Harley-Davidson Sportster S ushers in a new era of Harley cruiser

Harley-Davidson Sportster S bows to introduce a more modern direction for H-D's cruiser range, complete with the 1250cc Revolution Max engine

Harley-Davidson Sportster S

Harley-Davidson has pulled the wraps off the 2021 Sportster S, its first fresh cruiser model to be built around the architecture of the firm’s all-new Revolution Max 1250cc engine.

Developed from the ‘Custom’ concept revealed in 2019, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S reaches the showrooms with only minor tweaks, blending a classic silhouette with a chunkier design signature featured on the likes of the 114 and the new Pan-America ADV.

With its high-seat and prominent polished dual exhausted mounted up on the rear, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S recalls models like the Harley-Davidson XR750 flat tracker.

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“Every visual design element of the Sportster S model is an expression of the motorcycle’s raw power,” said Brad Richards, vice president of styling and design, Harley-Davidson. “This is a wolf in wolf’s clothing.”

Significantly though, the Sportster S is the first model in Harley’s core cruiser range to make use of the Revolution Max 1250T V-twin engine that first debuted in the Pan America earlier this year.

While it generates 150bhp in the adventure model, the Sportster S has been tuned to deliver 121hp with a focus on low down torque with a curve Harley says ‘stays flat through the powerband’.

With the engine built into the central member of the chassis, the Sportster S is lighter ans stiffer than other cruiser models before it at 228kg and, as the name suggests, has been developed to provide a more involving riding experience.

The Sportster S comes with three riding modes - Sport, Road and Rain - plus a pair of Custom modes for those looking to fettle their personal riding experience. The SHOWA suspension is enhanced by lightweight cast aluminum wheels with a staggered five-spoke design, with Brembo providing the material to ensure it stops en pointe.

“The Sportster S is the next all-new motorcycle built on the Revolution Max platform and sets a new performance standard for the Sportster line,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson. “This is a next generation Sportster defined by power, performance, technology and style. And it’s part of our commitment to introduce motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson.”

The Harley-Davidson Sportster S will reach dealerships from September with a starting price of £13,995