New Bikes

Harley launches Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special

Two new Sportsters for 2018

HARLEY-DAVIDSON has added a brace of new Sportsters to its 2018 line up; the Forty-Eight
Special and the Iron 1200.

Said to be two of the planned 100 new models that the company intends to introduce by 2027,
they’re clearly variations on a theme rather than clean-sheet creations. Both bikes stand out
thanks to their fairly extreme ape-hanger bars and share the same 1200cc Sportster platform.

'Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and
character that makes it appealing to so many different riders,' said Brad Richards, Harley-
Davidson V.P. of Styling & Design.

'A Sportster is a relatively easy bike to strip down and reinvent. What we’ve done to create the new Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special is what Sportster owners have been doing with their own bikes for generations.'

Harley claims that the bold colours and designs of the 1970s were an inspiration. Richards
said: 'The art on these two fuel tanks reflect contemporary trends we are seeing on custom
bikes and in design in general, a move away from more complex and intricate art to a look
that’s very simple and clean. It’s also important to note that these graphics respect the shape
of the fuel tank and in the case of the Sportster, that tank shape is a classic design element in
its own right.'

The smaller Iron 883 has been a staple of the Sportster range for years, so the addition of an
Iron 1200 makes sense. It’s got 36% more torque (73lbft compared to 53.8lbft for the 883),
thanks to its 1202cc V-twin.

In terms of style, apart from those ‘Mini-Ape’ bars that give an 8.75in rise, there’s a black
cowling around the headlight and a ‘Cafe Solo’ single seat. Black, red and white versions will
be offered, all with the 70-style Harley graphics on the tank.

The engine is finished in black, as are the exhausts and the 9-spoke wheels, 19in at the front
and 16in at the rear.

The Forty-Eight Special gets a smaller peanut fuel tank (8.3l compared to 12.5l on the Iron
1200). It also has a wider 130-section front tyre and 49mm forks. Its tall bars are actually
slightly different, too. They’re ‘Tallboy’ bars rather than the Iron’s Mini-Apes, and rise
7.25in.

'We specifically selected the Tallboy bar for its shape,'said Richards. 'It offers less pull-
back than the Mini-Ape, a look that really works with the steamroller front end and the
smaller fuel tank on the Forty-Eight Special model.'

Black, red and white are again the colour schemes, while the Forty-Eight Special gets more
chrome, with a shiny engine and exhausts. The wheels, 9-spokes again, are 16in at both ends.

The Iron 1200 costs £9395, just £500 more than the Iron 883, while the Forty-Eight Special
comes in at £9995, the same as the normal, low-barred Forty-Eight.

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