Few potential buyers would actually want to ride a '48 motorcycle regularly, unless kickstarting, manual ignition advance, poor lighting, unimpressive brakes and dozens of other issues that have been overcome in the last five-and-a-half decades seem attractive. However, Harley's stylists and engineers have found clever ways to maintain classic styling elements. The Softail rear suspension, for example, offers the clean look of the hardtail frame used on the original '48 model but conceals two spring-damper assemblies under the engine to absorb some of the shock of modern roads. Vibration, a fact of life on the 1000 and 1200cc engines powering the '48 model, has been thoroughly suppressed by dual counterbalancers in the current 1450cc Twin Cam engine, which also offers electric starting, fuel injection, fiddle-free electronic ignition, about twice the horsepower and dozens upon dozens of changes to the design, systems and materials that have improved reliability and ease of maintenance since '48. It retains the 45-degree V, air-cooling, two valves operated by pushrods, "knife-and-fork" connecting rods and other details of that first bike with hydraulic lifters, but you won't find any significant common parts-or miss them.