• Jul 27, 2010
2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, in the company's Sportster segment, sits at a cross-cultural intersection in the cyclemaker's lineup. It apparently represents the spot where bikers meet skateboarders. It seems that the stripped-down looks and functional-jewelry design of the Forty-Eight is well appreciated by skaters who don't like their rides to make any extraneous fuss.

The bike is only one small part of what some call a larger trend, that of skateboarders increasingly moving into the world of bikes. It isn't that skateboarders want to be bikers but, according to a skate shop owner, "We're just wired a certain way. For some reason the death and danger are just a part of us." And you don't have to look any further than a motorcycle to find death and danger.

Harley has used the rendezvous to help market the Forty-Eight, including hiring skaters like Heath Kirchart and Matt Ball to appear in its promotional materials. The Milwaukee firm isn't targeting skateboarders only with this bike, but they certainly want to welcome them to the family. Said a Harley rep, "There's no question that there are huge parallels there between bikers and skateboarders." Tip of the cap to Alex!



[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Weird thing is I noticed this bike a few months ago and it moved to the number two spot on my bike "Wish List" next to a Triumph Thruxton and I'm an ex-skate punk (pushing 48 years old now) and this is the first Harley I've really wanted.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree I already owned A Deuce, and really liked this bike I traded in my Deuce on one. More manueverable, better looking, etc... It was a hard decision because everybody thinks you have to trade up, but I never liked my Deuce and I love this 48. I'm a 45 year old ex-skater...hmmnnnn.... victim of marketing?
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's a nice bike. I like its simplicity.

      As a novice, I wonder if it would be appropriate for someone who is 6-1?
        • 4 Years Ago
        My personal opinion is that you'd be better served with a cheap, used, low maintenance Japanese bike for your first motorcycle than this one. Novices drop their bikes, accidently scratch them and generally make minor errors that lead to damage. Save your money and make the Harley (or another "premium" motorcycle) your SECOND bike.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's the bigger Sporty, but it is not too much bike IMO. If you've taken a rider course, then this can fit into a 1st bike scenario. This model will also help in comfort, as the feet controls are more fwd (which helps anyone over 6').

        If you purchase any HD, get used to it for a few months, then swap out the exhaust, put a K&N air filter on it, and get the ECU flashed. You'll gain 10-15hp, have more response, and most times better mpg. The stock exhaust is so constrained (to placate the EPA loons on sound mostly) the engine is trying to breath out through a pillow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My first Harley was a new 1984 cast iron sportster , the last of the breed . At 1000 cc it ran great & with straights it sounded great too . Used to spit fire out the exhaust when I power shifted . I wore cowboy boots with horseshoe taps & draggin them boots while doing a burnout was a spectacular sight with all the sparks comin off them boots at night in front of the ole biker bar . Sweet ! Glory days they were .
      • 4 Years Ago
      Frankly, I think this is a smart decision by HD. For years they have been looking at a way to draw in a younger crowd as they watch their Baby Boomers grow older. HD still wants to keep a bit of that "biker on the fringe of society" image. So drop down to Gen X and Y and who are the ones that are associated with being on society's fringes? Skaters.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If it's for skaters... Where's the skate rack for the back of the bike? Because, you know we like to skate and stuff away from home!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe something like.....I dont know.... a backback?
      • 4 Years Ago
      makes a little sense...skateboarders are mostly punks just like bikers. But i cant see many skateboarders buying a Harley because they are usually too cheap or too poor to buy a Harley (at least new).

      In reality I would think skaters buy used bikes or cheap bikes like Shadows, old enduros or small old ninjas...maybe they are going for the older retired skateboard crowd?

      oh and I've skated off and on my whole life so that's my credentials
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hahaha... skateboarders are so sad. Always trying to show off without trying to "look" like they are showing off.

      Just admit it's a cool throwback bike for people who don't like choppers or bling bikes.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll be honest, I really like the way it looks. However, I'd never be interested in actually owning one BECAUSE it's a Harley. The HD stigma is just too much for me (as well as the price I'm sure). That said, this is the closest I've ever been to wanting a Harley.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I skateboarded from 10 to 22 and never once wanted to own a murdercycle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      WTF is the article? This bike came out almost a year ago. Pointless.

      That being said, nice bike.

      Now proceed with the Harley bashing comments.....3.2.1.......
        • 4 Years Ago
        Epyx 9:05AM (7/27/2010)

        > Now proceed with the Harley bashing comments.....3.2.1......

        Yes, but will Harley make a bold move of switching to high tech solutions and using carburetors and electric lighting in the motorbikes??
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm having a really hard time seeing street punk skateboarders who follow a very urban style going for a Harley which is more commonly associated with fat biker gangs or weekend poseur warriors. Skateboarding is all about stripped down agility and maneuverability, two things Harleys are not about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So wildly creative and witty.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, I actually do like that bike. I like how anonymous it looks, rather than the in-your-face of many Harleys. And it being aimed at skaters - who cares, if that's where the marketing men want it to go, then fine. I don't think the average person looking at a new bike (come to think of it, they're probably not average) is going to care. It is a nice bike though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Am I the only one that does not follow the skateboard connection to this bike? And are skateboarders a key demographic worth catering to? I live in Switzerland. I have never seen anyone over the age of 16 on a skateboard. Are skateboarders wealthy in America?

        And why do people get angry about people who ride Harley Davidson's? Here in Geneva, normal people ride them. We do not have many fat people, or bad ass people, so mostly they are just somewhat wealthy people who ride them here. They are too loud for my liking, but if you like that style I don't see a reason for people to be angry about it. It is all a bit odd.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK, I'll bite.
        If skateboarders like death and danger maybe they should get a bike with more than 2 horsepower that can go faster than 10mph.
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