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Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special with Arctic Blast Limited Edition

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CORRECTION TO PRICE:
The Arctic Blast Limited Edition Street Glide Special MSRP is $32,999 (US). Optional RDRS adds $995.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON REVEALS STREET GLIDE SPECIAL® MODEL WITH ARCTIC BLAST LIMITED EDITION PAINT
Handcrafted Factory Custom will be Limited to 500 Serialized Motorcycles Worldwide

MILWAUKEE (August 9, 2021) – Harley-Davidson takes custom paint to a new level with the introduction of a limited run of 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide® Special motorcycles featuring the handcrafted Arctic Blast Limited Edition paint set. The motorcycle was revealed today at the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Availability will be limited to 500 examples worldwide, each serialized on the fuel tank.

https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/motorcycles/street-glide-special.html

“With the Arctic Blast Limited Edition paint offering for the Street Glide Special, at Harley-Davidson we continue to build on our reputation and lead by example, as the best in exclusive custom motorcycles and design,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO Harley-Davidson.

The Arctic Blast Limited Edition paint will be offered in a single colorway – metallic deep blue with bright blue strokes over a pearlescent white base.

“The Arctic Blast paint is executed in strokes of high-contrast color intended to communicate the appearance of motion,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling and Design. “The design looks bold from a distance but offers interesting details that can only be seen up close, including a blue pearl effect over the white base, and a ghosted hexagon pattern on the fairing.”

The Arctic Blast Limited Edition paint is hand-applied by the artisans at Gunslinger Custom Paint in Golden, Colorado. The Gunslinger roster of nationally-known painters, designers, artists and manufacturing team leaders has decades of experience as a supplier of custom-painted components for Harley-Davidson® Custom Vehicle Operations™ motorcycles and Limited Edition paint sets.

https://gcpaint.com/

The Street Glide Special model is a Harley-Davidson hot-rod bagger that combines long-haul touring comfort and custom style with the authoritative performance of the Milwaukee-Eight® 114 V-Twin engine. Key features include the iconic Harley-Davidson batwing fairing with splitstream vent to reduce head buffeting, stretched locking saddle bags, a Daymaker® LED headlamp, low-profile engine guard, and Prodigy custom wheels. The Boom!™ Box GTS infotainment system with color touch screen, advanced navigation plus compatibility with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay®, hand and voice commands (when paired with compatible headset), and two-speaker audio is standard equipment.

The Arctic Blast Limited Edition Street Glide Special MSRP is $32,999 (USD). A Chopped Tour-Pak® luggage carrier with matching paint will also be offered through Harley-Davidson® Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories (P/N 53000650ERW MSRP: $1,699.95 USD).

Four Motorcycles to catch at Monterey 2021

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Here are the four coolest bikes that will be up for grabs at Monterey 2021.

It’s called Monterey Car Week, but among all the tours, rallies, races, shows, auctions and even strolls through the parking lot, some of the coolest vehicles in Monterey each August ride on two wheels.

Read about four coolest bikes that will be attracting interest at this year’s Monterey event.

Click Here to Read this Photo Feature Article on Bikernet.com

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https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

Harley-Davidson Rolls Out Serial 1 E-Bikes In Europe And North America

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by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Available at H-D dealerships soon.

2021 is a watershed year for Harley-Davidson. The Motor Company introduced its first adventure bike, the Pan America, and updated the decrepit Sportster range with its lively Revolution Max engine. On the coattails of those two successful launches, Harley will now turn its attention to the urban/electric mobility sector for the first time with its Serial 1 electric bike lineup.

Originally announced in October, 2020, Harley’s new e-bike spin-off introduced a concept based on the company’s first-ever motorcycle in 1903. However, the production models do away with the nostalgia in favor of a stripped-down, utilitarian aesthetic. All four Serial 1 variants feature a lithium-ion battery integrated into a hydroformed aluminum frame.

While all models utilize a Gates carbon drive belt mated to a mid-mounted Brose electric motor, some trims boast more power than others. Full LED lighting comes standard on all Serial 1s and riders will benefit from the four ride modes (Eco, Tour, Sport and Boost) and walk-assist function.

The MOSH/CTY represents Serial 1’s base offering. Without the Enviolo Automatiq auto-shifting hub found on the premium RUSH models, the single-speed reaches a top speed of 20 mph with a 250W motor. The MOSH/CTY’s 529Wh li-ion battery nets between 35-105 miles and requires four hours and 45 minutes to recharge. The MOSH/CTY retails for €3,499 and $3,799 in the U.S.

In contrast, the RUSH/CTY includes premium features such as an odometer display, storage compartment, and 4-piston brake calipers. The model also earns a 706Wh li-ion battery which achieves a maximum range of 115 miles but calls for 6.6 hours on the charger. Serial 1’s RUSH/CTY STEP-THRU model shares the same features as the standard RUSH/CTY but opts for a 529Wh battery unit good for 90 miles and 4.75 hours to recharge. The RUSH/CTY costs €4,699 in the E.U. and $4,999 in the States while the RUSH/CTY STEP-THRU drops by €100 in Europe but remains $4,999 in America.

Exclusive to the U.S., the RUSH/CTY SPEED adopts a Brose TF Mag motor for a 28-mph top speed. The 706Wh li-ion battery returns 25-115 miles and fully recharges in 6.6 hours. The high-performance model comes at a premium, however, with an MSRP of $5,599. Serial 1 will start delivering the RUSH/CTY, RUSH/CTY STEP_THRU, and MOSH/CTY European Harley-Davidson dealers and showcase the full lineup at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 6-11, 2021.

“The dynamic, fast-growing e-bicycle market is at the forefront of a global mobility revolution,” proclaimed Serial 1 Brand Director Aaron Frank. “Offering the Serial 1 e-bicycles in dealerships across Europe allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in this mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 to deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in fun, freedom, and adventure on two wheels.”

Custom Motorcycle turned into Production Model by Honda

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by Sebastian Toma from https://www.autoevolution.com

2021 Honda CB1000R 5Four Turns Custom Bike Into Production Reality.

Honda has opened the order books for the CB1000R 5Four, a performance-focused café racer bike inspired by the CB1000RS 5Four built by Guy Willison. The Japanese company teamed up with the builder for this limited-edition model, and it blends café racer styling with a factory-backed warranty.

Honda’s flagship naked motorcycle received an update for the 2021 model year, and that was selected as the base for the CB1000R 5Four. Work started with the front, which received a cowl for the front headlight. The handlebar received a set of LSL dog-leg brake and clutch levers, as well as a set of mirrors.

The gas tank has a hand-painted Honda logo, and the seat is hand-stitched in a diamond pattern, while the rear of the seat has the 5Four logo laser etched on it. The tail of this bike is also custom, as it has a slimmer LED rear light, while the license plate mount was moved up to allow a better view of the rear wheel.

Customers will also get a titanium Growler-X exhaust from Racefit, which is supposed to only be used on the track. It comes with laser-etched 5Four and Racefit logos. It sounds nice, as you can observe in the video embedded below.

Naturally, the bike had to get custom paintwork. In this case, we are writing about a candy red main color, along with blue and pearl white accents. The three colors are an inspiration from Honda’s racing efforts. Customers will also be able to order Guy Willison’s signature painted on the rear fender, right next to the seat.

Each bike will get a signed certificate of authenticity. Honda will only sell this bike through its dealer network in the UK. However, most of the components will have a part number on them, so a few e-mails to Honda dealers could help you order just enough parts to turn your CB1000R into a replica of this bike, or just a custom version to better suit your preference.

The 2021 Honda CB1000R 5Four is priced at GBP 16,954 ($23,612), which is not that much for a limited-edition custom motorcycle. Even if all examples will have the same features, they will still be numbered and come with a certificate of authenticity, so the resale value should exceed that of the base model, the 2021 CB1000R, as the years go by.

Numbers-Matching BMW R 11 Series 5 from 1934 On Auction

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by Silvian Secara from https://www.autoevolution.com

Numbers-Matching 1934 BMW R 11 Series 5 Costs More Than a 2021 S 1000 RR.

We hope you’ve been consistent with your savings, because it’s time to put them to good use.

Online Auction at https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1934-bmw-r11-series-5/

In many ways, old-school motorcycles are a lot like fine wine; the older they are, the better. We’re all pretty thrilled about rides from the ‘70s and ‘80s, but that excitement tends to grow tenfold when you bring a pre-WWII bike into the equation. Take, for instance, the untainted 1934 BMW R 11 Series 5 featured in the photo gallery at the auction website.

Motorrad’s numbers-matching artifact – which was assembled during the final year of production for this model – can only be described as the two-wheeler equivalent of a precious treasure chest. In fact, we dare say this Beemer is to a moto-loving petrolhead what Sauron’s ring was to Gollum in the Lord of the Rings series (or something like that).

Odd comparisons aside, you’ll be intrigued to learn that Bavaria’s jewel is making its way to the auction block on Bring A Trailer. As you might expect, this bad boy is pricier than the vast majority of BMW’s modern machines, having fetched a generous top bid of $24,000 so far. If you happen to be sitting on a sizeable pile of spare cash, you may enter the BaT auction until Thursday, August 5.

Now that we’ve caught your attention, let’s take a minute to remind ourselves about R 11’s main specs and features. In this manner, you can get a clear idea as to what we’re dealing with here, even if this creature is more of a showpiece rather than a bike that’ll be ridden on a daily basis.

Within its steel framework, the Series 5 packs a four-stroke 745cc flat-twin powerplant that’s good for up to 20 hp at 4,000 rpm. The air-cooled mill comes with a single 24 mm (0.9 inches) Amal carburetor and a compression ratio of 5.5:1. Its force travels to a shaft final drive by means of a three-speed transmission, resulting in a top speed of 69 mph (112 kph).

Riding Experiences on Harley-Davidson Sportster S

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

In mid-July, American bike maker Harley-Davidson pulled the wraps off the Sportster S, one of the new Milwaukee models we’ve been waiting for for so long we kind of lost hope of actually seeing it. Yet, here it is, so fresh that it is only now beginning to be properly tested by users, and so promising it’d better not disappoint.

Described by Harley as an “all-new sport custom motorcycle designed to deliver a thrilling riding experience,” the two-wheeler makes use of the most modern technologies brewed recently in Milwaukee, and, for a rather balanced price of $14,999, promises entirely new thrills for its riders.

Massive in design, the bike holds in its frame the Revolution Max 1250 engine, an application of which some people are already enjoying in the Pan America. On this here beast, the V-Twin is officially titled Revolution Max 1250T, and comes with impressive performance figures: 121 horsepower and “tremendous torque at low RPM” as per Harley. That’s fewer hp than the 150 claimed for the Pan America, but more than enough for the lightweight bike: the thing tips the scale, after all, at only 502 pounds (227 kg).

All that power is put to the ground by means of cast-aluminum wheels with a staggered design, 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, linked to the rest of the build by fully adjustable front and rear suspension – SHOWA 43 mm inverted cartridge forks and a SHOWA Piggyback reservoir rear shock.

Stopping power comes from Brembo, forward foot controls are there together with a low handlebar to give the rider an aggressive posture while riding, and thanks to these the entire experience of moving on the back of the Sportster S should be one to remember.

Harley threw into the Sportster mix the entire might of its technological advancements, some of them already deployed on the Pan America. We get things like three pre-programmed, selectable ride modes (Sport, Road and Rain) and two custom modes, a 4.0-inch-diameter TFT screen showing all the instrumentation and infotainment features, and all-LED lighting.

By now, almost three weeks past the unveiling point, there is number of test ride videos with this motorcycle already out there for us all to get a sense of how the thing feels on the actual road. The latest comes from a German custom and Harley-junkie shop that goes by the name Thunderbike.

Knowing the way these guys treat the American wheeled wonders, we tend to trust what they’re saying. And for the Sportster S, the verdict is simple and blunt: fantastic.

The rider sent by the Germans for the test ride spent about 200 km (124 miles) on the back on the motorcycle, and the crew managed to get some incredible images of the thing while on the move, as you can see in the short video below. And, even if we don’t get to see the Sportster S reach its top speed, we’re still treated to some incredible shots – but possibly not enough talk about it.

The new Harley should arrive at dealerships in mid-September, and that’s probably when the real flood of test ride videos will hit us. Kind of a close call, given how fall will move in to put an end to motorcycle riding in most parts of the world, but one never knows with this global warming and all.

Being less pretentious than the Pan America when it comes to its target customers, the Sportster S, the only bike offered presently by Harley in a family it calls Sport, could become one of the heavy-hitters in its segment in no time. And judging by how good two of them look on the road at the same time, we wouldn’t mind seeing larger packs of such machines roaming the continents at once.

Aprilia Tuareg 660 Adventure Tourer announced

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by Sagar Patel from https://www.rushlane.com

With a dry weigh of 187 kg, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is one of the lightest offerings in its class

The highly competitive middle-weight adventure tourer segment has received a new European entrant in the form of Aprilia Tuareg 660. The Piaggio-owned sportsbike marque has revived its old nameplate with a product which conforms to the original philosophy.

Aprilia Tuareg 660 – Overview
The styling, however, has nothing in common with any of Aprilia’s existing and previous models. The striking front fascia with compartmentalised headlamp cluster and tall windscreen is highly unconventional. With a tall stance, massive fuel tank, comfortable seats and an upward sweeping exhaust canister, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is a typical adventure tourer which is not afraid to get its tyres dirty.

The Italian motorcycle is equipped with spoke wheels (21 inch front and 18 inch rear), dual-purpose tyres, long-travel (240 mm) upside down front telescopic forks and progressive linkage rear suspension system, twin front discs and a single rear disc. Everything is held together by a trellis frame. The Aprilia Tuareg 660’s hardcore appeal makes it a serious rival to the Yamaha Tenere 700 and BMW F 860 GS.

Engine and equipment
The 660 cc V-twin liquid-cooled engine has been borrowed from the RS660 and Tuono 660. This motor is essentially a twin-cylinder derivative of the iconic RSV4’s unit but on board the adventure tourer, it is tuned to suit the application. Power and torque outputs stand at 80 hp and 70 Nm of torque, and the gearbox is a 6-speed unit.

Aprilia will position its newest offering at the premium end of the segment, and will back it up with a comprehensive suite of APRC electronic gadgetry including traction control, cruise control, engine braking, fuel maps, and so on. The motorcycle will have four riding modes of which two are adjustable, switchable ABS, LED headlamp, and a colour TFT instrument cluster with possible Bluetooth connectivity. The Tuareg 660 weights 187 kg dry and carries an 18-liter fuel tank.

Launch and price
Aprilia has not announced the price of the Tuareg 660 yet but one can expect it to be more expensive than most of its rivals given that it is equipped up to its gills. The Italian brand is expected to launch the motorcycle in international markets towards the end of this year as a 2022 model.

The product will give Aprilia access to the highly lucrative global medium displacement adventure tourer market. The Tuareg has the potential to become the brand’s international best seller in a very short period of time. Could a bigger engined Tuareg be in the pipeline?

Visit Aprilia Official Website at https://www.aprilia.com/en_EN/tuareg-660/

BMW Debuts R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B ‘Bagger’ touring motorcycles

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by Florina Spînu from https://www.autoevolution.com

According to BMW, the new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B will be available worldwide as special R 18 Transcontinental First Edition and R 18 B First Edition models when they hit the market in September. The two new R 18 family members will be unveiled to the public for the first time on August 6th in Sturgis, South Dakota.

BMW is expanding the R 18 family with the new R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B “Bagger,” one ideal for long-distance rides and one perfect for touring and cruising. You can watch some high-octane scenes with the new models in The Cadillac Three’s new music video, “Get After It.”

The collaboration between the American Southern rock group and BMW only came naturally as the new models are built to appeal to those looking for a sportier ride and those going for a more touring-oriented machine. The southern country music is a perfect addition for these bad boys that star in the clip, riding just outside Nashville.

The new R 18 Transcontinental is a luxurious tourer that comes with a high windshield, wind deflector, and flaps. Compared to the standard R 18, it has additional lights, a top case, and four analog round instruments. The ride has seat heating as standard to ensure long-distance riding comfort even when two people get on it.

On the other hand, the R 18 B has no top case and a lower windscreen that adds to the style of a bagger. Among other features, it sports a smaller seat, wider and more comfortable footrests, and a matt black metallic engine.

Like the previous R 18 models, both rides combine the power of the 2-cylinder “Big Boxer” engine with a classic chassis design based on BMW’s historical motorcycle models. The engine generates an output of 67 kW (91 hp) at 4,750 RPM, and between the 2,000 to 4,000 RPM range, it produces more than 150 Nm of torque.

Tech-wise, they feature a 10.25 inch TFT color display that provides all the information the rider needs. The motorcycles come with three riding modes, Rain, Roll, and Rock, and a Hill Start Control function that turn one’s journeys into a memorable experience.

What can make that experience even better is the new Marshall sound system. Developed in collaboration with the British manufacturer Marshall (yes, the same brand that makes the renowned guitar amplifiers), the audio system uses 4 loudspeakers and 2 subwoofers to produce great sound quality and “good vibrations.”

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Races its Superbike Counterpart

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by Sebastian Toma from https://www.autoevolution.com

Honda has pitted the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP against its racing version on a track to prove how fast it can be in the right hands. With slick tires, the sport bike is as close to a street-legal MotoGP racer as possible.

The resemblance between the two is normal, as British Superbike rules mandate that the race bike must be developed from the homologated production motorcycle. Therefore, the chassis and the engine are identical, but the race bike has a few tweaks within regulations to allow it to be even faster.

According to the rulebook, the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP’s racing version must have a spec ECU, which allows it to rev even higher than its street-legal brother. The gearing can also be changed according to various necessities, depending on the track and rider preference, along with a minimum weight of 168 kg (370.37 lbs.).

To prove just how fast the street-legal version of this bike can be, Honda Racing UK British Super Bike racer Glen Irwin took both bikes on the same day at Oulton Park International Circuit. We are talking about a 2.69-mile (4.33 km) track in the UK and identical riding conditions. Honda even fitted both bikes with the Pirelli Diablo Racing slicks (SC0 compound) to allow a direct comparison between the two bikes.

The street bike was still fitted with the stock mirrors, standard toolkit, and everything else one gets when buying a new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. The slick tires were the only change from the stock condition, and the team did not alter any settings on the bike.

Glenn Irwin rode each bike for six laps, and he managed to set a time of 1’39.054 on the production CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, which is just 2.872 seconds more than what he did with his British Superbike Fireblade.

Trap speed was 210.5 km/h (130 mph) on the street-spec bike, which is just 6.8 km/h (4.2 mph) slower than the race model, which goes to show how far have sport bikes gone in past years. The only thing left is for their riders to improve their skills on the track before thinking about changing anything on a stock super sport motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S 2021 First Ride Review

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by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Teaching an old dog new tricks.

Harley-Davidson has produced the Sportster for over six continuous decades. Despite the nameplate dating back to the Eisenhower administration, the Sportster canon only contains two periods: the Ironhead years and the Evo era. Since 1957, a pushrod-actuated, 45-degree V-Twin always thrummed at the model’s core. Along with the vibey powerplant, a cradle frame, conservative styling, and spartan accommodations defined the platform. That all changes with the 2021 Sportster S, however.

For the first time in the model’s history, the brakes read Brembo, the gearbox touts six speeds, and the lighting is LED. Boasting a feature-rich electronic suite, the historically entry-level Hog gains premium status overnight. A daring new design encompasses the brand’s acclaimed Revolution Max engine and aligns with the model’s performance ambitions. Of course, the 1,252cc, 60-degree V-twin doesn’t deliver the cruiser’s customary vibes. Instead, it delivers 121 horsepower. The Sportster may be a sexagenarian, but it’s spryer than ever in 2021.

To prove the new model’s mettle, the Motor Company invited us to a day-long ride through the picturesque canyons of the Angeles National Forest and the man-made canyons of Downtown L.A. With such a dramatic makeover, questions naturally arose. Will the 2021 interpretation appeal to the customer base? Will it retain its David vs. Goliath attitude? Is it still a Sportster? Like all Harleys, the answers center around the V-twin mill.

Engine
Since 1986, the Sportster harnessed the MoCo’s Evolution engine. Long after the Big Twin class moved on to the brand’s Twin Cam V-twin, and subsequently, the Milwaukee-Eight, the Sportster continued championing the bulletproof Evo. Undersquare, air-cooled, and rumbly, the engine’s charisma overshadowed its crudeness. Instead of refining the platform over the years, H-D didn’t fix what wasn’t broke.

Instead, it reinvented the model 35 long years later with the aptly named Revolution Max engine. Fresh off its debut in the Pan America, the liquid-cooled, DOHC, 1,252 V-twin earns a cruiser-appropriate retune in the Sportster S. The Revolution Max 1250T may concede 29 ponies to its adventurous cousin, but it’s hard to notice the difference in the saddle.

Unlike the Pan America, which spools up to its powerband, the Sportster S is all teeth all the time. Well, in Sport mode, at least. Predictably, Road is more mannerly and Rain is downright pleasant. Two additional custom ride modes allow users to adjust power delivery, traction control/ABS parameters, and engine braking settings to their liking. Whether you prefer a chill ride or a thrill ride, the Sportster switches identity with the tap of a button.

In Sport mode, performance reigns supreme. From the initial throttle crack, the torque piles on, peaking at 94 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm. The 1250T really shines in the mid-range, but power is accessible throughout the 9,500-rpm rev range. On the other hand, the throttle-by-wire system exhibited an abrupt, on/off quality in Sport mode.

Snappy roll-ons frequently pushed me to the edge of the plank-like seat and the front end dove under quick throttle cuts. What Sport mode lacks in finesse, it makes up with enthusiasm, so I reserved it for highway and canyon duty. In the city, Road mode smoothed out the V-twin’s power pulses without sacrificing too much raw acceleration. However, the Revolution Max and high-mount exhaust system threw off significant heat when confined to surface streets.

While the Sportster S does feature rear cylinder deactivation at a stop, the tracker-style pipes not only contribute to the engine heat, it traps it under the seat. Unsurprisingly, the rider’s right leg receives the first heatwave, but the engine’s port side follows suit in short order. In motion, the warmth goes unnoticed, but from light to light, the heat forced me to rest my right foot on the peg at a stop. Otherwise, the exhaust was liable to broil my inner thigh to a medium-well shank.

Despite those drawbacks, the Revolution Max remains the star of the show. Of course, to optimize that star performance, Harley had to surround it with a complimentary cast of components.

Chassis
Composed of three separate frame sections, the Sportster S chassis is like nothing in the company’s current cruiser lineup. The front, middle, and tail trellis frame units bolt directly to the 1250T engine, reducing weight while increasing rigidity. In turn, the handling improves markedly over the Evo era models, jumping from a 28-degree maximum lean angle to 34-degrees of lean. Tip-in and steering rate are predictable and stable.

Despite the 160/70 Dunlop GT503 tire wrapped around the 17-inch front wheel and the 180/70 rubber shod onto the 16-inch rear, the Sportster is surprisingly agile. Similarly, the 320mm single-disc front braking system seems lacking for a 121-horsepower machine, but the Brembo master cylinder delivers excellent bite along with nuanced feedback and feel. Needless to say, we would love to see how the Sportster S performs with slimmer tires and a dual-disc setup, but the stock equipment exceeds expectations.

The rear suspension suffers the same fate. With just 1.5-inches of travel, I anticipated the Showa monoshock to be one step removed from a hardtail. Thankfully, the linkage system helps the unit outperform the spec sheet, but the setup still has its limitation. The shock happily soaked up slow-speed bump, but fast-bump compliance was another story. Several large hits bucked me out of the seat or sent a shock directly through my back.

Of course, the model’s aggressive, low stance may look sporty, but it also restricts the suspension travel. Again, we would love to see a taller monoshock on the sportiest of Sportsters, but the piggyback unit performed admirably considering its handicaps. Luckily, the fully adjustable USD fork isn’t hindered by the same issues.

The front end only boasts 3.6 inches of travel, but the appropriately damped fork never bottoms under hard braking or big bumps. In a corner, the Sportster S holds its line in a smooth and predictable manner. The Dunlop GT503 tires suit the model well, with enough feedback and grip to inspire confidence. Of course, dragging the single-piston rear caliper on the 260mm disc helps stabilize the 500-pound rig upon corner entry.

The Sportster S was in its natural element in the canyons. The model holds its own in the city, but it reveals its naughty side on a curvy road. The high-spec componentry and adjustability certainly contributed to that nature, but the rider posture also factors into the Sportster’s performance.

Cockpit
At 29.6 inches, the S model’s seat height should fit a broad range of inseams. Despite the large exhaust heat shields pressing into the rider’s right leg, flat-footing the Sportster is effortless. Reach to the bars is a slight stretch, with the rider’s upper half leaned forward and a small bend at the elbows. The forward controls position the legs at a 90-degree angle, but feet point slightly upward on the pegs.

While the forwards increase long-distance comfort, they also place more weight on the rider’s hindquarters and off the pegs. As a result, I preferred the mid control-equipped Sportster S despite the acute leg bend. The sense of control provided by the mids would make it an instant upgrade for me. Unfortunately, the Motor Company doesn’t offer an option for mid control, but customers can purchase a conversion kit for $660.

The Sportster doesn’t perform poorly with the forwards, as both setups yield a 34-degree lean angle, but the mids allow the model to reach its full performance potential. Not to mention, after several hours with forward controls, my rear end started to ache due to so much of my weight bearing down on the thinly padded seat.

Harley also outfits the forwards with an extended shift lever (compared to the mid controls). The lever’s long throw also resulted in numerous unintentional shifts into neutral when kicking from first to second gear. I didn’t encounter the same problem once on the mid controls. I should note that the mids may prove too cramped for taller riders. At five-foot, 10-inches, I fit comfortably into the new rider triangle but the user’s purposes and preference will determine what’s best for them.

Last but certainly not least, the all-new round, four-inch TFT display is a first for the Sportster family. While the switchgear gains a host of new buttons and switches, the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. From ambient temperature to engine temperature, from tire pressure to battery voltage, the rider can check every metric impacting the bike’s performance.

Bluetooth connectivity unlocks navigation, incoming call identification, and music-playing features. However, the Sportster S doesn’t include a GPS receiver, so the system relies on the rider’s smartphone network for those services. Also, without speakers included, the user will need to link their helmet communication system to the motorcycle.

The breadth and technology of the new infotainment system may be a giant leap forward, but the limited screen real estate can be restricting in navigation and diagnostic modes. With so much information crammed in such a small area, fonts quickly become illegible, especially at speed. For that reason, I stuck with the standard setup, pairing a large mph readout, needle-style tachometer, gear position indicator, and trip meters.

Conclusion
The 2021 Sportster S marks a watershed moment for the longest production motorcycle in history. From side valves to overhead valves to four valves per cylinder, the Sportster has come a long way, but its latest form is a major departure from the previous iterations. The Sportster S should appeal to existing, performance-oriented Harley customers but also draw new blood into the brand.

At 500 pounds and 121 horsepower, the historically entry-level model is lighter and more powerful than any other cruiser in the Motor Company’s portfolio, making it more of a giant killer than ever. By Sportster standards, the 2021 S model is a marvel, warts and all. While the Sportster S is a seminal entry in the Harley history books, the potential it presents is even more intriguing.

We can’t wait to see what the Bar and Shield does with the platform as it fills the slots under the flagship trim. No, this isn’t your grandad’s Sportster, it’s something entirely new, and Harley-Davidson plans to build on the model’s possibilities for the next 64 years.