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Revealed Harley-Davidson’s new Sportser S boasts stunning looks and plenty of grunt 

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Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

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Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Harley-Davidson’s all-new Sportster S is here, which is arguably good news for pretty much everyone who rides a bike.

The manufacturing team at Milwaukee are having quite a busy season so far, with a post-lockdown boost in sales being reported by dealers and the factory alike.

The appearance of its adventure bike, the Pan America 1250, was a game changer for the American giant.

Now H-D has revealed the Sportster S - a stunning, performance-biased custom tool.

One of the first things to know about this new bike, other than its rather tasty styling, is the engine.

The Revolution Max 1250T shares the same 60-degree V-twin architecture that propels the new Pan America 1250, and it puts out a respectable 94 foot-pounds of torque, meaning it’ll be usable in the real world. Being a 1,252cc lump with VVT and precise fuelling, we wouldn’t expect anything else from it.

One of the things that is very interesting is that H-D, which never used to publish BHP figures, lists this one as putting out no fewer than 121 ponies.

With this thoroughly modern ‘lump’, it is no longer possible to dismiss the American brand as being ‘all blow, no go’. It’s the second bike from Harley-Davidson in 2021 that will easily please a new generation of riders and probably draw them into the universe of Americana that comes with Harley ownership as a result. We’re talking accessories, clothing, events, HOG membership and so much more.

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Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Photo: Mike Van Cleven

Obviously, with this kind of power growth the rest of the bike has to have a sorted chassis. After all, there’s no point in having the power if it can’t be used.

The new three-section frame, which utilises the engine as a stressed member, is comparable to any modern offering from the Japanese or European competition.

Showing enthusiasm for secondary branding as well as using the best of components, it’s finished off with Showa suspension and Brembo brakes. The new Sportster is going to be one fine handling machine.

While it’s still, unmistakably, a Harley, the Sportster S is very much modern-looking. The styling has been cleverly thought out, with design cues taken from models of the past. That rather cool looking and most-title-winning XR750 flat track weapon is just one of the bikes that jumps to mind.

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Being a liquid-cooled engine, the Americans can now keep to the right side of all those fun Euro 5 emission regulations, and get in front of some other future draconian rules.

The water cooling also makes it more comfortable to ride, with reduced engine heat. This will be particularly noticeable in the city.

The high mounted exhaust system will also make it much harder for spoilt motorcycling journos to drag the heat shields. The long tank, stubby mudguards and low profile also add-up to make the new Sportster a genuinely eye-catching bike to park outside your favourite café after knocking some craic out of it on your favourite back roads.

The Sportster S will be available as early as September from Harley-Davidson dealers in Dublin and Waterford. Prices will start at €17,595.

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