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Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special - Road Test Review - Power & Style

Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special - Road Test Review - Power & Style

Snapshot: Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special was recently launched in March this year. The heavy-weight Sportster is reminiscent of the 70's custom motorcycle scene of US.

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Harley Davidson's Sportster range of motorcycles are very popular around the world and especially in India. Sportsters are ideal motorcycles for customization as one can easily strip the entire bike down and 'reinvent'. Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special also remains true to this trait of Sportsters. With the launch of Forty-Eight Special, the Milwaukee based motorcycle manufacturer has taken its product line-up to 17 models in India. Speaking of the products, Harley Davidson announced that they will be adding 100 new motorcycles in their global line-up under the brand's 'More Roads To Harley Davidson' strategy. These 100 new models will have a diversified engine capacity ranging from 500 CC to 1250 CC.

Also Read: Harley Davidson Patents New V-Twin Engines

The Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special is sold alongside the standard Forty-Eight in both the international and Indian markets. We took the bike for a road test and tried to find what the Special has to offer and, the factors that make the Forty-Eight an aspirational and special machine.



The Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special is a true Sportster inculcating the classic and timeless design with modern performance. The newly launched Forty-Eight Special now amplifies its retro looks with pinstriping and graphics on the peanut fuel tank. Additionally, the motorcycle is equipped with a wide and tall handlebar to complement the classic design language of the Forty-Eight Special. Harley Davidson calls it the 'Tall Boy' handlebars and it's an important addition in the bike as it adds the comfort quotient in the riding triangle with the front set foot pegs. The Forty-Eight Special sails on split 9-spoke aluminium wheels shod with fat rubber. The single piece seat goes with the overall style of the motorcycle. The seat is quite narrow but has enough cushioning to provide the rider with a comfortable ride experience. The blacked out body parts with shiny chrome job on the engine casing and exhaust muffler enhances the retro charm of the bike. The Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special has a head-turning road presence and looks massive, yet shredded.

Also Read: Harley-Davidson launches Street Glide Special at Rs. 30.53 lakhs



The Forty-Eight Special gets the propulsion from an air-cooled 1200 CC V-Twin Evolution motor. The same motor also powers the standard Forty-Eight and belts out a humongous 97 Nm of peak torque. The torque is available at just 4,250 rpm which gives the motorcycle some serious pulling power. The motor is linked to a 5-speed gearbox. The Forty-Eight Special 's engine provides the rider with ample amount of torque irrespective of the gear position. This makes overtaking effortless, just wide open the throttle and the Forty-Eight Special will do its job without breaking a sweat. Additionally, it makes a thunderous sound quintessential to Harley Davidson's engines, telling the fellow vehicles that you are arriving. Yes, it does heat up in the bumper to bumper traffic but hey, ain't it one of the characteristics of an air-cooled engine.

Also Read: Harley-Davidson Files Patents for New Motorcycles


Ride Quality

As mentioned above, the tallboy handlebars not only adds to the looks of the Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special but also makes the overall sitting posture quite comfortable. The riding triangle is neither completely laid-back nor extremely aggressive. We can safely call it mildly sporty because the rider has to lean a bit to grab those high and wide handlebars. The 49 mm front suspension is extremely great at taking on the potholes but the rear shock absorbers are set on a stiffer side which can bother the rider. However, the fat Michelin Scorcher tyres fill the rider with confidence and feel stable and planted even on the muddy surface. The Forty-Eight Special can be used for both the city commute and highway cruising but the city traffic can be irritating for a 247 kg bike. The motorcycle shines in the braking department as both the brakes have enough bite and anchors down the Forty-Eight, the moment one hits the lever and the paddle.



The handlebar mounted single pod instrument cluster comprises of the odometer, dual trip meter, turn indicator lights low fuel warning light and an electronic speedometer. But, it misses out on a gear-position indicator and the rider will have to keep reminding himself about the gear's position. The handlebar mounted switches include an engine kill switch, hazard lamp switch, side-indicator switch, high beam/low beam switch and a horn switch. Well, we assure that you won't need it because the Forty-Eight Special already has a powerful, loud and mechanical sound. The Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special colour schemes include - Vivid Black, Wicked Red and Billiard White. The build and finish on the Forty-Eight is premium. Every component on the bike seems to be in sync with each other. The Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special looks, rides and feels flawless. Harley Davidson Forty-Eight Special's price in India ranges from Rs 10.98 lakh to Rs 11.52 lakh depending on the colour schemes.

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