Harleys new Iron…

Harleys new Iron…


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

Part of Harley’s plan to release 100 new models by 2027, the two Sportsters aren’t so much new bikes as customised variations.

Both bikes stand apart from the line up with pretty serious ape-hanger bars and share the same 1200cc Sportster platform.

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

‘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’s inspiration for the new look is claimed from the bold colours and designs of the 1970s.

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 baby brother Iron 883 has been a staple of the Sportster range for years, even going so far as being an entry bike for many.

Adding a 1200 then is a reasonable move, giving the bike 36% more torque (73lbft compared to 53.8lbft for the 883), thanks to its 1202cc V-twin.

In terms of sytling, the bikes are differentiated by the ‘Mini-Ape’ bars 8.75in rise, and a black cowling around the headlight with 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 boasts a wider 130-section front tyre and 49mm forks.

An eye for detail will also catch that the high rise bars are slightly different. 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.’

The colourways are offered in black, red and white again, however the Forty-Eight Special gets more chrome, featuring a shiny engine and exhausts. The wheels, 9-spokes again, are 16in at both ends.

Interestingly, the 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.