Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Motorcycle Review

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Harley-Davidson is known for producing some of the most iconic big motorcycles to ever touch pavement, and the Sportster 1200 is no exception.

With its classic Harley-Davidson look, a modest but powerful 1200cc engine, and a relatively low weight, plus the history behind it all, this bike is sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

Harley-Davidson has officially ended production of its Sportster 1200, but with the most current iterations, and older used models still on the market, the bike could be a great option for the right rider.

Keep reading to find out if that rider is you.

Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Specs & Features

The latest 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 has some familiar specs:

  • Engine: 1200cc Evolution V-Twin
  • Horsepower: 60HP
  • Torque: 73 ft-lbs
  • Seat height: 25.7″
  • Length: 86.6″
  • Weight (fueled): 564 lbs

The Iron 1200  also comes with Harley-Davidson signature features like blacked-out finishes across the bike, mid-mount foot controls, and classic Harley-Davidson graphics.

Cost

The Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 starts at $10,249 for the Iron 1200 trim.

That’s a lot of Harley-Davidson motorcycle for a relatively low entry cost.

Added ABS options, security options will bump up that price by nearly an extra $1,100. 

You can find older Sportster 1200s listed for as low as $7,500 online. 

How Does it Ride?

The Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 is a surprisingly agile bike.

The low seat height, combined with the light weight of the bike make it easy to maneuver around tight corners and through traffic.

That said, the Sportster isn’t exactly the sportiest bike out there, but that’s not quite why you get a Harley-Davidson to begin with.

The Harley-Davidson Evolution engine also delivers plenty of power for lengthy highway cruising.

It’s not as powerful or torquey as Harley-Davidson’s bigger bikes, but it still has plenty of punch for a short ride around town or a long weekend getaway.

Who is the Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 made for?

There’s an argument to be made that the Sportster 1200 is a solid entry-level bike.

It’s relatively light and easy to manage, and its classic Harley-Davidson look and feel make it an attractive option for those just getting into motorcycling. 

However, some might say that 1200cc is too much bike for most beginners, and that relatively low weight might still be a bit on the heavy side. 

All things considered, the Sportster 1200 might be a decent bike for those just jumping into riding, while giving them ample room to grow into the power.

However, it might be better suited for those who have experience riding, but have taken a prolonged break, and are just coming back. 

Also, the Sportster 1200 is for the nostalgic. The line has been around for a long time, and has maintained a ton of its identity over all of that time.

Many riders started off on a Harley-Davidson Sportster, and many of those riders might want to go back and remember those old days.

Why Has Harley-Davidson Canceled the Sportster 1200?

For years motorcycle enthusiasts have been speculating the demise of the Sportster. Harley-Davidson has finally ended that speculation and confirmed that it is indeed stopping production of the standard Sportster 1200.

The 2021 1200 Sportster is the last one you can get.

Why? Harley-Davidson hasn’t flat-out said why they are discontinuing the Sportster 1200, but signs point to emission standards that are surpassing the classic Evolution V-twin engine.

Plus, the Sportster might have just been long overdue for some modernization, as disappointing as that is to many holding on to the classic feel of the Sportster 1200. 

The good news is that the Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 has never been scarce in production. There are plenty of these bikes on the used market if you still want to get your hands on one of your own.