Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022)


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Harley Davidson Forty-Eight (2022)

When it comes to motorcycles that embody the spirit of the open road, few brands elicit the same level of excitement as Harley-Davidson. And within their extensive lineup, one model has consistently captured the imagination of riders worldwide – the iconic Forty-Eight. In this article, we delve into the details of the latest iteration, the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022), to uncover what makes it a standout choice for motorcycle enthusiasts. From its stunning design to its impressive performance, we explore every aspect of this beloved machine. So buckle up, as we take you on an exhilarating ride through the features, technology, and ride experience of the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022). Whether you’re a diehard Harley fan or just curious about this legendary model, this article will leave you longing for the open road and itching to hop on a Forty-Eight of your own.

Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) – A retro cruiser for Harley enthusiasts

Launched in 2010, the Harley-Davidson Forty Eight is one of the bikes in the Harley-Davidson collection that played a key role in reviving the brand during its slump. A perfect blend of retro American cruiser designed coupled with a powertrain has helped the Forty-Eight, making it one of the best-selling monikers from this American motorcycle manufacturer. It features all the traits that the Harley cruisers of yesteryear had.

2022 saw Harley-Davidson release a slew of exciting models, with Chairman, President, and CEO Jochen Zeitz stating – “As part of our focus on stronghold segments, including Grand American Touring and Cruiser, the 2022 product line is designed for power and performance. Each of these new models feature the unrivaled power of the Milwaukee-Eight 117 for those riders who want nothing but the biggest and the best, building on our position as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.”

2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Review

With the launch of the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) for a base price of $11,799, Harley-Davidson is back with a bike that doesn’t have any major changes from the previous models. The 1202cc V-Twin motor, unmatched road presence, clunky transmission, and exhaust note are all on board this moniker. The low refinement and heavy vibrations can be termed the classic Harley charm too. With that said, here is an in-depth review of Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) to help you better understand what this bike is all about.

Harley Davidson Forty-Eight (2022)

Engine and performance

The claimed peak torque of 99 Nm is down at 3,500 RPM but there is a lot more to this 1200cc air-cooled Evolution V-twin than that. Harley-Davidson does not reveal power figures or where in the range its peak lies but a guess can be made that it’ll be around 4,900 RPM as it is here that the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) feels strongest. You wouldn’t call it revvy but there is a lot more going on here than many might expect. It feels brutish but it is more so than it sounds. It might be a loud model but it won’t startle anyone, like Italian V-twins can to an extent.

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Changing the gear to keep it around the peak power, the soles of your feet facing into the wind, and feeling the scrape on every corner might make you feel slightly uncomfortable. On the motorway, the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) would go on to be vibey and uncomfortable.

Despite being in production for a few years, Harley didn’t manage to perfect the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) for comfortable city riding. The heavy curb weight of around 556 lbs makes it somewhat heavy in the segment, making it a pain to navigate through congested traffic situations. The handlebar is pretty heavy at low speeds, which means taking U-turns would require a bit of getting used to. Another reason for inadequate rideability in the city is most likely the stiff suspension setup offered by the brand. The minor bumps will be felt and the suspension travel will be terrible too.

Although the V-twin motor feels right at home when cruising on the highways, many factors make the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) almost unbearable during cruising. The biggest factor of this will be the lack of wind protection on offer, which tires out the rider. The heavy vibrations at higher revs will be a major deterrent as well. The motor ends up hitting a roadblock as the revs climb close to 6,000 RPM, making it a terrible proposition if you’re intending to go above 80 mph. There is no top-end performance and the riders get more vibration than harshness. The ride quality is not up to the mark and the ride can be a bit unsettling.

Harley-Davidson bikes have never been synonymous with cornering and this applies to the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) too. The heavy curb weight makes its presence felt if you’re leaning too much. The low-slung design coupled with wide footpegs will mean that the lean angle is restricted as it tends to scrape the pegs. The suspension is rather unsophisticated and the front end feels rather vague when cornering. The tail loses traction quite early and the mid-corner direction changes seem to be a big no-no due to the issues.

Model NameSportster® Forty-Eight®
Engine Size1200 cc (73.2 ci)
Engine TypeEvolution® V Twin
HorsepowerNot provided
Torque99 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Dry Weight545 lbs (247.2 kg)
Wet Weight556 lbs (252 kg)
Length85.2 in (2165 mm)
Wheelbase59.3 in (1506.2 mm)
Ground Clearance4.3 in (110 mm)
Fuel Capacity2.1 gallons (7.9 liters)
Fuel Efficiency48 US MPG (4.9 L/100km)
Seat Height28 in (711.2 mm)
PriceMSRP: $12,299
Valve ConfigurationOHV – Pushrod
Compression Ratio10.0:1
Fuel TypeGas
Fuel RequirementsPremium
Fuel InjectorYes
Transmission TypeManual
Number Of Speeds5
Primary Drive (Rear Wheel)Belt
Front Suspension TypeTelescopic Fork
Rear Suspension TypeTwin Sided Swing Arm
Front Brake TypeHydraulic Disc
Rear Brake TypeHydraulic Disc
Anti-Lock BrakesOptional
Seat TypeOne-Piece
Number Of Seats1


Part of the company’s best-selling Sportster range, the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) has gotten slight tinkering in suspension, wheels, and minor styling changes. It comes with pre-load adjustable shocks with progressive springs, and new 49mm cartridge forks which are joined by a beefy aluminum fork brace. Lightweight cast aluminum wheels have replaced wire-spoked ones.

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A new round steel air filter cover is featured where there used to be an oval one and the old all-chrome exhausts have been replaced by black ones with chrome covers. The seat shape is revised to deliver more supportive comfort.

As I’ve commonly noticed in the past when getting on a Harley, I felt a bit alienated by the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight at the start I typically judge a bike’s riding position by the following measures – it must be comfortable or performance-focused. The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) does not seem to be either despite having a revised, softish seat.

The pegs are near the front of the steel double-cradle frame, which means your legs will be stretched out ahead of you. For an average-sized rider, the bars might be a slight stretch away. U-turns have been made slightly more difficult due to the bar being a bit far away on full lock.

The feet-forward position feels weird if you are used to motorcycles with the pegs directly below the seat. You can lift your feet off the ground and realize that you are not sure where they’ve got to go. The machine is impressive but it doesn’t specialize in any practical application like riding in towns, motorways, or fast corners.

It is not that equipped and doesn’t have a fuel gauge, only a low-fuel warning light. Moreover, you might feel low on fuel as it has a tiny 7.9-liter tank. The mirrors are positioned under the bar so you may have to keep looking at air.

It also has self-cancelling indicators, with one button on each bar and it actually works quite well. It is beautifully and intricately styled, as Harley-Davidson bikes usually are. You should also check the rear indicators, which tend to double down as a tail light

Handling and suspension

The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) leans over enough to let you enjoy changing the direction but ground easily enough to flatter your riding.  According to Harley-Davidson, the max lean angle is 27.1°, making it one of the more corner-friendly machines in the range.

Unlike the Street 750, the Forty-Eight has hero blobs on the pegs, designed for grounding, so the sound of scraping metal will not signify expensive damage and an approaching crash. For the cost of an elongated bolt, it’ll make the difference between enjoying metal on the tarmac and worrying about it with gritted teeth. It’ll more than compensate for the Street 750’s extra 1.4° lean.

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The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) turns quite easily for a nearly 556 lbs bike. It is undoubtedly helped by the lighter wheels, even if the 130mm front tire looks big enough to iron out the wrinkles in the road. The new suspension is well enough damped and firm but the ride won’t be harsh, which is a complaint made by some riders about the old setup.


The bike’s single front disc and twin caliper don’t quite feel like they offer the devastating power I expected. The ABS activated running into a corner, suggesting that I was on the limit of the fat tire’s traction. Possibly the geometry of the Forty-Eight needs a different ratio of four/rear braking application than many are accustomed to, with more rear required to supplement the front. When the ABS is activated, it won’t be with amazing subtlety. It will let go momentarily.

Key features that make Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) an exciting bike

Here are some of the key features that make Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) such an exciting motorcycle –

#1. The V-Twin motor epitomizes traditional Harley-Davidson characteristics

The 2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight retains the 1200cc air-cooled Evolution V-twin motor that came with the outgoing model year. It is a pushrod 2-valve per-cylinder motor that delivers 66 HP and 99 Nm of torque. The motor is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and the power gets sent to the rear wheel through a belt drive system.

The mid-range is actually where the Forty-Eight comes into its own. The bike is an amazing cruiser and can easily do highway speeds with no stress. With the peak torque coming in at a lazy 3,500 RPM, it is ideal for someone who wants to cruise at a relaxed pace. However, the transmission is able to retain the typical Harley characteristics, like the clunky shift noise and imprecise gearshift.

#2. Looks extremely cool

Being in production since 2010, the Forty-Eight’s design doesn’t see any major changes from yesteryear models but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) looks quite impressive from all angles and has a road presence like no other competitor.

The front end has received a conventional circular halogen headlight with chrome bezel, a backed-out handlebar, and a fat 130-section Michelin Scorcher tire. The nine-spoke alloy wheels, single seats, and chrome exhaust add to the look. The rear is simplistic and it is highlighted by the halogen taillights and indicators, a curved fender, and a 150-section rear tire.

#3. Reliability is better than you’d expect

Some of the Forty-Eight models of years gone by had a few issues, preventing it from being a dependable bike to take on long road trips. The major complaints reported by riders were ECU failures, gearshift issues, and power loss because of faulty fuel systems.

However, the 2022 model has been much more reliable as it hasn’t received any major complaints. The issues of the years gone by have been sorted out and just the minor electrical gremlins and other quality control problems have been reported. All this points to improved reliability in the new bike.

Harley Davidson Forty-Eight (2022)

#4. Build quality has been improved

The build quality of the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) is almost incomparable to the Forty-Eight models that were launched years ago. The main improvement can be found in the chrome and paint quality of the motorcycle. There aren’t any rough edges anywhere, which were common in older models.

The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight (2022) features flush-fitting panels everywhere and the panel gaps are under control. There’s no rattling from anywhere as well. Aside from that, the switch gear quality has been improved and it ranks there with some of the best in the segment. However, exposed wires and screws can be an issue with the bike so be careful.

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