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2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight – Click above for high-res image gallery

Harley-Davidson has just announced a new addition to its entry-level Sportster family, and it's seemingly again drawing on its years of heritage in both the bike's design and name. Called the Forty-Eight, the new machine is the latest motorcycle to slot into HD's Dark Custom series, which also includes the Nightster 1200, Iron 883, Cross Bones, Fat Bob and Street Bob.

So, what makes this model different from the other Sportster models? It's all in the styling details, naturally. Included in the kit are bobbed fenders front and rear, fat front tire, blacked-out and polished 1200cc Evolution V-twin, solo seat that measures 26 inches from the ground, under-mounted mirrors, side mount license plate and tiny 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank. No matter, with what we bet is less than two inches of rear suspension travel, this bike seems destined to be a short-distance mount anyway.

So, to recap, there's nothing new here at all (which we surmise is kind of the point), but the overall effect still makes the Forty-Eight arguably the most attractive bike in the Sportster line, barring the much sportier XR1200, of course. Pricing begins at $10,499 MSRP in Vivid Black with Brilliant Silver and Mirage Orange Pearl also available. Click past the break for the complete press release and check out our high-res image gallery below.

[Source: Harley-Davidson]
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New Sportster® Model Brings Brawn as Chiseled Custom with Power and Performance

MILWAUKEE (January 22, 2010) – The new Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight motorcycle is a factory custom in the legendary tradition of the hot rod Sportster line with the raw, elemental appeal of the Dark Custom™ bikes.

Riding low with a slammed suspension and featuring the classic 2.1-gallon "peanut" fuel tank, the Forty-Eight backs up its bulldog appearance with the performance of its blacked out and polished rubber-mounted Evolution® 1200 cc V-Twin engine. The low solo seat, under-mounted mirrors, side mount license plate, clean rear fender and tall and fat front tire emphasize the Forty Eight's focus on chiseled customization.

And while the Forty-Eight model may break bad when it comes to radical attitude and straight-on style, it won't break the bank starting at just $10,499 MSRP in Vivid Black.

"With its classic bulldog shoulders stance, the Forty-Eight strikes a distinctive look and low profile that could only come from Harley-Davidson," said Ray Drea, Harley-Davidson Senior Director of Styling. "The Forty-Eight model has a collective past life experience and broken-in look that is raw and authentic."

As a Harley-Davidson Dark Custom motorcycle, the Forty-Eight is ready to ride as a radical custom and also primed to take on its rider's character and personality. Dark Custom accomplices of the Forty-Eight include the Nightster®, Iron 883™, Cross Bones®, Fat Bob® and Street Bob®. Check out more on Dark Custom motorcycles at www.harley-davidson.com/darkcustom.

Harley-Davidson Sportster models like the Forty-Eight have retained an aura of rebellion since their introduction in 1957, when the foundation of custom culture was being formed by hot rod gear heads hanging out on city street corners, in gritty garages or at dusty dragstrips. Sportster motorcycles became an iron canvas for many legendary choppers of that hot rod era and beyond.

Lying low from tire-to-tire, the Forty-Eight model showcases more of its black 1200 Evolution V-Twin engine with polished accents and other components with a clean look highlighted by the traditional peanut fuel tank, small solo seat and lightening holes in the backbone mounting bracket. The Forty-Eight has more than just custom cool styling with the smooth ride on new front fork sliders, a tall and fat front tire and slammed rear suspension.

With Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and performance tuning with a broad torque curve, the Forty-Eight motorcycle delivers a powerfully responsive ride with smooth clutch effort. The pipes on the chrome, shorty dual exhaust pound out the distinctive Harley-Davidson American V-Twin sound.

The Forty-Eight embraces the street up front with forward foot controls, low profile custom handlebar, under-mounted mirrors, fork-mounted turn signals, slammed speedometer mounting bracket and fork brace with lightening holes. A unique dual texture solo seat with a height of 26 inches fits the lone rider, while a passenger pillion, footpegs and backrest are some of the many accessories that can be added.

The black chopped rear fender with combination stop/turn/tail lights and a side mounted license plate help show-off the 150 mm rear tire and 16-inch Black Steel Laced wheels. The front tire also rides on a wide black wheel.

The Forty-Eight model comes in Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver and Mirage Orange Pearl colors and will be available soon at Harley-Davidson dealers.

Forty-Eight features and highlights:

Blacked out rubber-mounted Evolution 1200 cc V-Twin engine with polished covers
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Steel 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank with lightening hole mounting bracket
One-piece, solo Sportster classic seat
26-inch seat height
Tall and fat 130 mm Dunlop MT90 front tire
16-inch Black Steel Laced wheels
Low profile custom handlebar
Under-mounted mirrors
New front forks with wide triple clamps
Chopped front fender mounted on fork brace with lightening holes
Blacked components including air cleaner cover, clutch and brake levers and turn signals
Chopped rear fender
Stop-turn-tail lights
Side-mounted license plate
Two-year factory warranty
Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Shame it'll fall over at the first sniff of a corner.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Sportsters are far from ladies bikes. Actually, your softail is more designed around women than your wife's sportster. Think about it, or simply ask a Harley Engineer. A man has a stronger upper body compared to a woman, a sportster is a top heavy bike. Women have stronger lower bodies than men do (all proportionally of course) so your softail with the lower center of gravity, yep you guessed it, you're riding the girls bike. If you look at the heritage of the sportster since 1957 you will see that these have always been designed as race bikes and slowly converted into a street bike. Now I may know plenty of the Harley-Davidson history, I was never much for following flat track. In my research I couldn't find any women that raced in 1957. Sure looks like plenty of men rode them though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      love that fat front tire.
      it really takes the sportster from looking a bit wimpy, to something massive and of substance.
      Well done!
      and with minimum investment, they have achieved a HUGE leap in quality and value perception.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not a fan. I'm a sport bike fan anyway (Kawasaki to be more specific) but this just doesn't do it for me. I can appreciate the Sportster for what it is...but I'd like to see more Buell tech put into a HD name and see more bikes that are crossover sport/cruisers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The VRSC is not a sportbike, who said that it was? It is a sport/cruiser and offered as a response to the request made above by Dracon
        • 5 Years Ago
        How is a VRSC a sportsbike?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Like a VRSC or XR1200?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome bike, but that Sportster logo on the side is just awful.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, that Sportster logo is called "heritage", straight out of the 1950s...
      • 5 Years Ago
      i like it, ...

      i have often toughed about buying a bike to ride too work.
      i would like a 1200c sportster, remove the chrome and paint it back.
      some 'old' suzuki gsx rims in fluorescent pink + low profile tires, fluorescent pink springs and other elements and brakes and a shorter bare strainless steel 2 in 1 exhaust + some racer bike mufler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And I would be "naturalyshocked" if you had the capability to breath and walk at the same time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yea RICH!!!! awesome buddy!
      • 5 Years Ago
      B I T C H bike :) Just kidding... Looks nice
        • 5 Years Ago
        Everything bad you have ever heard about HD is because of the douches like Caddy-V that ride the bikes offered between the Sporties and the Vrod.
        • 5 Years Ago
        caddy you sound like the typical douche that does 1000miles a year and has a HD tattoo and you have to wear an HD shirt every time you ride. OMG LOOK AT ME IM THE GUY ON THE BIKE THAT I WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE ITS A RIGID BUT I CANT REALLY STAND A RIGID!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I had a HD sales dude tell me straight up that, besides the XR1200 and V-Rod, the Sportster 1200 was the fastest bike HD sells. He even seemed amused by the "bitch bike" reputation the Sportster gets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No need to make nice, the 883 is without question a ladies bike. The 1200 is more for dominating ladies and whimpish men. I know, my wife has a 1200 Custom Low and I can't count the times she makes me ride hers and she jumps on my Softail. I still refuse to wear her dress.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Last time I looked, no tatoo. But I do have an HD neon light from the fifties on my bar. Doubt if I rode it more than 300 miles this year and so far no t-shirts, no beard, no potbelly, still have all my teeth, and no leather. And still no chain on my wallet and I wear a helmet. I never bought the 86 softail, I inherited it as well as a 51 Panhead that has'nt run since the 60's from my late biker father. He had tatoos. Would I ever buy one? No, not an HD or any other bike. Not my thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yawn..."new" is a relative term, and this ain't 'new'. But you have to admit that H-D does wholeheartedly support the recycling of old ideas and old parts more than any other company..
        • 5 Years Ago
        And charge the suckers that buy it a premium for it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Harley needs to build a Bike with real world capabilities not just legend and looks and lets not go down the AMF road either the forty eight looks good but you gotta run with the jap rice burners and crush them i think the V Rod sucks and was a corporate copy of the v-max lets build an american version of the magna motor gear driven 45 degree v-twin real dual exhaust nice sound a real Bikers bike the public and America will thank you and with a chain for cryin out loud I WANT TO BUY AMERICAN
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not really a Harley fan whatsoever, but have to admit, that's a cool looking bike.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Epyx, I'll make a deal with you. When Harley's marketing matches their actions. . . when they run an ad that says: "Lawyers, accountants and money, that's what made this country great. If, like our board, that's you motto, maybe you're ready to own a Harley."

      When Harley runs that ad, I'll buy one. Erik Buell has more motorcycle knowledge and enthusiasm in his little toe than the entire Harley board combined.
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