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Harley-Davidson Roadster

The Harley-Davidson Roaster was a short-lived model that saw production from 2016 through 2020, but it didn’t make the cut in the MoCo’s effort to streamline its Sportster lineup ahead of MY21. As its name suggests, the Roadster rolled with the bare essentials and was lean as a snake with nothing in the way of the superfluous to be found. Power comes from a 1,200 cc Sportster plant that has an integrated transmission case and has been the go-to engine for H-D’s skinny bikes since 1986. Blackout treatment and inverted front forks make connections to both the custom and the performance worlds.

More on the Harley-Davidson Roadster

The Roadster was meant to replicate the look and feel of the old “gasser” bikes that had bobbed fenders and sported lightening holes in the blackout exhaust shields, and carried nothing that didn’t directly contribute to performance in one way or another. Liberal blackout treatment ties the frame and the V-twin lump together with the rest of the bike to leave it looking rather monochromatic except for the singular splash of color on the peanut gas tank.

The custom goodies continue out back in the LED lightbar that serves as the taillight and the side-mount plate holder like you see on showbikes proper. Dead-short risers and a drag-style handlebar make for a long upper line in the rider’s triangle to pull the pilot forward into an aggressive riding position and eliminate the weight of larger handlebars. The weight economy continues into the mirrors that ride on the shortest stems possible for a low profile up front that could only be improved upon by inverting them so they hang down instead. Mid-mount foot controls put the rider’s feet in a good position for some body English in the curves.