H-D is describes its new creation with typical poetic, hyperbolic flair: “Lean as wire, hard as iron and dark as a tar road at midnight, the new Blackline motorcycle is a Harley-Davidson Softail model pared to the bone. The Blackline throws new fuel on a fire that burns across generations, an unquenchable desire to ride.”
As the photos indicate, the rear fender of the Blackline is bobbed high over a fairly narrow 144mm tire. It also features a compact headlight and speedometer that are tucked into the wide, FX front end.
Styling elements include a fuel tank that is shaved smooth and low, as well as the lowest two-up seat ever offered by Harley-Davidson – 24 inches with a rider on board. Other features include a new split drag handlebar that bolts directly to the top triple-clamp.
The Softail chassis utilizes rear suspension control provided by coil-over shock absorbers mounted horizontally along the frame rails below the powertrain, where they are out of sight. The goal was to replicate the lines of a vintage hardtail frame.
Powering the Blackline is an internally counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B V-Twin engine that is rigid mounted within the frame and dressed in black and silver. Fuel is delivered via Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection and H-D rates boasts 89 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3250 rpm.
We’ll have a full report on Monday from Kevin Duke, who was lucky enough to be at the unveiling.