Blacked Out Softail
With the overall motorcycle market always on the move toward change, the one thing we have been able to count on is that Harley-Davidson will do the same-make the change to meet the demand of the current market. On one hand you have the bagger/touring models growing and selling like gangbusters. It seems like just about everyone we know has some sort of touring motorcycle in the garage, from the Road King to the Ultra Classic models. When asked, those same riders also have or want something less bagger-esque, something a bit cooler and with more style. They want the kind of bike that may not have all the bells and whistles, but is cool as hell to ride and be seen on. For some this may be a look back at their first bike, or something along the lines of what made them start seeing motorcycles as cool. What about the younger rider not ready for a bagger-you know, the ol' man's bike, the guy/gal who wants all the comforts of a smooth ride without the bagger title on it. Whatever it was that got you into motorcycles in the first place is what the new Harley-Davidson FLSTSB Cross Bones is going to emulate. Once you see this bike, one of the first things that catches your eye is all the blacked out parts. The Cross Bones is one of the new models from Harley's Dark Customs line. Like the Nightster, Fat Bob, Street Bob, Night Rod Special, and Night Train, they all sport blacked out parts.
The Cross Bones, with the retro look of a Springer frontend and other postwar-era bobber styling, features a rider-adjusted, two position sprung solo seat, half-moon footboards, gloss black round air cleaner cover, chopped front fender, gloss black mini ape hangers, cool pinstriping graphics on the gas tank and fenders, and a gloss black cat-eye tank console with new a speedometer face. The Cross Bones rides with a black and polished Twin Cam 96B power train, sixspeed transmission, and Softail rear suspension.
Once we got our hands on this bike, it didn't take long to see just what H-D was doing-targeting the younger riders. The ride was very smooth with its blacked out Springer frontend and fat 90x16-inch tire up front and a 200x17-inch out back. As we hit the roads we ran over a handful of bumps, potholes, and railroad tracks before getting on the freeways. The 96ci motor and sixspeed trans have good acceleration with a strong pull, and with its 65-inch wheelbase and 5-inch ground clearance, the Cross Bones zipped in and out of traffic with ease. The black mini-apes place your hands in a good riding position, but we feel that the sprung seat is a bit too high, at least for our dimensions. It has two settings to put you closer to the tank or your back closer to the rear fender; it's about a 2-inch difference. We would like the seat to sit lower in the frame. The running boards add comfort to the ride, but the space between the heel/toe shifter was a bit short for those of us with a size 12 boot.
Overall, the Cross Bones is a cool-looking bike with lots of style. All the blacked out parts give it a nice custom look and a cool dark stance-not everyone is into chrome. This bike is a nice addition to the Softail lineup, with H-D aiming this bike at the younger crowed looking to get into a cool reliable bike; even as a first time buy this bike will do the trick.
Flstsb Cross Bones
Flstsb Cross Bones Features:
rigid-mount, 1584 cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine
Six-speed Cruise Drive transmission
Black powdercoated engine with polished rocker box covers and pushrods and untreated fins
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Gloss Black painted Springer frontend with chrome springs
Gloss Black mini apehanger handlebar
Straight shot exhaust with chrome slash-cut mufflers
Sprung solo seat with leather lacing, 26.6-inch seat height
Chopped front fender with striping
Bobtail rear fender with striping
Gloss Black cat-eye tank console with new speedometer face
Gloss Black round air cleaner cover, oil tank and rear fender supports
Distinctive five-gallon fuel tank with hand-laced leather tank panel and striping
200mm rear tire, laced steel front and rear wheels with Gloss Black painted rims
Half-round old-school footboards
Horseshoe oil tank with Harley-Davidson patent badge