With the Sportster S, Harley-Davidson has unveiled a new factory custom bike designed to deliver enthusiastic rides and powerful performance.
Design, engine, drivetrain
The profile of the new Sportster S is powerful. At its heart is the Revolution-Max-1250T V2 engine, which has been integrated into the frame as a load-bearing element. It has a displacement of 1,252 cc and produces 122 PS. It has been tuned for high low-end torque.
The drivetrain was also designed as a co-supporting element, thus eliminating the need for a classic frame. This was Harley’s way of saving weight and providing pinpoint handling.
The wide front tire evokes memories of classic bobbers. The rear, on the other hand, was designed more in the style of the flattrack racer XR750 with a high-mounted exhaust and a slim solo seat. The 2-in-1-in-2 exhaust system is said to offer a pleasant sonorous sound.
The forward-mounted footpeg system, along with the 755mm seat height and flat handlebars, provides an engaging riding position.
Ride-by-wire enables the three riding modes Sport, Road and Rain. They affect the performance characteristics as well as the rider assistance systems. Two additional modes can be freely configured to set the motorcycle to the rider’s own needs.
With “Harley-Davidson Cornering Ride Safety Enhancements,” Harley offers a package designed to assist in difficult road conditions and dangerous situations. It adapts the power output and driving dynamics during acceleration, in sliding mode and on the brakes to the available grip, even when cornering.
The settings are displayed on a four-inch TFT display. Mobile devices can also be connected via Bluetooth using the Harley-Davidson app.
LED technology is used for the lighting all around. Brake and clutch levers are adjustable. Wiring for optional heated grips, separately available heated rider clothing or a USB-C charging port has already been integrated.
Standard equipment includes an air temperature sensor that also warns of icy roads, cruise control and a security system with immobilizer.
The fuel tank holds 11.8 liters, and the ready-to-drive weight is stated at 228 kg.
Suspension and brakes
Damping is provided at the front by a 43 mm upside-down fork. The fork and shock absorber are fully adjustable. The Showa central shock absorber has an integrated reservoir. The spring preload can be adjusted hydraulically with a rotary control.
Braking is by Brembo. At the front, the radially bolted four-piston monobloc fixed caliper is allowed to bite into a 320mm disc.
Colors, availability and price
The new Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be offered in Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl or Midnight Crimson. It should be in dealerships in the fall. The price is listed at 15,495 euros for Germany and 18,595 euros for Austria.
“The Sportster S is the next complete redesign built on the Revolution Max platform, setting new performance standards for the Sportster line,” commented Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “This is a next-generation Sportster defined by power, performance, technology and style. And it’s part of our commitment to build motorcycles that align with our strategy: to increase desirability and continue the Harley-Davidson tradition.”
“Every visual design element of the Sportster S is an expression of power,” explains Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. “This motorcycle is a wolf in wolf’s clothing.”
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