Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Coming Right Up


Just got word from the good folks over at Harley-Davidson that a loaner Forty-Eight, the latest Sportster-based bike in the Dark Customs lineup, will be coming my way next month. If you read this here, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a fan of this growing class of bikes. Low, light and quick. Good stuff all the way around.

I first got to see the Forty-Eight when it was unveiled during the International Motorcycle Shows New York stop. The most striking thing apparent immediately was the bike’s low (lower than the others) profile, something enhanced by the underslung mirrors and reconfigured speedo. The peanut-ish tank is also a nice addition as is the big, beefy front hoop.

So, until I get my hot little hands on the new Forty-Eight, here is some verbiage from The Motor Co. about the bike’s specs, highlights and whatnot.


Riding low with a slammed suspension and featuring the classic 2.1-gallon “peanut” fuel tank, the Forty-Eight model backs up its bulldog appearance with chiseled customization and the raw, elemental appeal of a Dark Custom bike.
Custom touches define the Forty-Eight with a slammed speedometer, under-mounted mirrors and 26-inch seat height offering a low profile, while the peanut tank and big, 16-inch wheels combine for a menacing look that could only come from Harley-Davidson.

  • Evolution V-Twin powertrain with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Rubber-mounted powertrain to reduce vibration
  • 5-Speed Transmission
  • Chrome, shorty dual exhaust with slash-cut mufflers
  • Forward foot controls
  • Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security
  • System with hands-free security fob


  • Blacked out rubber-mounted Evolution® 1200 cc V-Twin engine with polished covers
  • Muscular bulldog front stance and slammed rear suspension
  • Classic 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank with lightening hole mounting bracket
  • 16-inch Black, laced steel wheels
  • Chopped front fender mounted on fork brace with lightening holes
  • Chopped rear fender
  • Tall and fat 130 mm Dunlop MT90 front tire
  • Blacked-out components including air cleaner cover, clutch and brake levers and turn signals
  • One-piece, Sportster® classic solo seat
  • 26-inch seat height
  • Low profile custom handlebar
  • Under-mounted mirrors
  • Side-mounted license plate
  • Combination stop/turn/tail lights
  • New Front forks and wide triple clamps


  • Length (in./mm) 88.60/2250.44
  • Seat Height (laden) (in./mm) 26.0/660.40
  • Wheelbase (in./mm) 59.80/1518.92
  • Tire Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series, blackwall
  • Front D402 MT90B16 72H
  • Rear D401 150/80B16 71H
  • Wheel
  • Front Black, Laced Steel 16 in. x 3 in. (406.40 mm x 76.20 mm)
  • Rear Black, Laced Steel 16 in. x 3 in. (406.40 mm x 76.20 mm)
  • Optional Style Chrome, Laced Steel
  • Fuel Capacity (U.S. gals/liters) 2.10/7.95
  • Weight as Shipped (lbs./kg) 545.0/247.21
  • Engine Air-cooled, Evolution
  • Displacement (in./cc) 73.40/1200
  • Fuel System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Transmission 5-speed
  • Miles Per Gallon 57.0 HWY/42.0 CITY
  • Colors: Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver, Pearl Mirage Orange Pearl
  • MSRP: Vivid Black $10,499, Solids $10,789

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8 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Coming Right Up”

  1. steve Says:

    they have always been light and fast . paint the things black and they are greatest thing since sliced bread.

  2. Dennis Johnson Says:

    Yup. Always been a Sportster fan.

  3. Chris Says:

    Hello H-D – Thanks for finally reaching 1959. The world waits with baited breath for you to join the sixties.

  4. Derek Says:

    Light and fast???? Compared to a car? what are you talking about? What bike is slower & heavier than a HD?

  5. Dennis Johnson Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Derek!

  6. H-D retiree Says:

    10 flavors of Sportster that the company management raves about does not make up for an abysmal product plan and new product development. Last I heard they were on Product Life Cycle plan #48 and have still not decided on what to build to address the marketplace. Oh, the first life cycle plan (versus version/update #48) was 5 years ago, just to show the time frame.

    I’m so impressed (NOT!). Add different bend bars, lower the suspension, change the paint, and call it a new model. Anyone can do that with a cruse through the P&A catalog. Embarrassing.

    H-D should fire most of the management in Marketing and Finance and put an engineer in charge of the company. It’s been downhill since the last engineer (Bleustein) was the CEO.

  7. Former HD Designer Says:

    I agree w/ Retiree. The Dyna was the last real “new” bike in 2 decades, since the V-rod was mostly complete and mothballed in the 80’s. Local dealer still thinks he can charge Above MSRP and is out of floor space. Marketing lost the war at the 100th anniversary when Elton John pranced on stage…. really, WTF???
    Prices are obscene, performance is lacking, and the product lines now teeter in a gray zone – they lost the traditional old school signature and don’t have a well defined modern styling definition. No wonder poor Willie G got gray hair!
    Back in the day – when it was “The Motor Company” – the build bikes by bikers, for bikers. Now they copy cruisers for wannabes. Sad.

  8. B Says:

    looks pretty sweet. I love the big tires. I will say that the stock harley exhaust set up looks like it should be a 2 into 1. Maybe thats just me but when the end cap of the left pipe ends right near the bend of the right, you might as well combo em, better performance anyways…

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