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FREE THINKER
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Discussion Starter #1
Newbie here (and female) lookin for some answers. You can get a better feeling regarding my story in the General Motorcycle Related Forum titled "Getting back in the saddle-my story".

General question is the title of this post. Never sat on a Blackline but the slim fit like a glove. I'm only 5'2 and no string bean. I laugh at the people that tell me to just go to the dealer and take test rides..lol! Yea, I can only think of 2 or maybe if I'm lucky, 3 stock models that I could actually ride where I would MAYBE touch the ground. Kinda rediculous for us shorter folks.

So, any major differences between these 2 models?

 

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You can get pretty much any bike lowered. With your height, you'll probably want to get it customized anyway. Have a look at Craigslist to see if there are any bikes that have already been modified for the inseam challenged.....
 

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THE Yuppie Outlaw
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You you can see below, they are almost identical in dimension. The Slim's seat is slightly lower, but it also weighs more. The slim also has a wide front tire, which I love. The decision almost comes down to looks. In that department I choose the slim all day long.



Blackline Slim

$15,599 $15,699
DIMENSIONS
Length 93 in. 94.3 in.
Seat Height, Laden 7 24 in. 23.8 in.
Seat Height, Unladen 7 26.1 in. 25.9 in.
Ground Clearance 5.25 in. 4.5 in.
Rake (steering head) (deg) 30 31
Trail 4.8 in. 5.8 in.
Wheelbase 66.5 in. 64.4 in.
Fuel Capacity 5 gal. 5 gal.
Weight, As Shipped 648 lb. 671 lb.
Weight, In Running Order 675 lb. 700 lb.
 

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The most striking difference to my eye is the front end. The slim has the FL front end. That's the fatter forks that sort of taper down to the axle - the same as a Heritage and Fatboy and similar to the Touring bikes. The Blackline has the XL front end - the smaller tubes more like most of the Dyna line or a Sportster. Functionally, I am not sure that you would notice a great deal, but they definitely change the stature of the bike quite a lot, IMO.

The Blackline also comes stock with forward controls while the Slim has footboards. This makes the riding posture of the two quite a bit different. The forward controls put your feet in front of you while the floorboards place them under you in more of a traditional riding position. There is not one better. It is completely a preference thing.

Both being Softails, they are going to handle pretty similarly. But I would think, at 5'2", you are going to want to lower either of them. The nice thing about a Softail is that it can be lowered fairly easily with some minor modifications to the suspension underneath and changing the front springs.

You might also consider looking at a Deluxe. I think they are a little lower already from the factory.

There are also seats out there that sit lower as well as narrow the "straddle" of the bike by narrowing the nose of the seat.

Slim front end:



Black line:

 

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FREE THINKER
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the pictures and yes, I see the major differences you were speaking of. I have a larger and more "stacked" frame and I look funny on the smaller bikes. The thicker, more "together" look of the slim is very appealing. I sat on a slim and loved it. I flat footed it in sneekers in stock form. My left foot was a little higher off the ground but that was because of the primary sticking out a little. It is just that the dealer did not have a blackline on the floor for me to look at or sit on.

JPWendtinc: Thanks for the dimentions. Very similar and I dont think the extra weight of the Slim of 25lbs is gonna make a huge difference. Only thing of concern would be backing it out of a parking space or moving it around in neutral.
 

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You mentioned sitting on a bike with sneakers, you might try that with a pair of boots on. The boots will give you a little extra height and ability to make better contract with the ground on some of the other bikes. Just a thought.
 

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I have the Blackline and have a reduced reach seat and pull back bars on it. I only stand 5' 9" and this set up allows me to lean way back if I want to. The pull back bars will give you an extra 3-4 inches of pull back and the reduced reach seat moves you 2.5 inches closer to the tank AND it also lowers the seat a little to make it easier to put your feet flat on the ground. A friend of mine is able to set comfortably on my bike with no problems and he stands 5' 4".

I am sure they have the same type of parts for the Slim so it is just a matter of which bike do you like better for style and handling.
 

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My wife is same height as you, but she is a 'string bean' lol. She rides the Slim And loves it. She had a bit of trouble paddling it around in neutral, backing into parks etc. Had the HD lowering kit fitted and that made a huge difference for her. She still had a slight problem backing it up because her size meant she was actually pulling the bike back with her arms, rather than her butt pushing back against the seat. Hope that makes sense!
Anyhoo, fitted a set of 4 1/2" curved Deluxe risers and the bike now fits her perfectly.

1367368869043.jpg 1367368895434.jpg

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They both have forward controls. Not sure of any bike in the Softail line that has mid controls. The street bob and super glide in the dyna line both have mids.

Heck, I'm 6'2 and I like the mids.
 

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FREE THINKER
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Discussion Starter #10
My wife is same height as you, but she is a 'string bean' lol. She rides the Slim And loves it. She had a bit of trouble paddling it around in neutral, backing into parks etc. Had the HD lowering kit fitted and that made a huge difference for her. She still had a slight problem backing it up because her size meant she was actually pulling the bike back with her arms, rather than her butt pushing back against the seat. Hope that makes sense!
Anyhoo, fitted a set of 4 1/2" curved Deluxe risers and the bike now fits her perfectly.

View attachment 65273 View attachment 65281

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Thanks for sharing and great pics! Maybe it's me but the way she is sitting on the bike, it looks like she still is having issues with the handlebars. She only has one finger on the one but then again, maybe its me or the way she is sitting. Is this her first bike and if not, what did she have before?
 

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Hey stormchaser
Its just the way shes sitting, one finger on brake lever.
Shes ridden most of her life. Shes had the slim for 9 months. Prior was an 07 nightster bought new that she put 40000kms on. She also has an 06 triumph t100 Bonneville, which doesn't get much use. And thru the yrs shes had various British bikes..
My bike 08 streetbob is way too tall for her, and she cant even reach the fwd controls, so at a similar height, ID say a dyna is out for you too. Lol
As stated in other posts, go to a dealer and ride the bikes u think u like. I know it can be intimidating for a lady to try test riding a new bike with a bunch of guys standing around watching. Ask the dealer if they can meet u somewhere quiet with the bike so you don't have all the spectators watching you. Our dealer will do this.
Anyway, enjoy the journey and I hope u find something that fits.
Cheers. Pete

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FREE THINKER
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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I guess with the news of HD discontinuing the Blackline as well as 5 other models for 2014, I don't have to worry about it the comparison anymore..LOL!
 

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THE Yuppie Outlaw
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Well, I guess with the news of HD discontinuing the Blackline as well as 5 other models for 2014, I don't have to worry about it the comparison anymore..LOL!
It's nice when decisions are made for you isn't it?
 

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One other thing to look at is the Harley Davidson garage nights at your local dealer. They are set up to introduce new riders to the Harley scene and they will go over not only test riding bikes but they also have boards that allow you to see how much lower you should have your bike. They will also have different handlebar styles that you can swap out real quick to see which one fits you the best. Me personally, I like the front end of the Slim so much better. The fatter front tires won't grap cracks in the road as easy as the narrow tire on the Blackline.

Also the Deluxe is a great model that comes really low from the factory. Again you can make any modes to it that will allow it to fit you perfectly. I say choose the Slim or the Deluxe. Best of luck!
 

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Another bike to consider is the heritage softail. It comes with mini-ape hanger ha
handlebars that are easily adjusted for virtually ANY sized/shaped rider. Virtually any bike can be raised/lowered suspension-wise as well. Given the choice between the two you listed, however, I personally believe you would be happier & more comfortable on the slim. The fact that it is easier to replace the handlebars on the slim is another advantage. Good luck!

Den
 

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FREE THINKER
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Discussion Starter #16
Well, it has been 8 years since I had a bike (I ride on the back sometimes with a friend or two) so I do want to be comfortable as well as confident. I will start out with taking the MSF course again as a refresher, for here in PA you can only take the advanced if ya have your own bike.

I did attend a Bootcamp already and I plan on attending the Garage Party for ladies later this month even though I have my license. Also tons of bike nights and rallies to attend this year so I hope to stay busy and continue to learn.
 
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