Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight | Visordown Road Test

  • Published on Sep 28, 2015
  • What do you think of the Harley Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight and do you agree with our verdict? Tell us in the comments below.
    Harleys: not fast and often not particularly practical. So why do so many people love them? Visordown Editor Steve Farrell looks for answers on the launch of the 2016 Sportster Forty-Eight in Barcelona.
    Read the full review here: bit.ly/2z2J7vS
    Visordown.com is the #1 online motorcycle website for news, reviews, and all things motorbike with 1 million monthly users and growing.
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to Visordown Motorcycle Videos goo.gl/f73BtU
    ► Click HERE for all the latest bike news, launches, first rides, and motorcycle reviews goo.gl/fyvb6G
    ► Click HERE to watch our most recent bike videos! bit.ly/2fpNdZg
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our superbikes playlist bit.ly/2vAmX4A
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our naked bikes playlist bit.ly/2vAqFLR
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our sports bikes playlist bit.ly/2vffmYg
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our adventure bikes playlist bit.ly/2vAxEEB
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our retro bikes playlist bit.ly/2fplrMg
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our cruiser bikes playlist bit.ly/2uBSaQt
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our Harley-Davidson bikes playlist bit.ly/2vfvt8j
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our bike battles playlist bit.ly/2fp1GEQ
    ► Click HERE to subscribe to our Motorbike Mayhem Helmet Cam playlist bit.ly/2vAmX4A
    ► Get the Visordown newsletter HERE - bit.ly/2uC7xs4
    You can also find more motorcycle live videos, images, reviews, and news on our social channels Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so pick your favourite one below
    Visit us on Facebook - facebook.com/visordown
    Follow us on Twitter - twitter.com/visordown
    Check out our Instagram - instagram.com/visordown/?hl=en
    Visordown is the fastest growing online motorcycle community - welcome on board!
    We’re best known for covering all the latest motorcycle launches and bike industry announcements, breaking motorcycle news, bike reviews, first rides, and road tests, and entertaining and informative motorcycle features.
    One million monthly bikers and growing!

Comments • 117

  • Luis Lasso
    Luis Lasso 6 months ago

    Yes its uncomfortable and unpractical, from my experience, a terrible commuter, but what a fun ride it is, love mine.

  • Bruce white
    Bruce white 8 months ago

    the long and short of it these sportsters are fun to ride

  • ScottishDad
    ScottishDad 11 months ago

    You sound like Ricky Gervais

  • Supernova12034
    Supernova12034 Year ago

    This guy only likes european or triumphs, its kinda well known

  • dahlidog
    dahlidog Year ago


  • Lotte De Vos
    Lotte De Vos Year ago

    Re then champion abuse tax pursue magnitude head cable

  • Auttie B
    Auttie B Year ago

    Unpracticle bike

  • 1men wolfpack
    1men wolfpack Year ago

    I hate english accent can't keep up

  • A Ashor
    A Ashor Year ago +1

    your justa fuckin bitch, FIRE HIM!!

  • Igor Dementiev
    Igor Dementiev Year ago +2

    See after I ride 48, my hands shake a bit, so I can't enjoy my evening cup of tea...😝😝

  • Arturo Barrios
    Arturo Barrios Year ago

    In the end, I can't deny the fact that there are faster, more comfortable bikes out there, and I really think this guy is kind of right in some aspects, but for me, a practical bike is that one which lets you do lots of things and offers a huge range of parts and accessories, and no other brand gets this better than Harley does.

  • Last Action Medic
    Last Action Medic Year ago +1

    This bike, and other Harley's....are designed to have a different, rugged and rough feel. You're supposed to shake, and be loud. It's old school, it's a different flavor of testosterone. I enjoyed my buddies Ninja zx6r very much, but because of how light it was, it felt like a toy I was supposed to abuse. On a harley, it feels more like a vehicle, and less of a toy....even though it is a toy lol. To each his own.

  • Leo Lebkuchen
    Leo Lebkuchen Year ago

    What a miserable man

  • Caylyn Burris
    Caylyn Burris Year ago

    This guys an idiot he doesn't know how to have a good time fucking prep

  • Christopher Perry

    If H-D emphatically diversifies motorcyclists, are you a typical a) sportster, b) 48 rider?

  • Gary Caldwell
    Gary Caldwell Year ago

    Had a 48 , traded it for a Fat Boy. Loved it though, nice bike. Put a lot of miles on it and it was trouble free. Had V & H exhaust and upgrade computer along with Screaming Eagle intake. Bike would run pretty good and sounded great. This Brit idiot, or whatever he is doesn't know WTF he is talking about.

  • My17A
    My17A Year ago

    Is the 48 a good fit for someone 6'1"...195lbs?

  • pjamese3
    pjamese3 2 years ago

    Stop having sport bike riders review cruisers.

  • Dave Lee
    Dave Lee 2 years ago

    is their a similar bike look to the forty eight but with a second seat in the back for a passenger? thinking of one of these instead of a motorsport. thanks guys

  • NATA
    NATA 2 years ago

    The review is a piece of shit right from the beginning, it says right in the description that Harleys are "not fast and often not particularly practical". The guy is obviously a complete moron.
    So yeah, the 165 hp VROD Destroyer was apparently never made by Harley and a Harley bagger is not as practical as a naked bike or sportbike or something? Are you trying to tell me that sportbikes can carry more stuff or are better for long drives? How are touring bikes and baggers not the most practical motorcycles there are?

  • GTOAviator
    GTOAviator 2 years ago +19

    So you hate American cruisers, we get it.

  • DurdenTyler21
    DurdenTyler21 2 years ago

    now where did he get those gloves!

  • Dwindling faith in humanity

    your review of this bike is more like a negative personal opinion.

    • MysteriousNotes
      MysteriousNotes 2 years ago +2

      A dwindling faith in humanity I would have to agree with you. It just seems he was paid to point out what he hated just like their marketing team is only pointing how it's loved.

  • @costa azzura
    @costa azzura 2 years ago

    You stop moaning mtf!

  • In Cognito
    In Cognito 2 years ago

    the first thing you do is remove the throttle ,mirrors and the handlebars...higher more comfortable bars and tighter more feed back throttle and grips.,mirrors shaped like a skeleton hands flipping people off...thats what you do with a harley with those low ass bars and dingleberry mirrors suck!

  • Raymond Pickering
    Raymond Pickering 2 years ago +25

    This guy is such a negative nancy. Period. He can't stop reviewing without a negative comment on somthing. Your just biast against Harley's. The bikes are meant for a fun and rugged ride. Get over it. it's not your fancy woman ride it's a mans ride.

    • TheDotaGuyN'LetsNotForgetCS GO
      TheDotaGuyN'LetsNotForgetCS GO Year ago +2

      LOLI really don't understand this love for a bike just because its made in your country....if it can't perform or isn't comfortable, what use is it?

    • Last Action Medic
      Last Action Medic Year ago +3

      Raymond Pickering id imagine a lot of Europeans can't let go of their brands. Nothing wrong with that, but he doesn't look like a harley man anyway. Bit too sensitive 😂

    • NATA
      NATA 2 years ago +3

      @Jim Piver, 48 is the number of stupid false cliches you hear idiots mention whenever you post a video of it on youtube.

    • ripmax333
      ripmax333 2 years ago +3

      it's the number of smiles you get per Meter.

    • Jim Bean
      Jim Bean 2 years ago +6

      Yeah, he came across like a real moaner

  • adam Arnold
    adam Arnold 2 years ago +2

    nobody who buys this bike has bought it cos its a "good" bike they have been sold on the looks and the Harley image, and the enjoyment factor yes their are tons of better bikes for the price but none that will give you a bigger smile on your face

  • Jon Palacios
    Jon Palacios 2 years ago +1

    Is there a way to upgrade the fuel tank?

    • Shawn E
      Shawn E 2 years ago

      Jonathan Palacios A lot of people swap it out with a Nightster tank or an 883 tank

    • blueberry wonderless
      blueberry wonderless 2 years ago


  • tomcata1467
    tomcata1467 2 years ago +3

    In my opinion, the Harley XL1200 Sportster is the best bike in the Harley lineup, because it uses the EVOLUTION engine design with Metal Gear Drive to operate it's 4 cams, no Roller Chain drive here, like on the big twin, Harleys with their PLASTIC cam chain tensioners, which are designed to wear out and to be replaced, and failure to replace them will crater the engine. Also, since '04, all Sportsters are rubber-mounted, thereby, virtually eliminating the engine vibration of older Sportys. The Sporty also uses a bolted together flywheel, unlike the Twin Cam's pressed together, flywheels, which can twist out of true and crater the engine. Also, Sportys run a lot cooler, than the TC engines, and finally, the Sportster's right side, final drive belt, is quick, easy and inexpensive to replace, compared to the Twin Cam's high cost and time consuming way to change a belt when the time comes to do so. Sportsters Rule the road!

  • Jay Shank
    Jay Shank 2 years ago

    My friend got his bike's delivery yesterday..

  • dr FeelGood
    dr FeelGood 2 years ago

    *please make this guy do a Yamaha FZ-07 Review and Fz09 as well , thanks*

    • Luke Alvarez
      Luke Alvarez Year ago

      He can't, he has his lips wrapped around a Ducati exhaust pipe.

  • geko.gangsta
    geko.gangsta 2 years ago

    This channel need so many more subs

  • JosipHL
    JosipHL 2 years ago

    Excellent info, short but focused review. Will you be able to test HD Fatboy lo in the near future?

    • Luke Alvarez
      Luke Alvarez Year ago

      No, his mum won't let him.His next review is of the new Vespa.

  • Shane Wilson
    Shane Wilson 2 years ago +1

    This guys a pussy been riding sportsters for years they are awesome bikes

  • North Valley Locksmith
    North Valley Locksmith 2 years ago +1

    I have two Harley's, My Sporty is built for fun.

  • Moors Hound
    Moors Hound 2 years ago

    your on two wheels riding with views over the med, whats not to like?

  • JL
    JL 3 years ago +1

    A sportster with mid set pegs and straight bars can be fun to ride and can keep up with many sport bikes in the twisties. That stretched our position is merely for profiling.

  • Cripple guy
    Cripple guy 3 years ago +4

    It's fun. The best reason to ride one 👍🏼🇺🇸😊

  • Chuck T.
    Chuck T. 3 years ago +4

    I thought it was a great review and very reasonably positive given the performance levels of bikes today. Nice job and Imo you presented this in a very honest way that also made me consider owning a bike like this.

    • saddlebag
      saddlebag 2 years ago +2

      There's only one reason I can see and that's it's looks. If you like them, then I guess it's as good a reason as any to own one. I completely agree with the reviewer that trying to make a case for it based on any other metric compared to modern machinery is essentially impossible.
      FWIW, I test rode a 1200 Sporty Custom last year. I liked the ergos and found it nimble enough, but the engine was crap. Shook everywhere and was only just adequately powered. Rode a 103 Wide Glide just after and it's engine felt like a magic carpet by comparison, though it felt vague in corners and lacked anything resembling a front brake.
      A lot of Harleys are about looks and being part of a social club. Nothing wrong with that, but panning a guy's review because he openly admits that this one simply isn't performance oriented or practical is like being mad at someone who notices that computer generated dance music has less nuance and emotion than an Eagles record. He's not saying it to be mean, he's saying it because he's ridden a lot of bikes and has the experience to make a credible comparison.

  • Shane Miller
    Shane Miller 3 years ago +2

    I just bought one. it's my first road bike and I couldn't be happier. I've wanted a 48 for a long time and I'm glad that I waited for 2016. the bike does corner well and I'm sure it'll only get better as my skills grow along with my aggressiveness. it's funny because it's the size of my buddy's wife's Honda rebel 250 yet it has 952cc more. I know here in the US people say that sportsters are for women but to me having something small and nimble with 1202cc is great. I work with a few guys who have Street glides and ultras and they all like my bike too. it's a good raw bike. nothing fancy, just a motor and wheels.

    • Shane Miller
      Shane Miller 3 years ago +1

      +XtremeGaming123 there are some comments in here about 4 gallon tanks. I dunno, I love the look of the 2.1. if I wanted to do something practical, I wouldn't have bought a Harley Davidson. good luck with your decision.

    • AleVids
      AleVids 3 years ago

      +Shane Miller alright thanks, I wanna go on some longer trips so I guess I'll be stopping at a lot of gas stations then

    • Shane Miller
      Shane Miller 3 years ago

      +XtremeGaming123 no, like 3/4 empty. .65gal remaining. you can get about 20-25 miles after the light comes on. I haven't tested that theory though lol

    • AleVids
      AleVids 3 years ago

      +Shane Miller yeah the tank size seems like an issue. Does the low fuel light come on when it's half empty?

    • Shane Miller
      Shane Miller 3 years ago

      +XtremeGaming123 yeah, my tool bag hasn't come and I swear I forget my paperwork every day. la Rosa makes a bad ass saddle bag with a spare gas bottle for like $250. probably a good investment since I made it about 62 miles b4 the fuel light came on lol.

  • David Gutierrez
    David Gutierrez 3 years ago +7

    why harley? cause harley rocks period.

  • Yaco21
    Yaco21 3 years ago +3

    Cry baby,grow some balls..

  • Corky341
    Corky341 3 years ago +13

    Why Harley Davidson? Because NOBODY gets 'Honda' tattooed on their body. :-)

    • Chuck T.
      Chuck T. 3 years ago +1

      +Corky341 haha, so true, but maybe I should get V Strom tattooed, lol.

  • VI god
    VI god 3 years ago +2

    did they paid you to trash the bike what is this ? :D you dont even say anything good about it

  • jesse basler
    jesse basler 3 years ago +3

    The problem with this review, is the guy's assessing it as if it were a sport touring bike. This isn't meant to be a bike to do your errands on. It's impractical on purpose, meant to be ridden to the bar (pub) after work and to work once and a while. Not an ideal primary vehicle but a great choice as a second vehicle if you have the means to afford such luxuries. I've ridden the forty eight, xr1200 and a fat bob, the forty eight was the most fun. The xr1200 is just too rigid (due to the suspension setup not the chassis) and the brake and clutch levers require far too much effort. The fat bob was cool but it's just too big and too heavy. The forty eight finds a relative balance when compared to other cruisers of sporty response and cruiser stability and the engine plays with the chassis perfectly.

  • iz wa
    iz wa 3 years ago

    Was going to buy one as my first Harley but not sure now. Any suggestions on buying a first Harley?

    • Moors Hound
      Moors Hound 2 years ago

      +iz wa Just buy one ride the crap out of it, sit with a beer & a whiskey looking at it as it tink tink tinks & cools down, that is her talking to you by the way, she loves you! after that jump on some other plastic crap more modern more efficient bike & you will want to get back on the Harley trust me its the truth! but we are all different so let me know how you get on ok. Peace...

    • Shane Miller
      Shane Miller 3 years ago

      I just bought one as my first bike. the feet in front of you takes a few seconds to get used to but as soon as I got out onto the rode, it all made sense. it's my first road bike and I'm addicted.

    • ronleon62
      ronleon62 3 years ago +1

      +iz wa Yea... don't.

    • iz wa
      iz wa 3 years ago


      HEIST THERAPPER 3 years ago +1

      First your gonna want to assess the situations youll be in

      Touring bike - road glide
      Sunday drive - road king
      Everyday rider - fat boy
      But if your gonna ride pretty often you should go with this since your not used to the weight its lighter and not to little power to have fun i like mine alot and i ride everyday its amazing and my 6th harley good luck

  • Tom Boyte
    Tom Boyte 3 years ago

    I have been riding my 2014 "48" for two years now. I have had no problems and totally enjoy it. It's my 3rd. Sportster since 1975. I did switch the peanut tank to a 4.5 gal. tank and added a pair of Vance and Hines short shot staggered exhaust with a stage one download...that added some pep! I'm totally satisfied.

    • Tom Boyte
      Tom Boyte 2 years ago

      I purchased mine on line from E-Bay.It came from Drakes Air Brushing in Huntington Beach,Calif., It had a custom airbrush paint job and cost me $600.00 US dollars. The basic tank in primer from Harley is $600.00. If you don't want to pay that much there are a number of 4.5 gal. tanks for Harley on E-Bay cheaper. Make sure you get the one for fuel injection if your bike has it. You didn't say if you were buying new or used.
      Instructions to replace the tank can be found here on You Tube or you can take it to a Harley dealer, they will charge you for about two hours labor. BUT it's done right.

    • GsxrGrl21
      GsxrGrl21 2 years ago

      Where did you get your tank from? I wanted to get a 48 soon and that peanut tank concerns me lol if I'm guna be riding with buddies,I gotta be able to go the distance with them

  • Dozeyish
    Dozeyish 3 years ago

    SO you had FUN and admit that's what it's all about. Short of answers and cancels out all your other concerns. I would think,,

  • ALHD 48
    ALHD 48 3 years ago +13

    they guy reviewing is a complete bitch .

  • VilasTerror Motogp
    VilasTerror Motogp 3 years ago

    The Harley has the most iconic sound of any other American Brand, its funny because you would think that to have one true old school American engine you would have to own something like one Indian with that amazing thunder stroke engine i mean its one 1800cc of true American school but even this bike don't sound has pure has one Harley sportster 1200cc with Vance Hines exhaust.. The sound of the Harley is just incredible is brutal.. Harley's will be bad ass for life if they keep making this engine... recently i was watching other iconic bikes because the Classic segment is very rich on this days and i was smiling watching the different aspects of each machine in the past and its exactly what you fell when you look at this bikes right now on the market... Want one solid bike build to be has gentle has the wind on a summer day buy one Honda cb 1100 ex just like it was with the 750cc its a perfect bike in every seance, now if you want to feel a big piston exploding on the American style you have to feel one Harley Sportster... Its one motorcycle build to feel the vibe of the past on a good day, just relaxing at a cruising speed and you will feel has fresh has one guy that buy a motocross motorcycle and go have some fun.. Its not to use everyday, sure you can do it but you will feel the disadvantage of using it all the time especially in Europe city roads , if you have one Elenor like in the movie 60 seconds you would not that use that car daily, its special... I love Vtwins so if i had the money i would love to have one Harley in memory of the good petrol days =)...

  • WillBadRacing
    WillBadRacing 3 years ago +2

    my first Harley after always sports bikes (mine is last year's 48), but it's bug daft grin thunderous noise with vance hines pipes and everywhere I go, people come and chat to me about it. it's impractical and low range per fill, but for the occasional short blast, which is why I bought it... it's a hoot!

  • Leon De Vos
    Leon De Vos 3 years ago

    It's grhat! Howdy? massive place What do you think.3. 1!

  • Brad Farley
    Brad Farley 3 years ago

    we get it. you don't like harley. lol.

  • Hugh Mitchell
    Hugh Mitchell 3 years ago +7

    Good review.
    Sure, a Harley's not the most practical choice. But neither is getting a motorbike, period. So you may as well go full-hog.

  • SoundgardenMan
    SoundgardenMan 3 years ago +13

    what a whiny pretentious twit...

  • Michael Miller
    Michael Miller 3 years ago +1

    Harley's are not about numbers on a spreadsheet. A Harley is for the pure motorcycle experience. I do agree with his assessment of the forward controls. I have mid-controls on my XL1200N. I think forward controls are more useful on the big highway bikes.

  • CyclopsRevolution
    CyclopsRevolution 3 years ago +22

    Another glowing review for the Forty Eight lol
    I've had mine for a little over a year and I have 26k miles on it. Loved every mile.
    Sure I've made some changes to it (that's part of the fun). This bike is a stripped down cruiser. The aftermarket is loaded with options for whatever you want to do. If you're looking for handling, upgrade the suspension. Need more comfort? Get a better seat. Etc... People who are looking for practical, look elsewhere. The Forty Eight is about something different than that and it delivers.

    • GsxrGrl21
      GsxrGrl21 2 years ago +3

      Aww see I've been going back and forth between the 48 and an Indian Scout. Rode both,loved both, but Harley has got my number one pick in the looks department,nice to see that there are people who DO actually like the 48,I have a lot of hating biker buddies who say don't do it lol

    • 1990
      1990 2 years ago

      What is that supposed to mean, CR?

    • CyclopsRevolution
      CyclopsRevolution 2 years ago +1

      Sarcasm much?

    • 1990
      1990 2 years ago

      This isn't a glowing review.

  • Brian Corman
    Brian Corman 3 years ago +7

    This guy just complains about everything on this bike. It's not for everyone but that's why there are so many other bikes out there. He's not a good reviewer for this product.

  • Richard
    Richard 3 years ago

    Harley Davidson ,,,nothing else like it ,

  • Joby Varghese
    Joby Varghese 3 years ago

    Why don't you do more reviews, Steve? *sigh*

  • BMWR1200RTRider
    BMWR1200RTRider 3 years ago

    News flash you can have fun (how much is subjective) on a motorcycle even a bad one. Still I would give it away if I won it.

  • Matt Helps
    Matt Helps 3 years ago

    maybe buy and build into something interesting? but this is my least fav HD. Nothing in the package that is interesting.

  • Toni R
    Toni R 3 years ago +26

    Whats the reason to buy a harley ? There is nearly no other bike out there, where you can feel the engine so close (and hear the sound of every mechanical piece working) like on a harley. Especially the old 1200 evo engine is lively and sometimes nearly brutal, more than the weeker and smoother 883 - and even more than the refined 103. If you don't like that direct feeling, a harley is the wrong bike for you. And of course, it's heavy, old fashioned and expensive.....Nevertheless, the new 48 2016 is very nimble and suspension is much better than of the older version - last week I had a nice Test-drive - and you can really feel the stiffer front fork.

  • cider999
    cider999 3 years ago +3

    Excellent review! Very honest and thoughtful for a harley-sceptic person 😉

  • Lucas de Abreu
    Lucas de Abreu 3 years ago +6

    so you basically have to throw away any semblance of reason, logic or objectivity in order to find one single positive thing to say about the ride quality?

    • Chuck T.
      Chuck T. 3 years ago

      +Lucas de Abreu I ride a Vstrom, how about you?

    • Lucas de Abreu
      Lucas de Abreu 3 years ago +1

      +C Tomlin I'm glad to see your argument is sound and substantiated

    • Chuck T.
      Chuck T. 3 years ago +1

      +Lucas de Abreu lol, don't be a hater. Dentist need to ride too.

    • Lucas de Abreu
      Lucas de Abreu 3 years ago

      +C Tomlin if by "cool" you mean "instantly turn you into a dentist in their midlife crisis on their way to the local H-D dealer-promoted meetup", you might be right.
      cooler in my book? suzuki bandit 1250, honda cb 1100 yamaha mt-07, any non-honda 600 sportsbike, any ducati monster (although these are as expensive to run as any H-D), even a BMW GS adventure makes for more interesting conversation starter.
      "where have you been in you harley lately?"
      "oh, you know. straight roads, some mountains here and there but veeeery slowly. always in good paved roads, of course, otherwise my back could't handle it"

    • Chuck T.
      Chuck T. 3 years ago

      +Lucas de Abreu give me some examples of cooler bikes. I think these have excellent cool factor and would love to hear what type bikes you find cooler.

  • Abdul Rahman Farooqi
    Abdul Rahman Farooqi 3 years ago

    Did I see a RE 500 in front of your 48?

  • wozza59
    wozza59 3 years ago +8

    Another excellent review. I kinda like the 48.

    • wozza59
      wozza59 3 years ago +2

      +McCritter von Bystritz Physically - no, both similar weight and size. The 48 is 1200cc, so has more power and torque.

    • Hippo-Plays
      Hippo-Plays 3 years ago +4

      I had a demo on one last year and although it isn't my kind of bike it does have a charm which really surprised me.