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Harley-Davidson FLSTSB Cross Bones

Another world

This time Harley-Davidson quotes the forties and their wildly customized ?? Bobber ??. Is the Cross Bones simply old style, antiquated or simply timeless?

"Oh, that’s not a classic car at all?" The passers-by can’t believe it, she looks so different VS.roused bones. Springer fork, spoked wheels and balloon tires. In addition a tight front fender and a fat butt: the wildly tuned, at least visually hot, came very similar "Bobber" the 40s therefore. This Harley is solidly built, as it will be for eternity. You can also carry them away by the indicators. For Harley riders, the Cross Bones acts like a magnet on iron filings. She fishes them unerringly out of every crowd.


Not at all bulky: the front brake is a bad effect and a bulky design.

This motorcycle is not noticed. It is expected. There’s a big hello at the motorcycle meeting point. Harley disciples think the Cross Bones are not that expensive: "Only 19,000 euros, building such a bobber yourself is much more expensive…" Can you buy coolness? Welcome to another world. Where money plays a subordinate role and utility is at the bottom. Image is everything.

The cylinders tower up like an icon, spread at a 45-degree angle to form the victory sign. Admiring glances are free. Or amused? When pushing and maneuvering, the Cross Bones challenges the whole man. 333 kilograms do not tolerate half-heartedness, especially since the clutch sticks when the engine is switched off. Actually nothing to it and still heavy as lead.

Chassis and engine


A feast for the eyes: boring oil plugs or oil risers are small works of art made of metal.

You don’t just start this engine. You celebrate the start. Turning the knob on the tank answers the fuel pump with a buzz. The FLSTSB, the exact model code, mustn’t sound like the originals from the 1940s. But more like a tuned VW Beetle. Hoarse and moderately loud when a flap in the exhaust releases the full cross-section at higher speeds. What then follows is a rare moment: a long-stroke experience of the purest caliber. Motorcycling. Against all technical reason, for more feeling, the Harley-Company has simply increased the stroke of the old 88-cubic-inch model for the twin-cam 96 engine, to an impressive 111 millimeters with the 95 mm bore unchanged. With the Cross Bones, as with all Softails in the B version, two balance shafts work inside, the engine is rigidly screwed into the chassis with a rigid frame look.


The historicizing emblem, a bow to the past.

Still a medium eruption when idling, the fat V2 is amazingly cultivated once in motion. Gently, very gently, he massages the soul, the two-cylinder measuring 1585 cm³ bubbles directly under the skull.

Okay, legends of the ?? endless passage ?? fizzle out somewhere between a long translation and sheer mass. Open the gas at 60 km / h in sixth gear of the? Cruise-Drive ?? baptized gearbox? Then the Cross Bones (brilliant name!) Unwillingly shakes their bones. But there is nowhere more built-in nonchalance than here.

The driving experience


A powerful primary drive via a maintenance-free duplex chain drives the cross bones.

The driving experience is most beautiful when you are alone and at peace with the world, resting your bum in the freely swinging leather saddle. There is no other way, because there is no space for a passenger on this single-seater. Welcome to Seh-Reisen: Were the house facades already so richly decorated? Not noticed at all. And where does this swimming pool suddenly come from? Never paid attention. Experience time and the environment differently, you can do that in this slightly reclined sitting position, the one in a curved position "Mini ape hanger" due to handlebars. This is cruising! Feel the pulse. Your own, that of the city, or rather that of the iron horse.


As always: jumper fork and Schwinger saddle. The easy-care toothed belt drive is typically Harley.

Nevertheless, there are small nicks when it comes to seating comfort: the knee grip is not ideal, especially on the right because of the air filter box. The leg posture is a little indecisive, not fully extended. And the saddle, which should be further back for tall people, offers no support to the lumbar vertebrae. But Harleys have never been bought for ergonomics.

With a forced driving style, the protruding, oval running boards will soon be clearly scraping. So what? At least the Cross Bones remains surprisingly stable. The Dunlop tires ?? Made in USA ?? adhere surprisingly well. Visually, the Springer fork seems to be quite steep, but in fact the steering head is flat at 58 degrees. It is a real feast for the eyes, its two chrome-plated springs with optimistically tight windings sit open-heartedly, in front of them a shock absorber that is also shiny chrome. And above it all, the black-painted open-air floodlights are enthroned, a little enraptured and forgotten.

landing gear


It is always an eye catcher.

However, the construction lives up to its name on bumpy roads. With the poorly damping shock absorber, the short swing arms to the left and right of the 16-inch front wheel and a minimum of 97 millimeters of travel, the spring fork bounces like mad. Where she should address, she is downright stubborn. To make matters worse, the two suspension struts hidden under the gearbox hit you hard in the back. Even for the US standard, the tuning of the chassis is miserable. It jumps in front, it swings in the back. It’s a good thing that the spring-loaded leather saddle keeps the worst of hardships away from your bottom.

It’s easy to get over it when Harley pettily calls all models with knight fork for service every 4000 kilometers. After all, they want to be torn down first. Crazy: the terribly weak front brake. Less is not possible. The single-piston floating caliper struggles to slow down the eight hundredweight including the driver. At least the rear stopper works well thanks to the high rear wheel load. An anchor in your backpack could help … Anyone who has never moved a really old motorcycle can now guess what the experience is.

Almost the most beautiful thing in this other world follows at the end: the engine crackles for hours as it cools down, tells of times gone by.

Technical data Harley-Davidson Cross BonesHarley-Davidson FLSTSB Cross Bones

Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 45-degree V-engine, crankshaft lying transversely, two balance shafts, two chain-driven camshafts below, two valves per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 439 W, battery 12 V / 19 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 66:32.
Bore x stroke 95.3 x 111.1 mm
Cubic capacity 1585 cm³
Compression ratio 9.2: 1
Rated output 54.0 kW (73 hp) at 5300 rpm
Max. Torque 120 Nm at 3300 rpm

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, spring fork, triangular swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, ø 292 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, rear disc brake, ø 292 mm, double-piston floating caliper.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims 3.00 x 16; 6.00 x 17
MT 90 E 16 tires; 200/55 R 17
Dunlop D 402 / D 401 tires tested

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1630 mm, steering head angle 58.0 degrees, caster k. A., spring travel f / h 97/109 mm, seat height * 780 mm, weight with a full tank * 333 kg, payload * 188 kg, tank capacity 18.9 liters, two-year guarantee
Colors blue, olive green, black
Power variant 23 kW (34 PS) at 4750 rpm
Price from 19 195 euros
Additional costs 450 euros

More minus

Driving experience great, see and be seen
Engine exciting despite moderate performance
Design 40s styling fresh from the factory

Front brake catastrophic effect
Weight high, 666 pounds require muscle
Chassis overwhelmed on bad asphalt

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