2017 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight

2017 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight
2017 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-EightCRS

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight is Harley’s answer to the young and hip. With a peanut tank, bulldog stance, fat tires, and short fenders; it screams attitude and style.

Harley-Davidson has been producing Sportsters since the late 1950s, and they came as a follow up to the popular Model K Sport and Sport Solo motorcycles. Until 2014, they were the smallest and most economical models in the brand’s lineup.

Sportsters are a hit with riders, however, with Harley-Davidson selling more Sportsters than some other brands do all their models combined.

Despite aesthetic treatments and accessories, all of the models are powered by either Harley’s 883cc or 1200cc 45-degree V-Twin engine. From 1957 until 2003 motors were mounted directly to the frame, but all of the models since are rubber-mounted to make for a more comfortable ride. All models since 1991 feature five-speed transmissions, while everything previous only had four.

Sportsters now come in various shapes and sizes. Models like the Superlow and 1200 Custom offer a more classic and traditional look, while the Iron 883, Forty-Eight, and Roadster appeal to a younger and more hip audience. Then there is the Superlow 1200T, which comes ready to hit the road on a long distance tour.

The Forty-Eight features Harley’s 1200cc V-Twin motor, large 49mm front fork, adjustable rear suspension, and a fat 130 mm wide front tire. It has a base MSRP of $11,299, but the possibilities are endless once you start playing in The Motor Company’s extensive aftermarket catalog.

2017 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight Specs and Pricing

MSRP $11,299
DISPLACEMENT (CC) 73
SEAT HEIGHT (IN) 27
WET WEIGHT (LBS) 551

Cycle World 2017 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight Reviews

Thoughts from the Staff

"The Sportster Forty-Eight was one of my favorite bikes in the Harley-Davidson lineup until I got the chance to ride one. It proved to be that all the aesthetic choices that I loved so much were made in lieu of other, more comfort or performance-minded components, and the bike as a whole was just not as rideable as I was hoping."

Morgan Gales - Editor, Street Chopper Magazine