Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline review carsguide.com.au

7 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline review carsguide.com.au
Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline

Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline review

Harley’s Blackline is the latest model to go dark.

Mark Hinchliffe road tests and reviews the Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline.

LIKE a woman’s impossibly high and thin stiletto heel, the Harley-Davidson Blackline is an impractical fashion trend. Both look great, but for the wearer/rider they are fairly impractical to wear/ride.

Rather than being deterred by the discomfort, the wearer/rider sadistically is drawn in by the look at me factor. And riding this bad boy down the street you are bound to attract attention. As we photographed the bike near a building site, it was tools down as the workers gathered to check out Harley’s latest.

At $25,750 it’s the cheapest Softail and so it should be as it is stripped to the bone for style. To be fair, it is also loaded up with some tasty chrome. It would be heresy to compare a Harley to a metric cruiser, but it does stand up well in value against its American compatriot, Victory (Jackpot $28,490 and Vegas $22,495-$24,495).

Speaking of heresy, Softails now come with a rev counter and gear indicator. This may not come as a great shock to riders of other bikes, but in the traditional world of Harley it’s big news. Thankfully, it’s discreetly included in the very small LCD screen on the single analogue speedo dial.

It is powered by the same rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B V-Twin engine with fuel injection and six-speed transmission as other Softails.

Harley’s Blackline is the latest model to go dark. The stripped-down and blackened Softail joins other dark custom models in the fleet such as the top-selling 883 Iron Sportster. It’s not dark but minimalist with a pared to the bone look.

The rear fender is bobbed over a slim 144mm tyre, the compact single headlight and speedo are tucked low into the wide FX front end, and the laced wheels are black-rimmed. At just 63cm it is also the lowest two-seater yet produced by Harley. It features a black and silver engine, shaved 18-litre fuel tank and split drag handlebars.

Low seat, high and narrow handlebars, and a 21-inch skinny front tyre are a recipe for tricky handling. Harley couldn’t have made the task any more difficult if they had put it on roller skates. A big front wheel requires a wide handlebar to turn it.

Thankfully the rear tyre is narrow so it turns a lot better than expected.

After a while you settle into the groove of the machine, slow down, acknowledge the envious looks from passersby and plug into the throb of the engine. Like a stiletto, it doesn’t become any easier to handle and pretty soon you are taking a break to ease your aching back. That’s when the crowd will gather to admire the Milwaulkee metalwork.

Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline

Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline

Price: $25,750 (+ $400 for two-tone paint)

Warranty: 24 months (unlimited km)

Service: 1600km/8000km

Engine: 121Nm, 1584cc air-cooled, Twin Cam 96B

Transmission: 6-speed cruise drive


Economy: 6.72L/100km (urban), 4.36L/100km (highway)

Dimensions (mm): 2362 (L), 610 (seat), 1689 (WB), 133 (clearance)

Tyres: MH90-21 54H; MU85B16 77H

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

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