After tolerating years of back-end bloat, the Blackline's 144mm-narrow rear tire looks almost revolutionary-witness the end of the fat-tire trend. In addition to a balanced profile, the skinny tread gives this Softail unexpectedly light steering characteristics, though you'll bury your boot heels in even mild bends. The usual limitations excepted, handling is better than you'd expect from a bike with a 66.4-inch wheelbase and 30 degrees of rake, thanks to a reasonable, 4.8-inch trail that keeps the front end from flopping at all but the lowest speeds. Braking is surprisingly good on our (optional) Bosch/Hayes ABS-equipped testbike. Stopping a near-700-lb. motorcycle with a four-piston front brake and a skinny, 21-inch front tire usually isn't an easy proposition, but here you can just crush the lever and let the perfectly calibrated anti-lock circuitry bring you to a fast, drama-free stop.