Motorcycles What’s Old Is New Again With Harley-Davidson’s Forty-Eight Special And Iron 1200 Sportsters
Harley-Davidson Trademarks Two More Names Hinting at New Models
Could a makeover be in the Sportster lineup's future?Just a few weeks ago, we reported on Harley-Davidson trademarking the name “Bronx” and speculated a possible new model in the works. Since then, two more names have been trademarked by the Milwaukee-based motorcycle brand that have us wondering if another brand revamp is in the works.
Harley-Davidson to Launch Electric Motorcycle Within 18 Months, Kansas City Plant to Close
Sales in 2017 were down 6.7 percent worldwide, and 8.5 percent in the U.S. , which has typically been H-D's stronghold. The motorcycle company will also be closing its Kansas City, Missouri plant and rolling operations into its York, Pennsylvania plant. Sales drops and layoffs have sadly become a trend for H-D. Research Research New Used New & Used Make (e.g. Cadillac) Model (e.g. ATS Sedan) But there is a silver, or rather an electric lining to the story. Harley-Davidson also announced that it is just 18 months away from releasing its first production electric motorcycle.
With a goal of introducing 100 motorcycles by 2027, the motorcycle company that made Milwaukee famous continues its rollout today, unveiling two high-bar Sportsters powered by the Evolution 1200 V-twin engine: the Forty-Eight Special and Iron 1200.
Originally introduced with an Ironhead overhead-valve engine in 1957, the Sportster has evolved through 30 production changes, with approximately 33 production models designed.
“Since its inception, the has offered the perfect combination of size, power, and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson VP of Styling & Design. “A Sportster is a relatively easy bike to strip down and reinvent. What we’ve done to create the new Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special is what Sportster owners have been doing with their own bikes for generations.”
Harley-Davidson Recalls 174,636 Bikes for Potential Brake Problem
If the brake fluid isn't changed every two years as directed, components may stick, including the ABS module.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall notice for a wide variety of recent Harley-Davidson motorcycle, all for the same problem. The concern is that owners are not changing their brake fluid every two years, a practice that is specified on the maintenance schedule.
Related video: Why Harley-Davidson is losing market share (Provided by USA Today)
2018 Forty-Eight Special: starting at $11,299
A Deep Dive into the 2018 Harley-Davidson Lineup
We take a close look at what's new for 2018 with Harley-Davidson's product portfolio manager.Harley-Davidson is starting 2018 in a bit of a rough spot. H-D saw an 8.5 percent drop in U.S. sales in 2017 and a 6.7 percent sales decline worldwide. The brand had its lowest number of shipments in six years in 2017 and it's forecasting even lower sales in 2018.
For 2010, Harley-Davidson introduced the XL1200X Forty-Eight model. Eight years later the new Forty-Eight Special maintains its nostalgically tiny 2.2-gallon peanut tank but gains a crossfit-esque front end with forged aluminum triple clamps and a 49mm fork, topped off with 7.25-inch-high Tallboy bars.
“We specifically selected the Tallboy bar for its shape,” Richards added. “It offers less pullback than the Mini-Ape, a look that really works with the steamroller front end and the smaller fuel tank on the Forty-Eight Special model.”
Compared to the 2018 Forty-Eight, the Special gets more chrome: primary, inspection, and derby covers, and solid chrome muffler and exhaust shields. Chrome lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes, and tappet covers contrast with the black cylinders to highlight The Motor Company’s signature V-twin engine shape. The 16-inch front and rear Black Split nine-spoke cast aluminum wheels roll on Michelin Scorcher 31 tires. Wet weight is reported to be 564 pounds.
2018 Iron 1200: starting at $9,999
The silhouette of the Iron 1200 goes beyond California cliché, with fast-back café solo seat flowing to the rear fender, and chopper-influenced Mini Ape satin black handlebars with an 8.75-inch rise, 32-inch spread, and 6.5-inch pullback. A gloss black speed screen offers some wind protection while maintaining the custom vibe of the bike.
Harley-Davidson CEO Reaffirms Availability of Electric Motorcycle in 2019
The dream of an electric Harley-Davidson is alive and well.Normally motorcycle companies like to keep their plans for future products under wraps. However, Harley-Davidson isn’t in a normal position right now. The iconic American brand finds itself with slumping sales, especially in its home market. H-D has fallen behind in marketing its traditionally old-school motorcycles to a younger crowd who can’t get excited about paying a premium price for a bike that looks just like the one their dads rode when they were kids. Part of Harley’s solution to this problem is bringing an electric motorcycle to production.
The Iron 1200 gets more range with its 3.3-gallon tank, dressed in multi-colored striped wraparound graphics. Fuel tank paint color options include Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry, and Billiard White.
While the Forty-Eight Special gets plunked with the chrome magic wand, the Iron 1200 goes dark almost everywhere: black upper and lower rocker boxes, black exhaust and muffler shields, and black timer, primary, and derby covers. Chrome pushrod tubes and tappet covers are the only shiny bits. The Iron 1200 rolls on 19-inch front and 16-inch rear all-black nine-spoke wheels. Wet weight is reported to be 564 pounds.
“The art on these two fuel tanks reflect contemporary trends we are seeing on custom bikes and in design in general, a move away from more complex and intricate art to a look that’s very simple and clean,” Richards said. “It’s also important to note that these graphics respect the shape of the fuel tank and in the case of the Sportster, that tank shape is a classic design element in its own right.”
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Harley-Davidson Shows off New Retro-Inspired Helmets .
Old-school style, new-school protection.The three new helmets are in three distinct styles. There’s the Mason’s Yard Sun Shield three-quarter helmet that is a chin bar away from being a full-face helmet. It has a two-tone brown/cream color scheme. You also get a retractable sun visor and it’s compatible with Harley-Davidson headsets. This retro/modern helmet will set you back $300.
2018 #FortyEightSpecial and #Iron1200 | Harley-Davidson
Old school meets new school. Introducing the new Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special ➡ https://Bit.ly/2018Sportsters.
2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight Gruene Harley Custom
2015 Harley-Davidson® Sportster® Forty-Eight® With a fat front tire and steel peanut tank, this low-slung urban brawler is ready to rip through any scene. Key Features may include: Fat Front...
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