March 17, 2016 @ 10:54 AM

Custom Harley-Davidsons take centre stage

The ‘bad to the bone’ Iron 883 and Forty-Eight custom Harleys are your latest ticket to freedom

Now, one might think – what is a car magazine, which for all purposes considered, is called ‘CAR’ doing a story on bikes. And the answer is, practically anything and everything with an engine tickles our fancy – much less an air-cooled V-Twin churning out mountains of torque to the sinful rhapsody of ‘potato-potato-potato’, strapped to sensual yet brawny metalwork. Just because we can’t always write about bikes doesn’t mean we don’t bend the rules once in a while – especially when the hard-nosed machine in question is a Harley-Davidson. 
 
New to the fore are Harley-Davidson’s Iron 883 and Forty Eight bikes in all their Dark Custom glory. Harley-Davidson Styling Director Brad Richards comments, “With Dark Custom, we embrace the beauty of the basic motorcycle structure. It’s about the nuts and bolts, the steel and rubber and the heart of the machine, which is the Harley-Davidson V-Twin engine. Dark Custom reaches back to our styling roots, but also invites the rider to move forward…”
The Iron 833 draws inspiration from garage built bobbers past and present. Chopped and drilled intentionally, to exude a raw and rough round the edges overall design texture. The clipped fenders, blacked out powertrain mechanicals and exhaust, drag style handlebars and a solo tuck-and-roll seat evoke bare-knuckle street performance.  A ribbed air-cleaner cover speaks to the stamped-from steel ethos and finally, bullet holes details on the belt guard, exhaust shields and front fender braces recall the back-to-basics methods of weight reduction. 
The Iron 833, is powered by the 833cc air-cooled Evolution V-Twin which pumps out 71Nm at 3750rpm funnelling power through a chain drive 34/57 ratio rear end. Brakes front and rear are dual-piston callipers. Ride and handling are further enhanced by a new cartridge-style forks and new emulsion rear shock absorbers with progressive rate springs and threaded pre-load adjustment collar which makes it easier for riders to dial-in the damper performance depending on road conditions or overall weight. 
 
The 2016 Iron 833 is offered in four colour options at a net-selling price of RM89,000 GST included sans insurance. The retail price carries a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, 2.5-year free service and 1-year free Harley-Davidson Owners Group (HOG) assist.
The new Forty-Eight motorcycle pumps a muscular stance. A wide 130mm front tyre is suspended by 49mm forks secured by a massive aluminium triple-clamps and an aluminium fork brace. The 7.9-litre peanut fuel tank creates a narrow, athletic waist while chopped fenders unashamedly expose the thick grooves of the sticky rubber. The blend of black, colour and chrome is of monstrous visual presence. 
 
As Harley- Davidson’s Industrial Designer/Stylist Ben McGinley best puts, “The big front is like a steam-roller coming down the street, we went with the smaller round steel air cleaner and some chrome on the exhaust to draw your eyes to the engine, which looks large under the peanut tank. 
The Iron 833, is powered by the 1202cc air-cooled Evolution V-Twin outputting 96Nm at 3500rpm through a chain drive 38/57 ratio. Four solid colours match up with Hard Candy custom optional candy flake finishes. All in the Forty-Eight will set you back RM106,000 OTR without insurance and HOG assist thrown in.  
 
ARVIND KUMAR
 
 

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