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2009 Cross Bones Softail ™

2009 Cross Bones Softail

Thanks to
Hacienda
Harley-Davidson

for providing
the motorcycle

2009 Cross Bones Softail ™
2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Fat Bob ™
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Hacienda Harley-Davidson
2009 Cross Bones Softail

by Kirk Johnson
Oct 2008

MSRP as tested $16,999


About the Cross Bones

2009 Cross Bones Softail Specs
Engine Air-Cooled, Twin Cam 96B,
96 Cu. Inch
Engine Torque 91 ft. lbs. @ 3,125 rpm*
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Fuel System Electronic sequential Port Fuel Injection
Primary Drive Chain
Final Drive The New Carbon Fiber Belt

Tire Size

Front MT90B16 72H
Rear 200/55R17 78V

Rake 32.529°
Running Weight
737 lbs.
Seat Height 30.1 in.
*They never quote HP. I find the *91 ft. lbs a stretch. That reading is more than likely at the crankshaft. If you put these bikes on a Dyno – you will not see any numbers like these at the rear wheel. The numbers are from the Harley-Davidson Web site.

It’s the newly styled, post-war era bobber with a Springer front-end, ape hanger bars and chopper front fender. What more could you ask for? Just the thought of having a vintage bike that is new, makes you stop and look. If you have a longing for nostalgia in what a motorcycle should be like without the problems of spending every night fixing leaks and trying to find parts on the internet or in the local savage yard. The new Cross Bones from Harley maybe just the right motorcycle for you.

Obviously, with this little gem, you get the standard 09 Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection 96 inch B Twin Cam, 6 Speed power plant. And of course all of the hand controls are the same as the standard line. But, you will find mini floor boards and a big round rear brake pedal that complements the image of the old bobbers.
Some of the goodies that are included are the Black Bucket headlamp and black console with cat-eye indicators and a 200 mm wide rear tire. To complement the bobber profile you also get the bobtail rear fender and chrome, shotgun slash-cut exhaust and a chopped front fender. The stock bike will sport a solo vintage tractor like seat for a great look, but the ride that I had was updated with a two up-seat as you can see in the pictures.

The Springer-style front end also plays with the contrast, between the gloss-black forks and shiny steel exposed springs. The speedo housing, mini-ape hanger handlebars and round air cleaner are also gloss black, standing out from the unique sueded paint job on the metal body parts. Big tires, front and rear, with laced wheels give the whole bike a great look, one that will set it apart from all of the other bikes in the Harley garage. And of course the skull and cross bones logo on the oil tank really finishes the look of being bad. And it has all new parts; did I already say that?

Test Ride

One of the first things that I notice after I throw my leg over the seat was the ape hanger bars. I am not used to that. Being from Phoenix, it is not uncommon to see a lot of rides with full blown ape hangers. This is not a choice that I would prefer. My preference is more along the line of sport riding while carving out canyons on overnight trips. That being said, I was wondering if this would be a big distraction. Well time will tell. Let’s get down the road and see what this ride has to offer.

One thing about Harley’s that is always nice is that the controls are always the same. You don’t have to wonder after you get moving if the little button on the right is the turn signal, kill switch or the horn. Having left the parking lot and starting down the street I noticed that my hands are up in front of me. But, it really didn’t feel that awkward.

The good ole 96 inch Twin Cam B has always done a great job of moving you down the road without much vibration and has just enough power to make the ride acceptable. After spending some time getting away from the busy roads and fighting traffic, I noticed that the riding position is really quite comfortable and relaxing. The half-moon shaped floor boards, rubber mounted risers for the mini apes and weighing 737 wet, can add to the laidback style of riding.

After finding some quiet back roads that curve around in the desert, I felt that this Cross Bones was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The Springer frontend seemed to glide over the pavement. The ride was soft and kind of delayed as it rode up and down on the springs while on smooth surfaces. When stopping, I noticed a little more dip in the front-end then on most bikes with the conventional telescopic fork.

The big ole tires front and rear did not seem to detract from the cornering at all. In fact, it seemed to provide a better and solid footing. The only distraction was the floor boards or max lean indicators. It doesn’t take much for them to alert you that you just found the max lean angle. But not to worry, if you slowly work up to it, they just make a little noise, alerting you to the fact that max angle has been obtained as they start to fold up. This is good, as they do not dig into the pavement altering your line in the corner and possibly making you change lanes.

On the way back to the barn, I grabbed an on-ramp for some interstate riding. Although, that nice little 96 incher is fine for around town, it could use a little more juice on the freeway. Cruising in 6th gear was a pleasure. Provided you are over 60 mph, the sixth gear is really nice for putting the engine noise to rest and you are now able to enjoy the ride as you eat up pavement. This bike would be great for road trips, but remember, there are no storage options for this machine. But hey, a tooth brush doesn’t take up much room. What else do you need?

Summary

Expectations were wrong and the ape hangers were not that bad at all. Well, there is one exception. When on the interstate with no windshield and your hands extended way out in front of you, it feels as though you are pushing a lot of air. The trip back in time on a new machine was rewarding and fun. If you find the nostalgic image one that you can’t get out of your mind, then go for it, it is a really great ride.

Ride safe,

Kirk
Phoenixbikers.com

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without the permission of Kirk at phoenixbikers.com.