PERFECT SYNTHESIS OF LOOK AND PERFORMANCE:
THE NEW HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER MODELS IRON 1200 AND FORTY-EIGHT SPECIAL
High handlebars, cool graphics and classic custom feel
For the 2018 season, Harley-Davidson adds the new Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special models to the Sportster family. The new models combine current classic trends of the custom scene with the traditional Sportster platform and the powerful performance of the 1200 Evolution
Since its introduction in 1957, the Sportster has been reinvented again and again. The Motor Company constantly updated, revised and refined the concept and Sportster riders modified and customized their machines. The Sportster came as a bobber, chopper, scrambler and café racer on the market. She competed on classic race tracks, flat-track courses and the drag strip. It formed the entry into the world of Harley-Davidson and at the same time proved to be the ideal basis for customizers.
“Since its birth, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of weight, power and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders,” explains Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president, styling and design. “A Sportster makes it easy for you to strip and redesign – just like Sportster riders have done with their bikes for decades. And how we’ve done it. The result: the Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special.”
Both machines feature new tank graphics that combine powerful stripes with typography and colors Harley-Davidson used in the 1970s.
“The paint scheme on both tanks reflects a current stylistic trend – not just in custom bikes – of moving away from complex, elaborate looks and toward pared-down, clean designs,” Richards said. “In addition, this design emphasizes the shape of the tanks, which is especially beneficial to a Sportster, whose tank itself is considered a classic design element.”
Iron 1200 (XL 1200NS)
The Iron 1200 is powered by a 1202-cubic-inch Evolution V-twin that unleashes 41 percent more torque than the Iron 883’s 883-cubic-inch powerplant. The result: even more power when accelerating from a standstill, even more pressure when pulling through and even more driving pleasure.
A matte black Mini Ape underscores the machine’s casual look. This handlebar with a diameter of 2.54 centimeters (1 inch), a height of 22.2 centimeters and a width of 81.2 centimeters provides a chopper-typical seating position, with fists outstretched to the wind. Its height is emphasized by the slim headlamp trim, which also easily allows further customization. Influenced by West Coast styling and finished in glossy black, it relieves the rider from the airstream, while the café solo seat, which echoes the shape of the rear fender, comfortably props him back when accelerating.
Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Model 2018 Photo Gallery
The classically shaped 12.5-liter fuel tank is adorned with bright graphics with multicolored stripes that accentuate its profile and contrast with the dark engine finish. The new Iron 1200 is available in Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry or Billiard White, its headlight fairing always wearing Vivid Black.
With the upper and lower rocker boxes as well as the exhaust, manifold, timer, primary and clutch covers, the entire drivetrain is finished in textured black. To accentuate the shape of the classic V-twin, chrome-plated pushrod tubes and pushrod blocks set the tone. The machine rolls on black 9-spoke wheels (19-inch front and 16-inch rear). The timing belt guard and pulley are also coated in black.
Like all Harley-Davidson models, the new Iron 1200 comes with an ABS-assisted braking system and Smart Security System including immobilizer and alarm system, as well as a four-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Forty-Eight Special (XL 1200XS)
The bulky Forty-Eight front end – a 130 tire and 49-millimeter fork on forged alloy triple clamps – looks even more impressive on the Forty-Eight Special, topped by a glossy black, 7.25-inch (18.4-centimeter) tall tallboy handlebar.
“We deliberately chose the Tallboy for this bike,” Richards explains, “because it’s less cranked back than the Mini Ape. It’s a style that fits perfectly with the Forty-Eight Special’s massive front end and compact tank.”
The latter is the 7.9-liter peanut tank, the flanks of which are adorned with powerful horizontal stripes that frame a Harley-Davidson lettering in clear typography. The tank is available in three color options: Vivid Black, Wicked Red and Billiard White.
Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special Model 2018 Photo Gallery
Propulsion is provided by a 1200 Evolution engine, which has a black top end, while the lower section features numerous chrome-plated components. A layer of chrome adorns the primary, inspection and coupling covers. The exhaust system and its heat shields are also chrome-plated. Chrome is also worn on the lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and pushrod blocks. This creates an attractive contrast to the black cylinders, which emphasizes the shape of the V-twin. The Motor Company tires the black 16-inch cast alloy wheels with nine double spokes with Harley-Davidson Michelin “Scorcher 31” tires.
Of course, the new Forty-Eight Special also has a powerful ABS braking system and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System with immobilizer and alarm system. The Forty-Eight Special comes with a four-year, unlimited mileage warranty.
Prices according to manufacturer as of 02/2018: Iron 1200 from €10,955 and Forty-Eight Special from €12,195