Prova Harley-Davidson Sportster S: You say you want a revolution! – Prove

Prova Harley-Davidson Sportster S: You say you want a revolution! – Prove
Prova Harley-Davidson Sportster S: You say you want a revolution! – Prove

Harley-Davidson played a trick on us by withdrawing the Sportster family from the market due to the Euro 5 regulation. We knew they would be back, but we didn’t expect them to be back so … strong.

The initials S leaves no doubt: we are dealing with a Sporster revolutionary, like the name of its powerplant – the Revolution Max – sporty and completely new, which breaks the mold of the Harley world, without denying its origins, without distorting its being “a Sporty”.

The American brand is not new to these pleasant “head shots”: a decade ago it was the XR1200 that stirred the mind, and the writer has owned one even though she is not a harleysta, but here we are faced with a whole different story.

The Sportster S makes a decisive leap forward in its category, and after LiveWire and Pan America, Harley shouts loudly for the third time: “We are there, and we are strong, we know how to do classic custom, but not only. “.

A way to bring new customers closer to the brand, of course, but also for keep up with the times, and more if they run.

First look

Beautiful, muscular but slender, aggressive. This is how it looks at first glance, with the 1250 cc engine ad centralize the glances, together with the double exhaust with high passage that characterizes its profile.

Other aesthetic details to underline are the fari a LED with oval “capsule” design, the reservoir – from 11.6 liters – which is somewhat reminiscent of that of the aforementioned XR, the short pigtail which is inspired by the world of flat track. (Since we did not miss a good shower, we can report that the lack of a “real” mudguard was felt on the back and helmet …).

But, despite the references to different HD models, the Sportster S is a whole new bike, outside but also and above all under the skin, which speaks not only to Harley customers, but to bikers at 360 degrees.

The engine

It is useless here to describe it further, aesthetically, the photos speak for themselves and the live S is even more appreciable, so let’s come to the fulcrum of this new stars and stripes: il V-Twin Revolution Max 1250 T it is the same one that equips the Pan America, with some precautions that have shaped it to a more cruiser use.

Compared to the one mounted on the endurona, the cylinder heads have smaller valves and port sizes and a different combustion chamber shape, which increases the rate of flow through the combustion chambers at low revs and it increases the torque delivered at low and medium revs, providing up to 10% more torque from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm.

I pistons they have been shaped to fit the dimensions of the combustion chamber of the cylinder heads and the length and shape of the intake duct, combined with the volume of the airbox, are calibrated to maximize performance at all rev ranges.

The camshaft profiles and valve timing have also been redesigned.

The result is a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-engine with four overhead valves per cylinder (two intake and two exhaust) that delivers a power of 121 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 127 Nm a 6.000 giri.

It is an integral part of the new chassis and this allows to considerably contain the weights, with the needle of the balance that stops at 228 kilos in running order, not many for an HD, especially with a motorboat of such large cubature.

The magnesium engine covers have a special finish Chocolate Satin, which recalls that of the cap on the tank.

The chassis

Also important is the suspension department, with a 43 mm Showa upside-down fork and a rear shock absorber easily adjustable in preload thanks to a “knob” placed on the left side under the tail. You can adjust the “clicks” without even getting off the bike.

I brakes were entrusted to Brembo, with a single 320mm disc at the front, bitten by a 4-piston radial monobloc caliper and a 260mm rear disc with 2-piston caliper.

I circles in cast aluminum – 17 inches in front, 16 in rear – fitted with tires Dunlop Harley-Davidson GT503, respectively in sizes 160/70 and 180/70.

The standard equipment

The big surprise of this Sportster S comes from the technology and security package which it offers as standard, certainly new for a Sporty.
The 4-inch TFT round instrumentation becomes a real communication tool between motorbike and rider, with the possibility through a dedicated App to listen to music, answer calls, set navigation.

Not just infotainment, but also Riding Mode: the three classic Road, Rain and Sport, plus two fully customizable. The maps affect power delivery, ABS and Traction Control.

ABS and TC which on the Sportster become C-ABS and C-TCS, where the C stands for Cornering: the six-axis IMU platform monitors the lean angle of the bike, the power delivered, the grip and adjusts everything accordingly to save us … the skin both in straight and cornering, to put it in the simplest way possible.

There is no shortage, always standard, of the Cruise Control, the proximity-based security system, the tire pressure control. All “new things” on a bike that is, indeed was, the most basic of the range.
Start clearly a new era of Sportster and the S 1250 was called to open the dance of the revolution.


And as always we arrive at the most awaited point: our dynamic road test. There was a lot of curiosity about this bike and several hundreds of kilometers around the corners of Germany gave us all the answers.

At first the position in the saddle is unusual, but after a few kilometers you get used to it and you realize you can face long distances without ever getting tired. Even the saddle, despite the gaunt appearance, is comfortable.

The idea of ​​welcoming a passenger, although the accessories include saddle and footpegs dedicated to him. This bike is definitely more enjoyable alone.

The most popular question concerns the high passage of the drain: does it heat up? No, not during the march (but the temperature in Germany was 20 degrees), the heat is felt inside the right leg only when it has been stopped for a while with the bike running.

The handlebar is well positioned, arched towards the driver, the footpegs are advanced as per cruiser tradition, but among the options there is the kit to retract them, strongly recommended if you prefer a sportier riding setting: the feeling with the bike is very beneficial.

The engine it’s a nice surprise: powerful couple and a nice unexpected extension, it has some in the low but also runs great near the limiter.
It has the right sprint to deal with overtaking safely, the linear delivery for the more touristic driving and the attitude to the sportier driving.

Also thanks to the fork which makes the front very communicative, while the rear shock absorber must be well regulated according to your weight and needs, to get the best comfort.

The rear brake, important on this kind of bike, it is powerful and decisive; the front instead … will it be enough with just one disc?
Yes, driving gently, in a fluid and non-nervous way, it is well modulated and effective. If, on the other hand, you drive in GP mode between firing and detaching, you will very likely feel the need for a second disc, however always welcome.

Always in favor of comfort, the brake and clutch levers are adjustable, the change it is smooth, precise and silent, and the clutch very easy to operate (detail not taken for granted on a HD). Yes, promoted, to mark the return of the Sportster? Yes, even if those most linked to the history of the brand will turn up their noses, but for no reason: this 1250 is a full-fledged Harley (seeing is believing!), only more fun, safer, more versatile and … modern!

It is available in three colors: Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl, Midnight Crimson and will arrive in September at 15,900 euros.
Not missing one long list of accessories to personalize it, including windshields and bags, for those who want to use them for tourism.

But will there be a flaw? Despite the low saddle (75 mm from the ground), theand low speed maneuvers they are not very agile, as well as driving in very tight mixed conditions: the 160 wheel at the front certainly gives great appeal to the eye, but penalizes agility in these conditions.

More information

Motorcycle: Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Place: Germany
Weather forecast: variable, 20 ° C
Photo: Alessio Barbanti, Francesc Montero

We used

Helmet Simpson
Jacket Hevik
Gloves Hevik
Technical Leggings Exagon66
Boots Course

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