MY18.5 Sportster Launch

As part of its ever expanding line-up – 100 new models over the next five years from 2017 – Harley-Davidson (H-D) has thrown the covers off two new models in the Sportster range, the 2018 Harley-Davidson Forty-Special and the Iron 1200. Both cruisers carry H-D’s 1,202 cc Evolution V-twin, and join the current model Forty-Eight, 1200 Custom and Roadster in the Milwaukee firm’s “middleweight” bikes.

Both the Forty-Eight Special and Iron 1200 have a distinctly retro look, with graphics and paint inspired by custom bikes from the seventies. Designed to appeal to a wide range of riders, H-D’s Sportster bikes offer a perfect combination of size, power and character, says Brad Richards, H-D vice president of styling and design.

“A Sportster is a relatively easy bike to strip down and reinvent,” says Richards, “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,” he continued.

MY18.5 Sportster Launch

Carrying on the design first seen in the Iron 883, the Iron 1200 brings an additional 319 cc to the table, resulting in an increase in torque of 36%, from 72.9 Nm in the Iron 883 to 98.9 Nm in the Iron 1200. H-D does not publish horsepower figures, but we would take a guess at the 1200 mill putting out about 95 hp or so.

Styling cues are also carried over from the Iron 883, with blacked out V-twin engine contrasting with the chromed pushrod tubes and tappet covers. Wheels are nine-spoke affairs – 19-inch front and 16-inch rear – similar to the Iron 883, but lacking the polished highlights.

The Iron 1200 comes with a mid-ride handlebar with 812 mm wide handlebar and 165 mm pull-back, making the rider sit a little more upright. Like the 883, the Iron 1200 comes with a single headlight, this time covered with a small screen.

Rider accommodation is a solo seat and fuel is carried in a 12.5-litre tank, with ABS and security system available as factory options. There are three colour options available – Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Billiard White – and the 2018 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 is priced from USD 9,999 (RM39,146), depending on options.

With the same engine as the Iron 1200, the Forty-Eight Special features a rather chunky front end, with its 49 mm diameter forks and 130 mm wide front tyre. This look is augmented by the over-sized forged aluminium triple clamps, and the lower half of the Evolution 1200 engine being clad in chrome.

MY18.5 Sportster Launch

Fuel for the Forty-Eight Special is carried in H-D’s trademark “peanut” 8.32-litre tank. Rolling on 16-inch nine-spoke cast aluminium, the Special has 16-inch wheels front and rear shod in Michelin rubber.

Priced at USD 11,299 (RM44,235), the 2018 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special comes in Vivid Black, Wicked Red and Billiard White. Factory-fitted ABS and security system are available as options.