Harley-Davidson debuts the next level in the evolution of its Sportster – the $14,999 Sportster S.
Harley-Davidson drops a mid-July release with its Sportster S. Sporty and beefy, yet slim and rugged, the new Sportster S looks like it’s ready for a barroom brawl. Powered by a Revolution Max 1250T V-Twin engine that pumps out 121 horses and a max torque output of 94 foot-pounds. The engine’s tuning produces a low RPM range torque performance that remains consistent throughout the powerband.
The engine of the Sportster S is the central part of the frame, opposed to being mounted inside of the frame. A welded tubular steel trellis swingarm has a braced design and stamped X-member, stiffening the chassis. This reduces the bike’s overall weight while focusing the mass, providing an optimum power-to-weight ratio for superb handling and performance. The bike has a claimed wet weight of 502 pounds, including a full 3.1. gallon fuel tank.
The suspension setup is composed of fully adjustable SHOWA 43mm inverted cartridge forks at the front end and a SHOWA Piggyback reservoir shock at the back end. The rear shock is highlighted by a hydraulic pre-load that is adjusted by a knob on the left side of the bike. Brembo brake components provide the stopping power with a front single Brembo radial monoblock four-piston caliper and a 320mm diameter disc. A two-piston Brembo caliper and a 260mm diameter disc make up the rear unit.
In the style department, the new Sportster S takes notes from its ancestors. Recall, the Harley-Davidson Sportster was introduced in 1957. The aesthetics of the new S model takes notes from the models that came before it… an amalgam, of sorts. The big bobber style Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series GT503 tires, the high mount double-stacked exhaust, the solo seat, the general ergonomics, all give a nod to the heritage of the bike. However, the Sportster S is loaded with modern moto-technology, placing it at the forefront of the model’s future.
The Sportster is equipped with a suite of rider assists and enhancements. Features include a three-mode ride system (Sport, Road, and Rain), plus two custom modes, set by the rider. Further aids include Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements by Harley-Davidson, a set of tools to increase the thrill of the rider experience.
What I consider the most “trick” bit of tech is the new round four-inch TFT, Bluetooth-enabled dash that displays all pertinent data and info in addition to integrating the rider’s infotainment sourced from their smart device. Using the Harley-Davidson App, turn-by-turn navigation is provided, similar to the format displayed on the dash of the LiveWire.
The lighting of the Sportster S employs a system of all LED lights. The headlight is the Daymaker Signature LED unit that maximizes illuminated visibility while giving the S a unique and distinguished front end. A variety of features for overall rider enjoyment include cruise control, a USB-C charging port, a proximity-based security system.
“The Sportster S is the next all-new motorcycle built on the Revolution Max platform and sets a new performance standard for the Sportster line. This is a next generation Sportster defined by power, performance, technology and style. And it’s part of our commitment to introduce motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson.” – Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster S is slated to arrive in Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl, or Midnight Crimson at authorized dealers in the fall of 2021.