• Feb 3, 2011
Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom – Click above for high-res image gallery

Harley-Davidson has a knack for creating new models based on existing platforms by swapping out a matching set of components available from its own Parts and Accessories catalog. The tactic has worked well for years, but in today's trying marketplace, the Bar-and-Shield brand has decided to let its customers do the picking before the motorcycle is even delivered.

Naturally, there are the requisite paint choices, which include seven solid colors, five two-tone options and two sets of custom graphics, and customers can also specificy if they want chrome or black engine covers and wheels in any of four options. That'll keep the style-conscious buyer happy, but there's plenty more customization where that came from.

H-D will allow the buyer to tailor the riding position of the 1200 Custom by offering three different handlebar options (standard Pull Back bars or optional Drag and Mini Ape bars) and a choice of mid-mount or forward controls. Finally, the buyer can switch from a two-up saddle to a solo seat, should they so desire.

The basic 1200 Custom platform comes with chunky Michelin Scorcher tires front and rear on 16-inch wheels, which necessitated wide-spaced front forks, and a 4.5-gallon tank. We're pleased to see that H-D didn't neuter the handling of the 1200 Custom by angling for an ever-lower seat height (28.5-inches unladed, 26.6 laden).

Also, though rear suspension travel is just 2.12 inches, there's a reasonable 4.4 inches of ground clearance, which means normal riding won't mean scraping hard parts on the asphalt. Lean angles are 26.2 degrees on the left and 28.3 on the right, for what it's worth.

Check out the high-res pics in our image gallery below, and hit the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Harley-Davidson]

Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom options

Show full PR text

H-D1™ Factory Customization Offers Selection of Factory-Installed Options

MILWAUKEE (February 2, 2011) A wide front end and chunky 16-inch tire give the new Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom a proud stance that's strong and contemporary. Introduced as a mid-year addition to the 2011 Harley-Davidson model line-up, the 1200 Custom also features new wheels, a pull-back handlebar, and a reshaped LED tail lamp.

These elements combine to give the 1200 Custom an exciting new look, but that's just a starting point for this Sportster® model. The 1200 Custom will also debut H-D1 factory customization, a new opportunity that allows the customer to choose from seven option categories to optimize fit, function and style. By selecting from available factory-installed wheels, handlebars, seats, paint, foot control position, security system, and engine finish, the customer can create a 1200 Custom that is a truly personalized motorcycle. Factory customization and Bike Builder on Harley-Davidson.com are the newest elements of H-D1, Harley-Davidson's comprehensive offering of customization tools, which also includes Genuine Motor Parts and Genuine Motor Accessory catalogs, the Genuine Motor Accessories Custom Seat and Custom Paint programs, the Chrome Consultant and Fit Shop advisors at Harley-Davidson dealerships, and much more.

A Sportster® model with Fattitude

The 1200 Custom offers a new look but is Sportster to the core, offering a compelling combination of bold styling, nimble handling and the irresistible beat of American V-Twin performance.

Key features of the 2011 1200 Custom include:

* Air-cooled Evolution® 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 79 ft. lbs. peak torque at 4000 rpm.

* Powertrain is finished in black powdercoat with chrome covers.

* NEW Chrome, Five-Spoke cast aluminum wheels front and rear. Front and rear wheels are 16 x 3.0 inches.

* NEW Michelin® Scorcher® 31 tires; 130/90B 16 front and 150/80B16 M/C 77H rear.

* NEW Wider fork spacing and polished triple clamps.

* Pull-back handlebar mounted on a curved riser that incorporates an LED warning light display.

* NEW reshaped classic Sportster "eyebrow" over the headlamp.

* NEW tail light is smaller and has a new shape with a bright, low maintenance LED element.

* NEW Front suspension rates are re-tuned to match the new tire/wheel combination. 39mm front fork with 30 degrees rake.

* Polished forward foot controls.

* Coil-over pre-load adjustable rear shocks.

* Two-up seat is standard. Laden seat height is 26.6 inches.

* The 4.5-gallon fuel tank offers long riding range.

Introducing H-D1™ Factory Customization

H-D1 factory customization is the newest element of Harley-Davidson customization that allows customers to build the 1200 Custom from a selection of options that are installed as the motorcycle is assembled by Harley-Davidson Motor Company. H-D1 factory customization enables personalized fit, function and style. By selecting different wheels, seats, handlebars, paint, and engine finishes, the customer can dramatically alter the look of the motorcycle. Different combinations of foot-control location, seat and handlebars can be selected to adjust the fit of the motorcycle to a rider's stature. With H-D1 factory customization the customer will have the opportunity to order a 1200 Custom in more than 2,600 combinations.

The H-D1 factory customization tool will be available on Harley-Davidson.com. The customer can view the bike they are creating as different options are selected. The customer can then print out a description of their bike and bring it to a Harley-Davidson dealer to review the motorcycle with trained staff, select additional accessories to be installed by the dealer to further customize the motorcycle, and then place an order. Customers can expect to be riding their new bike in as little as four weeks from the time an order is placed with an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer. Delivery timing may vary depending on demand, and will be communicated to customers at the time of order. H-D1 factory customization will be available only through Harley-Davidson dealers in the United States and Canada.

The 1200 Custom has a suggested retail price in the United States of $10,299, and comes equipped with Chrome Five-Spoke Cast Aluminum wheels, pull-back handlebars, forward polished foot controls, a two-up seat, black engine with chrome covers, and Vivid Black paint. Factory-installed options can be swapped out in any combination to this base configuration of the 1200 Custom, using these seven different categories:

· Wheels: Black Five-Spoke Cast Aluminum with machined highlights, Chrome Laced, or Black Laced.

· Handlebars: Drag Bars or Mini-Apes

· Foot Controls: Mid-mount polished

· Seat: Solo

· Paint/Graphics: (solid colors) Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver Pearl, Cool Blue Pearl, Chrome Yellow, Merlot Sunglo, Sedona Orange, Black Denim; (two-tones) Scarlet Red/Vivid Black, Merlot Sunglo/Vivid Black, Sedona Orange/Vivid Black, Birch White/Sedona Orange, Chrome Yellow/Vivid Black; (custom graphics) Cool Blue Pearl with Scalloped graphics, White Hot Pearl with Hot Pink Flame graphics.

· Engine: Black powder coat with black covers.

· Security: Add Harley-Davidson Smart Security System.

Options can be incorporated with the base configuration in any combination, except that the Mini-Ape handlebars cannot be combined with mid-mount foot controls.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's still too much engine shake at idle on the Sportsters. And I'm still mad that they killed Buell.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hubcap08... My ZX6R does not vibrate.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Riding a slow ass Harley will definitely put me to sleep.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ hubcap08

        I have a parallel twin with 270 degree firing interval in my Scrambler. No harsh vibrations.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I ride a Honda 750. I prefer the smoothness of an inline-4, but different strokes...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Slow is a relative term... the Sportster 1200 will still shame most sports cars (and some sport bikes).
        • 3 Years Ago
        if you don't like vibration, don't ride motorcycles. What do you expect to feel when you sit on top of a engine, a calm that puts you to sleep?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yawn. I think "introduce" related to any Harley products is an oxy-moron.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Somehow HD thinks the VRod and variations of Sportys, Dynas, and Softtails will win them far more new customers than the others. Do not get me wrong, tradition is great, but HD needs a sportbike line somewhere. Even if it is just a smaller Revo motor in a sportbike frame. Not everything need be a cross-country tourer or big engined street pig.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They need a REAL sportbike. And not just any other sportbike, a sportbike that stands out, like the Daytona 675.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just another 1/2-ass job by H-D.

      Just another paintjob and swapped-out tank/fender/handlebar option and they call these "customized".

      Don't get me wrong, unlike so many people on AB, I actually like some H-D models (especially the Vrod), and in this case, I like the 2-tone paint scheme and big tire option of the bike in the pic, but these are all simple changes to a line of bikes that need updating to attract more buyers. How long is H-D going to pull this same, played-out, game where all they do is change out one item, or add some special color/finish and call it a whole new model??

      Get with the program, guys... keep the old-school look, but wrap it around some modern hardware please.

      Take a cue from the automotive world where designs like the Mini, Beetle, Camaro and Challenger can get updated with modern underpinnings and a futuristic-look, while still looking retro at the same time. This is what you need to stay relevant going on into the future.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Either that guy is really small, or that bike is just really large, but that can't be comfortable or promote good control to have your back hunched over and arms straight out. He's pretty much holding himself in that posture. The tires look hideously large as well, they don't really look like they fit on the bike.
      • 3 Years Ago
      now made in india, lol
      • 3 Years Ago
      Blah, Blah, Blah... with H-D you still getting 40 year old technology at tomorrows prices! You can take a pig to a beauty parlor, but its still going to be a pig when it leaves. The only “real” change H-D has made in 100 years is the Porsche designed V-Rods and your knees still bang on the frame by the gas tank while riding it. Did I mention that you cannot see the instruments(V-Rod) in a full face helmet unless you lower your head?

      p.s. LOUD pipes ANNOY lives!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Blah Harley, overpriced and underperforming. They can do so much better, but instead they milk their followers with accessories and options using the "heritage" BS.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Methinks Harley is allergic to engineering new models. I love the V-Rod Muscle but there needs to be a factory option for mid mount controls and it needs to drop a hundred pounds.

      HD is what it is and now matter how much I or you b*tch and moan they're not gonna change until its absolutely and positively necessary.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another hideous Harley.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, what's up Lenny Kravitz.
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