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It’s stripped to the core, this one is. Harley-Davidson has introduced the new Blackline motorcycle in its Dark Custom lineup, effectively a Softail symbolising defiance, designed for younger riders with that bit of a rebel streak in them.

With an internally counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B V-Twin engine rigid-mounted within the frame, the styling spotlight shines on the Big Twin engine dressed in black and silver, with machined highlights reminiscent of the Big Twins of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.

The engine – matched to a six-Speed Cruise Drive transmission – is capped off by a fuel tank shaved smooth and low, and the rider hugs the frame on the lowest two-up seat ever offered by Harley-Davidson.

Instrumentation is compact and tucked, and there’s just enough shine to make the black parts look blacker. The chopped fender, narrow, split drag handlebar, and slammed speedometer contribute to the lean and linear nature of the bike that gives the Blackline its name.

The Softail chassis utilises rear suspension control provided by coil-over shock absorbers mounted horizontally along the frame rails below the powertrain, out of sight. So, while the swingarm section replicates the lines of a vintage hardtail frame, the suspension performance and handling on this one are thoroughly modern.

Other styling cues include a blacked-out horseshoe oil tank recalling the original on the 1936 ELsmooth, black rims on profile laced aluminium wheels with black anodised rims hearkening back to the 1930s and a chopped rear fender made famous by post-WWII riders, bobbed high-and-tight. The bike rides on 21 x 2.15 inch front and 16 x 3 inch rear wheels, with Dunlop D402 MH90-21 front and MU85B16 rear rubbers.