Harley-Davidson’s FLSTSB Softail Cross Bones Thunder Press

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Harley-Davidson FLSTSB Cross Bones

Harley-Davidson’s FLSTSB Softail Bones

Terry Roorda

14, 2008

Dawn of the dark culture

Milwaukee moves to the lunatic fringe

West Calif. Jan. 19,—Did slip me a club drug? Am I or am I really in a black-walled cavern a rave DJ standing over his flanked by video screens loops of guys on skateboards on the other side of the room pair of screens display footage of two guys beating other bloody, and where the visage of Willie G. Davidson about the proceedings wearing a black do-rag instead of the and reassuring beret?

And standing in the middle of this madness is a form that appears to be a but I don’t know if I’m here to its unveiling or drink its blood. All I for sure is that I’m supposed to be at a press conference, which are conducted in a clean, well-lit but I could swear I’ve instead into, like, the Room.

What? This is the Viper This is Johnny Depp’s haunt where that kid OD’d on goofballs? And this is a press conference? Whoa. How have changed.

And that’s the point The Motor Company is with all of this, and being too subtle about it. The rare of a new model in midyear is only the of the evening’s revelations here in the of tragically hip and trendy West Also being unveiled are a new buzzword, a determined return to The neglected bad-boy roots, and an campaign to attract the young and the

Nowhere is the latter more than on those video flanking the DJ. The skateboarders on screen in fact, Team Emerica, a of hog-riding skateboard thrashers who are the adopted poster boys of the demographic target and rediscovered attitude of The Motor Company.

But the bike that matters and for devoted Harley watchers, the of the new model—ominously dubbed the Softail Bones—provides the answer to the question of the FLSTSC Softail Springer went last year leaving the lineup for 2008: It ran off and a cult. The cult of the “Dark to be exact.

That’s the new buzzword nomenclature by Harley to describe not just the Bones, but their other forays into blacked-out and minimalism. These include the Night Train, Night Rod and the Street Bob, and the family is undeniable.

As described by Bill the essence of the Dark Custom is simple, aggressive, and badass.” And takes the new nomenclature a step coining the term “Dark Culture” to describe who these appeal to, and from what we can it’s a culture populated by hip subversive types; by punks, … girls and blood aficionados. In this realm, is the new chrome, ultraviolence the new ethos, and any you may have had of The Motor Company fuzzy-friendly and benign in recent officially outdated. All of the lunatic qualities and subversive tendencies with this Dark Culture are, of course, of what it used to mean to be a and poignantly pointing up that resurgence is a reworking of the iconic #1 logo—prominently displayed on the wall of the Club—with the stars and stripes replaced by stark black and with a skull at the top.

Harley-Davidson FLSTSB Cross Bones

And the Cross Bones is definitely not father’s Harley-Davidson. It’s like your grandfather’s. details abound on this more retro details were found on the distinctively Springer Classic it more or replaces in the Harley collection.

But the Classic evoked the stock of a ’40s-era Knuckle or Pan, the Bones evokes what stocker ended up looking once it had been thoroughly and chopped and turned into a of outlaw cool. The reappearance of a style dash is a nice of nostalgia, as are the half-moon floorboards, brake pedal pad and a sprung saddle. The Cross Bones’ cred is provided by apehangers,

a fat 200mm rear skin, steel spoke wheels and Von pinstriping on tank and fenders. The Evo-era round air cleaner is black, naturally—to further the Cross Bones from the of the Milwaukee lineup. Dipping the new P-A offerings for this model can the bike even deeper traditional bobber styling a high black sissy bar and P-pad.

It’s a striking and when Willie G. declares it “goes back to the bikes were running around the back at Hollister,” you can’t but agree with that and you also can’t help but his reference to Hollister in this This is Harley reconnecting and embracing the outlaw element of its and it’s about time. is, after all, the element ultimately proved its biggest point, but one that—in the opinion of a many of the Bar — Shield retreated too far from, leaving the open to any number of interlopers to put that stamp on their own

In scrambling back to those and reestablishing the marque as the marque of and rowdies and borderline sociopaths, The Company has ventured into waters, putting the Bar — center-ring in the Ultimate Fighting series. That explains video screens at the Viper showing guys pounding the out of each other.

In announcing the high-profile sponsorship of the UFC, Davidson notes that is the first time in Harley’s that they’ve put their on any sporting event outside of It’s a weird choice for distinction, if you ask me, but then everything’s a little bit weird here as you’ve probably gathered, and a lot to assimilate.

Easiest to assimilate is the Bones, which is a thing of raw beauty and go-to-hell attitude. a smashing addition to the Harley and with a list price of it could prove bad news for competitors thriving on the bobber

What’s going to take getting used to are the methods now using to romance a younger but even so, you’ve got to give the props for shaking things up and a new energy and focus into the Bar — Shield vital to and center stage in contemporary culture. That’s übercool,

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