I am not a big fan of the Forty-Eight’s riding position. Even though the riding position is upright, the handle-bar is far off, making the whole riding experience slightly tedious. You have to stretch out your legs to reach the pegs as they are placed way ahead. This is fine for someone who will just ride the Forty-Eight all the time and don’t own any other motorcycles. The under-bar mirrors are not just practical but look quite appealing too.
Harley-Davidson has equipped the Forty-Eight with a new suspension setup, with wider 49mm forks doing the duty in front. However, the ride is on the stiffer side. Couple this with 130/90B16 front tyre and the riding experience isn’t pleasant. Be prepared to feel every bit of the road, small stones, bumps, undulations et al. The bike’s ground clearance of 110mm doesn’t help matters either; you will end up riding gingerly over every speed hump that comes your way and that my friend is way too many. Once you have got the bumps out of the way it comes down to ergonomics. One will need to plan out the U-turns on the Forty Eight because of the far set handlebar.
The Forty-Eight is powered by a 1202cc air-cooled engine that produces 96Nm of peak torque. This torque-loaded machine feels nice to rev across the range, that’s once you have battled with the humps. However, the low-end torque is enticing and more enjoyable. The five-speed gearbox transfers the power to the rear-wheel via a belt drive, and although it feels heavy, 100kmph is where the Forty-Eight feels at home. Twist the throttle to 120kmph, and you begin to feel the vibrations on the handlebar. Go above that speed and the intensity of the vibrations increases. The Forty-Eight has decent braking power, enough to stop the bike from high speed.