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Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200 Custom: Something Personal

23 mayo, 2021

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Within the Milwaukee brand’s catalog, the Sportster versions occupy a very important, almost exclusive space. And it is that when we talk about Sportster we also do it with a style of its own, which over the years has been forged to consolidate itself as the sportiest option of Harley-Davidson (with the exception of the XR 1200, of course). The brand is very clear about the value of this model and that is why it pampers it with the incorporation of new versions year after year taking care of even the smallest detail, a care that has served to elevate the Sportster surname to the category of legend.

And in that evolution since its appearance in 1957, the Sportster family has grown and has received countless new members; it would be impossible for us to say how many. Of all of them, the last to arrive was presented just a few months ago in Loja, Seville, an event of which we already gave you all its details at the time. We are talking about the Sportster XL 1200 Custom, a motorcycle designed to adapt to all styles and to please many people.

Customization option

Well, that, which is designed to captivate a multitude of people and not only for a customer style, and for this the brand has eight different customization possibilities, eight predetermined packs with which future owners can configure their Sportster by bringing it closer to their customers. aesthetic preferences. In fact, the XL 1200 Custom that we have uploaded for the photo session that you can see accompanying this test mounts one of these kits, the Blacked Out (cap, fuel gauge, grips, footpegs and Diamond gear lever toe cap). Black and mirrors from the Tribal collection in glossy black); There are also specific packs for travelers (Cruiser), for girls (Women’s Cruiser), for the most radical (Too Hot),… and so on up to eight, which we detail in an attached box.

In addition to this peculiarity, the XL 1200 Custom has certain exclusive elements. For example, it is the first Sportster to feature a fully chrome engine and the only one with chrome spoke wheels. Likewise, both the visor on the headlight and the trapezoidal pilot equipped with LED diodes that we find in the rear are also new.

Although the seat may seem somewhat sparse when it comes to offering accommodation, the truth is that the driver will be very comfortable on it, and the passenger, although not so comfortable, will also be favored over the rest of the Sportster 1200 on the market, Well, in this case at least it has been thought of offering him a fairly generous portion of the seat given the antecedents.

Engine with a lot of torque

The engine that gives life to this new XL 1200 Custom is the Evolution; 45º V-twin, air-cooled and pushrod. It is a propellant that stands out, more than for the power it develops (72.6 hp), for the incredible torque it provides and the few laps it delivers. The 45º cylinder setting makes it a vibrating engine, but otherwise we would not be talking about a Harley. The tremendous pistons are very noticeable, and that the silentblocks filter most of it. The pistons are not very wide, but they do have a great stroke, and that makes it a mechanic with a flat character and very unsportsmanlike. In fact, it is an engine that seeks precisely what it offers: solid thrust from far below and that each stroke translates into traction on the asphalt, something in which the characteristic toothed belt drive collaborates very directly. It’s a real experience to see the tremendous torque delivered by a 1,200cc Harley like this Sportster from so low; at 2,500 rpm it is already giving 10 kgm, you can burn a wheel when starting from a standstill!

It is true that this propeller is capable of giving more than what most users will need, although we are not referring to accelerations but to top speed, since given the almost zero aerodynamic protection it offers, unless Let’s choose the Cruiser pack, the speeds at which it can take us are difficult to bear for many kilometers (we have seen 180 km / h marker).

Compliant and not little else

If we take into account that we are on a Harley-Davidson, which weighs more than 250 kg and that the tires that it mounts are high profile (balloon type), we will not hit the cycle part. The fork, with 39mm bars, is quite correct on fast roads, where the curves are wide radius and the asphalt does not compromise stability with bumps or roughness. Likewise, the double shock absorber with direct mounting on the rear axle acts freely, providing comfort and at the same time transmitting very well the contact of the tire on the asphalt, it works much better than the fork and can also be adjusted in spring preload.

On the seat we will find ourselves the same as on an armchair in the first row, enjoying the landscape, and at an average speed of 100-120 km / h this motorcycle feels like a fish in water (although the footrests vibrate too much even to be a Harley) . On fast national roads or on mountain roads we will notice that the limit of the incline is set by the footpegs very soon, but that helps us not lose sight of the fact that we have come to enjoy the views and the road, and not to put an end to it. of gas. Of course, if we press it, which is actually much more possible than the footrest warnings warn us, we will be able to get the colors out of the fork, because with a strong rhythm you notice too much launch and the bars suffer from certain flexions. Even so, the limit is more determined by the tires, with their small contact surface and their rather hard compound, than by the cycle part itself.

As for the brakes, a little more of the same, they are limited to meet and little else. In this case, the tremendous rear brake pedal helps us to lean on it, relegating the front brake, which is more uncomfortable when we go for a walk, to help tasks and, occasionally, to more consistent braking. Of course, at a certain speed, above 140 km / h, neither one nor the other have seemed to us with enough bite to stop the more than 250 kg of this Harley.

The 3rd 1200 Sportster

Although with the large number of optional elements that the American brand makes available to its customers to customize their frames, we could be talking about an infinite number of versions, in reality this XL Custom is the third 1200 Sportster model available in the Milwaukee catalog: the others two are the Nightster and the Forty Eight. As for the price, the 1200 Custom is at the same level as its companions, starting from 11,650 euros and increasing this figure according to the finishes and equipment we choose.

Thus, Harley puts in contention with this XL 1200 Custom a highly customizable model, with which any user can configure their ideal motorcycle and, above all, with which they can enjoy 100% Harley Davidson driving on the road..

Article published in number 1822 of Solo Moto magazine

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