, the newest member of the Softail
family, is one of the big, cool retro cruisers from the master of thrills himself, Harley-Davidson. As its name implies, the Blackline is decked out in black livery that sets off its naked styling cues, while the Split Drag handlebars ensure comfort and, above all, have tons of attitude.
|The Blackline, the newest member of the Softail family, is one of the big, cool retro cruisers from the master of thrills himself, Harley-Davidson. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Moto123.com)
Ultra low-slung frame, truncated rear fender, skinny rear tire (140 mm), small headlamp and rear flashers that double as marker and braking lights, the Blackline has definitely got character. What’s more, the new LCD speedometer is located directly on the triple clamp instead of the fuel tank, making way for an exclusive brushed black appliqué.
Cruisin’ for a bruisin’
The bike demands a forward riding position with torso, arms and legs extended slightly forward, but not as radically so as on the Night Rod, veritable torture device. The Blackline proves nonetheless surprisingly comfortable for this type of machine, and well-suited to longer rides. This is a great way to cruise around in style, without your body paying too high a price.
The seat culminates at only 663 mm (the lowest in the H-D range), allowing anyone to firmly plant his or her feet on the ground when stopped. The prominent transmission case on the left side is a bit of a hindrance though, and a reminder that you’ll never be able to ride around in shorts.
At the push of the starter, the 1,584-cc, pushrod twin-cylinder roars fiercely to life, sending a thrill down your spine each and every time. In town the Blackline behaves like its Softail brothers, i.e. with disconcerting user-friendliness. Not much more intimidating than a Sportster
, it proves immediately reassuring with its easy manoeuvrability, and it feels like you’ve been partners forever. We’re still talking about a long bike here, though, with a 1,689-mm wheelbase, and one that weighs in at 290 kilos. However, the how-low-can-you-go centre of gravity, slim tire and low inertia of the Twin Cam 96B don’t hamper manoeuvrability in the least. In short, after about 10 minutes you find yourself, surprisingly, zipping through traffic as if propelled by a medium-displacement mill.
|At the push of the starter, the 1,584-cc, pushrod twin-cylinder roars fiercely to life, sending a thrill down your spine each and every time. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Moto123.com)