2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Harley-Davidson has always been considered a world champion in the art of creating model variations. The Americans are now showing this with the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special.
Nobody understood earlier than the world's oldest, continuously producing motorcycle manufacturer that ergonomics in particular is an important decision-making criterion for many drivers: footrests moved forwards or backwards, handlebars mounted higher or lower, seats that are particularly low, and the format of the front Wheel and tires. These details make big differences.
And so the model planners in Milwaukee have now decided to provide the extremely successful Forty-Eight with a low handlebar with a “Special” whose only specialty is a significantly higher handlebar. And lo and behold: a particularly casual, albeit somewhat more inactive, driving experience sets in.
Same price level for Forty-Eight and Forty-Eight Special
In terms of price, the Forty-Eight and “Special” are exactly the same: the dealer wants to see 12,195 euros before handing over the papers and transponders - the Harley-Davidsons made in the USA have not had a conventional ignition key for some time. After the new, chrome-free and overall more economical looking Iron 1200, the 48 series are the cheapest option to drive a Sportster with a 1200 V2; the basic engine with the 883 cubic centimeter V2 is only offered in two of the now eight Sportster models.
The V2, which is based on a design from 1952, starts working spontaneously, a slight pressure with the left foot is sufficient for the audible engagement of first gear, as desired. Although Harley engines were never known for their particularly smooth engine running, the current version of the 1200 engine seems unusually restless. Those familiar with the scene report that the flywheel mass inside the engine was recently reduced in order to increase the engine's ability to turn. The echo of this measure has been met with varied echoes: In any case, we tried to avoid the area around 3,000 tours for a long time if possible, because the vibrations in the handlebars, footrests and seat are considerable. The comfort zone is a bit lower at around 2,500 crankshaft revolutions,in fifth gear, this corresponds to almost 100 km / h and thus a very pleasant country road speed.
Tallboy handlebar is 18.4 inches high
The so-called Tallboy handlebar, painted glossy black, is 18.4 centimeters high and, together with the footrests mounted at the front, which is typical of the Forty-Eight chopper, leads to a casual, effortless sitting position. Despite the 130-millimeter-wide, 16-inch front tire, turning into corners takes place without any significant effort, but a lot of concentration is required in an inclined position if you don't want to be constantly scratching because the lean angle is quite limited at 27 degrees.
The suspension is well coordinated and does the best it can, given that it is just four centimeters at the rear. The brake system with a disc at the front and rear does not have any problems with the machine, which weighs at least 256 kilos; ABS is also working at a satisfactory level.
Up to 45 minutes driving time
American market research has found that the average travel time for Sportster owners is between 30 and 45 minutes. Anyone who has the Forty-Eight Special available for a day will find that this value is calculated almost automatically: This Sportster with its mini-small 7.9-liter tank is not designed for long tours, but rather for the hop -on and hop-off, for reaching goals within a manageable radius. Meandering through heavy traffic is quite easy thanks to the vehicle width of only 87 centimeters, as the Tallboy handlebar is only 3.5 centimeters wider than the normal Forty-Eight. The reserve warning light flashes after almost 100 kilometers.
It's a good thing that Harley-Davidson has added the special high-handlebar version to its Forty-Eight, which is so attractive with its fat front wheel and mighty fork with three forged triple clamps: it will appear more casual and casual to many. If you don't want to enjoy this special driving experience alone, you have to pay extra: the second seat and additional footrests for a passenger are only available from dealers. “But that only affects a small minority,” the Americans know. Because if you like to ride a Harley as a couple, you will usually wisely choose a model with a Big Twin. The choice is even greater - and so is the agony of choice. (SP-X)
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