2007 Harley-Davidson XL1200R Road Test Rider Magazine

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Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster

2007 Harley-Davidson XL 1200R Road Test

The Sportster’s dimensions help instill in riders of all shapes and sizes, at a standstill you can still feel the heft sitting low in the frame.

Credit: Kevin Wing


March 5, 2007

when you were little and parents made you do something you didn’t want to? For me it was finishing the on my plate for the first time-my mom let me leave the table until it was Realizing that the sooner I got it with the sooner I could go I rolled my eyes, held my and chomped on that little of broccoli as fast as I could.

into it, my eyes came down and I thought, “You what? This isn’t so bad all!”

A few decades later I myself in a similar predicament. at Rider we had just received a new Harley-Davidson XL 1200R Sportster . and it sat for a while as the editor decided who quarterback the review. As luck have it, my name was the one drawn the hat.

In that instant of my youth rushed through my I dragged my feet into office and as he handed me the key and the security fob on that later) I rolled my and thought, “Do I haaaave to.”

Will this story the same happy ending as my encounter with broccoli? on to find out.

The Sportster to the twisties well.

To celebrate the year of the Sportster, Harley-Davidson to spruce up the line a little by all of the Sportsters with electronic injection. As the XL 1200R is the most of the Sportster line, I decided instead of drowning in self I would make the most of the and see what this bike was all

The XL 1200R Sportster ‘s small help instill confidence in of all shapes and sizes, although at a you can still feel the engine’s sitting low in the frame. The low 29.9-inch height made it easy for me to the ground, while the bike’s proportions and short reach to the bar me plenty of leverage to flick it side to side.

Our test was fitted with the optional Security System, a hands-free that’s wired into the ignition system. If the key fob mentioned is more than 8 feet from the motorcycle, the bike start and will instead all the lights in a show reminiscent of a discotheque. Should you lose the key fob you can disarm the alarm with a entered through the turn-signal

Seating position is comfortable for or easy riding.

The passive system is not hard to figure and thankfully I carried the key fob with me at all (because I had no idea what the code was!). When it time to start her up the Sportster’s Evolution engine purred to without the slightest hiccup the new electronic fuel injection, and the change to rubber engine in 2004 I still felt distinctive Harley-Davidson rumble me.

On the road, my “seat-of-the-pants” dyno was me that the 1,200cc powerplant had of moxie to get me out of any situation I encountered. to the Borla Performance dyno, translates into 58.3 and 66.5 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel. All that is harnessed by a smooth-shifting five-speed with a belt final

Harley-Davidson also went so far as to clutch-lever effort by 8 percent the entire Sportster line. As as that sounds, real-world has convinced me that that 8 really is a big help.

As owners of Sportsters can testify, trying to one at anything over 70 mph is a teeth-rattling as the pulses from the V-twin are intense to say the least. But with the to rubber mounts, I found the new to be very smooth off the line and more so at highway speeds. Harley!

During my time with the new I did plenty of highway miles, canyon miles and even some time on a racetrack the StreetMasters motorcycle workshop). cruising on the Sportster is a breeze as the bar and aren’t too far forward. For reference, my 8-inch frame found the position to be very relaxing.

The suspension soaks up irregularities in the and provides a smooth ride. I realize just how bad a particular was until I saw my shadow and noticed how the front wheel was bobbing up and As with most motorcycles a windscreen, wind buffeting to become an issue at speeds 70 mph, although I found tilting my head down helped reduce the strain on my

An aftermarket windscreen and saddlebags are through your Harley-Davidson should you feel the need for

Filtering through traffic is as the Sportster’s narrow proportions splitting lanes a breeze. My gripe about the bike this holds true for all models), is the turn-signal switches on bar. Call me a sucker for the way of doing things, but I find it to use my right thumb to press the I did appreciate the self-canceling feature I completed my turn.

Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster

Electronic fuel injection is a addition for 2007.

Since the heritage dates back to the bikes of old I found it only that I tested the newest mettle on some local roads, and it impressed. Despite the front fork’s non-adjustability, the was still able to track turns with ease, if I were to nitpick I’d like a or two more compression in the front for front-end feel.

In the rear, the preload adjustable shocks plenty capable of handling turn I threw its way. duties for the new Sportster are handled by discs (available only on the XL clamped by dual-piston calipers provide plenty of stopping A single disc sits in the and is grabbed by a single-piston caliper.

In with the clutch, brake-lever has been reduced by 14 percent. I this setup to give linear feel although I did some fade after riding.

Speaking of spirited imagine my surprise when I myself in Lancaster, California, at the Thief Mile for a day at the StreetMasters Workshop with the Sportster. the workshop is designed to simulate roads, and the drills we learned designed to make us better riders, but I’ll admit being on an open course the fear of police or oncoming motivated me to ride differently I would have in the canyons.

Throughout the day I gave the Sportster a flogging, even scraping the footpeg at times (though not the oddly). The gearbox was always in its engagement and never missed a while repeated heavy for certain turns was never as the brakes were up to the challenge. The big torque helped carry the out of turns and got me on my way without any hesitation the finely tuned electronic injection.

For anyone who thinks no more “Sport” in the Sportster think again. This can get around with the greatest of and, as with most in this category, the limits are by the amount of lean angle dragging hard parts.

Harley-Davidson XL 1200R Sportster

Eventually my time with the had to come to an end. I must that I had my doubts, but kept an mind toward it and it paid Day by day I would discover something new surprised me, and each time I it my biases slipped further

My eyes weren’t rolling long after I started the bike when I said to “You know what, isn’t so bad after all!” I it’s safe to say that my about the Sportster (and have all but been erased. admit that a part of me was sad to Tuttle back the key (and the

Fifty years is a long to keep a model range in a but year after year sales continue to show results and it’s easy to see The Sportster is simply a good And as the saying goes, “If it ain’t don’t fix it.”

If you’re in the 2007 Harley-Davidson XL 1200R Roadster . you might also be in these other Sportster models:

Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster
Harley-Davidson XL1200R Sportster Roadster

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