubic centimeters in every one cubic inch.

    Multiply 16.387064 by any ci number and you get cc’s.
    Divide any cc number by 16.387064 and you get ci’s.

    In conclusion (all nubers rounded to nearest tenth):
    48 ci=786.6 cc
    1200 cc=73.2 ci
    96 ci=1573.2 cc

  • just saw 48 for 1st time today @ hd shop drooled for 45 min over the damn thing have 08 nightster 00 fat bastard 07 kawi zx14 am 58 & never have let practicality get in the way of bike i ride if the 48 flips your dress up then go 4 it , if not then stand back & let us crazys have our fun with our less than commonsencycles im going 2 buy 1 just because i like what the motor co is doing,it takes balls to build something like this & ask 11 grand 4 it & hold a strait face while doing so .

  • Golly

    I really wish they Sold this on the Australian Market.
    I reckon it’d sell really well, I like this bike enough to bother to import one from the United states. One of the best from the 2010 line-up and well priced.
    Excellent looking bike, cant wait to ride it.

  • brett tuttle

    i have been riding bikes since i was 9, harley since I was 17, I’m 61 and still ride 20,000 miles a year on a very custom and modified fatboy thank you very much. I was getting ready to build a bobber. harley built it for me with the new “48” saving me a lot of money…now all i have to do is add a bigger tank, different wheels and i will have a bobber for less than what i was going to spend. way to go harley.

  • Throttle 45

    The 48 is totally a badass little bike, very comfortable. way cool looking. Just bought one last week. I’m going to do a little make over on and it should be really the hot set up when it’s done. (can’t leave anything stock) I have 3 other Harleys and I can tell already, that this one is going to be my favorite bike.

  • CooterG

    It’s all preference and image! This is a great looking Sportster, but not the niche everyone is looking for. That is the point, it isn’t going to appeal to everyone, just a few individuals. It was smart to build a custom bike off a standard platform. Less cost, more variety, and a wider range of appeal. That is what the Dark Custom line is all about. I think Harley is finally thinking smart again, when will the rest follow? Oh, by the way, I ride a 1980 Yamaha XS850Sg. I’m not a Harley guy, but like the new ideas.

  • Donny

    That is going to replace buell,lolololololol.(PS) look at a BUELL lightning long ss,and then look at the bike from 1948.

  • just bought a 48 & i am very happy with it, this motorcycle is not for everyone though. the rear shocks are ass busters, i installed the H.D. springer seat & it helps a little but a set of progressives should take care of the problem. in stock form it rides better than my nightster,but does not go as far on a tank of fuel, about 60 mi. & fuel light comes on. this thing just loves to rip through the corners but it is so low that lean angle is limited,but its fun till the grinding noise starts.iwent on a 225 mi ride one day &had to stop for fuel 5 times & had to pray between some of the gas staitions. i installed the HD big gulp aircleaner &drilled out the baffles in exhaust,changed engine oil to amsoil 20 50 & used amsoil filter & these simple changes have increased the low end torque considerably,on a cool air day this bike can pull the bars out of your hands, i know what gobs of low end feels like , i have an 07 zx 14 ninja ,so be aware when powering out of a corner.the big front end & tire are very ptanted but rear tire can get lose under power.i never had the engine remaped after the mods ,it runs cool,has excellent power,idles nice & sounds like its got a set so im leaving it as is for now.i have no regrets about buying this bike im 58 yrs old & this 48 is a very wellcome trip back to my younger days when life was simpler & our machines were basic & spartin. like i said the 48 is not for everyone but its just right for a few. OH,its a great chick magnet. doc T

  • Wolfy

    Exactly what segment is this bike marketed to? The younger riders want power and speed, or at least something that can get up to speed quicker than a Nash Rambler. The older riders want more comfort. To me this is the same old crud coming out of Milwaukee that has been coming out for decades, over and over with slight deviations, the only thing that has been completely different for them in the last 30 years was the V-Rod, and how have the HD faithful taken to that? I do like retro looks as well, I have an 06 Kawi Drifter, put a single springer seat on it and it looks like a 1940 Indian Chief. I also have a big crusier an 06 Victory Kingpin that can go for more than 60 miles without a fill up. If anything, this “48” is almost similar in style and seems to be aimed at the market as my 96 Yamaha Vmax, only without the power and neutered. It has the same powerplant as my 08 Buell XB12Scg, weighs significantly more and puts out far less power and torque from an already outdated engine. This company will never get it, if the US government had not bailed them out in the 80s, and again recently this company would had been long gone due to lack of innovation and design. Worthless! If anything they should had folded HD and kept Buell. MV Augusta is not going to save HD either, too few models, too pricey and definitely does not appeal to the HD faithful. Are kids going to spend 18K on an MV Augusta when they can get basically the same power from an 8k Jap bike? I don’t think so. Line this 48 up with other Sportsters is there a big difference? I doubt there is, they probably all just blend in. This thing will be cluttering up dealerships like the rest of their aged bikes in this current economy, they can’t give enough rebates to offload current stock.

  • rode my 48 over to post falls id. thurs nite for the weekly thunder thurs. biker bash we have @ crusers & roadhouse,over 1500 bikes show up this informal event & 95% are harleys,all makes of bikes are welcome & the hd guys like looking @ the other makes of bikes & the 5%ers enjoy shootn the s***t with the harley riders. the young riders with the crotch rockets are a pleasure to have show up because they put on one hell of a show with their wheeleys,burnouts,stopies & such.i had a crowd of these youngsters gathered around my 48 most of the nite asking questions ,looking @it from top to botom& all i got was positive comments from them.so this B.S. of harley missing the market is not what ive been seeing out their in the real world. i saw probley over 1500 harley davidson tatoos @ this little event & not one that said honda,yamaha,kawasaki bmw ect. so as to some of you less informed out their,no harley is not going by the wayside ,not now,not in the future,not ever so stop beating that tired old drum.my 34 yr old son rides a hardtail kick start shovelhead & my 6 yr old grandson cant wait untill he gets his 1st harley, his 14 yr old sister is saving up for a nightster.so always remember that us harley guys not only recrute new harley guys, we also reproduce them. Damn i just love the way real world works. Doc T.

  • Wolfy

    It is going to take a LOT more than one family and recruits to keep HD alive. For all the work you do trying to sign up gullible people to join the ranks, I, my whole family and others will NOT support a brand that cannot stay in business on it’s own accord. We will never purchase or own an HD due to their history. For those “less informed” let’s go back to the Mid 80s and a company known as AMF, known for making bowling balls, cheap sports equipment, and parent company of HD making overpriced, unreliable motorcycles. During this period most motorcycle companies were making huge strides in technology and advances in motorcycles, most that is except for an American company based in Milwaukee. The market was drying up fast for a company that refused to update and upgrade their tired old bikes and relied on the same technology they had for 20 years prior. This company started to lose their market share due to their products being archaic and of very poor quality compared to what the rest of the World was producing. The company is ready to go out of business from poor sales, so what do they do? Instead of trying to make their products better they use a different approach, they WHINE to politicians and the Government as a whole to be “saved”. The Government infuses money into this company the market won’t carry and placed tariffs on any motorcycles entering the US with a size of 750ccs and above. Why? Becuase HD could NOT compete based on their products alone, that is how backward and inferior that company had become.
    In 1986 Yamaha produced an awesome motorcycle called the FZX Fazer, it is a standard style and was on the advanced end of motorcycle technology at the time with the Genesis 5 valves per cylinder engine. This bike was made and sent around the World, including to Canada in full 750 cc form, everywhere except the US, where due to the tariffs whined for by HD we had to settle for a 700cc version. This wonderful bike was produced and sold from 1986 through 1999 for the whole planet, except for the US, which got short changed due to HD and their inferior products. So, the US gets the FZX700 from 1986 and 1987 only. I own one of these bikes as well, an 86 FZX700, I love the thing, very stable, great all arounder and my favorite bike of my whole 6 bike stable. Why would anybody want to support a company that is not capable of competing based on their own merits? If the Answer is merely “Because it is American.” than what does that show the rest of the World about us? That we can’t produce products that are reliable and on par with what is coming out of much smaller Countries? That we are not smart enough to develope products that are advanced enough? That we as Americans are so stuck in the past we can’t change our thinking? If we could go to the Moon, one would think some American could design a motorcycle that could compete with what others around the World were designing, Christ, it a took 1 German engineer with no history in motorcycles 30 days to come up with a design that lasted for decades and is still considered one of the best designs, the BMW R design with the Boxer engine, and that was done in the early 30s! It also took Porsche engineers to develope the V-Rod engine, what does that say about the HillBillies in Milwaukee? Not much.
    To me it is like parents that homeschool their children, the knowledge is passed from parents to child, what is passed on my not be correct and may not be up to the same level as children in public and private schools receive, but the children don’t know that until they venture out of their house and into the real World. Those that follow the HD brand just because their fathers and grandfathers rode them is not a bad idea, until those people start saying how great the bike is, when in fact it is 3 steps behind the competition. Ignorance is no excuse. It is fine to bring up your offspring respecting and riding a brand of bike, but what is not right is instilling in them that it is the best brand in the World when in reality it clearly lags behind what is mostly being produced, and even more sorry to support that company when they whine and beg a Government to “save” them because they are too backward to change themselves and create products that can compete. Instead they whine and begin making clothes and the only World Class talent they hire are marketing people, not engineers and begin to sell a “lifestyle” as opposed to selling motorcycles. I own 6 road bikes currently and will add more, NONE of them are HD and I am sad to say my XB12Scg is powered by an archaic 1200cc HD engine that new 600s can trounce and run better. I am American, I support Americans, I have a Victory in addition to the Buell, I have a Cadillac, a Saturn and Oldsmobile, but I also have 2 Yamahas, 1 Kawasaki and a Ducati. I prefer quality, but also follow my heart in vehicles I want and acquire, but I also have no illusions that my Victory and Buell lack in many ways to my Jap bikes and Ducati. In the real World companies are based upon what they produce, if a company makes sunglasses, then I would hope an American company and workers could create sunglasses that are on par or better than what is coming out of Hong Kong, if not then the company goes bankrupt and the workers go on to do something they are better at, like making cups. What HD does is an embarassment to me, and many other American bikers. I look at the HD slathered guys with whips hanging off the handlebars, loud pipes on a slow heavy ill handling bike and wonder what their IQ is. Seeing the ape hangers and the legs spread wide apart riding and I can’t help but laugh at them s0metimes, but most times am just offended that this is most likely the stereotype most bikers around the Planet see us as, and these idiots are out there trying to keep that sad image alive. Image is NOT everything, to me substance is much more important, and that seems to be directly opposite of what HD and their “faithful” seem to think, to them, “image” is their whole existance and substance is not even considered.

  • Dr Frankenstein

    Blah blah blah, take your substance and stick it where the sun dont shine. Nobody gives a sh.. Theres a counter point to every one of your arguments…but why bother If it has to be explained you’re never going to get it.
    Go away Woofy

  • wolfy; you are certanly not the leader of the pack,rather than run with the big dogs,you have chosen to sit on the porch & piss around with the pups. as far as AMF is concerned i bought a 1980 fxs, paid 4800 for it rode it for nine yrs. with no major issues,won 1st place in american costom class at spokane auto boat speed show,big show, sold it in 1990 for 6800.i have owned 14 harleys in my life & have always sold my bikes for more than what i paid.ive owned at least that many foreien bikes & lost money on every on of them. my 72 CB 450 lost its engine @ 1400 mi., fixed under warrenty but i sold it @ a loss.my 68 CL77 engine froze up @ 60 with only 7900 mi on the clock,rebuilt engine myself & replaced rear tire , sold @ anouther loss. trouble is i loved these bikes & wish i could could have keeped them because they were fun while they lasted.my zx 14 ninja is an enginering marvel,but god help me if anything goes wrong in the engine or trany because its going to cost like a MF to fix,but i knew that going in,but i love this bike to death.if the trany ever goes ib my fat boy no big deal,the trans is divorced from the engine,pull the trans & slap a baker 6 spd in its place&your back on the road in no time plus you get a good upgrade to boot. theirs value in that.if the engine goes pull the jugs,2 pistons set of rings,4valves,gasket kit & about 6 hrs. of your time & your up & running & the nice thing is motor stays in the frame& its just a few hundred bucks depending on how fancy you get,try that with the foreien born bikes & a lot of the time their sent to recycled cycles due to not worth repairing,wheres the value in that? its funny that you call harleys a bunch of outdated low tech. junk but you will never see one @ recycler unless its burned beyond recognition,they just keep getting rebuilt over&over againe&again for ever, i bet that chaps your ass bigtime but its the truth.victory is an excelent mc but their cartoonish looking, where is your self respect. buell is a good honest bike,but the market is not their.the germans & japanese are farming out their engines & other parts to china,how long do you think that is going to last? the japs are having a hard time moving their bikes nowdays, the dealers around here are still trying to move 07&08&09s @ firesale prices & their moving very slow and every sale they make of their old stock is canibelizing sales of their new products,08 zx14s selling for $9395, wheres the value in that?my 07 zx14 is in the toilet.your 86 fzx dosent even exsist in my used bike guide but an 86 fxr is still worth way more than it cost brand new,so who has the most value over time?
    i hate to see a man shortchange himself by letting his closed mind & sour attitude develope into such a vile hatred for our american made products & its workforce that proudly produce the best products that the world has ever seen,i was once part of it.check HD earnings report that came out just today,you will not beleave what HDhas done 3xs earnings. not bad for a company that you are ready to put out of their misery.ill tell you the same thing i tell everyone who badmouths sportsters,always remember sunny rides a sporty.


  • Wolfy

    Dr. Frankenstein, you are a joke, I am sure so is the piece of garbage you ride as well. Go hide behind your OLD lady’s skirt and keep your dimwit thoughts to yourself. When I read your post all that came to mind was “LOSER!” I have probably laughed at you if I have ever seen you in person, if not, then rest assured I would laugh at you if I ever saw you and your precious “image” you try to keep up. Don’t try and fool yourself, you don’t impress anybody with any image you try to portray, that is something you will never evolve enough to understand.

    Well Doc, at least you know bikes, but don’t make any assumptions about me, you don’t know me and have no idea what my life is like, whom I hang out with, nor anything about what I do, so you trying to explain any choices I have made in my life are your best guesstimates, and they are not even close.

    I never go into a vehicle purchase looking at resale value, that is highly subjective and when I buy a vehicle, I plan on keeping it. As for what is happening with the Jap and Chinese bikes, it is what it is, doesn’t bother me in the least. No, nothing you wrote chapped or chaffed my hide, besides, I don’t wear chaps, not even when horseback riding. Your opinions about bikes are like opinions about different sports teams, everybody has one. I merely provided a step back in time with a history lesson, one that so many of the HD followers either forget about or are too ignorant to understand(Dr. F). Like it or not, that is the legacy of HD. As for Sonny, I am not impressed and really don’t care what he rides, nor what any of the other members ride, I don’t hang out with them or any other gangs, none of my business, their lifestyles do not interfere with mine. Nor do I care if cops ride HD, BMW or Huffy. I don’t even care if Dr F sticks a pogo stick up his butt and bounces up and down the street as long as he isn’t in my way.

    Ride whatever brand you want to ride, just don’t expect everybody to be in awe of it. I don’t care what anybody else thinks about what I ride, that is a trait many HD riders need to adopt, instead most of the posers ride two blocks to hang out with other posers and want everybody to see them and their “image” and their supposedly badass bikes. I have absolutely no respect for people like that and do not waste my time hanging out with them.

  • wolfy; the japs did HD a huge favor back in the late 50s 60s & all the way into the early to mid. 80s & HD dosent even know it. as a kid all i could dream of was getting a honda CL 90 scrambler,had to settle for a bridgstone 90 mountaneer,dad thought it was a better bike, but that dident matter because i was up & running on 2 wheels. all of my buddys had jap bikes of around the same size & style, all except charley, he had a 1949 125 hummer. the point is if we had not had those jap starter bikes we probably would never have developed the love for motorcycles that we all share today. we wouldent have even thought of starting out on a harley because they were to big & scarey looking,besides that we watched charley go through hell piloting his hummer around & we wanted no part of that of that dog & poney show.so anyway the japs cultivated a whole generation of future bikers that are worshiping @ the house of harley & HD is rakeing it in & we all owe it to that 1st invasion of jap bikes. oh & charley has never owned anouther harley ,has a bunch of metrics , he has been looking & i hope he comes over & gets right. just because im hard core HD dosent mean i dont have a soft spot for the jap bikes, but they still must ride in the back of the pack. DOC T.

  • Buck Jackson

    Woofy just doesn’t ‘get it’. Don’t try to explain to him/her.

    I ‘just discovered’ (yes, I’m late) the 48 this past week after stopping by the local HD dealer and I HAVE to get one. I just love the style and look of the this bike.

    I am 6’5″ so this bike will not be a trip bike for me. I will ride it locally and enjoy it. First HD since the VRod to make me do a double take.

  • BUCK; I PUT 16IN APES ON 2 DAYS AGO & IT MAKES FOR A VERY NICE RIDE, I GOT BLACK BARS WITH 13IN OUT 2 OUT BEND @ BOTTOM OF BAR. DONT USE A BAR FOR A STANDARD SPORTSTER FRONT END OR IT WILL LOOK LIKE S**T,FORK TUBES ON 48 ARE WIDER APART. my buddy is 6.5& this setup fits him well, he liked it stock but he looked goofy when he rode it but now he looks normal on it.dont go less than 16in 18in start to overpower the looks of the front end, i went w 1in dia.& it looks awsome.good luck Doc

  • Lindsey

    I feel really dumb asking this question, but my mom and I bought this for my dad and neither of us want to ask him this, but what does the 5 mean on the side?

  • the #5 on the right side of engine stands for 5 speed transmission,i always take this cover off & replace it with a chromed dome one from HD,their about $20& 5min. to install. their is nothing back their, its just a hollow cavity, dosent even have to be water tight.the only dumb question is the one the one that goes un asked. Doc T

  • Lindsey

    Thank you so much Doc!!!! :]

  • Buck Jackson


    Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll check them out.

  • Mike

    I’m a Triumph Bonneville rider, but took out a 48 a couple of times on Saturday during a demo day. I love the style of the machine and would consider one. I’ve always liked Sporty’s more than Harley’s other offerings. It was fairly harsh suspension wise, but still a fun machine to ride.

  • Mike; im with you on the triumph,i get week in the knees whenever i see a 650 bonney go by,68 was my favorite year. Doc.t.

  • Ben

    This totally looks like a rebagged Zero Engineering bike to me. Except for the lack of a baker transmission and an S&S…


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  • tony

    just bought a forty eight,with screaming eagle slip-ons,just love the bike its now on 600 miles,but here is a small niggling problem,it ticks over very good,but i seem to have a very slight mis-fire,it will excellerate no problem,but normal riding it tried to hold back slightly,then its okaythen holds back a bit,no back fire ,its doing my head in slowly,any ideas to help out…cheers ant in the uk.

  • sounds like a tuning problem, get a thunder max and you will get rid of all the EPA bullshit . a heavy breather air filter helps also & if you have any $s left over get a hiperf cam. doc taylor

  • screamin eagle

    what a great looking bike.i have allways said harleys suck untill i bought an xr1200,i love it i have spent fortunes on suspension mods etc.. as soon as i have finished paying for my car im gonna get me a fourty eight to add to my collection

  • big tim

    Hey Doc T. I just bought my 48 last week. Only problem is that on the maiden voyage, my wife pulled up next to me in her car and said, “you look big for that bike, are you sure it isn’t a girl’s bike?” I was flabbergasted and she apologized! Not trying to sound like an vain, but what can I do to make this bike look more like a ‘man’s bike’ so I can feel more confident riding around town. I make the bike look small, because I’m a very trim, 6’2″, 200 pound, muscular guy with long arms and legs. I thought about getting a bigger gas tank, but will a 3.5 gal tank be the ticket to feeling comfortable riding my new (and first) HD?

  • Big Tim, congratulations on the 48,im 5 10 210 and my 48 fits me fine. I put on a set of 16in apes and the Harley springer seat so now im riding in the bike instead of hunched over on it.Dont change the tank or your bike stops being a 48,these bikes are about the look and the tank is the focal point. If you go with apes get the 13in out to out measured at bottom of bars,make sure they are at least 16in tall.Standard width sportster apes look wrong on the 48 due to the wide spacing of the fork tubes. OH bring your jar of Vaseline when you buy the seat and bar change stuff it ran me over $1200 have a good day Doc.

  • big tim

    Thanks DOC T.

  • Hey big Tim, hope my comments were of some help,Ive done some power tuning on mine and its definitely no girls bike,my girlfriend has a nightster and she wont even get on my 48 due to the power difference between the two bikes and her 1200 nightster is no slouch.Change the cams, exhaust,air cleaner and install a thunder max tuner and you will be pushing 3 didget horse power readings on good gas,also run 20 50 amsoil with ams oil filter just for good measure.After doing these things you wont think you are on the same bike.

  • Hey guys ive just spent the last hour reading all the comments etc on the 48, I am probably not the demographic HD were looking for to purchase, Im almost 45 and have had dirt bikes for a big part of my life but never even considered a road bike or HD for that matter.
    I saw the 48 on the net and just wanted it, I havent seen it in the flesh, sat on it, nothing. I just had to have one and have ordered Black that will arrive in Adelaide, South Australia in late March 2011 and cant wait.
    Bugger the technology, I dont care its not what Im looking for 0- 100 so what, I love all things old whether it be cars or whatever and the 48 just does it for me.

  • Congratulations on your getting your 48 Grant i don’t think you will be disappointed and i’m sure you will have the time of your life with it.

  • Richard Neva

    I am 69 and will be 70 when I get my 48 and I have been waiting all my life for this retro rocker. My uncle had a 1948 Harley and I loved his, I just want to carry on the tradition. I think the 48 rules and I will get a retro back support belt when I start cruising. My uncle had one in the late 30’s and on.

  • Congratulation Richard; Just thought i would give you a heads up on your new 48,this is probably one of the neatest bikes i have ever owned, BUTT ,theirs always a but isn’t their,at your young age i would change the rear shocks before it leaves the showroom.I’m 59 and the stock shocks were kicking by ass big time so call progressive and tell them what you have and they build a shock for the 48 that maintains the stock height and improves the ride considerably.Forget trying to turn the spring adjuster cams around looking for a sweet spot as their is none. Other than this one thing enjoy your ride. Doc.