Covers have been taken off the 2021 Harley-Davidson (H-D) RH1250S Sportster S, second in the lineup to use the new Revolution Max 1250T V-twin engine. First appearing in the 2021 Pan America 1250 adventure-tourer (from RM99,900 in Malaysia), the new mill and new motorcycle model range is something H-D hopes will address a decline in sales, notably in its home market of the US.

Styling stays much the same for H-D’s interpretation of a streetbike, with the typical dragster styling reminiscent of the VR-series cruisers. However, H-D has been paying attention to what riders have been saying, with mid-mount controls available as an optional kit for those who are not particularly enamoured of the feet-forward seating position.

The engine is up-to-date in terms of engineering technology, displacing 1,250 cc and producing 121 hp at 7,500 rpm and 127 Nm of torque at a 9,000 rpm peak. , DOHC, Chain-driven four-valves per cylinder, variable valve timing (VVT), smaller valve and ports along with different combustion chamber shape give more torque at low to medium rpm, some 10% more than the Pan America.

Suspension sees a similar step into the world of modern sportsbikes, with the use of fully-adjustable 43 mm Showa upside-down forks and Showa remote reservoir monoshock, also fully-adjustable. Braking is done with a single hydraulic disc in front and rear, with the front brake disc a floating unit clamped by four-piston, radially-mounted monoblock calliper with cornering ABS as standard.

Wheel sizes are a 17-inch front (which will allow for installation of true performance motorcycle rubber) and the rear wheel is a 16-inch (which will not), shod in 160/70 and 180/70 rubber, front and back respectively. Seat height is set at 753 mm, with 11.8-litres of fuel carried in the tank and weight, ready to rolls claimed to be 228 kg (for comparison, the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 clocks in at 217 kg).

Similarly, the riding aids and electronics suite on the Sportster S are brought into the modern era, with a 4-inch TFT-LCD screen with Bluetooth connectivity (using the H-D app) displaying everything the rider needs to know. This includes on-screen navigation, either with a moving map or turn-by-turn with route map able to be downloaded for riding through areas with no cell service.

Riding conveniences include a USB-C charging port for the rider’s electronics and LED lighting is used throughout. Also standard equipment on the Sportser S is cruise control and a built-in proximity alarm system.

Four riding modes are provided – Road, Sport, Rain and two Custom modes – which also includes setting of engine torque delivery characteristics, engine braking, throttle response and ABS intervention. There are three paint schemes offered for the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S 1250 – Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl and Midnight Crimson.