- The Washington Times - Friday, July 18, 2008

The design team at the Motor Company seems to be on a roll of late with the reinvention of elemental images from the past. Harley has long been associated with skeletal graphic themes - skulls and cross bones have adorned its bikes for ages.

Now there’s a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that pays homage to the past and has adopted the mystique of the bones image by naming this model “Cross Bones”.

The official symbol for this particular model, even though it appears nowhere on the motorcycle itself, is a variation on the legendary Harley-Davidson “Number One” logo. The Cross Bones “Numero Uno” displays a stylized skull at the top. The original “One” logo appears on the oil tank cover, but it seems to me as if the new Cross Bones graphic would make an ideal replacement choice, but so much for nitpicking about logo placement.

The Cross Bones is actually a very cool ride with a very retro theme. The outstanding features begin up front with the Black powder-coated Springer girdered fork front end sporting chrome springs and shock absorber. The front fender is an abbreviated or “chopped” shorty cycle (what else) affair that rides over a healthy front tire (Dunlop D402F/MT 90 B18 72H) mounted on a black powder-coated rim with steel-laced spokes.

Mini ape-hanger handlebars are finished in black, with a King Bee-style headlamp also in black. The fuel tank sports a new gloss black cat-eye styled console with minimal gauges, which is followed up by an adjustable chrome-sprung solo seat and a bobbed rear fender. There are old-school type floorboards rather than pegs with a rocker shift linkage and a large oval foot brake (no corners to hang your boot up on).

The basic Cross Bones comes finished in a glossy, Vivid Black with Wicked-style pin striping on both fenders and the tank. Other available colors include: Black Denim, Pewter Denim, Dark Blue Denim, Olive Pearl and Dark Blue Pearl — but all color options will cost an extra $345.

Power for the FLSTSB Cross Bones is provided by a 1584cc Twin Cam 96B air-cooled V-Twin with electronic sequential fuel injection, that makes 87.9 pounds-feet of torque at 2,750 rpm. The 3-motor mates to a velvety smooth (no more clunking through the gears) six-speed Cruise Drive sequential manual transmission, metering power to the rear wheel via a final drive, reinforced belt.

The exhaust exits through straight shot over-and-under dual right side, slash-cut chrome pipes with a traditional mellow Harley rumble.

The rear suspension consists of a wider wheel that matches the front in design, but shod with a hefty Dunlop D407/ 200/55R17 78V riding on a softail swingarm.

Bringing the Cross Bones to a halt are single disc brakes, fore and aft.

The test Harley-Davidson FLSTSB Cross Bones was finished in the basic Vivid Black - even the motor was in black as were the oil tank cover and air cleaner. The base sticker was set at $16,795.



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