Harley’s Sportster S Aims To Redefine The Sportster Series

  • Jul 14, 2021
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The cruiser is powered by the same 1,252cc V-twin from Harley’s Pan America 1250 ADV

Harley-Davidson is looking to completely revamp its Sportster family. A couple of years back, it did the same with the Softails, which proved to be a masterstroke. Similar hopes rest on the shoulders of the new Sportster S, the sportiest and most technologically superior Harley cruiser made so far.

What's The Price? Who Are Its Rivals?

The Sportster S has gone on sale in the United States at $14,999, which is around Rs 11.20 lakh (without Indian taxes and duties). It undercuts the Pan America 1250, the ADV with which it shares its engine, by some margin. Hence, when it comes to India, expect it to be priced around Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom).

The main competitor of the Harley Sportster S has to be the Indian Scout Bobber. Both cruisers are meant to be ridden spiritedly.

What's New?

The Sportster S does give off a shrunken Fat Bob vibe. The rectangular LED headlight, teardrop fuel tank, flat seat, and wide handlebars are quite reminiscent of the Bob. It doesn’t look as brash, though, making it seem a lot more sophisticated than your usual Harley cruiser.

The special colours, bronze engine head covers, tail-pipe ends, and bob cut fenders add up for a new-age Harley-Davidson cruiser look -- something the company should’ve gone for years ago. The absence of engine fins seems blasphemous for a diehard Harley aficionado but this is one for the modern-day rider.

The S in the Sportster S might stand for single as it is meant for a solo rider. Its sporty stance seems fit for cornering fun as well as spending countless hours on the highway. At 753mm, the seat is low enough for the majority of riders. What could be a potential problem is the exhaust system, which is somewhat like a flat tracker/scrambler.

Its 1,252cc Revolution Max 60 degree V-twin liquid-cooled motor has been slightly detuned to suit the cruiser. It makes the same amount of torque, 127Nm, but peak power is rated at 121PS and not 150PS like on the Pan America 1250. Thankfully, Harley hasn’t opted for any major cost-cutting. So you still have variable valve timing and electronic rider aids.

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A tubular steel trellis frame with a forged mid-section aluminium member acts as the foundation for the Sportster S. It is sprung by a Showa 43mm USD fork and a linkage-type Showa piggyback monoshock, both of which are fully adjustable. Brembo braking hardware can be found on the Sportster S as well. It rolls on 17-/16-inch (F/R) five-spoke alloy rims, wrapped with specially developed Dunlop/Harley-Davidson Series GT503 tyres.


Harley-Davidson has taken a big step in the right direction. The Sportster S will spawn several models in the future but it sure is a great point for younger audiences to be hooked onto the Harley folklore without worrying about the old hassles of vibrations and lubrication leaks.

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