Harley-Davidson Unveils New Sportster

Radical look joins line of Dark Custom motorcycles

Read the story, then check out the video at the bottom of this page.
A new 1200cc Harley-Davidson Sportster joins the model family, this one called the Forty-Eight. It is a factory custom in the legendary tradition of the hot rod Sportster line with the raw, elemental appeal of the Dark Custom bikes, the Motor Companys line of blacked out motorcycles that includes the Nightster, Iron 883, Cross Bones, Fat Bob, and Street Bob.

The black chopped rear fender with combination stop/turn/tail lights help show-off the 150mm rear tire and 16-inch Black Steel Laced wheels. The front tire also rides on a wide black wheel.
The name Forty-Eight comes from the fact that Harley first used the peanut shaped fuel tank on a 1948 motorcycle.

The Forty-Eight features a 26-inch seat height (thats .3 inches lower than the Sportster 1200 Lows 26.3 inch seat height, yet taller than the 1200 Nightsters 25.3 inch seat height), the classic 2.1-gallon “peanut” fuel tank, a “bulldog appearance” with the performance of its blacked out and polished rubber-mounted Evolution 1200cc V-Twin engine.

The rear of the Forty-Eight shows the side mounted license plate that folds in when needed.
Under-mounted mirrors and slammed speedometer mounting bracket are shown in this photo.
Willie G. Davidson and Harley-Davidson motorcycle styling team members Casey Ketterhagen, Frank Savage, Ray Drea, Rich Christoph and Paul Martin celebrate the media preview of the Forty-Eight motorcycle at the Ace Hotel in New York City on January 21, 2010.

The low solo seat, under-mounted mirrors, side mount license plate, clean rear fender and tall and fat front tire emphasize the Forty Eights focus on chiseled customization. The Forty-Eight model comes in Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver and Mirage Orange Pearl colors and will be available soon at Harley-Davidson dealers. Price starts at $10,499 for the Vivid Black.

The Forty-Eight shown in Silver.
The Forty-Eight shown in Vivid Black.


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

Check out the long form commercial for the new Forty-Eight.

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7 thoughts on Harley-Davidson Unveils New Sportster

  1. I like it. I would like to see a Big Twin with the same styling as the 48. Small peanut tank, fat front tire, etc.

  2. I am excited about this new look. I love the tank! Yes it is small, but this bike isn't made to be a cruiser across country. This is a bad looking little hot rod! You just hot rod around town and enjoy the thing. I want one! I have a XL1200 Low and absolutely love it. But I want one of these too. I like the bigger front tire too. Good job guys. Awesome.

  3. Looks to me like the Motor Company is continuing its winning streak with the “48.” As a motorcycle instructor and trainer I see a lot of women riders favoring HD's Sportster line. With their low seats, predictable power, and knockout good looks, these bikes are great all round rides. If the 48 perfoms like its larger tanked “Nightster” it'll be another great bike.

  4. Nice looking machine with some awesome features to attract a younger, rockin' crowd! Keep up the good work HD and draw in a new bunch of riders to the Harley Owners Group.

  5. I love the Dark Custom bikes. I really think the dark custom line is really getting the attention of the younger riders and getting them into the Harley family. As the boomers are getting older Harley is doing a great job marketing to the younger audience. They got me, I have an '09 Nightster for the same reason, they catch your eye and is something just a little different. I love that the 48 has forward controls, something I wish my Nightster had as I'm a little taller. I say great job! Keep up the good work. Not everyone is a chrome it out person.

  6. I own a 09 Nightster, and in comparison, this new 48 bike is almost identical. What is different is: fatter front tire, different seat, wider front forks, and smaller gas tank. All I have to say is “what were they thinking?” My gas tank is almost a gallon bigger than this, at 3.3 gallons, and I have to stop for gas much more frequently than most of my friends! Kind of a drag. But other than that, this bike is probably really fun to ride, as mine is. And probably handles really well.

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