Harley Davidson Sportster S Experience

If you came here in search of an inexpensive and elementary cruiser intended for quick trips around the city, then you are mistaken here. Harley-Davidson could have built this bike, but decided not to. And while the Sportster s likes to take you from traffic lights to traffic lights and then back home, Harley-Davidson has always wanted to be something more than that with this bike.

But who is the Sportster s for and where does it work best? After spending a limited time with the motorcycle since it first appeared in the “Sport” section of the Harley-Davidson website, we decided it was time to get acquainted with the Sportster s and understand what it’s like to live with the most performance-oriented cruiser from H-D. If not, to answer the question: is the power and technology enough to include drivers in the H-D family?

About the bike
With the Sportster s launched in 2021, Harley-Davidson reaffirms its Commitment to a redesigned and completely modern range and the use of a clean approach for new models. Updating the platform based on the air-cooled evolution would not be enough, even if it appeased the Sportster faithful and extended a legacy started in 1957. A new air-cooled platform would also not have made sense from a manufacturing point of view, because Harley-Davidson has invested a lot in the new Revolution Max engine that powers the Pan America. The modification of the Rev Max and its use in different HD models make it possible to recover the costs associated with the design, development and assembly of a completely new engine platform.

While the Sportster could be one of Harley-Davidson’s greatest successes and one of the most continuously produced motorcycles in history (more than 50,000 models were delivered per year from 2012 to 2017), it is important to realize that the Sportster s had to be almost different. One look at the data sheet and you will notice how different it is.

The Revolution Max 1250 engine of 1,250 cm3 takes center stage. Called the Revolution Max 1250T, this version of Harley’s liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin uses smaller valves and fittings and a different combustion chamber shape than the Pan America 1250 to provide extra torque at low and medium revs. Variable valve timing (VVT) is retained on the intake and exhaust cams (the Revolution Max 975t engine of the Nightster has VVT only on the intake side), and maintenance-free hydraulic clearance valve adjusters are used. Harley says that the torque between 3,000 and 6,000 rpm has increased by 10% compared to the Revolution Max 1250 engine in Pan America.

Attaching the bike to our internal Dynojet test bench supports this statement; our test bike produced 109.6 horsepower at 7,530 rpm and 85.2 .- foot. torque at 6,000 rpm, while the last Pan America we tested produced 127.6 horsepower at 9,040 rpm and 78.4 .- foot. torque at 4,480 rpm. The torque curve is as promised, the Sportster s reaches almost maximum torque at about 2,500 rpm and the Pan America only reaches maximum torque at about 4,500 rpm.