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Harley-Davidson debuts all-new Sportster S

Torque-biased V-twin engine has plenty of grunt at low rpm

Passersby will give the Sportster S's beefy proportions a second look. PHOTO FROM HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Right on the heels of the launch of Harley-Davidson‘s Pan America adventure bike comes the all-new Sportster S. Built around the Revolution Max V-twin engine first seen in the Pan Am, the Sportster S is powered by a 121hp version of the motor tuned for unrelenting torque. A new chassis and premium suspension are part of the package, all aimed at setting a new standard for the popular model.

The bike's profile is reminiscent of the Harley-Davidson V-Rod. PHOTO FROM HARLEY-DAVIDSON

In profile, the fuel tank and the tail section frame the engine, while a massive front tire gives it the swagger of a classic bobber. The rear area, the high-mount 2-1-2 exhaust, and the slim solo seat are said to draw inspiration from the XR750 flat tracker. Thick, inverted forks and wide-profile tires promise sporty handling.

The 1,250cc Revolution Max 1250T engine is liquid-cooled and tuned for plenty of low-end torque with a curve that stays flat throughout the power band. The motor is integrated into the vehicle as a central member of the chassis. A welded tubular steel trellis swingarm features a braced design and a stamped X-member. Use of lightened materials helps keep the wet weight down to a respectable 228kg.

The Revolution Max V-twin engine doesn't need to be revved high. PHOTOS FROM HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Gracing the Sportster S is adjustable front and rear suspension by Showa consisting of a 43mm inverted fork and a piggyback reservoir rear shock. The lightweight cast-aluminum wheels are fitted with Dunlop/Harley-Davidson Series GT503 tires. Naturally, Brembo supplies the braking components with a 320mm single front disc and four-piston caliper, and a 260mm rear disc with a two-piston setup.

The Sportster S comes with several ride modes (Sport, Road and Rain) as well as two customizable settings. The safety tech includes lean-angle-sensitive traction control and ABS. The dashboard consists of a round four-inch TFT screen that’s Bluetooth-enabled, and lighting is taken care of a Daymaker Signature LED headlamp. This headlamp has a distinctive capsule shape that ensures the Sportster S won’t be mistaken for any other machine.

The circular instrument display suits the Sportster S. PHOTOS FROM HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Forward foot controls and a low handlebar put the rider in an aggressive posture. An unladen seat height of 75.2cm along with reach-adjustable brake and clutch levers allow the user to get comfortable. Cruise control and a proximity-based security system are standard equipment, while heated hand grips are optional. A USB-C charging port and an external ambient temperature sensor are also included. The 11.8L fuel tank should give the Sportster S some decent range between fill-ups.

We have no word yet on when the Sportster S will be available in the Philippines. But since it’s one of Harley-Davidson’s best-selling models, we bet it’s coming quite soon.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our Motorcycle Editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.