Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight Special-Iron 1200 in the driving report

Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight Special-Iron 1200 in the driving report
Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight Special / Iron 1200

2018 models in the driving report

Almost like a raid, Harley is pushing two new models into the 2018 vintage. Both bikes have one thing in common: a high handlebar. That doesn’t have to be bad, thinks author Rolf Henniges.

JEveryone knows him, but many people already get sick of him: “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf. When the quirk is on the radio, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda automatically cucumber the big screen with their bikes. The average person associates “Easy Rider” with freedom and adventure like hardly any other film. And of course the two protagonists are on Harleys with long forks and high handlebars. Harley is now offering a little bit of Easy Rider with the two “new” models Sportster Iron 1200 and Forty Eight Special.

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Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight Special-Iron 1200 in the driving report

Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight Special / Iron 1200
2018 models in the driving report

Both with "Tallboy"-Handlebars

High handlebars, in the technical jargon “moderate ape hanger”, were installed on both models, which automatically forces the driver into an upright sitting position. And that doesn’t necessarily have to be undynamic. The Forty Eight Special can be guided through the city at least as casually as the standard Forty Eight. The “Tallboy” handlebar, known internally at Harley, is slightly wider and thus even reduces steering forces. It cruises more relaxed. Another difference to the Forty Eight: the chrome content on the engine, upright mirrors and a seat height reduced by five to 705 millimeters. Or maybe the saddler was just having a bad day. When it comes to the price, you’re again d’accord: Both Forty Eight models are available from the same 12,195 euros in the trendy black.


Harley-Davidson

Above right Sportster Iron, below right Forty Eight Special, which has a lot more chrome. Nice: the new tank decors in the style of the 1970s.

At 10,995 euros, the new Iron 1200 marks the entry into the 1200 cubic class and costs only 370 euros more than the smaller Iron 883. A bargain price for Harley standards. It will be interesting to see how long the little sister will stay in the program.

The big differences between the two new models, the Forty Eight Special and the Iron 1200, are quickly listed: tank volume, fork, front wheel, lamp cover. While the Iron has a narrow 19-inch front wheel in a thinner fork, the Forty Eight uses a 16-inch with wider tires and fat fork tubes. If you are looking for the more casual daily driver, you are in better hands with the 1200 Iron, it steers a bit easier than the Forty Eight and also runs a little more stable in a straight line. The slightly higher handlebars also provide a more “Easy Rider” feeling, and we have come back to Steppenwolf. Sound-wise, everything is completely okay, the 67 hp don’t knock anyone over, and the lean angle is rather poor. Good vibrations? Sure, of course. Even more than some can handle!

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