The thunderous sound of a V-twin motorcycle has always been synonymous with Harley-Davidson. The two big bore cylinders just firing away, brings music to my ears. Fit a set of Screaming Eagle exhausts from the Harley-Davidson catalogue, and then you have just upgraded the sound system on your bike.
The Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster has been one of the top sellers for the company and it’s easy to see why. A good price point makes it easier for new buyers to enter the market and get into the lifestyle, and what a lifestyle it is.
The 1200 Custom has changed a bit from where the 1200 Sportster originally came from. It’s come down a long road, but I firmly believe that its evolved for the better.
I was personally never a fan of the 21” front wheel, so the drop to a 16” gives it a much more of a Fatboy look and is far more pleasing to the eye. It also makes the bike handle better and this where the Sportster shines. The relatively low dry weight of 251kg’s and 710mm seat height means that this bike is slammed to the ground. It’s low, loud and proud and with its candy orange flaked paint, it fits the part perfectly.
The low seat height makes it incredibly easy to ride at about any speed. The drag bars brings your body a bit forward and the mid mounted foot controls contribute to that seating position. It’s almost clear that this bike was not intended for extremely long journeys. The 17l fuel tank gives adequate range as we managed about 18km/l. The 1200 Sportster is not very quick, but it’s no slouch either. And in traffic it’s actually pretty nimble and very nippy.
The 1200 custom has a cruising sweet spot of about 130kph; this is where the bike feels at its happiest. You continuously find yourself short shifting and riding the torque wave through the gears and that’s mainly due to the audible pleasure that the Screaming Eagle pipes produce, which was fitted optionally to our test bike. Our 1200 Custom also had a click on Chrome fly screen, which made riding the open road at higher speeds a lot easier.
Another nifty little gadget our bike was fitted with is the Boom audio, which allows you to run music off your IPhone or Android phone while riding. This is simply plug-and-play and volume is pretty good at speeds up to 120kph. While you change your track selection while riding, you can adjust the volume and turn the setup on or off. Your phone is also housed in a lovely magnetic leather bag, which mounts to the tank.
The 1200 Sportster is such a versatile, easy to live with bike and it’s no wonder that it’s so popular. From a customisation point, you can turn it into anything you want, from a bobber to a chopper with ape hangers, the 1200 sportster makes a great platform.
Optional extras on our bike :
Screaming Eagle Slip-ons
For more information on the price of the accessories, please call your local Harley-Davidson dealer.
The Sportster 1200 Custom retails for R128 995
For more info, check out Harley-Davidson online at Harley-Davidson.com