The Blackline is Harley-Davidson’s latest addition to the Dark Custom range, which includes Harley’s most rock ‘n roll designs where attitude counts for more than life itself.
The Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline is basically a stripped Softail with a very low seat height of 660mm. Blackline is just another word for road in the H-D dictionary and with this seat you’re mighty close to the tarmac.
The Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 96B powertrain is a well known entity, so I’m not going to go into too many details in my first impressions around Norway, including Oslo. All I’ll say is that it contributes to the comfortable cruising part of the Blackline and creates a certain amount of mental harmony.
I had a little private competition with my right hand whilst riding where the goal were to pull from as low rpm in as high a gear as possible. You can chose to view the Harley-Davidson Softail’s rpm in the tiny digital part of the speedometer and I used this and the mileage left to the fuel feature regularly.
The Harley’s seat is so low that I started wishing for an even further stretched out footpeg solution. The drag bars gave me a fairly upright seating position but this would change depending on how long your arms are. I found it comfortable more than cool and perhaps I’d wish for a slightly wider handlebar on this model for my preferences. The wheels are narrow but the bike still looks grown up parked outside somewhere cool like a tattoo parlour.
In the city the narrow drag bars helped when lane splitting past endless rush hour traffic by making a narrow profile. The Harley-Davidson’s mirrors doesn’t stick out much and I found myself looking out for the traffic from behind more than is necessary if you had better placed mirrors. I suspect the Blackline would have looked a little less cool with good mirrors.
The ground clearance is very limited so I kept the speed at a very sensible level through the corners. The large 21-inch front wheel helped reducing vibrations and also a great deal with suspension action over speed bumps and the likes that could easily bottom out the otherwise soft front suspension. Being a Harley-Davidson Softail the rear suspension is of course hidden.
Stay clicked to UltimateMotorCycling.com for Tor’s full review of the 2011 Harley-Davidosn Blackline, which will include a brief pillion testimonial.