Harley-Davidson Blackline: 'Softail stripped to the core'


Harley-Davidson is calling the newest addition to its Dark Custom series, the Blackline, a Softail model “pared to the bone. … Visual elements of the original bobber movement are combined with the raw, hand-hewn style embraced by today’s young builders.”

The model is making its public debut this weekend at the New York City stop of the International Motorcycle Shows.

The Blackline's rear fender is bobbed high and tight over a slim 144 mm tire that emphasizes a hardtail profile. The compact headlight and speedometer are tucked low into the wide FX front end. Black-rimmed laced wheels complete the look.

The engine is dressed in black and silver, and the fuel tank is shaved smooth and low. Harley says the model sports the lowest two-up seat it’s ever offered. The new Split Drag handlebars bolt right to the top triple clamp.

The Softail chassis uses 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 internally counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B engine is rigid-mounted within the frame.

Key features of the 2011 Blackline, according to Harley-Davidson, include:

  • New Powertrain styling
    • Powertrain is finished in gloss black powdercoat on the rocker box covers, the crankcase, the outer primary cover, and the transmission side cover. The cylinders are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.
    • Rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B V-twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 89 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3250 rpm.
    • 6-Speed Cruise Drive Transmission.
  • New Round air cleaner cover in brilliant chrome.
  • New Black Denim powdercoat frame and swingarm.
  • New Profile Laced Aluminum wheels with black-anodized rims. Front wheel is 21 x 2.15 inches; rear wheel is 16 x 3 inches. Dunlop D402 tires are MH90-21 front and MU85B16 rear.
  • New FX front end with black powdercoat triple clamps and black painted fork lowers.
  • New Split Drag internally wired handlebars mount directly to the top triple clamp.
  • New asymmetric five-gallon Softail fuel tank is clean on the left side, with a low-profile fuel fill on the right. Die-cast “Blackline” trim panel flowing down the center of the tank is just high enough to cover the fuel pump hardware.
  • New analog speedometer on a triple-clamp mount that also holds indicator lights. LCD screen on the speedometer includes low-fuel warning and “miles to empty” display function.
  • New bobbed rear fender with combination stop/tail/turn lights in black housings, and a new composite license plate holder and light module that mounts on the lower edge of the fender.
  • New raw forged rear fender supports are finished in Black Denim powdercoat.
  • New one-piece two-up seat and passenger pillion. Laden rider seat height is 24 inches, the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson. Gap between the nose of seat and fuel tank exposes the top of the frame.
  • New 5.75-inch diameter headlamp in gloss black shell.
  • Polished forward foot controls.
  • Over/under chrome shotgun exhaust.
  • Optional Security Package with Anti-lock Braking System and Smart Security System

Posted by Arlo Redwine