2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X Road Test Rider Magazine

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Harley-Davidson XR1200 Sportster
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Sportster

2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster Road Test

Photo Brian J. Nelson and Tom Riles


March 29, 2011

things I’ve never on a Harley-Davidson happened at this launch: riding on a racetrack, my knee down and seeing 120 mph on the speedometer. But then again, the Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X your everyday Motor machine. With a modest kit, it’s ready for the new AMA Pro Vance Hines XR1200 which kicked off at Road the day after we rode there.

caught flak when it the XR1200 for the European market and sell it here. Inundated by pens and pitchforks, Harley and put the XR1200 in U.S. dealerships year. Enter the XR1200X—also for export markets and sold last year—which now replaces the

The price has gone up by a grand, to and the cool orange paint has gone bye-bye. But what you get is worth the bump in price: suspension ($1,500 in Harley’s PA full-floating front brake a blacked-out look and orange on the wheel rims.

Along nine-time AMA Grand National Scott Parker, who helped the XR1200, we lapped a shortened of Road America’s big track. immediately I felt comfortable on the dishing out huge scoops of and quickly finding its cornering

Unique to the XR1200(X)’s air-cooled, 1,203cc Evolution V-twin are heads, an electronically controlled intake system (for noise and emissions) and an upswept exhaust finished in satin Output is further boosted by a compression ratio, high-performance and 50mm downdraft throttle injectors.

When we ran an XR1200 on the (see Rider . June horsepower peaked at 81.1 before the 7,000-rpm redline and peaked at 70.4 lb-ft at rpm, but it never fell 60 lb-ft! Powerful yet user-friendly, the Gentle Ben of motors.

Midmount controls and a natural reach to the give the XR1200X a comfortable, seating position. Gripping the 3.5-gallon tank between my was a chore, in part because the pegs splayed my feet Our street ride included a freeway blast that my knees and hips sore my legs being pushed out by

It’s easy to move on the narrow seat, but comfort off around the century mark; OK, you’ll need to stop for gas by anyway.

Though the XR1200X to be ridden aggressively, its limited clearance demands restraint; if can’t be had, then flowing lines. Its 29-degree 5.2-inch trail and 60-inch make for a …-nuts stable but not at the expense of handling. With its 573 (claimed wet) carried wide, dirt-track handlebar and XR-specific Dunlop Qualifier the XR1200X goes where you it.

XR1200X Speedometer and tachometer.

Harley-Davidson XR1200 Sportster

Road America’s teeth-rattling patches and rumble strips at the XR1200X took it all in stride. The tubular steel frame, swingarm and belt final are more than up to handling the weight and torque. New for 2011 is a Showa Big Piston Fork 43mm stanchions and 4.9 inches of

The BPF’s design eliminates components used in a cartridge-type for less weight, and its large-diameter piston reduces damping for smoother action. Having experienced the BPF on the Kawasaki Ninja on the XR it was similarly supple and well with good initial during braking. Along the dual Showa shocks remote reservoirs and 3.5 inches of suspension front and rear is now adjustable for spring preload, and rebound.

Precise fuel injection and a transmission make the XR1200X to ride. The bike feels and capable at speed, and its Nissin slow things down authority. The dual, 292mm discs are now full-floating, and the fixed, calipers have progressive

The single-piston rear caliper its job settling the suspension, but is pretty otherwise.

The XR1200X is a no-frills providing just the basics for an experience: thumping motor, chassis, good binders and and minimalist rider cockpit. I’d the dark look with Black Denim rather the White Hot Denim, but the choice is

2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster Specifications:

Air-cooled, transverse V-twin, OHV, two valves per Engine

Bore x Stroke: x 96.8mm

Harley-Davidson XR1200 Sportster

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