Harley-Davidson Blackline First Look

January 21, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

“Lean as wire, hard as iron and dark as a tar road at midnight.” That’s how Harley-Davidson describes its latest addition to the Dark Custom line, the new Blackline. A version of The Motor Company’s Softail model, the Blackline is, as H-D press describes it, “pared to the bone.”
The 2011 Blackline looks best in black. The graphics on the tank are real subtle.
Harley-Davidson’s latest addition to its Dark Custom line is a new Softail model, the 2011 Blackline.

H-D’s Twin Cam 96 V-Twin powers the new Blackline, the engine rigid-mounted to the frame. Peak power claims are 89 lb-ft torque at 3250 rpm. Cosmetic alterations to the powertrain package are “gloss black powdercoat on the rocker box covers, the crankcase, the outer primary cover, and the transmission side cover. The cylinder heads are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.”

The frame, swingarm and triple clamps all get black powdercoat treatment. The rear end is freshened up with the bobbed fender, the fender supports also getting the blacked out treatment. The bottom of the fork get black paint too, with the spoked aluminum wheels featuring black anodized rims.

The two up seat is claimed to be the lowest offered by Harley-Davidson, reaching 24 inches from the grown fully laden. H-D points out a new “gap between the nose of seat and fuel tank exposes the top of the frame.”

2011 Harley Blackline Photo Gallery

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As with its earlier Forty-Eight Sportster model and the entire Dark Custom Line, H-D looks to attract younger riders to the Bar & Shield. The embedded YouTube video below is Harley’s promotional ad for the Blackline, complete with hipster threads and young-ish tattooed riders making out with busty hot chicks. Curiously, there’s no mention of the Blackline’s $15,499 pricetag!

Stay tuned for more details from our Cruiser Editor, Bryan Harley, who attended the New York IMS debut of the Blackline.

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