Harley-davidson has something in common with lego: you can pluck apart individual parts and dock them back onto any other model in the series. At the u.S. Brand, it’s mainly the differently shaped tanks, handlebars, forks, bench seats, wheels, footrests and fenders that designers are playing with. Engine and frame remain identical, only the periphery is embellished differently and you have a completely new model. At least that’s what harley-davidson claims. Youngest example is the sportster iron 1200.
Naturally, the brand thrives on individualism, and harley-davidson’s accessories catalog is as thick as the new york phone book. From the chromed screw to the fat screamin’-eagle exhaust system, the buyer can order countless extras for his two-wheeled treasure at extra cost, because there’s nothing most harley owners dread more than seeing an identical machine driving around somewhere.
This philosophy of uniqueness is already met by the brand through its model strategy. The youngest example is the new sportster iron 1200. The sportster range now consists of no fewer than eight models. The sportster iron 883 has been around for some time – it was harley-davidson’s smallest entry-level model until the two street models with 750 cc came out. But obviously the harley engineers noticed that the 883 cc v2 with 51 hp and 68 nm torque is not necessarily the most potent drive for the bike, which after all weighs five hundredweight. Ergo, they now resorted to the already existing 1202 cc engine, which with 96 nm and 66 hp is already good for significantly more propulsion, even if it is still not a miracle of pulling power. Stroke is identical in both engines at 96.8 mm, but on the 1200 the cylinders have been bored from 76.2 to 88.9 mm and compression increased from 9:1 to 10:1.
Otherwise one wanted to arrange the iron 1200 emphatically lassig and used an ape-hanger. Who can do nothing with the term: these are the absurdly high handlebars that look as if the rider wants to do pull-ups on them. Perhaps harley-davidson ames that their iron 1200 customers are basically singles, in any case, the model is only available with a single seat as standard. The back of the seat has a thick bead that slopes backwards and is intended to be reminiscent of the cafe racer style of the 1960s.
In the graphic design of the tank, on the other hand, harley made a leap into the 1970s and decorated it with stripes in different shades of blue or optionally reddish tones. The rough gap between seat and tank with direct view of the frame tube is meanwhile a frequently seen optical gag with harley davidson, lets however in the traffic jam enormous heat of the engine exactly between the legs of the driver up-rise.
The classic round headlight got a small handlebar fairing on the iron 1200. If behind it an ape-hanger is mounted and the driver accordingly with far spread arms squats, the pseudo wind protection achieves no practical use, but serves only the optics. In the field of vision of the pilot is a lonely, analog speedometer, which integrates a small display. The harley driver is not interested in more information anyway, the bass-heavy engine sound from the two-in-two exhaust system is much more important to him.