Even though New York has been getting slammed with one veracious winter freeze after another, things heated up in Gotham this past January 20th when the MoCo launched its newest model, the Blackline. Once again aiming for the younger segment, the Blackline fits right into the Dark Custom family with its pared down, no-nonsense looks. The idea behind the bike was to keep it lean, clean and simple and the H-D designers did the best they could with the parameters they had to work with. Some of the key design elements include, a black denim powdercoated frame and swingarm, gloss black and silver powdercoated engine with machined highlights, black ano laced wheels, bobbed rear fender, new forged fender supports, and a one piece two-up seat that helps the bike achieve H-D lowest seat height of 24 inches. Slim is definitely in a Harley as they went with a narrow 21 up front followed by a 144mm rear on a 16-inch rim out back. To keep with the bobbed style of the fender, the rear fender sits a little high but flows well with the profile of the tire. Up top, the 5-gal. Fat Bob tank was cleaned up with only a right side fuel cap (nothing on the left) and a new all black centerpiece that is void of any gauges or indicators.
Sort of a mix between the discontinued Night Train and a Softail Standard, the Blackline represents Harley's determination to try and create a Big Twin Softail at a reasonable price that will help attract a new generation of riders. With a MSRP of $15,499 for vivid black, we'd say H-D is getting close to the price point where the younger riders on Sporties might consider taking on a bump up in payments or new riders may think about signing on the dotted line for a Big Twin Softail, However, if Harley could knock another $1,500-2,000 off that price it'd be a no-brainer. Look for a full report on this bike in an upcoming issue of HOT BIKE.