Harley-Davidson Blackline Test Ride Review MotorBeam — Indian…

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Harley-Davidson Blackline Test Review

on March 13 2012, pm

Harley-Davidson Blackline Review

tested: Harley Davidson FXS Blackline

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. (estimated)

There’s some concept somewhere to begin and like any other mainstream maker, a key part of Milwaukee-based (H-D) current business is to attract a wider range of with innovation. Currently, H-D 32 models and with new innovations in at regular intervals, bikers ranging from traditional to can now find a model to fit their of a bike.

Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson realizes that it needs to its market share in new territories attracting and tapping the emerging markets. And as part of the youth strategy, in 2007, H-D created the Custom” line-up using the platform. And since 2011, H-D has specifically targeting the segment its distinct lean, matte-finished look and this new chapter is the ‘Blackline’.

What’s the concept

The Harley Davidson Blackline was as a ground-up project using cues and blending it with edge engineering for performance and “Lean as wire, hard as and dark as a tar road at midnight,” is how H-D the new addition. To us, technically it’s a of the high-end Softail series, but the has several features that it its standalone character. Despite a profile, the finish of the bike is

There’s more than a splash of powder coating on the frame or other key components as swingarm or wheels. It’s “Black Denim” and the silky finish complements the polished rims or chrome accents. the front end comes direct the FX, its sign-off is the new “Split Drag” which are mounted directly on to the top

H-D’s senior industrial Casey Ketterhagen was responsible for the presentation in this bike. the Blackline began as a side for Ketterhagen, Harley’s team of 12 all had their input, including from the legendary Willy G for a perfect in-house custom

While Ketterhagen tried to the importance of the bike’s proportions by it to look like “a person riding a motor”, he has actually a new marketing mantra for the brand. to Ketterhagen, the mantra has been in the way the bike has been re-engineered and without being ostentatious.

also a bit of softness – when you subtle graphics in place of the 2D badges, minimalistic usage of and since black is the main the bike appears low and sleek. The five-gallon fuel tank is … as it’s been of its traditional instrument console and in is a garnish. Some changes to is also noted where the yolk mounted analogue is augmented with a miles-to-empty LCD [it replaces the old fuel gauge looked like a filler cap at the top of the left side].

Softail inspired?

You could say so. And to anyone familiar with the that the Blackline was different, an of hooliganism has been thrown in. The rear mudguard has been quite low which in turn has bring the seat height to 26.1in [the lowest seat offered by the Milwaukee

Similarly, the mirrors are pushed and the upper triple clamp was made as thin as possible compromising the bike’s structural The minimalist theme continues a relatively narrow 144mm the pre-’08 Touring platform, we and is sort of a middle order you consider tuner-modder’s obsession fat tyres. Meanwhile, the rear is signed-off with Harley’s combination of stop/tail/turn lamps and the struts holding the mudguards are in their raw forged metal and also powdercoated matte

Up front, the bike’s stripped-and-lean is complemented with the wide of the FX 41mm fork tubes make the 5.75in headlight a bit tiny. There’s a small gap the seat and the fuel tank exposes the top of the frame, contributing to the feel of openness. Rear might miss the cozy

Just like other Harley’s counterbalanced new Evolution 45° air-cooled V-twin TC96B powers the Blackline through a transmission. The engine is solidly to the bike’s frame which to an eye gives rigid-style illusion. A yet ingenious design has ensured the rear end of the frame actually as a swingarm completed with cleverly hidden shock behind the transmission.

H-D says the boasts of a design of a vintage frame but offers the benefits of a suspension system. As with the of the bike it boasts a fresh look. Its lower end is powdercoated black, accented with powdercoat on the cylinder heads machined highlights.

Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline

Chrome brightwork is provided on its and timing covers and its simple, air cleaner, followed by chrome shotgun exhaust.

Riding — Although, the seat is low, the Blackline’s forward-biased position is best described as and should suit most riders like me. This is you have to engage a fists-forward to the narrow and fixed internally handlebar. The riding position surprising well at highway as it also offered a surprising of wind protection from its front end despite the absence of any deflector or bikini fairing.

Due to its reduced rolling mass, the also accelerates faster the other equivalents and equally as is the exhaust note emitted its twin chrome mufflers and the action of the transmission and clutch. The stands at 66.5in while the angle is laid down to 30° and allows quite a bit of stability, as is typical of Harley’s slammed lean angles when are limited to just 24.4° to the and 25.9° to the right, but that mean outright cornering fun is

With 125 Nm of torque available, response is spot-on for this bike, which certainly to the wow factor. But the surprising bit is that its raked-out geometry and 21in wheel, the way the Blackline devoured equally matched its stately and balanced qualities on the straight is something riders will appreciate.

And despite its rigid appearance, the travel is useful at 3.6in, braking duties are competently by 4-piston calipers biting on rotors front and rear. Our bike also had Anti-lock and H-D’s Smart Security The front end of the bike is a bit heavy and the can be felt during short such as U-turns. Additionally, the stability at high speeds is atypical of what one is used to in this class.

While we are that there are no less eight iterations of the Softail, the and suspension of the Blackline appeared – actually quite agile and While we clocked over in a variety of mountain roads, and urban riding, the wide, seat ensured long-haul

I also liked the way H-D has streamlined the switchgear, which is now much svelte and user-friendly. The hazard lamp is now a one action switch and the switch on the left-hand switchgear to through all the functions on the small LCD inset are welcome measures.

Verdict — In the US, H-D sold bikes in the 18-to-34 year-old over the past two years the total sales of Aprilia, Ducati, Triumph and Victory H-D has successfully created a standalone of the Softail family which the iconic styling of the 70s with edge efficiency of 21st engineering. The stripped and lean is a nice example of back to approach with affordable

Harley-Davidson is expected to bring model to India soon a year).

Article by Chandan

Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline
Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline
Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline
Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline
Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline

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