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2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline Review
Long. Low. No BS. This Dark Custom leader is a minimalist throwback icon for today's freedom seekers
The Blackline is a Harley-Davidson Softail pared to the bone with visual elements of the original bobber movement combined with a raw style embraced by today's young bike builders. The rear fender is bobbed high-and-tight over a slim, 144 mm tire that emphasizes an authentic hardtail profile. The Softail rear suspension mimics the clean lines of a vintage hardtail frame but offers the comfort of a modern suspension that is hidden under the chassis. The rider hugs the frame on the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson, while reaching high for the new Split Drag handlebar. The rigid powertrain allows tight packaging of the engine and frame to create a solid connection between the rider and the power that moves the Blackline.
HIDDEN REAR SHOCKS
If you want a comfortable ride but love that rigid-suspension look, you've
found the right bike. We've kept all the modern comforts where they belongbelow
the surface of a rad, vintage-looking bike. You get the classic lines of a
vintage 'hardtail' frame with the horizontal rear shocks hidden in the guts.
It's a signature Harley-Davidson rigid look that you won't find with most
Up to two times thicker than the competition, custom quality paint comes
standard on all Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Clearcoat layering up to
five mils deep. Bigger metal flakes. Unique effects. Skimping simply is not
in our vocabulary.
All Harley-Davidson® fuel tanks are finished by handthat's what
makes them stand out. Their seamless design and unmatched style are unique
among all motorcycles on the road. The tanks are one of the first and last
things people notice when they lay their eyes on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycleso
we make it worth their time.
Blackline's clean look, simplified profile, and defiant attitude embrace
the pure essence of riding. The minimal tank graphics, split drag bars and
narrow backend allow the Twin Cam 103 V-Twin engine and fuel tank to steal
the show. Blackline is a modern metal machine built for freedom seekers who
just want to get on and go.
The split drag style handlebar with slammed speedo bolted right to the triple
clamp adds to the minimalist, low profile appearance of Blackline. Inspired
by the way hot rodders and custom pioneers used to slam their rides, the drag
style handlebar is an old school garage feature that demands a forward, aggressive
Raw, gritty and no-nonsenseBlackline features black laced wheels with
a large 21-inch wheel up front for a quintessential long custom look. In back,
the gloss black smoothie rim is wrapped with a 144mm rear tire, creating a
narrow profile for a contemporary style.
You want a ride that rumblesnot begs for mercywhen you lean on
it a little. The Six-Speed Cruise Drive® transmission provides smooth,
quiet shifting and reduces engine speed on the highway, so you get a better
match between engine turnover and road speed. It's a rare ride when a bike
responds like this, and a low growl goes a long way when you're opening up
the road ahead.
New for 2012: live your ride to the power of 103. The air cooled Twin Cam
103 Harley Davidson® engine delivers more stump pulling torque,
while its Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection jetting gives crisp, lively
throttle reaction. Its a performance punch that youll appreciate
when passing, climbing hills, or rolling with luggage packed or a passenger
in backall under that signature Motor Company rumble. And it comes at
lower cruising rpm, so you ride more smoothly, with less engine vibration
and better highway fuel economy.
The knowledge of what makes an engine truly move a rider runs deep at The
Motor Company, and it was put to good use when we created the Twin Cam 103;
engine. We sweated bullets perfecting every cubic inch, pushing design and
technology forward. And we did it all without compromising one bit of Harley-Davidson's
unique styling. Evolved, yet carrying on the legacy of the Flathead, Knucklehead,
Panhead, Shovelhead, Evolution®, Twin Cam 88®; and Twin Cam 96
engines that came before. The performance and durability are a direct result
of the untold miles logged on the V-Twin since 1909, and the proud heritage
that comes from a century's worth of commitment to life on two wheels.
Fire up the Twin Cam 103 engine and feel the low-end torque unleashed.
Thanks to the lightweight piston design, delivery of the added power is more
refined than ever. Then put your foot on the shifter and feel how the engine
and Six-Speed Cruise Drive® transmission were designed to work together.
Six speeds. A strong driveline and strong internal parts. Low routine maintenance.
And a low cruising rpm couldn't feel better.
Feast your eyes on the Twin Cam 103 engine and there's no mistaking
its roots. This is authentic Harley-Davidson style through and through with
an attention to detail you won't find from any other motorcycle company. Grey
powder coated heads and black powder-coated cylinders are highlighted by machined
cooling fin tips and black rocker covers and an old school round air cleaner
cover for a tough vintage Harley-Davidson attitude. It's a jewel machined
out of metal. Pure. Dripping with power. From the classic edge of the cooling
fins to the clean lines of cases and coversthe Twin Cam 103 engine
makes an ironclad statement about holding on to what's right and staying true
to what satisfies.
The factory installed next-generation security system features a hands-free
fob that automatically arms and disarms the vehicle electronic security functions
as you approach and walk away from the bike. Stick the fob on your ignition
key ring and let it do all the work. It's this attention to details and security
that make Harley-Davidson® motorcycles unique.
Harley-Davidson leverages the latest in technology without compromising style
and function. That means we hide electronics. The whole wiring harness is
skillfully routed behind the jewels of the bikethe tank, engine and
all the other eye-popping features you want to see. It's just another way
The Motor Company goes the extra mile to give its bikes that premium, top-of-the-line
fit and finish.
Hand controls on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle are incredibly intuitive.
The turn signals are self-canceling and, based on the speed and angle of the
motorcycle, they know how long to stay on. Engaging the controls quickly becomes
second nature so you can focus less on turning off your signal and more on
basking in the freedom of the ride.
When it comes to Blackline with optional ABS, 'stopping power' has a double
meaning. We've kept most of its ABS components tastefully hidden, so you'll
still turn heads with clean, streamlined design. More importantly, though,
you get certainty in the saddle knowing your bike's going to behave when you
Whether you're crossing state lines or staying within city limits, you want
sure contact with the road. The front end holds a premium touring tire with
a three-ply polyester casing and two fiberglass belts. The back cruiser tire
has an advanced tread pattern. Made from a specifically formulated compound,
it delivers outstanding grip in wet or dry weather. And since they're from
Dunlop®, you know you're wrapping your premium rollers in quality rubber.
Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are different from any other bike out on
the road. There's a balance to them. The steering, the maneuverabilityit's
all in concert. And each Harley-Davidson® model is tuned differently to
create a unique riding experience for each individual no matter which bike
they swing their leg over. Let's face it, we didn't get to where we are by
being like everyone else.
Our motorcycles are built to be ridden. A lot. So that means that rider comfort
is top of mind. Always. With the Engine Idle Temperature Management Strategy
(EITMS) feature, the motorcycle automatically cuts fuel and fire from the
rear cylinder when idling, which helps reduce engine heat felt by rider and
passenger. This feature can easily be turned on by your dealer.
The seat is home for Harley-Davidson® motorcycle riders. They want a
seat that has unique style without sacrificing comfort. Because of that, Harley-Davidson
invests a lot of time in researching, designing and testing seats so that
every bike has just the right saddle.
With the custom forward-mounted controls on the Blackline motorcycle, you
can kick back a little and stretch your legs for the ultimate cruise through
town or across the state line. It's time to take in the open road the way
you were meant toon a two-wheeled machine that keeps it as real as you
Slung low at 24 inches from the road, the two-up custom seat slams you deep
in the saddle of a machine that's easy to maneuver and keeps your feet close
to the ground. And it's done without sacrificing the aggressive profile riding
position you want in a long custom bike.
Right out of the gate, Blackline puts you in position to look and feel confident
in the saddle. With split drag bars, forward foot controls and a low-slung
seat, you sit in an aggressive riding position that makes navigating the streets
a cinch. Plus, you're sure to steal the glance of envious onlookers everywhere
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline Model Highlights
NEW Rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B V-Twin engine with
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
NEW Paint color options
- Powertrain styling with gloss black powdercoat finish on the rocker box covers, crankcase, outer primary cover, and transmission side cover. The cylinders are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.
- Round air cleaner cover in brilliant chrome
- Black Denim powdercoat frame and swingarm.
- Profile Laced aluminum wheels with black anodized rims
- Wide FX front end with black powdercoat triple clamps and black painted fork lowers.
- Split Drag internally-wired handlebar mounts directly to the top triple clamp
- Asymmetric five-gallon Softail® fuel tank is clean on the left side, with low-profile fuel fill on the right. Die cast Blackline trim panel flowing down the center of the tank covers the fuel pump hardware.
- 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.
- Bobbed rear fender with combination stop/turn/tail lights in black housings, and a new composite license plate holder and light module that mounts on the lower edge of the fender.
- Raw forged rear fender supports are finished in Black Denim powdercoat
- One-piece, two-up seat and passenger pillion. Laden rider seat height is 24 inches, the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson.
- 5.75-inch diameter headlamp in gloss black shell
- Polished forward foot controls.
- Over/under chrome shotgun exhaust
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline Features and Benefits
- 6-speed Cruise Drive® transmission
- Horseshoe oil tank
- Optional Harley-Davidson® Smart Security System with hands-free security fob
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline - USA Specifications/Technical
US MSRP Price: Vivid Black $15,499, Color $15,884, Two-Tone $15,999 USD
Length 93 in. (2362 mm)
Overall Width 34 in. (864 mm)
Overall Height 47.3 in. (1201 mm)
- Laden2 24 in. (610 mm)
- Unladen 26.1 in. (663 mm)
Ground Clearance 5.25 in. (133 mm)
Rake (steering head) 30°
Fork Angle 33.5°
Trail 4.84 in. (123 mm)
Wheelbase 66.5 in. (1689 mm)
Tires (Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, blackwall):
- Front D402F MH90-21 54H
- Rear D402 MU85B16 77H
Fuel Capacity 5.0 gal. (18.9 L) (warning light at approximately 1.0 gal.)
Oil Capacity (w/filter) 3.5 qts. (3.3 L)
Transmission Capacity 1.0 qt. (.95 L)
Case Capacity 1.0 qt. (.95 L)
- As Shipped 638.5 lbs. (290 kg)
- In Running Order 682.5 lbs. (310 kg)
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 1124 lbs. (510 kg)
- Gross Axle Weight Rating:
- Front 414 lbs. (188 kg)
- Rear 710 lbs. (322 kg)
Engine Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103BTM
Valves Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; two valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 3.875 in. x 4.38 in. (98.4 mm x 111.1 mm)
Displacement 103 cu. in. (1690 cc)
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Fuel System3 Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner Paper, washable
Lubrication System Pressurized, dry-sump
Primary Drive Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive Belt, 32/66 ratio
Clutch Multi-plate, wet
Transmission 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall): U.S.
- 1st 9.311
- 2nd 6.454
- 3rd 4.793
- 4th 3.882
- 5th 3.307
- 6th 2.79
Frame Mild steel tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm Mild steel, round tube sections, forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks 41.3 mm telescopic
Rear Shocks Hidden, horizontal-mounted, coil-over
Wheels4: Black Anodized Aluminum Profile Laced
- Front 21 in. x 2.15 in. (533 mm x 55 mm)
- Rear 16 in. x 3 in. (406 mm x 76 mm)
- Caliper Type 4-piston front and 2-piston rear
- Rotor Type (diameter x width): Patented, uniform expansion rotors
- Front 11.5 in. x .2 in. (292 mm x 5.1 mm)
- Rear 11.5 in. x .23 in. (292mm x 5.8 mm)
- Anti-lock Braking System: Available
- Front Wheel 5.6 in. (143 mm)
- Rear Wheel 3.6 in. (91 mm)
Engine Torque5 (per J1349):
- North America 98.7 ft. lbs. @ 3250 RPM (134 Nm @ 3250 RPM)
Lean Angle (per J1168):
- Right 24.4°
- Left 25.9°
Fuel Economy6 (EPA urban/highway test) 42 mpg (5.6 L/100 km)
- Vivid Black
- Black Denim
- Big Blue Pearl/Vivid Black
- H-D Orange/Vivid Black
Vivid Black $15,499
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating)
Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 19-amp/hour, 270 cca
Charging Three-phase, 38-amp system (439W @ 13V, 2000 RPM, 489W max power @ 13V)
Starting 1.2 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation):
- Headlamp (quartz halogen) 55-watt low beam, 60-watt high beam
- Turn Signal Lights 28W (21W) self-canceling
- Rear Tail/Stop/Turn Signal Lights 8W/28W (5W/21W) self-canceling
- Indicator Lamps: High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, security system7 (optional), 6-speed, low
Warranty8 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Service Interval9 First 1000 miles (1600 km), every 5000 miles (8000 km) thereafter
1 Vehicles depicted may differ from vehicles manufactured and delivered.
Specifications and prices listed may differ from specifications and prices
of vehicles manufactured and delivered. All product descriptions (including
depictions, specifications, dimensions, measurements, ratings and competitive
comparisons) are based on available information at the time of publication.
Although such descriptions are believed correct, errors and changes can occur and complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Harley-Davidson may make changes at any time to prices and specifications, and may change or discontinue models, without notice and without incurring any obligation. Attention: Vehicles in the configurations shown and many of the accessories described in this catalog may not be available for sale or use in some locations. Please check with your dealer for complete product details and the latest information. All models feature 6-speed transmission (V-Rod® models and Sportster® models are 5-speed) and carbon fiber belt final drive; multi-plate clutch with diaphragm spring in oil bath; and 2-year unlimited mileage warranty.
2 Measurement reflects 180 lb. (81.7 kg) operator weight.
3 Recommended 91 octane or higher fuel (R+M)/2.
4 Standard and optional wheels may vary by country and region.
5 Values shown are nominal. Performance may vary by country and region.
6 The combined fuel economy numbers were derived using a combination of estimated city and highway values. Fuel economy estimates are derived from US EPA exhaust emission certification data on a sample motorcycle from the corresponding family under ideal laboratory conditions. Your actual fuel economy will vary depending on your personal riding habits, road and driving conditions, vehicle condition and maintenance, tire pressure, vehicle configuration (parts and accessories), and vehicle loading (cargo, rider and passenger weight). Break-in mileage may vary.
7 North America security system includes immobilizer; outside North America the security system includes immobilizer and siren.
8 See motorcycle owners manual for complete details.
9 Inspections of certain systems and components are required at 2500 mile (4000 km) intervals. See Owners Manual for full details.
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline - Canadian Specifications/Technical
Canada MSRP Price: Vivid Black $16,999, Color Option $17,419, Two-Tone Option $17,549, Security Package (Security and ABS) $1,310 CDN
Length: 2,410 mm
Seat Height, Laden: 610 mm
Seat Height, Unladen: 655 mm
Ground Clearance: 135 mm
Rake (steering head) (deg): 30
Trail: 123 mm
Wheelbase: 1,670 mm
Tires, Front Specification: MH90-21 54H
Tires, Rear Specification: MU85B16 77H
Fuel Capacity 3: 18.9 l
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 3.3 l
Weight, As Shipped: 294 kg
Weight, In Running Order: 306 kg
Luggage Capacity -Volume: N/A
Luggage Capacity -Weight: N/A
Engine 1: Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103B
Bore: 98.4 mm
Stroke: 111.1 mm
Displacement: 1,690 cc
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (overall) 1st: 9.311
Gear Ratios (overall) 2nd: 6.454
Gear Ratios (overall) 3rd: 4.793
Gear Ratios (overall) 4th: 3.882
Gear Ratios (overall) 5th: 3.307
Gear Ratios (overall) 6th: 2.79
Exhaust: Narrow and low-slung profile
Wheels, Optional Style Type: N/A
Wheels, Front Type: Black Anodized, Profile Laced Aluminum
Wheels, Rear Type: Black Anodized, Profile Laced Aluminum
Brakes, Caliper Type: 4-piston front and rear
Parking Brake: N/A
Engine Torque Testing Method: J1349
Engine Torque 2: 134 Nm
Engine Torque (rpm): 3,000
Lean Angle, Right (deg.): 24.4
Lean Angle, Left (deg.): 25.9
Fuel Economy: Combined City/Hwy: 5.6 l/100 km
Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator LampsHigh beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, security system (optional), 6-speed, low fuel warnings
NEW Triple clamp-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer, time-of-day clock on odometer, dual tripmeter, engine diagnostics readout, low fuel warning light and mileage countdown feature, low oil pressure indicator, 6-speed indicator, ABS indicator (optional), LED indicator lights
1: Measurement reflects 180 lb. (81.7 kg) operator weight.
2: Recommended 91 octane or higher fuel (R+M)/2.
3: Values shown are nominal. Performance may vary by country and region.
4: Standard and optional fuel systems may vary by country.
5: Estimated from fuel economy tests on a sample motorcycle from the corresponding family conducted by Harley-Davidson under ideal laboratory conditions. Not all motorcycle models undergo fuel economy testing. Fuel economy and mileage may vary among motorcycle models within a family. Your mileage may vary depending on your personal riding habits, weather conditions, trip length, vehicle condition and vehicle configuration and other conditions. Break-in mileage may vary.
6: Standard and optional wheels may vary by country and region.
7: North America security system includes immobilizer; outside North America the security system includes immobilizer and siren.
8: See motorcycle owner's manual for complete details.
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline - Press Release 1
MORE HARLEY-DAVIDSON MODELS WITH TWIN CAM 103 POWER IN 2012
V-Rod® 10th Anniversary Edition and Dyna® Switchback Bagger Join the Model Line
MILWAUKEE (July 20, 2011) Harley-Davidson offers more Big Twin performance for 2012 as its Twin Cam 103 powertrain is standard equipment on Softail® and Touring motorcycle models and most Dyna® motorcycle models. Harley-Davidson will offer two new models for 2012. The V-Rod® 10th Anniversary Edition celebrates a decade of power-cruiser performance, while the new Dyna® Switchback is a convertible custom-touring motorcycle with detachable hard saddlebags and windshield. In addition, the Night Rod Special has significant updates for 2012 with refreshed bodywork and optimized rider ergonomics. Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO)TM rolls out the gleaming new CVO Road Glide® Custom, a limited-production, high-performance touring masterpiece.
Harley-Davidson believes every motorcycle it sells can be a custom of one. Harley-Davidson H-D1 is a comprehensive offering of customization tools for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. H-D1 tools include Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories listings in print and on-line catalogs, Fit Shop and consultation services at Harley-Davidson dealerships, and factory customization and Bike Builder tools on www.harley-davidson.com. H-D1 offers almost unlimited opportunities to optimize fit, function, style and performance and turn a Harley into a motorcycle that is truly personalized to its owner.
Harley- Davidson heads into 2012 with 32 models, each born of experience that spans generations and a passion for riding that will never diminish.
Highlights of the 2012 Harley-Davidson line include:
The Twin Cam 103 engine powers all 2012 Dyna®, Softail® and
Touring models with the exception of the Dyna Street Bob® and Dyna Super
Glide® Custom. This engine produces up to 100 ft lbs. peak torque, an
increase of approximately 6 percent over the Twin Cam 96 engine it replaces
as standard power for many of these models. The Twin Cam 103 is equipped with
automatic compression release. It features identifying badges on the derby
cover, timer cover and air cleaner trim ring.
A Security Package that pairs Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Smart Security System with proximity-based, hands-free security fob is available for all 2012 V-Rod®, Dyna®, Softail®, Touring and CVO models. The Security Package is standard equipment on CVO models and on the Road Glide® Ultra, the Electra Glide® Ultra Limited, and the Road King® Classic. The Security Package is a factory-installed option for all other models.
The Night Rod® Special is updated with new tapered tail section, lighter-weight wheels, an inverted front fork and improved ergonomics. Harley-Davidson celebrates a decade of power cruising with the V-Rod® 10th Anniversary Edition motorcycle, finished in Brilliant Silver Pearl bodywork that evokes the anodized aluminum bodywork of the original V-Rod model that introduced the liquid-cooled Revolution V-Twin engine in 2002. All V-Rod models will carry V-Rod 10th Anniversary badges.
The new Dyna Switchback combines hard saddlebags and a windshield with the eager handling and Twin Cam 103 performance of the Dyna chassis. It's a custom-touring bike ready for a long weekend trip, until the detachable bags and windshield are removed. Then in seconds the Switchback becomes a custom street cruiser with a gleaming headlamp nacelle, five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels and a mini-ape handlebar. This convertible concept makes the versatile Switchback two motorcycles in one.
All Harley-Davidson Softail models get the performance boost of the Twin Cam 103 engine for 2012. The Fat Boy and Fat Boy Lo have a new reduced-reach handlebar for more-comfortable ergonomics. A lower, narrower seat shape places the Fat Boy rider in a new "in the bike" position. The Softail Deluxe and Heritage Softail Classic will be available with a new optional "tubeless" Chrome Aluminum Profile Laced wheel option for ease of tire replacement and repair.
The Twin Cam 103 powertrain gives all Harley-Davidson Touring models assertive power for passing. On Touring models, the Twin Cam 103 is equipped with an oil cooler. All Touring models except the Ultra Limited will offer a new "tubeless" Chrome Aluminum Profile Laced wheel option.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster® line appeals to a broad range of riders with six 2012 models ranging from the race-inspired XR1200X to the accessible SuperLow® to Dark Custom roadsters like the Iron 883, Nightster® and Forty-Eight®. The Sportster® 1200 Custom can be personalized for fit, function and style with H-D1 factory customization, a process that allows customers to use the Bike Builder tool on harley-davidson.com to build the motorcycle from a selection of options that are installed as the bike is assembled by Harley-Davidson Motor Company or are installed by a dealer after the motorcycle is delivered. New 1200 Custom color options have been added to Bike Builder for 2012.
The new CVO Road Glide Custom is one of four limited-production 2012 models from Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO)TM, each turned out with bold paint, gleaming chrome, and the most-powerful V-Twin engines offered in production Harley-Davidson motorcycles. CVO Road Glide Custom is a hot-rod bagger with a frame-mounted fairing topped with a smoked Wind Splitter windshield, a high-output, amplified Harman/Kardon® Advanced Audio system, and a color-matched, low-profile fuel tank console.
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