Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster: Review

Enjoy the thrill of riding stripped to its bare essence.

In 2018, Harley-Davidson added to the long legacy of the Sportster motorcycle line with the introduction of the Iron 1200. Since its introduction in 1957, Sportster motorcycles have been repeatedly reimagined, in the hands of both the motor company and motorcycle owners: the Sportster as a bobber, a chopper, a scrambler and a café
racer; as a hero on flat tracks and drag strips and road-race courses; as an accessible entry-point for new riders, and as a custom one-off cruiser.

Classic design

Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and character that makes it so appealing to so many different riders. And a Sportster is a relatively easy motorcycle to strip down and reinvent. The new fuel tank graphics combine bold colour stripes with a formal typeface, colour and graphic elements originally popular in the 1970s. The art on these fuel tanks reflect contemporary trends seen on custom motorcycles and in design in general – a move away from more complex and intricate art to a look that’s clean and simple. It’s also important to note that these graphics respect the shape of the fuel tank and, in the case of the sportster, that tank shape is a classic design element in its own right.

More Power To You

The Iron 1200 recipe starts with power. A 1202cc Evolution V-Twin engine delivers 36% more torque (73.0 ft. lbs vs. 53.8 ft. lbs) than the 883 Evolution engine that powers the Iron 883, the original urban brawler in the Sportster family. The Iron 1200 brings more punch to the street fight – more power to blast away from traffic lights and more mid-range to muscle through traffic. More power means more disruptive fun.

All Attitude

The jet-black Mini Ape handlebar is an essential element of the garage-built chopper look that adds instant attitude. This 1.0-inch diameter handlebar offers an 8.75-inch ride, 31-inch spread and 6.5-inch pull back that opens the rider triangle with a fist-in-thewind posture. The gloss black speed screen framing the headlamp is a US West Coast styling influence that amplifies the attitude of the tail bars, is intended to offer some wind direction at speed and provides a space for easy personalisation. The fast-back café solo seat flows to the rear fender and is shaped to help hold the rider in position when the torque of the Evolution 1200 kicks in.

In the Black

A classic 12.5-litre Sportster fuel tank features multicoloured striped graphics that wrap around the tank profile. The entire powertrain has been styled with a popular colour: black upper and lower rocker boxes, black exhaust and muffler shields, and black timer, primary and derby covers. Chrome pushrod tubes and tappet covers are the only brightwork and highlight the V-Twin engine shape. The Iron 1200 is finished with all-black 9-spoke wheels (19-inch front and 16-inch rear) and a solid black belt guard and rear sprocket.

Click to head to the Harley website for more information.

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