Everything you thought you knew about Harley-Davidson is about to change, and the new Sportster is proof of it. Sure, the bike still looks great and front foot controls, but it was given so many changes in this new generation that it’s barely recognizable as a Sportster. With an all-new Revolution Max engine developing 121 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque, power output sounds American Cruiser, but internal balance The water-cooled twin overhead cam engine definitely doesn’t. Oh, it’s gonna be interesting!
Considering the new Sportster S weighs around 60 pounds less than the bike it replaces, and has been updated to include a new round TFT dashboard, LED lights, greater lean angle, and Traction controlled by IMU and ABS system, seems like a good overall ride. From press photos, the Sportster appears to have a similar handlebar control setup as the Pan America, meaning that the old mainstay of Harley’s life – namely getting used to having a turn signal for each main – left the path of the mountain gorilla. That is to say not extinguished, but get pretty damn close.
The impetus for this major change was the introduction of Euro 5 emissions standards, which killed off the old oil and air cooled Sportster. The Sportster name dates back to the 1950s and ran on a frame introduced in 2004. This new model bears the name, but updates everything for the modern era of motorcycling. Even the most jaded hipsters would be happy to post this bike on their Instagram, but at the same time, it looks tough enough to be enjoyed by big, beefy bikers.
I can’t wait to kick one of my poles standing in the seat of the new Sportster S. It has all the styling cues I love about Harley, including the raised pipes from the old one. XR1200. Hope this points to an even more aggressive naked street fighter beating the Indian FTR (come on Harley, just give us the Bronx!) in the future. At $ 15,000, it’s not a cheap bike, but it looks like it’ll be a riot. And that purple paint (okay, Midnight Crimson) looks absolutely spectacular in the photos.
So I’m going to cycle on Wednesday afternoon. Here is your chance to ask me anything. What do you want to know about this bike? What do you want to know about the future of Harley-Davidson?