I told you so! Harley-Davidson on Wednesday unveiled the new Iron 1200 Sportster, finally acting upon an open letter I wrote to the company nearly four years ago.
Looking very much like an Iron 883 with AMF styling, it’s safe to say the new model offers all the things I love about the 883 but in a slightly more powerful (and thereby useable) package.
“A Sportster is a relatively easy bike to strip down and reinvent,” said Brad Richards, vice president of Harley-Davidson Styling and Design. “What we’ve done to create the new Iron 1200 is what Sportster owners have been doing with their own bikes for generations.”
The Sportster was first introduced in 1957, but the look Harley says it’s going for here is pure 1970s. I can’t help but wonder if, rather than Millennials, Harley is hoping to hit Gen-Xers with this particular bike, reminding dudes like me of the bikes we saw being ridden when we were kids. Indeed, the look of that 12.5-liter tank (3.3 US gallons) induces memories of my early childhood in Dallas in the ’80s. These are the bikes that the cool dads (ie, not my dad) rode up and down the street.
“The art on these fuel tanks reflect contemporary trends we are seeing on custom bikes and in design in general,” Richards said. “A move away from more complex and intricate art to a look that’s very simple and clean.”
Harley says the Iron 1200’s 1202cc air-cooled V-twin delivers 36 percent more torque than that found via the Iron 883’s powerplant. The MoCo famously doesn’t talk about horsepower – in this case because it’s not terribly impressive – but I can confirm that it’s enough oomph for highway travel without concern.
“More power means more rowdy fun,” chirps a Harley press release.
I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the wee bullet screen, but I’m sure it comes off easily. Equally I’m not a fan of the Vivid Black paint scheme seen here, but Harley says the bike will also be available in Twisted Cherry and Billiard White colorways.
Fans of the color black will love the blacked-out everything of the Iron 1200, including black upper and lower rocker boxes, black exhaust and muffler shields, and black timer, primary and derby covers.
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Here in Britain, where we live under the yoke of socialist oppression, the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System and anti-lock braking system come standard. Americans, however, are free to pay extra for these options – $795 for ABS and $395 for the security system. Starting price in the UK is a reasonable (for a Harley) £9,395 – in the United States, pricing starts at $9,999.