As hard as it may be to believe, Harley-Davidson’s XR1200X model was only available in Europe ever since it was introduced a year ago, keeping Americans away from the bike’s 74 pound-feet of torque at 4000 rpm and 40-degree lean angle, not to mention the impressive looks. But it is all over now that Harley announced that the 2011 model year comes stateside (how does that even sound considering the American company’s huge fan clubs stretching from coast to coast).
For a price of $11,799, the 2011 Harley-Davidson XR1200X offers a lot. To begin with, the sports bike features Showa Big Piston front forks with adjustable rebound, compression and preload working together with the dual Showa rear shocks with 36mm pistons and piggyback nitrogen-charged reservoirs. Also, the front brakes – 292mm full-floating rotors and four-piston calipers – are supplied by Nissin.
But this bike is definitely all about the looks and with the rider positioned in a rather sporty riding position – at 29.2 inches from the ground, gripping on rear-mount pegs and holding on to dirt track-style handlebars – it will most likely be a hit in the States as well. So the question remains: why would H-D test the old continent market before introducing the bike here? Anyway, colors available for 2011 are Black Denim and White Hot Denim.
This eye-catching bobber is a personal project of Richard Dunn and it actually started from a 1975 Harley-Davidson Sportster. When he bought the bike, it had all of its original parts on (apart from a weld-on hardtail), so it was just a matter of restoring, reshaping or upgrading the different components that now turn it into a bobber.
Featuring 3-inch lower suspension supporting the original 7-spoke mag wheels as well as a new generation Sportster fuel tank and a custom oil tank, this bike turns from old school into modern. The bars, which are bolted on H-D risers, were supplied by Biltwell Keystone, while Front Street Cycle sent in the rear fender and Baas Metal Craft the thin seat. This last piece is actually described as being “wrapped with foam and some saddle cowhide with a tight stitch around the perimeter,” just so you’ll see the attention to details that this thing required.
Apart from the main parts mentioned above, Dunn’s blood, sweat and tears helped at making the old H-D Sportster look and perform like a one-of-a-kind bobber that is best represented by these gorgeous pictures.
Looking at the stock Harley-Davidson Sportster XLCH and at what the crew at WrenchMonkees could do with it, you won’t find many differences, but the fact is that this hardtail is now the result of a mix between the HD motorcycle and Husqvarna parts in an attempt to stand out the off-road side of the original machine even more.
The source of around 60 horsepower is a 900cc V-Twin engine supplied with gas by an S&S carburetor, while the megatron dual exhaust is a WM creation. The hardtail rear frame (probably this bike’s most distinctive part) was also built by the Copenhagen-based custom motorcycle builder and together with the Borani style rims with Pirelli rubber, gives a scrambler look to the attractive thing.
What sets this custom further apart from its American DNA is the Husqvarna CR tank with its European style, but also WM components such as the fender, seat, headlight and taillight as well as the custom paint.
The WrenchMonkees Sportster XLCH is priced at just under $21 grand (DKR 105.000). Read the specs after the break.
Matt Mingay is a stunt rider from Stuntz Inc performing on Harley-Davidson motorcycles such as the 2009 Fatboy and Ultra Glide as well as the Muscle and the Nightster. As crazy as it might sound, this guy manages to do with these bikes what few sport bike riders can with theirs.
Harley-Davidson has teamed up with Firestorm for the making of this video, which looks almost unrealistic due to the type of bikes involved. Believe it, it’s real!
Because the Sportster family wouldn’t be the same without the 1200cc models, Harley-Davidson caries on producing the Custom, Low and Nightster models with small tweaks and calls them 2009 model years. Similar and yet differently styled, the bikes are out to get each one of those who have long planned to buy a Harley and finally decided on what family to start with.
The Low model is a comfy, agile and classy Sportster, the Nightster is a veritable bad boy machine and the Custom comes as the right combination between the first two models.
While the 2009 Sportster lineup is completed with the introduction of the brand new Iron 883, we shouldn’t forget how this model was born from the combination between the Low and Custom ones that have kept on going strong in the last few years. These bikes are also new and look like being built following some unique recipes, but in fact they’re nothing but different rides suiting different rider needs while benefiting of the same V-twin engine.
Harley-Davidson is adapting to the motorcycle market’s most recent demands and the best proof of this fact is the newly launched blacked-out Sportster model. The latest Dark Custom of the series shares most features with its larger sibling, the Nightster 1200, but not the engine and therefore not the price. Everything from the slammed suspension to the side-mounted license plate holder is there, but the most important unit – the V-twin engine – displaces 883ccs while the price starts just under $8K.
Harley’s latest addition to their Dark Custom lineup – the Iron 883 – is nothing more than a blacked-out, stripped-down Sportster which addresses to the younger crowd, but it sure rocks.
In the promotional video, the bike is presented as being perfect for commuting, cruising and even to be ridden down the drag track in the weekends. And by the way, becoming a part of the exclusive Harley-Davidson club requires no password apart from the machine’s $7,899 MSRP.
Starting from the idea that a guarantee should mean something, Harley-Davidson uses the power of example and launches a program called Ride Free through which they encourage riders to buy the Sportster model.
More precisely, those who buy a ’08 or ’09 Sportster (excluding XR1200) from a participating dealer until March 31, 2009 are offered the opportunity to ride it for up to one full year and then trade it for a new Dyna, Softail, VRSC or Toruing model and receive the original MSRP value of their Sportster motorcycles.
Also, those who already own a ’07, ’08 or ’09 Sportster can trade it until March 31 and have the same benefits.
Although that might seem like one great opportunity (which it actually is), it is recommended that you take in consideration the fact that the economy is going through a tough period and there will be more and more such offers. Still, in March the weather starts being just good for riding so I bet you won’t abstain yourself.