Harley-Davidson is expected to out a base version of its new Sportster, filling the gap left by the now-discontinued Iron 883, Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight models.
The American bikemaker had shown glimpses of the lower-spec, stripped back Sportster in previous promotional material, however, leaked images published today by AMCN give a better indication as to what we can expect from the new bike.
These images, which were reportedly used in focus groups to gauge customer opinions, show the right-side profile of the Sportster in varying engine and exhaust finishes.
It is understood that Harley has gone with the silver engine and exhaust option for its production model based on official close-ups previously teased.
The entry-level Sportster takes on a more familiar design, compared to the high-concept Sportster S that was revealed last week, with a more primitive suspension setup, larger seat, low-slung exhaust, mid-mounted controls and a rear guard reminiscent of its standard cruiser line-up.
It appears to draw power from the water-cooled 975cc Revolution Max engine that was originally planned for the Bronx streetfighter concept, before the project was shelved.
While we can only speculate on specifications, we know that the lower-capacity Revolution Max engine is capable of delivering “more than” 85kW and 70Nm.
This engine is essentially a smaller version of the 1252cc V-twin motor that debuted on the Pan America 1250 adventure bike, and subsequently the high-spec Sportster S cruiser.
If priced accordingly, this base model Sportster should do well to replace the outgoing Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models, which are no longer in production.
For perspective, the outgoing Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models are running out from $18,250 and $19,995 plus on-roads, while the new Sportster S will check in from $26,495 rideaway when it launches later this year.
The Sportster S, which was previewed by the Custom 1250 prototype, is the second model following the Pan America 1250 built on its new Revolution Max 1252cc V-twin platform, in this case outputting 90kW and 125Nm.
This platform brings a sophisticated electronics suite with cornering ABS and traction control, adjustable rider modes and cruise control, while data is displayed on a 4.0-inch TFT display with smartphone connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation.
The new Sportster S carries over much from the original concept bike, including its low-slung stance, high-mounted exhaust and fat tyres on 17- and 16-inch cast wheels (front-to-rear).
Harley’s entry-level Sportster will almost certainly be a lower-performance offering, based on its conventional suspension setup and narrow wheels, though it remains to be seen if it adopts the modern electronics suite that we know the Revolution Max platform can accommodate.
Spencer has a keen eye for hard news, and does some of his best living on deadline day. He loves more than anything to travel on his motorcycle, and is adamant that Melbourne Bitter is a world-class lager. He also knows how to operate the big computery thing in the office. By night, Spencer plays guitar with Melbourne punk outfit LOUTS.