Milwaukee remained suspiciously silent about possible replacements for the environmentally-defunct Sportsters, and that for a brand that does everything it can to attract a younger audience. That could only mean one thing: it was a lot of work. And indeed, here it is: the brand new Sportster S.
The Sportster S is powered by the Revolution Max 1250T, a liquid-cooled, four-valve DOHC 60° V-twin based on the Revolution Max 1250 platform. First the numbers: 121 hp and 127 Nm. The block was heavily tweaked to create a driving experience that suits the Sportster, including modified cylinder heads and pistons, modified intake path, different camshaft profile and modified (variable) valve timing. Balance shafts have to smooth out disturbing vibrations, but are tuned in such a way that the block still feels lively.
The slim build of the V-twin contributes to optimal mass centralization and also offers the rider more legroom. The lighter block (thanks to the choice of materials), which also acts as a load-bearing part of the frame, which also saves weight, significantly reduces the overall weight of the engine: with 228 kg roadworthy, this Sportster S is significantly lighter than the earlier models, which were swinging on the wrong side of the 250 kg.
The dashboard consists of a round 4-inch TFT display on which, in addition to the usual suspects such as speedometer, tachometer and trip meter, you will also find pop-ups of, for example, incoming phone calls. You can switch between different views, so that you can also consult things like tire pressure, battery status or oil pressure. Of course, you can connect the display to your smartphone with Bluetooth, which is also the only way to use the infotainment; via your cell phone (and a headset, if you want to listen to music or make a phone call). You also have to connect your smartphone for navigation (via the Harley-Davidson app), you can choose between turn-by-turn or map view.
There are three pre-cooked riding modes (Road, Sport, Rain) and two Custom modes that you can set to your liking. The Sportster S features a six-axis IMU and thus includes a number of cornering enhanced safety features such as cornering ABS (C-ABS) and traction control (C-TCS). Cruise control is standard. The Sportster S has LED lighting all round and is equipped with a fully adjustable 43mm Showa UPSD and a Showa piggyback rear shock absorber (adjustable for spring preload). Brakes are Brembo: 320mm disc with radially mounted four-piston monobloc at the front, 260mm disc with twin-piston rear.
With a seat height of 751mm, the Sportster S should be low enough for most riders to easily put both feet on the ground. Brake and clutch levers are adjustable, always nice for those with smaller hands.
The Sportster will be available at the dealer from autumn in the colors Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl and Midnight Crimson. Basic prices: 15,995 euros in Belgium, 18,495 in the Netherlands.
We can certainly not wait to get into the saddle, the test is scheduled for very soon. Yeehaa!