The Harley-Davidson Sportster S is no ordinary Harley
Rebuilt to blast today’s standards.
By Nikolina Ilic | March 3, 2022
Born in 1957, Harley-Davison’s oldest nameplate – the Harley Sportster – retains its status as one of the most popular motorcycles in the world. Boasting a range of motorcycles that have all the power and attitude a rider could ever need, the Sportster family has seen many changes over the years – but one thing has always remained the same: the die-hard fan base behind them.
But in 2021, the old Sportster family retired. And while the faithful were quick to cause a stir, it paved the way for something even better – a bike that proved the brand was evolving and improving its offering with advances in technology, functionality and design: we received the Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Launched Down Under at the White Bay Overseas Passenger Terminal in early December 2021, the bike hit the road in January this year and has been the talk of the town ever since.
Less beefy and much lighter than the bikes you probably think of when you hear the word “Harley”, he is described as “a motorcycle at accessible saddle height”, a “Performance Cruiser” and “slim and small enough for most people. But don’t twist it – Harley‘The new Sportster S may be a totally new and different beast from the air-cooled 883 and 1200cc Sportsters we grew up with, but it doesn’t just retain the Sportster name, it puts the Sport back in it (packing a lot more punch that a 1200 Sporty could never muster).
Boasting a 1250cc 60-degree V-Twin engine producing abundant torque, you can be as lazy as you like with your upshifts, although you’ll want to give it a big thump with every downshift, just to hear that distinctive bass boom that Harley builds into its exhaust systems.
As for the design, that’s another thing. Big 160/70R17 and 180/70R16 front and rear tires are a nod to the outgoing Forty-Eight Sportster, the XR750-style upswept exhaust gives that slammed look, and the body looks useful when it’s parked, tilted dramatically on a short kickstand providing a snap-worthy pitstop.
What also makes a difference on the Sportster S is the reduced weight, reaching 228 kg, 28 kg less than the discontinued Iron 883, and the low seat height (so the Sportster S would be a ride more accessible to more people), to a very manageable 765mm.
Harley Davidson Sportster S
Price: Starting at $26,495
Engine: 1252 cc V-twin, 121 hp/90 kW and 127 Nm of torque
Safety: cornering ABS, traction control, several driving modes
For such an aggressive and impressive motorcycle to look at, our engine expert was delighted to report that the new Harley-Davidson Sportster S was incredibly easy to driveeven for someone completely out of practice, and also the kind of bike that just makes you want to ride more often.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster S starts at $26,495 on the go. Learn more about harley-davidson.com.
Nikolina is the new web-obsessed digital writer at Men’s and Women’s Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A boxing lover, she packs a mean punch inside and outside the ring. She was previously a digital editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.