Iconic motorcycle brand Harley Davidson rolled out its 2021 Sportster S on Tuesday, extending its winning heritage of sportiest and most functional performer even at its cheapest small engine semi-entry level bike.
This unveiling commemorated the next generation of Harley Davidson powered by the 1,252cc Revolution Max 1250T liquid cooled engine. After shipping 50,000 models a year from 2012 to 2017--selling tens of thousands of Sportsters annually owing largely to its rich motorcycle heritage and styling instead of technical advances or innovation--Harley has redesigned the Sportster into a $15,000 speed demon that offers impressive performance more than anything else, Cycle World noted.
The Sportster S was first introduced as a Custom concept in 2018, remarkably similar to that design, having high and tight exhaust pipes, a fine looking flat line from tank to seat and a large skid plate underneath.
2021 Harley Davidson Sportster S Integrates Design Elements from Previous Sportsters
Harley integrated some iconic elements of Sportster designs from different generations: the tail section inspired by the XR-750, and the fat front wheel taken from the Sportster Forty-Eight. But the motorcycle itself seemed to be a condensed version of the 2018 Fat Bob, from the wide LED headlight and 2-1-2 exhaust pipe to the black finish and white paint, Ultimate Motorcycling revealed.
The Sportster S' 1,252cc engine produces 121 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque, Road Show by Cnet noted. The 1250T's cylinder heads have smaller port dimensions and valves comared to Pan America's Revolution Max engine, with a dissimilar combustion chamber shape to raise low- and midrange torque output.
The Sportster S is also equipped with Variable Valve Timing, similar to the Pan America. While it carries those great features to push its performance, this is a departure from past Sportsters. Just like in the Pan America, the Sportster S engine acts as a structural component of chassis with the swingarm placed at the back and the upper frame section bolted to the top. Such would save on weight and raise rigidity, but it would limit frame changes and custom capability.
2021 Harley Davidson Speedster S: Other Juicy Specs
The brand-new four-inch TFT gauge is placed on the Sportster S handlebar risers, offering turn-by-turn navigation and even Bluetooth functionality for phone pairing. Three programmed modes are available in the Sportster S: Road, Sport, and Rain. It also has two fully customizable modes that will adjust as the anti-lock braking system is initiated using the standard Reflex Defensive Rider System (RDRS).
Ergonomics is far from conducive to shifting body positions for sport riding, with suspension components offering limited travel.
The Sportster also features a 17-inch and 4.5 inches wide wheel up front, with a 160mm Dunlop radial tire. Harley Davidson also announced that the Sportster will weigh 502 pounds in full running order and carry a mere 3.1 gallons of fuel, which is the average capacity of previous Sportsters.