Harley Davidson FORTY EIGHT Review

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    When I went up to the NEC bike show I finally persueded my mates to let me go have a look at the Harley stand… most of them disowned me which I thought was a bit mean but I know I have been guilty of bike snobbery in the past so shouldn’t complain lol.

    The Forty Eight has been a bike I have been intreagued with since I first saw one, it is a very nicely proportioned bike and is the only bike of it’s type to have even remotely ticked boxes for me (although there was a proper blinged up and mean looking HD in the show room over at Guildford 2nd hand costing over £20k lol).

    Anyhows, I arranged for them to get my closest dealers to give me a tinkle so I could take a demo ride.

    I turned up at the showroom and was very impressed with the brand identity and image they portrayed, Triumph need to go a long way to even come close, I imagine that BMW is probably the only other motorcycle manufacturer that could touch them on branding and presentation. Steve had to go fill the bike up before I could take it out which I thought was great that they not only ensured I had a full tank of go juice but it was from their pocket not mine…. at least I did until he told me I’d need to look for fuel after 60 miles lol, I thought my Husky was bad, but at least that had the excuse of a tiny 7l tank, the Harley’s tank was bigger (but tbh not by much).

    The feet forward riding position took some getting used to, it wasn’t till I’d covered around 20 miles before it seemed to make sense. I found the whole bike to be about 1-2″ too big for me with where the seat was in relation to not just the bars but also the footpegs which meant I was not hugely comfortable on the bike but I think if I was 6′ tall then it would have been very comfy as the seat was nicely padded. The engine was very tight still as it only had 40miles on the clock when they handed me the key…. the key consists of a cheap steering lock and an electric fob which actually means you don’t have to take them out of your pocket which is a nice touch, key less entry is the future. The engine was also quite quiet especially for a Harley and my Davida lid blocked out what noise was left that the standard exhausts hadn’t muffled, I was a little disappointed tbh as a Harley is supposed to be a noisy bugger.


    Riding once I was used to the reach to the bars and pegs was nice, it was mostly relaxing until I got to an un-scrubbed part of the rear tyre on a corner and went proper sideways. That did knock my confidence and meant I was wobbling round corners after on the country lanes where the tarmac was wet. In town and traffic I really enjoyed filtering, I was proper surprised how well it filtered, I think a Harley in ya mirrors does tend to get folk to move out the way more than a sportsbike would tho lol (sportsbikew**kers lol). The brakes were not amazing and required both front and rear to be utilised to do any kind of hurried stopping. The suspension was also below standard.

    Due to the location of the dealership I didn’t know my way around the area and with having to learn the feet forward riding as well I was not very relaxed to start with but once I had a few miles covered I did massively enjoy the experience, however I can not see me owning one as it would need too much money spending on it just to get it so I fitted it and then all the must have bolt ons for bling and suspension/brake upgrades etc.

    I shall post the pics when I can get them on to Photobucket.


    Interesting review of both the bike and the HD customer experience. I was impressed with the dealer in Birmingham (Stratstone) when Thumper had loan bikes as part of a funeral escort

    The 48 was a model that caught my eye too, along with the xr1200

    Might see if I can get a ride on one myself


    Picture source:

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