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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Harley Roadster Revealed


WE'LL admit it; if this Harley Roadster rode past right now it’s pretty unlikely that we'd instantly clock it as a new model.
But on closer inspection the new bits start to show. The overall shape is closest to the firm’s Forty-Eight model, but it lacks that bike’s fat front wheel, single seat and tapered exhausts. Its front and rear mudguards are the shortest of any Sportster 1200 derivative, so presumably it could earn a ‘bobber’ designation, but the firm says it’s actually a combination of different styles.
Harley’s official line is that it’s inspired by classic racing bikes and has a profile taken from racing Sportsters of the '50s and '60s.
The firm's styling director Brad Richards said: 'Since its introduction in 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster has proved capable of constant reinvention, and the Roadster writes a new chapter in that story. We’ve watched our customers take the Sportster in so many different directions. The Roadster is a mash-up of styling genres, but the intent was to build a rider’s motorcycle, a Sportster that’s lean and powerful and connects the rider to the road.
'We wanted to give the Roadster some DNA from the high-performance KHR models of the mid-'50s, and later Sportsters tuned for the drag strip. Those bikes had fenders cut to the struts, the small fuel tank, and were stripped to their bare essentials to achieve a singular performance purpose.'
So, what do you actually get for your £9,695?
There’s the usual 1200cc air-cooled twin, allied in this case to 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel – alloys rather than the wire-spokes of more retro models like the Seventy-Two or 1200 Custom.
'The wheels were inspired by classic laced wheels, and are the most intricate cast wheel we’ve ever created,' said Harley's Industrial Designer Ben McGinley. 'The interlacing spokes shoot outward toward opposite sides of the wheel, creating a dramatic visual effect. These wheels are also very light for their size, which contributes to the Roadster’s handling performance.'
The firm says the 43mm forks are new, and offer more suspension travel than any other bike in the Sporster range (4.5 inches). The rear shocks follow suit with 3.2 inches of travel. Twin front discs are still worthy of mention on a Harley, and of course they have ABS as standard, as do all newly-introduced models over 125cc – we’re really going to have to start taking anti-lock as a given from now on.
It’s on sale right now.
Specs
Length (mm)   2185
Seat Height (mm)        785
Fuel Capacity (litres)  12.5
Dry Weight (kg)          250
Powertrain
Engine Air-cooled, Evolution™
Displacement (cu.cm) 1202
Engine Torque 98 Nm (72.3 ft-lb) @ 3750 RPM
Transmission   5-speed
Wheels/Tyres
Front   Offset-Split 5-Spoke 19 in. x 3 in. (482.6 mm x 76 mm) Tyre: 120/70R19 M/C
Rear     Offset-Split 5-Spoke 18 in. x 4.25 in. (457.2 mm x 108 mm) Tyre: 150/70R18 M/C
Colour Options
Solids: Vivid Black; Black Denim; Velocity Red Sunglo
Two-tones: Billet Silver/Vivid Black
Source: Visordown
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Item Reviewed: Harley Roadster Revealed Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sheldon Dcruz
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