2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline Review
Long. Low. No BS. This Dark Custom leader is a minimalist throwback icon for today's freedom seekers
The Blackline is a Harley-Davidson Softail pared to the bone with visual elements of the original bobber movement combined with a raw style embraced by today's young bike builders. The rear fender is bobbed high-and-tight over a slim, 144 mm tire that emphasizes an authentic hardtail profile. The Softail rear suspension mimics the clean lines of a vintage hardtail frame but offers the comfort of a modern suspension that is hidden under the chassis. The rider hugs the frame on the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson, while reaching high for the new Split Drag handlebar. The rigid powertrain allows tight packaging of the engine and frame to create a solid connection between the rider and the power that moves the Blackline.
HIDDEN REAR SHOCKS
If you want a comfortable ride but love that rigid-suspension look, you've found the right bike. We've kept all the modern comforts where they belong—below the surface of a rad, vintage-looking bike. You get the classic lines of a vintage 'hardtail' frame with the horizontal rear shocks hidden in the guts. It's a signature Harley-Davidson rigid look that you won't find with most other bikes.
Up to two times thicker than the competition, custom quality paint comes standard on all Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Clearcoat layering up to five mils deep. Bigger metal flakes. Unique effects. Skimping simply is not in our vocabulary.
HAND FINISHED FUEL TANK
All Harley-Davidson® fuel tanks are finished by hand—that's what makes them stand out. Their seamless design and unmatched style are unique among all motorcycles on the road. The tanks are one of the first and last things people notice when they lay their eyes on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle—so we make it worth their time.
MINIMALIST LONG CUSTOM STYLING
Blackline's clean look, simplified profile, and defiant attitude embrace the pure essence of riding. The minimal tank graphics, split drag bars and narrow backend allow the Twin Cam 103 V-Twin engine and fuel tank to steal the show. Blackline is a modern metal machine built for freedom seekers who just want to get on and go.
SPLIT DRAG™ HANDLEBAR WITH SLAMMED SPEEDO
The split drag style handlebar with slammed speedo bolted right to the triple clamp adds to the minimalist, low profile appearance of Blackline. Inspired by the way hot rodders and custom pioneers used to slam their rides, the drag style handlebar is an old school garage feature that demands a forward, aggressive riding position.
BLACK SMOOTHIE RIMS
Raw, gritty and no-nonsense—Blackline features black laced wheels with a large 21-inch wheel up front for a quintessential long custom look. In back, the gloss black smoothie rim is wrapped with a 144mm rear tire, creating a narrow profile for a contemporary style.
SIX-SPEED CRUISE DRIVE®
You want a ride that rumbles—not begs for mercy—when you lean on it a little. The Six-Speed Cruise Drive® transmission provides smooth, quiet shifting and reduces engine speed on the highway, so you get a better match between engine turnover and road speed. It's a rare ride when a bike responds like this, and a low growl goes a long way when you're opening up the road ahead.
TWIN CAM 103™ ENGINE POWER
New for 2012: live your ride to the power of 103. The air cooled Twin Cam 103™ Harley Davidson® engine delivers more stump pulling torque, while its Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection jetting gives crisp, lively throttle reaction. It’s a performance punch that you’ll appreciate when passing, climbing hills, or rolling with luggage packed or a passenger in back—all under that signature Motor Company rumble. And it comes at lower cruising rpm, so you ride more smoothly, with less engine vibration and better highway fuel economy.
TWIN CAM 103™ ENGINE HERITAGE
The knowledge of what makes an engine truly move a rider runs deep at The Motor Company, and it was put to good use when we created the Twin Cam 103™; engine. We sweated bullets perfecting every cubic inch, pushing design and technology forward. And we did it all without compromising one bit of Harley-Davidson's unique styling. Evolved, yet carrying on the legacy of the Flathead, Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead, Evolution®, Twin Cam 88®; and Twin Cam 96™ engines that came before. The performance and durability are a direct result of the untold miles logged on the V-Twin since 1909, and the proud heritage that comes from a century's worth of commitment to life on two wheels.
TWIN CAM 103™ ENGINE INNOVATION
Fire up the Twin Cam 103™ engine and feel the low-end torque unleashed. Thanks to the lightweight piston design, delivery of the added power is more refined than ever. Then put your foot on the shifter and feel how the engine and Six-Speed Cruise Drive® transmission were designed to work together. Six speeds. A strong driveline and strong internal parts. Low routine maintenance. And a low cruising rpm couldn't feel better.
PURE HARLEY-DAVIDSON STYLING
Feast your eyes on the Twin Cam 103™ engine and there's no mistaking its roots. This is authentic Harley-Davidson style through and through with an attention to detail you won't find from any other motorcycle company. Grey powder coated heads and black powder-coated cylinders are highlighted by machined cooling fin tips and black rocker covers and an old school round air cleaner cover for a tough vintage Harley-Davidson attitude. It's a jewel machined out of metal. Pure. Dripping with power. From the classic edge of the cooling fins to the clean lines of cases and covers—the Twin Cam 103™ engine makes an ironclad statement about holding on to what's right and staying true to what satisfies.
H-D® SMART SECURITY SYSTEM (OPTIONAL)
The factory installed next-generation security system features a hands-free fob that automatically arms and disarms the vehicle electronic security functions as you approach and walk away from the bike. Stick the fob on your ignition key ring and let it do all the work. It's this attention to details and security that make Harley-Davidson® motorcycles unique.
ARTFULLY HIDDEN TECHNOLOGY
Harley-Davidson leverages the latest in technology without compromising style and function. That means we hide electronics. The whole wiring harness is skillfully routed behind the jewels of the bike—the tank, engine and all the other eye-popping features you want to see. It's just another way The Motor Company goes the extra mile to give its bikes that premium, top-of-the-line fit and finish.
Hand controls on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle are incredibly intuitive. The turn signals are self-canceling and, based on the speed and angle of the motorcycle, they know how long to stay on. Engaging the controls quickly becomes second nature so you can focus less on turning off your signal and more on basking in the freedom of the ride.
ANTI-LOCK BRAKES (OPTIONAL)
When it comes to Blackline with optional ABS, 'stopping power' has a double meaning. We've kept most of its ABS components tastefully hidden, so you'll still turn heads with clean, streamlined design. More importantly, though, you get certainty in the saddle knowing your bike's going to behave when you need it.
Whether you're crossing state lines or staying within city limits, you want sure contact with the road. The front end holds a premium touring tire with a three-ply polyester casing and two fiberglass belts. The back cruiser tire has an advanced tread pattern. Made from a specifically formulated compound, it delivers outstanding grip in wet or dry weather. And since they're from Dunlop®, you know you're wrapping your premium rollers in quality rubber.
TUNED TO BE RIDDEN
Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are different from any other bike out on the road. There's a balance to them. The steering, the maneuverability—it's all in concert. And each Harley-Davidson® model is tuned differently to create a unique riding experience for each individual no matter which bike they swing their leg over. Let's face it, we didn't get to where we are by being like everyone else.
ENGINE IDLE TEMPERATURE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
Our motorcycles are built to be ridden. A lot. So that means that rider comfort is top of mind. Always. With the Engine Idle Temperature Management Strategy (EITMS) feature, the motorcycle automatically cuts fuel and fire from the rear cylinder when idling, which helps reduce engine heat felt by rider and passenger. This feature can easily be turned on by your dealer.
SEAT ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
The seat is home for Harley-Davidson® motorcycle riders. They want a seat that has unique style without sacrificing comfort. Because of that, Harley-Davidson invests a lot of time in researching, designing and testing seats so that every bike has just the right saddle.
With the custom forward-mounted controls on the Blackline motorcycle, you can kick back a little and stretch your legs for the ultimate cruise through town or across the state line. It's time to take in the open road the way you were meant to—on a two-wheeled machine that keeps it as real as you do.
LOW TWO-UP SEAT
Slung low at 24 inches from the road, the two-up custom seat slams you deep in the saddle of a machine that's easy to maneuver and keeps your feet close to the ground. And it's done without sacrificing the aggressive profile riding position you want in a long custom bike.
AGGRESSIVE RIDING POSITION
Right out of the gate, Blackline puts you in position to look and feel confident in the saddle. With split drag bars, forward foot controls and a low-slung seat, you sit in an aggressive riding position that makes navigating the streets a cinch. Plus, you're sure to steal the glance of envious onlookers everywhere you roll.
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline Model Highlights
NEW Rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B™ V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
NEW Paint color options
- Powertrain styling with gloss black powdercoat finish on the rocker box covers, crankcase, outer primary cover, and transmission side cover. The cylinders are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.
- Round air cleaner cover in brilliant chrome
- Black Denim powdercoat frame and swingarm.
- Profile Laced aluminum wheels with black anodized rims
- Wide FX front end with black powdercoat triple clamps and black painted fork lowers.
- Split Drag™ internally-wired handlebar mounts directly to the top triple clamp
- Asymmetric five-gallon Softail® fuel tank is clean on the left side, with low-profile fuel fill on the right. Die cast “Blackline” trim panel flowing down the center of the tank covers the fuel pump hardware.
- Analog speedometer on a triple-clamp mount that also holds indicator lights. LCD screen on the speedometer includes low-fuel warning and “miles to empty” display function.
- Bobbed rear fender with combination stop/turn/tail lights in black housings, and a new composite license plate holder and light module that mounts on the lower edge of the fender.
- Raw forged rear fender supports are finished in Black Denim powdercoat
- One-piece, two-up seat and passenger pillion. Laden rider seat height is 24 inches, the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson.
- 5.75-inch diameter headlamp in gloss black shell
- Polished forward foot controls.
- Over/under chrome shotgun exhaust
2012 Harley-Davidson FXS Softail Blackline Features and Benefits
- 6-speed Cruise Drive® transmission
- Horseshoe oil tank
- Optional Harley-Davidson® Smart Security System with hands-free security fob
US MSRP Price: Vivid Black $15,499, Color $15,884, Two-Tone $15,999 USD
Length 93 in. (2362 mm)
Overall Width 34 in. (864 mm)
Overall Height 47.3 in. (1201 mm)
- Laden2 24 in. (610 mm)
- Unladen 26.1 in. (663 mm)
Ground Clearance 5.25 in. (133 mm)
Rake (steering head) 30°
Fork Angle 33.5°
Trail 4.84 in. (123 mm)
Wheelbase 66.5 in. (1689 mm)
Tires (Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, blackwall):
- Front – D402F MH90-21 54H
- Rear – D402 MU85B16 77H
Fuel Capacity 5.0 gal. (18.9 L) (warning light at approximately 1.0 gal.)
Oil Capacity (w/filter) 3.5 qts. (3.3 L)
Transmission Capacity 1.0 qt. (.95 L)
Case Capacity 1.0 qt. (.95 L)
- As Shipped 638.5 lbs. (290 kg)
- In Running Order 682.5 lbs. (310 kg)
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 1124 lbs. (510 kg)
- Gross Axle Weight Rating:
- Front 414 lbs. (188 kg)
- Rear 710 lbs. (322 kg)
Engine Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103BTM
Valves Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; two valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 3.875 in. x 4.38 in. (98.4 mm x 111.1 mm)
Displacement 103 cu. in. (1690 cc)
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Fuel System3 Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner Paper, washable
Lubrication System Pressurized, dry-sump
Primary Drive Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive Belt, 32/66 ratio
Clutch Multi-plate, wet
Transmission 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall): U.S.
- 1st 9.311
- 2nd 6.454
- 3rd 4.793
- 4th 3.882
- 5th 3.307
- 6th 2.79
Frame Mild steel tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm Mild steel, round tube sections, forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks 41.3 mm telescopic
Rear Shocks Hidden, horizontal-mounted, coil-over
Wheels4: Black Anodized Aluminum Profile Laced
- Front 21 in. x 2.15 in. (533 mm x 55 mm)
- Rear 16 in. x 3 in. (406 mm x 76 mm)
- Caliper Type 4-piston front and 2-piston rear
- Rotor Type (diameter x width): Patented, uniform expansion rotors
- Front 11.5 in. x .2 in. (292 mm x 5.1 mm)
- Rear 11.5 in. x .23 in. (292mm x 5.8 mm)
- Anti-lock Braking System: Available
- Front Wheel 5.6 in. (143 mm)
- Rear Wheel 3.6 in. (91 mm)
Engine Torque5 (per J1349):
- North America 98.7 ft. lbs. @ 3250 RPM (134 Nm @ 3250 RPM)
Lean Angle (per J1168):
- Right 24.4°
- Left 25.9°
Fuel Economy6 (EPA urban/highway test) 42 mpg (5.6 L/100 km)
- Vivid Black
- Black Denim
- Big Blue Pearl/Vivid Black
- H-D Orange/Vivid Black
Vivid Black $15,499
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating)
Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 19-amp/hour, 270 cca
Charging Three-phase, 38-amp system (439W @ 13V, 2000 RPM, 489W max power @ 13V)
Starting 1.2 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation):
- Headlamp (quartz halogen) 55-watt low beam, 60-watt high beam
- Turn Signal Lights 28W (21W) self-canceling
- Rear Tail/Stop/Turn Signal Lights 8W/28W (5W/21W) self-canceling
- Indicator Lamps: High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, security system7 (optional), 6-speed, low
Warranty8 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Service Interval9 First 1000 miles (1600 km), every 5000 miles (8000 km) thereafter
Motorcycle Insurance Informations
State Farm® has offered motorcycle insurance for 40 years
Protection for the Open Road
The open road is always an adventure. You never know what might be around the bend. So make sure you're prepared for whatever the road has in store for you, with a State Farm motorcycle insurance policy.
Motorcycles Covered by State Farm
We will consider any factory-built motorcycle, motorscooter, and other two or three-wheel vehicles including minibikes and trail bikes licensed for use on public roads.
Available Coverage Options
= Bodily injury to someone else or property damage that you accidentally caused while riding your motorcycle. =
= Bodily injury to yourself because of an accident with an uninsured motorist. =
= Damage to your motorcycle caused by an accident. =
= Theft, fire, vandalism, and other losses even while your motorcycle is in storage for the winter. =
= Customization work, such as paint or upgraded components =
= Attached side cars. =
Note: This is only a general description of available coverages and is not a statement of contract. All coverages are subject to policy provisions and applicable endorsements. For further information on motorcycle insurance see a State Farm Agent.