Sparkling chrome sets the 1200 Custom apart from other Sportster models. A chrome Laced 21-inch front and chrome Slotted Disc Cast Aluminum rear wheel, chrome engine highlights, chrome handlebar and headlight, and a polished fuel tank console give this model a custom gleam. Forward controls and a pull-back handlebar riser put the rider in a laid-back position that’s perfect for cruising.
It handles corners and curves well. Clutch and gears are smooth and responsive. The horn is very loud and if anyone cannot hear it, they should not be driving a car. The pipes although not as loud as other hogs, it does have that distinctive Harley sound without setting off car alarms. It has a low fuel light but no tach. Although I find a tach useless since you should gear up or down by the sound and feel of the engine. Besides, constantly looking down at a tach will eventually bring you an unwanted surprise. The fuel injection is fantastic! Start up is immediate and smooth anytime. My only beef is the factory pegs I find to be a bit slippery and there is a bit of vibration but it should go away after break in. The seat is ok but not for long distance. Have not done 2 up so I cannot comment on that perspective. This is a great bike for anyone who wants a no fuss, fun bike. Plus there are tons of accessories you can add. If you are thinking about a Sportster go for it you will not be disappointed.
Nice bike but it’s a Sportster - gets better as it loosens up. With the rubber mounted engine and the fuel injection the 08 is overall a great bike. Only draw back is the stock seat and like all Sportsters, you will get some engine heat while at idle but none once you’re rolling. Ride Safe!
- Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200cc engine
- Black powder-coated engine with chrome treatment
- NEW tank decoration and cloisonné
- Chrome Laced Steel 21-inch front wheel
- Chrome Slotted Disc Cast Aluminum 16-inch rear wheel
- Wide polished handlebar on chrome pull-back risers
- One-piece, two-up Sportster Classic seat
- Chrome Staggered Shorty Dual exhaust
- Low-Profile rear shocks
- Forward foot controls
- Chrome bullet headlight
- Polished fuel tank console
- 4.5-gallon fuel tank
- Optional Chrome Aluminum Profile Laced wheels
- Optional Smart Security System
1947 Board of Directors’ records mention discussion of a bike in the design stage called the "Deluxe Sport Model," which was to have an "entirely new 61 cubic inch overhead valve V-Twin engine," and was to be 150 to 200 pounds less than the Big Twins of the time.
1952 The K model is introduced, a 750cc side-valve, V-Twin driven model. The K model is the direct ancestor of the XL Sportster.
1957 The XL Sportster replaces the K model. This 55 cubic-inch, overhead valve bike improves upon the power and handling of the K model. The engine and transmission were all new.
1958 The Sportster CH (XLCH) is introduced. The CH stands for "Competition Hot," and is a more stripped-down version of the original XL. The new motorcycle also introduces the trademark "Peanut" gas tank and staggered dual exhaust.
1959 Introduction of the Sportster H (XLH).
1967 The XLH Sportster receives electric start.
1970 The XR-750 racing motorcycle is introduced. The XR-750 is driven by what is essentially a de-stroked Sportster engine.
1976 The XLCR or Cafe Racer is introduced and is one of the most unique of all Sportster platform bikes. The black sport motorcycle combines the classic European cafe racer with American styling and power.
1979 The XLS Roadster is introduced, a more customized version of the traditional Sportster platform.
1982 The 25th Anniversary Sportster, complete with the more classic "Sportster" gas tank logo, is introduced.
1983 The XLX-61 is introduced, a more stripped down, yet customized Sportster.
1986 The Sportster family receives the Sportster Evolution engine in 883 and 1100cc displacements.
1987 The 30th Anniversary Sportster is introduced.
1988 Introduction of the first of the Sportster Hugger Motorcycles, which offered a lower seat height.
1996 The first 1200S "Sport" and 1200C "Custom" bikes are introduced. The Sport offers race styling and power, and the Custom offers unique chrome appointments and other custom features unique to the bike.
1998 Sportster production moves to Harley-Davidson’s factory in Kansas City, MO.
2002 Patterned after the race model of the same name, the new Sportster 883R street motorcycle, incorporates racing styling going back to 1970.
2003 Harley-Davidson’s 2003 model year line-up included Sportsters with 100th Anniversary accoutrements.
2004 Completely redesigned XL Sportster family is introduced with a redesigned, rubber-mounted Sportster XL Evolution powertrain, a stiffer frame, and a lower seat height.
2005 XL Sportster 883 Low is introduced with ergonomics designed specifically to fit smaller riders, and that make it easier to lift off its sidestand. A seat height of just 26 inches makes the 883 Low the lowest Sportster ever.
Length: 90.30 in. (2293.62 mm)
Overall Width: 32.70 in. (830.58 mm)
Overall Height: 45.70 in. (1160.78 mm)
- Laden: 26.50 in. (673.10 mm)
- Unladen: 28 in. (711.20 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.40 in. (111.76 mm)
Rake (steering head): 30.1°
Fork Angle: 30.1°
Trail: 4.70 in. (119.38 mm)
Wheelbase: 60.40 in. (1534.16 mm)
Tires (Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series, blackwall):
- Front–D402F: MH90-21 54H
- Rear–D401: 150/80B16 71H
Fuel Capacity (warning light at approximately 1 gal.): 4.5 gal. (17.03 L)
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 3.60 qts. (3.41 L)
Transmission Capacity: 1 qts. (0.95 L)
- As Shipped: 562 lbs. (254.92 kg)
- In Running Order: 589 lbs. (267.17 kg)
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1000 lbs. (453.59 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating:
- Front: 335 lbs. (151.95 kg)
- Rear: 665 lbs. (301.64 kg)
Engine: Air-cooled, Evolution
Valves: Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; two valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 3.50 in. (88.90 mm) x 3.81 in. (96.77 mm)
Displacement: 73.20 cu. in. (1200 cu. cm)
Compression Ratio: 9.7:1
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Paper cartridge type
Lubrication System: Dry-sump
Primary Drive: Chain, 57/38 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 68/29 ratio
Clutch: 9-plate, wet
Gear Ratios (overall):
U.S. HDI JPN
1st 9.315 9.004 9.004
2nd 6.653 6.432 6.432
3rd 4.948 4.783 4.783
4th 4.102 3.965 3.965
5th 3.517 3.400 3.400
Frame: Mild steel, tubular frame; circular sections; cast junctions
Swing Arm: Mild steel, rectangular tube sections, stamped junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 39 mm
Rear Shocks: Coil-over; preload dual-adjustable
Wheels(Chrome, Profile Laced Aluminum option):
Front: Chrome, Laced Steel, 21 in. x 2.15 in. (533.40 mm x 54.61 mm)
Rear: Chrome, Slotted Disc Cast Aluminum, 16 in. x 3 in. (406.40 mm x 76.20 mm)
- Caliper Type: Dual-piston front, single-piston rear
- Rotor Type (diameter x width): Patented, uniform expansion rotors
- Front: 11.50 in. x .20 in. (292.10 mm x 5.08 mm)
- Rear: 11.50 in. x .23 in. (292.10 mm x 5.84 mm)
- Front Wheel: 5.69 in. (144.53 mm)
- Rear Wheel: 2.12 in. (53.85 mm)
Engine Torque (per SAE J1349):
- North America: 79 ft. lbs. @ 4000 rpm (107.12 NM @ 4000 rpm)
- World: 75 ft. lbs. @ 3500 rpm (101.70 NM @ 3500 rpm)
- Japan: 66 ft. lbs. @ 3500 rpm (89.50 NM @ 3500 rpm)
Lean Angle (per SAE J1168): Right: 29° Left: 31°
Fuel Economy7(EPA urban/highway test): 42/57 mpg (5.60/4.13 L /100 km)
Battery(per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 12-amp/hour, 200 cca
Charging: Single-phase, 30-amp system (357W @ 13.5V, 2000 rpm, 405W max power @ 13.5V)
Starting: 1.2 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation):
- Headlamp (quartz halogen): 55-watt low beam, 60-watt high beam
- Tail/Stop Lights: 8W/28W (5W/21W)
- Turn Signal Lights: 28W (21W) self-canceling
- Indicator Lamps: High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warnings, security system8 (optional)
Engine Trim: Black powder-coated engine with chrome treatment covers
Exhaust System: Chrome, staggered shorty exhaust with dual mufflers
Fenders and Supports:
- Front: Sport fender with painted brace supports
- Rear: Full coverage fender with chrome supports
Foot Supports and Controls:
- Rider: Forward-mounted footpegs with brake & shift levers
- Passenger: Standard footpegs
Handlebar Style: Stainless steel, low-rise
Seat Type and Style: One-piece, two-up Sportster® classic
Fork Lock: Common with ignition key
Hazard Warning: Integrated into turn signal controls
Smart Security System: Next-generation hands-free security fob; operates based on proximity to vehicle
- Vivid Black,
- Pewter Pearl,
- White Gold Pearl,
- Dark Blue Pearl (new),
- Candy Red Sunglo (new),
- Sunset Yellow Pearl (new),
- Pacific Blue Pearl/Vivid Black (new),
- Crimson Red Sunglo/Candy
- Red Sunglo (new),
- Vivid Black/Mirage Orange Pearl (new),
- Copperhead Pearl/Red Hot11 (new),
- Golden Glow/Black Glow11 (new),
- Purple Haze11 (new),
- Anniversary Copper Pearl/Vivid Black (new)
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Service Interval: First 1,000 miles (1,600 km), every 5,000 miles (8,000 km) thereafter