Harley-Davidson And The Dark Custom Movement. Iron 883, The Forty-Eight, The Street 750 And 500.

1-2016-Iron-and-Forty-EightStirring the rebel soul in all of us, especially the youngsters is a Harley philosophy. The Harley-Davidson Dark Custom movement strips a motorcycle to its mechanical essence and the motorcycling experience to its rebellious core – the quest for freedom and self-expression.

iron1For 2016, Harley-Davidson asserts Dark Custom attitude with the new Iron 883™, Forty-Eight®, and Harley-Davidson Street™ motorcycles, hard-nosed machines that offer an affordable rebel experience to a new generation of riders. Objective? Being minimalist and dark with an urban gene. The nimble Street™ 500 and Street™ 750 models roll into a second season with customer-led updates, ready to roam the global cityscape.

fortyeight“With Dark Custom, we embrace the beauty of the basic motorcycle structure,” said Harley-Davidson Styling Director Brad Richards. “It’s about the beauty of the nuts and bolts, the steel and rubber and the heart of the machine, which is a Harley-Davidson V-Twin engine. Dark Custom reaches back to our styling roots, but also invites the rider to move forward, to make the Dark Custom motorcycle his or her own with accessories, ingenuity or riding experiences.”

1Dark883Iron 883
Drawing inspiration from garage-built bobbers past and present, the new Iron 883 model is chopped and drilled, intentionally a little raw and rough around the edges. Clipped fenders, blacked-out powertrain and exhaust, drag-style handlebars and a solo tuck-and-roll seat cover evoke bare-knuckle street performance. A ribbed air cleaner cover speaks to the stamped-from-steel authenticity of this motorcycle. Bullet-hole details on the belt guard, exhaust shields and front fender brace recall a racer’s effort to lighten the bike. Colors and finishes for the Iron 883 were selected to help hide the grit and grime of riding and living in the urban environment, for riders who don’t own – or care to own – a garden hose and a driveway.

The Iron 883 is powered by an 883cc Evolution® V-Twin engine tuned to power away from stop lights and deliver satisfying performance. A blacked-out floating front brake rotor complements nine-spoke cast aluminum wheels finished in black with machined highlights that reduce unsprung weight by a combined eight pounds to improve ride comfort and handling.

3Dark883Ride and handling are further enhanced by new cartridge-style forks and new emulsion rear shock absorbers with progressive-rate springs and a threaded pre-load adjustment collar that makes it easy for the rider to dial in shock performance to match road conditions or passenger weight. A special shock adjustment spanner stows under the seat. A passenger pillion matching the tuck-and-roll seat upholstery will be offered through Harley-Davidson® Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories. The 2016 Iron 883 is offered in four color options: Charcoal Satin, Black Denim, or Olive Gold with an eagle-and-shield tank logo, or Hard Candy Custom Gold Flake with a flame detail paired with black fenders.

1FortyEightForty-Eight
The new Forty-Eight motorcycle feature a burly 130mm front tire is suspended by 49mm forks secured in massive forged aluminum triple clamps and an aluminum fork brace. The classic 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank creates a narrow, athletic waist. Chopped fenders expose the tire rubber. “The low handlebar and forward foot controls put the Forty-Eight rider in an aggressive posture, so we picked up on that with the styling,” said Harley-Davidson Industrial Designer/Stylist Ben McGinley, the lead stylist on the project. “The big front wheel is like a steamroller coming down the street, and we went with the smaller round steel air cleaner and some chrome on the exhaust to draw your eyes to the engine, which looks larger under the peanut tank. I’d describe the theme of this bike as functional muscle.”

The fuel tank styling features horizontal stripes, a throw-back to 1970s style that’s reappearing today on custom bikes. Those lines are repeated throughout the motorcycle, including in the seat stitching, slotted exhaust shields, rear sprocket and belt guard. New lightweight cast-aluminum wheels feature nine split spokes and a solid black finish with machined highlights. A side-mount license plate and combination stop/tail/turn signals keep the rear fender uncluttered. The new 49mm forks feature a cartridge design tuned to complement new emulsion rear shock absorbers with progressive-rate springs and a threaded pre-load adjustment collar, a combination that delivers a premium, controlled ride over the roughest urban pavement. A shock adjustment spanner is stashed under the solo seat, which has been formed to support the rider with all-day comfort.

The 2016 Forty-Eight is offered in four solid colors: Vivid Black, Billet Silver, Velocity Red Sunglo and Olive Gold. Hard Candy Custom options include Hard Candy Cancun Blue Flake and Hard Candy Gold Flake.

1Street2StreetHarley-Davidson Street 750 and Street 500
The Street 750 and Street 500 models combine a lightweight, easy handling chassis with the responsive performance of the liquid-cooled Revolution X powertrain in a café-inspired Dark Custom motorcycle developed for urban riding. For 2016, both Street models receive new front and rear brake systems with 300mm brake rotors and a powerful, stylized front caliper with 34mm pistons and matching rear caliper for even greater confidence when navigating challenging roads. Other braking system upgrades include an improved aluminum integrated rear master cylinder with reservoir, aluminum front master cylinder with reduced friction and higher efficiency, and new brake lines. The rear brake pedal has a new position with improved ergonomics, and the new clutch and brake levers look and feel more robust. The horn mount has been tucked behind the radiator and a modified wiring harness has a tidy appearance.

Both 2016 Street models will be offered in Vivid Black, Black Denim and two new colors, Superior Blue and Velocity Red Sunglo.

9 Responses to “Harley-Davidson And The Dark Custom Movement. Iron 883, The Forty-Eight, The Street 750 And 500.”


  1. 1 Russ Mansfield Aug 28th, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Whatever some may say. These 2 sleds are very cool.

  2. 2 mkv Aug 28th, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Are they paying homage to AMF by putting those stripes on that tank?

  3. 3 NoH2oh Aug 28th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    HD has its issues, but styling a bike sure ain’t one of them.

  4. 4 J Aug 28th, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Black….. Blacker than black- can’t get more black than….. Black.

  5. 5 nicker Aug 29th, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Back to basics minimalism is way cool and speaks more to the heart of what motorcycling was about… “once-upon-a-time.”

    So…
    “…Dark Custom movement strips a motorcycle to its mechanical essence…”
    That’s a good thing.

    “… and the motorcycling experience to its rebellious core … ”
    But that’s beginning to sound like a “rebel without a clue”

    “… the quest for freedom and self-expression…”
    -No- that misses the legacy of motorcycling completely.

    Understand this:
    1) Those who “Quest’ for freedom are doomed to be slaves. Freedom must be taken.
    2) Those who need an image to “Express themselves” are doomed to obscure mediocrity.

    The core of motorcycling lies in self satisfaction and self reliance based on individual initiative and ability.

    -nicker-

  6. 6 fuji Aug 30th, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Nicker. The best statement ever made on this blog.

    Understand this:
    1) Those who “Quest’ for freedom are doomed to be slaves. Freedom must be taken.
    2) Those who need an image to “Express themselves” are doomed to obscure mediocrity.

    The core of motorcycling lies in self satisfaction and self reliance based on individual initiative and ability.
    -nicker-

  7. 7 Iron Horse Aug 30th, 2015 at 7:31 am

    +1 to nicker.

  8. 8 Capt. Al Sep 1st, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I don’t know about the Spirituality of these great Designs, but they are Sharp looking Bikes. And I agree HD has it right almost always. They are whom everyone in the Business has taught and set examples to EVERYONE that is in the Motorcycle Business. That includes the Italians, Germans, Chinese, Koreans, French, Indians. Japanese and all the Custom Designers, Builders & Innovators! Everyone, even Ford. Keep moving forward HD and all will follow for a ways.

  9. 9 Dave Smith Sep 15th, 2015 at 9:57 am

    “Lean forward….make it look like you’re riding fast!”

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Cyril Huze

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