H-D Forty-Eight… ‘Real-Time’ Test

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Motorcycle Podcast

Call this one a promise kept. This week on the Motorcycle Radio Network, it is the long awaited ‘Real-Time’ Road Test of the new 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight.

Here at the Motorcycle Radio Network, we have wanted to test the new Sportster Forty-Eight since Todd B watched Harley-Davidson unveil it at the New York International Motorcycle Show. The return of the iconic peanut tank has drawn Bill’s attention (especially since The Motor Company stylists chose to make the tank contrast with the rest of the motorcycle).

But the real question is around the motorcycle’s namesake – In 1948 Harley first released the telescopic front end, and it supported a fat 16-inch tire. We set out to find out whether the big wheel transforms the Sportster or just supplied attitude?

It is important to mention that over the years, the Sportster’s reputation has subtly slipped from that of a middleweight performance icon in the 1950’s to a “first Harley” or even a “chick bike” today. Harley stylists have been burning the midnight oil at the Product Development Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin to arrest this trend. The Nightster, Iron 883 and of course the XR1200R have pushed the Sportster line back toward the edgy and cool side of the street, but the Forty-Eight is a revolution in the styling of the Milwaukee icon’s most affordable family.

We enlisted the help of UltimateMotorCycling.com to see if the Forty-Eight could back up its style with substance. Putting the 48 1200cc twin through its paces on the mean streets of LA, our ‘Real-Time’ Road Tester reveals an exceptionally well-sorted motorcycle that rides great, handles cleanly and will put a huge smile on the face of anyone who gets the opportunity to sling a leg over the seat of this terrific new model.

Inspired by an event that happened on his favorite TV show, our tester tries to see how far he can ride on the gas in the 2.1 gallon “Peanut” tank before he ends up pushing the motorcycle into a gas station. Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer, you have met your match… He realizes quickly that the exceptional fuel economy of the electronically-fuel injected V-Twin has him riding on reserve as our test ends. Will he make the magic 100? You can stream the podcast of our ‘Real-Time’ Road Test of the 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight here.

Also this week in typical Motorcycle Radio Network style, Bill and Todd discuss the passing of Dennis Hopper. Hopper directed and starred in what Bill believes is the greatest motorcycle movie of all time, Easy Rider.

Todd points out that motorcyclists have spent years trying to live down the negative stereotypes created by that movie and the co-hosts battle helmet-to-helmet before Bill ends up awarding Todd with the Tool of the Week award for slamming the movie. Tool B Wilson?

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to click the link to win a new Honda!