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Thread: Harley 48

  1. #1
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Harley 48

    I most definitely don't need another motorcycle, but it appears that after two years of suffering Miss Margaret might relent on a purchase. I just love the Harley 48 and they happen to have a spankers new 14 in candy red at the dealership. I've owned several Harleys over the years, but never a small one, the smallest was a Heritage Softtail, and that wasn't really small. Can anyone give me some input on these machines? I love (of course I do) the old school styling and I'm at that critical point where I keep picturing myself on that bike...dangerous times. We used to joke that Sporties were chick bikes, but hey, that was joking. This is a sweet bike in my opinion and looks just like I think a bike should.

    So, anyone got info on this machine?
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    Senior Member troll's Avatar
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    What are you waiting for? let's see some pictures of you on it in your leather jacket, Levis and cowboy boots.

    worst chick bike in the world....
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  3. #3
    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    A co-worker just sold his almost new 48. Started having problems from day 1. He stated the problems but the only one I remember right off was that the gas gauge quit working. He loved the styling though. Ended up buying a jap cruiser.
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    Senior Member TWROG's Avatar
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    I know nothing about them














    You sound like I did when I first laid eyes on my 48. Yeah, by far the best bike Ive ever owned in my life. Not really talking about performance (though it has plenty for me) but rather how it makes me feel. Ive never owned a bike that just makes me feel so freakin good Never fails to put a smile on my face. Mine however is slightly modified



    Thats one thing about Harleys in general and Sportsters in particular, the modifications available are truely endless. You can turn your sporty into anything you want to and dont need fabrications skills to do so.........everything you need you can buy off the shelf. I would bet there are for instance no less than 100 different kinds of seats to choose from.

    One thing about 2014s, they changed the location of the rear master cylinder. So there are a few fitment issues with aftermarket exhaust. But most all manufactures are catching up to the changes.

    It will be the most reliable bike you have including the TW. I havent HAD to do anything other than change oil and filters in the 4 years Ive had it. Conversely Ive had to fix both my TWs in the less than a year Ive owned them.

    Im rambling............. might be easier to ask specific questions and Ill answer those as you bring them up.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member TWROG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotti158 View Post
    A co-worker just sold his almost new 48. Started having problems from day 1. He stated the problems but the only one I remember right off was that the gas gauge quit working. He loved the styling though. Ended up buying a jap cruiser.
    Hmmm, suprised the gas gauge ever worked considering they dont have them And really he sold it because the gas gauge quit working?
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Oh I'm familiar with the aftermarket deal. I used to have those big catalogs right by my chair back in my Harley days...spent a ton on crap that really didn't do anything but shine. This one would be my first Sportster though, and I've read that the seating position is awkward, and that the forward controls prevent you from rising out of the seat...things like that. I was wondering how people felt about the ergometrics and such on the smaller Harleys. I'd want to be able to ride it wherever I want, such as the places I went this morning in my post "A way you'll never be". I realize that isn't classic Harley country, but those are some of the shortcuts I take, and the Scrambler and Enfield do just fine there. Will the HD?

    Oh, and by the way TWROG that's a fine looking bike!
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    And tell me about those saddlebags, I've only see the solo bag for the 48.
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Here's where I got that. Road Test Shootout: Harley-Davidson 48 vs 2012 Triumph Bonneville T100

    I got the bug bad, so even if they say it rides like a log wagon and you need to pull a trailer for spare parts and tools, I'll probably be standing in line with my money by Tuesday.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Tinybear's Avatar
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    Never owned one but looked and test rode near every Harley (specially the shorties) when I was cruiser shopping last year (the Harley dealer is quite literally my neighbour).

    Of all the Harley's I rode the sportsters were my favourite. I loved that 1200engine. For me though I just couldn't find one to fit me for the riding I intended (longer distance OR local two up). But I did spend a good 1hr or so on a 48. It was one of the better fitting current sportys for me but that seat and lack of rear suspension in stock trim was a tad harsh. I could not imagine taking it down a dirt road as it would be too punishing for my taste. I wish Harley would bring back the Sportster 1200R as those are the bike I really wanted. If you do get a 48 and wish to do that kind of riding I'd suggest you also plan on purchasing taller rear shocks or at the very least a sprung seat.

    Myself I got a victory as it suites my needs best and figment was perfect from stock. (And by God that engine is phenomenal). It may not be as compact and well sporty looking but I pretty happy. Then again I never intend to take it on anything but black top I have my TW for the dirt and such.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member TWROG's Avatar
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    Forwards on 48s are not as far forward as most cruisers. Heres a pic of me riding mine. Im 5'8" and you can see me knees are still very bent.



    But they are far enough forward that it makes it very difficult to lift your ass off the seat. Speaking of the seat, its the first thing that I changed on my bike. I could not ride more than an hour without pain. I got a Mustang vintage that alowed me to go as far as the rest of my body would let me. Butt pain has not been an issue since.

    The bags are like dual solos, a solo on each side. I got a pair just after this guy started making them and I was the first to get them in brown. I dont think he makes them anymore, doesnt seem to even have a way to buy them on his web site. I paid $375 for mine, last I heard they were $475.

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    I cant speak to any off road or even gravel road ability, never done it. But once you set the bike up for yourself I think its very comfortable. Ive been on many 1000+ mile trips and even did an Ironbutt saddle sore (yeah I know TWilight, not a big deal but was to me ) I get 51-54 MPG Hwy and upper 40s around town.

    And to me it handles just fine, my KZ650 handles better...........but theres nothing wrong with the 48. Heres a vid (my first gopro attempt) of an afternoon of twisties.



    As far as the pulling a parts trailer and tools? Its a myth that rightfully so started in the 70s with AMF. But with the EVO sportster its just not so. Sure some have a few problems but Ill put my sporty up against any jap or euro bike for reliability. Now this does not apply to the big twins, they do have their issues. When mags do their reliability and owner satisfaction polls I wish they would separate Sportys from the rest of the Harleys, it would paint a VERY different picture.
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