2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight - First Look

Harley’s newest Dark Custom is called the Forty-Eight.

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight - First Look

The newest of H-D's "Dark" Sportsters, unveiled January 21, is called the "Forty-Eight," in honor of 1948 being a very good postwar year, says CW Senior Editor Paul Dean, who was actually there and should know. 1957 was a good one, too, says Harley, the first year of Sportster production, to which this bike "harkens back" as we say in motojournalism. Our H-D spokesperson says the name comes from 1948 being the first year for the "peanut" gas tank, but we seldom believe him. In the end, we decided we don't care why they chose to call it Forty-Eight, but we like H-D's other dark Sportsters—the Nightster and Iron 883—very much, so this one's cool by us, too.

Why try to top H-D's copywriter in describing the new model?: "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® 1200cc 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." (Nice segue into the bottom line there, pal.)

The hoary old thoroughly modern air-cooled Twin inhales through H-D's excellent Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and out through shorty duals. The Forty-Eight rolls with forward foot controls, a low profile handlebar with under-mounted mirrors, fork-mounted turn signals, a "slammed" speedometer mounting bracket (?) and a fork brace with lightening holes. A unique dual-texture solo seat 26 inches low is standard, while a passenger pillion, footpegs and backrest are some of the many accessories that can be added.

The chopped rear fender with combination stop/turn/tail lights and side-mount license plate show off the 150mm rear tire and 16-inch Black Steel Laced wheels. The front tire also rides on a wide black wheel. Choose Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver or Mirage Orange Pearl.

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2010 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight