The Harley-Davidson Crossbones – A Look Back To The Beginning

The 2008 model had the look of a Springer front end and other post-war era bobber styling cues like a sprung solo seat, half-round rider footboards, Gloss Black round air cleaner cover and chopped front fender. The Harley-Davidson Crossbones toured the highways with a Black and Polished Twin Cam 96B powertrain, 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission and truly unique Softail suspension.

At the time, it was the latest of several Harley-Davidson Dark Customs, Cross Bones melds stripped and chopped custom creativity with rough and raw finishes. Soul mates of the Harley-Davidson Crossbones included the Nightster, Night Train, Night Rod Special and Street Bob.

As each Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle declared its styling independence with exclusive components and inspired craftsmanship, the Harley-Davidson Crossbones was a bold addition to an already free-spirited family. Many features of the Cross Bones and other Softails are reminiscent of restless riders of the past, whose defiant attitude resonates with those who march to their own beat in any generation.

The Softail name originated from its rear suspension design, with a swingarm section that honors the lines of a vintage rigid frame, while delivering a smooth, comfortable ride. Hidden horizontal coil-over rear shock absorbers were strategically mounted out-of-sight below the powertrain. The counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B powertrain is rigid-mounted in the Softail frame to give the rider a core connection to the motorcycle. Harley-Davidson Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) is standard on all Softail models, as is the 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission with its accommodating clutch lever effort.

The 2008 Harley-Davidson Crossbones took to the road with a rebellious expression accentuated by a Gloss Black painted Springer front end with chrome springs, black bucket headlamp and black mini ape-hanger style handlebar. While the chopped front fender exposes more of the front wheel, a Bobtail fender does the same for the wide 200 mm rear tire. Tires with matching treads ride on Steel Laced wheels with Gloss Black painted rims.

The 2008 Harley-Davidson Crossbones features:

Rigid-mount, 1584 cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine
6-speed Cruise Drive transmission
Black powder-coated engine with polished rocker box covers and pushrods and untreated fins
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Gloss Black painted Springer front end with chrome springs
Gloss Black mini ape-hanger handlebar
Straight shot exhaust with chrome slash-cut mufflers
Adjustable sprung solo seat with leather lacing
26.6-inch seat height
Chopped front fender with striping
Bobtail rear fender with striping
Gloss Black cat-eye tank console with new speedometer face
Gloss Black round air cleaner cover, oil tank and rear fender supports
Distinctive five-gallon fuel tank with hand-laced leather tank panel and striping
200 mm rear tire
Laced Steel front and rear wheels with Gloss Black painted rims
Half-round old-school foot boards
Horseshoe oil tank with Harley-Davidson patent badge
Optional Smart Security System

The Harley-Davidson Crossbones legacy?

The Crossbones was a fan favorite but Harley-Davidson obviously felt that it’s life had run it’s course. There are plenty of used models on the road and that does raise some questions. Will this turn into a collectors items some day or will it be considered another run of the mill experiment? Either way, the Harley-Davidson Crossbones is a bike that will continue to turn some heads when it comes down the road.

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