HARLEY-DAVIDSON BLACKLINE (2011 - 2012) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
On face vale, the Harley Blackline should be a great addition to the Harley range, using the proven big twin powertrain and Softail chassis and dressing is up according to the latest ‘blacked-out’, pared down bobber fashion. Trouble is, style has won over substance. Though it looks good, the riding position is agonizingly extreme and unadjustable – so much so it’s almost unrideable – and it’s also questionable value compared to the rest of the range. Harley say they may rework the ergonomics. Until they do it’s impossible to recommend.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Harley Blackline might look good… but it rides blooming abysmally. Basically it’s down to the Harley Blackline’s extreme riding position. Highway pegs are familiar and excuseable, but combining them with the ultra-low seat and extremely forward drag bars leaves you pretty much bent double and stretching for the grips. I found it awkward instantly and painful after barely two miles at pedestrian speeds. After 20 miles of 60mph B-roads my elbows ached, my teeth were gritted and I wanted to get off. That route is normally a joy on any bike, especially with the first onset of spring. On the Blackline is was, quite literally, a pain.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Power for the Harley Blackline is c/o the usual 45-degree Harley push-rod ‘Big V’ (currently in 1584cc guise) between yer knees which, whatever it lacks in modernity, remains adequate, characterful and class-definingly authentic.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Admittedly the Harley Blackline’s all been done mouth-wateringly well – Harley are dab hands at ‘eye candy’ after all. The curved profile of the wheel rims is beautiful; those bars are impressively simple and neat; the paint and metal finishes are predictably fabulous and the minimalism makes most other customs look like a handbag from The Only Way is Essex. It looks good and, just as importantly, any rider’s reflection in a shop window looks good, too. Meanwhile, reliability-wise, although too early to be sure, the drivetrain is familiar and proven and Harley has a good record.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
In this two-tone spec, the Blackline’s listed at £14,545. And, I’m sorry, but that’s not just ridiculous (especially when you could get a largely similar but more comfortable and practical Harley Superglide Custom or Wide Glide for around £11K) I also find it insulting when, in reality, considering its minimalist approach, you’re actually paying more…for less. Yes, Softails are all more expesnive than the twin shock Dynas, but normally you get a lot more, too.
Fairly standard fare. The Harley Blackline is basically a Softail Custom (ie big H-D V-twin + Softail/hidden shock rear + ‘chopper’ skinny 21in hoop and wide/kicked out forks front) which has been around in one way or another since 1985. Or, to be exact, it’s a Softail Custom with a couple of bits thrown away and a couple of other bits finished black instead of chrome. There’s a speedo and some idiot lights and… that’s about it.
|Engine type||Aircooled, pushrod, V-twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||18.9 litres|
|Front brake||292mm disc, four-piston caliper|
|Rear brake||292mm disc, four-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||MH90 x 21|
|Rear tyre size||MU85B x 16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||44 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£250|
14 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||72 bhp|
|Max torque||125 ft-lb|
|Top speed||110 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||185 miles|
Model history & versions
2011: model introduced
Owners' reviews for the HARLEY-DAVIDSON BLACKLINE (2011 - 2012)
1 owner has reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON BLACKLINE (2011 - 2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Version: ABS version
Annual servicing cost: £250
Love the bike stage one stage one tune with vance and hines pipes lovely
Brakes are good front wheel is a bit skittish over bumps. However I find it comfy and the press does not
Love it, peak power about 3250 revs but it pulls like a train
Black tank scratches easily but apart form that no issues
I use a good motorcycle mechanic rather than Harley
gear indicator rev counter I would bin the Harley tyres and go for some Avons
Buying experience: got from Oxford Harley paid advertised price