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  1. #1
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    Default End of the Sportsters ...

    Been a long run since the birth of Harley's piglet back in 57 ...



    https://twitter.com/i/status/1406992176744128517

    The first of the Sportsters to go will be the Iron 1200 followed shortly by the Iron 883 and Forty-Eight. Once those are sold out it will be the end of the Harley Sportster.

    Harley-Davidson's next new bike will take the torch from the Sportster.
    It will make its debut in July 2021, power will come from Harley-Davidson's new 1,250cc water-cooled V-twin.

    Although technical details haven't been released yet, the Revolution engine makes 150 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque in Harley's first adventure touring bike.

    "From Evolution to Revolution"

    Full details about Harley-Davidson's next new model (including its name) will be announced during an online event scheduled for July 13. We expect to see the bike in American showrooms before the end of 2021. Crucially, using the Revolution Max engine should also allow Harley to replace the Sportster lineup.


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    It was a fine run but Evo Sportsters are crippled by their shit frame geometry and SEVERE power limitations so bad even hotrodded Sporties are mostly broken compared to other machines of their displacement.

    They stopped being a performance motorcyle when the old men here were young (a Sportster core with thousands and thousands of dollars in work has little to do with a stock machine). I enjoy mine and there are plenty for any who want them but it was time to take the model behind the barn like Old Yeller.

    Folks who live only on old designs tend to forget how much has changed. Sportsters were more "modern" than non-unit big twins, having cassette gearboxes and right side drive (which modern big twins really should have because the old way makes belt or chain swaps absurd).

    No one loses anything thanks to the aftermarket. Peak Sporty ended in 2004.

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    I look forward to the new ones. Seems like a positive step forward.

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    Not a fan of the new look


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    Apparently their solution to a problem they were talking about last year in the European market.

    After decades of sales, Harley-Davidson have confirmed that the venerable Sportster range will make a quiet exit from Europe due to the upcoming Euro5 emissions regulations.

    Small updates aside, the fundamental air-cooled, two valve engine architecture has remained the same since the mid 1980s and updating it for Euro5 would have been a herculean task.
    https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...tinued-europe/

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    Dont forget The evo sporty basically SAVED HDwhen it first canme out

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmel View Post
    Dont forget The evo sporty basically SAVED HDwhen it first canme out
    Hell yes 1987 -only new Harley I ever bought. Sad to see it killed as my nephews new 1200 iron is still a good bike.
    Blame all those euro faggot emissions laws.

    Let's bomb Brussels in retaliation.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Hoghead; 06-24-2021 at 10:47 AM.

  8. #8

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    To me they are the cleanest looking Harley and what is more iconic than the classic Sportster tank?

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    Who is actually worse off for it being discontinued? BTW the Evo big twin is what saved HD, the Sporty was late to the game but did sell well.

    Note the iconic Sportster tank is many years out of production. The "lozenge" tank is not the iconic design.
    Last edited by farmall; 06-24-2021 at 7:12 PM.

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    Flathead.. Knucklehead.. Panhead.. Shovelhead.. Blockhead..

    This one has a face like a spaceman in a spacesuit.. looking at you.

    Spacehead?

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    Default The spoils of War ...

    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post

    Note the iconic Sportster tank is many years out of production. The "lozenge" tank is not the iconic design.


    The year was 1948 ...

    Who would have thought that a Harley-Davidson model would have its origins in Nazi Germany?
    That’s the case of the small-bore Model S-125, launched in 1948 following Germany’s defeat in World War II.

    To the victor go the spoils, and since the Allied Forces (led by the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union) were victorious in World War II, they helped themselves, in the form of war reparations, to some of the loser’s goods.
    Among the booty, the Allies gained access to intellectual property belonging to Nazi Germany for such things as the V1 rocket (space travel, here we come), submarine and jet-propulsion technology — and motorcycles. Wait, motorcycles? Well, yes, and in this case the reparations included plans for a small bike powered by a 125cc single-cylinder 2-stroke engine originally developed in 1919 by Danish engineer Jorgen Akafte Rasmussen living in Saxony, Germany. Rasmussen called his small yet efficient piston-port induction 2-stroke engine Das Kliene Wunder, which roughly translates to “The Little Marvel.” In later years, people in Nazi Germany knew the bike that it powered as the DKW RT-125, and at war’s end plans for the little motorcycle were judiciously passed along to the U.S., Great Britain and Soviet Union to do with as they pleased.

    Britain gave BSA (British Small Arms) the nod to build what became known as the Bantam, and the good folks running the Kremlin turned their DKW blueprints over to Soviet industrialists to build what became the Minsk M1A.
    Later, with the rise of the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc of nations, Poland’s engineers were made privy to the DKW’s blueprints, leading to creation of the SHL M03 for adventurous comrades to ride. And, in a weird twist of fate, the little DKW even helped Yamaha of Japan enter the motorcycle market in 1955 with its YA-1. All this sharing makes you wonder: Had obscure countries like Iceland or Andorra expressed interest in supporting their own motorcycle industries, might they too have gained access to the DKW for their prototypes?

    In any case, as a reward for its role in supplying the Allied armed forces with more WLAs than Hitler and his gang could blow up, Harley-Davidson was awarded its own set of DKW blueprints. That was of particular importance for Harley because the Milwaukee-based company was in want of an affordable, low-maintenance model to attract entry-level riders (read: beginners, consisting mainly of young people) to dealerships. Thus was born the Model S-125 (although, depending on the source, the bike was also called the M-125, or simply the Model S or Model M).

    Moreover, the bike was rather successful in terms of overall sales, its 10,000 units sold in 1948 accounting for about one-third of all Harleys sold that year. But in his book Harley-Davidson: The American Motorcycle, author Allen Girdler suggests the Model S isn’t a success story. Rather, it’s “More like a fable complete with moral, which is that having a good idea isn’t always enough.” Simply, small bikes generally equate to small profits for the mother company. The big bucks then, as now, rested with the Big Twin models.

    Even so, the S-125 proved to be efficient and reliable enough for Harley to keep it, and later variations based on the original, in the lineup through 1966. That’s when Italian-made 2-stroke tiddlers such as the M-50 and Rapido replaced the German-based single in the model line during the Swinging Sixties.

    As 2-stroke designs go, Harley’s original DKW-based 125cc engine was based on the piston-port concept. A tiny carburetor fed pre-mix oil and gasoline that was stored in the peanut-shaped 1.75-gallon gas tank to a single intake port before the air/fuel mixture found its way into the crankcase as the piston began its upswing towards top dead center.
    The mixture patiently stirred around within the crankcase until pressure created by the piston’s downward thrust pushed the fresh charge up through the transfer ports and into the combustion chamber where ignition took place.
    As the piston returned on its down stroke the exhaust port became exposed so that the excess gases could exit, allowing the whole process to continue through another cycle by the crankshaft’s rotation. Bore and stroke measured 52mm x 58mm, displacing 125cc (7.6 cubic inches). Harley rated compression ratio at 6.6:1, and the sum total created a claimed 3 horsepower.

    Most sources quote Harley’s original acknowledged top speed for the S-125 at about 50-55mph, which is probably closer to being optimistic than accurate because Jim Davis, owner of our featured 1948 model, reports seeing 45 on his bike’s speedometer dial.

    Speaking of accuracy, by now some S-125 followers are wondering why the name Hummer hasn’t entered into the dialogue yet. After all, those Model S followers claim, the name for this bike is the Hummer. Not quite so: The Hummer moniker made its presence in 1955, and that bike was also known as the Model B, which itself was a down-sized version of the ST, which had an engine displacing 165cc based on an upscale variation of the original 125cc engine.

    Confusing? Not really.

    Been helping a Buddy restore a 48 S-125 ...
    Next time I'm over to his home I'll grab up some photos ..

    BTW ... That gas tank didn't get used on the Sportsters' until 1958 when the CH models appeared ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 49WR View Post
    To me they are the cleanest looking Harley and what is more iconic than the classic Sportster tank?
    ( Guess we need to thank the "Nazis' for that one .. !?! )

    https://youtu.be/QblkQ-J6zio
    Last edited by Dragstews; 06-25-2021 at 5:49 PM.

  12. #12
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    I've been riding Harleys since 1977, I have had many in one form or another over the years & have had a hell of a lot of fun on Ironhead Sportsters as well as with some evo sportsters,
    they all served a purpose & put bloody great grins on the faces of those riding them,
    but I believe that they in their basic modern form of the 883, from the factory, are under powered & vey old fashioned, relying on complex electronics to advance rather than any ground breaking chassis, engine or model design.
    with low performance levels & reliability if compared to most Japanese bikes of the same engine size.
    fit, finish & even their weight & the way they are labor intensive to work on. all contribute to them being well past their sell by date in a modern world.
    when you look at other company's who advanced their designs & who produced many and varied models that do all things needed in a bike, Harley have been lacking & way behind in the innovation stakes.
    they have not really advanced much since the 50's, just a little change here & there, just enough to keep peoples interest up, but very little real technological advancement.
    the factory have relied on brand Loyalty for far too long rather than an investment in technology, & model design
    Erik Buell was the best thing to happen to Harleys, his work on the Sportster, in Chassis development, Handling, power & breaking were fantastic & should never have been dumped in the way he was,
    to survive they must bring out a greater range of modern bikes, that fill all needs or specialize in one model only & greatly improve reliability & quality of finish & performance.
    even though I'll stick with my much loved Shovelhead & look back at the Sportster range with fondness, unless the 21st century is fully embraced sales will slump & the whole company will be at risk.
    now I may not like some of the things the factory are doing, like the electric bike thing, but it does show that they are working at things & if the Sporty has reached the end of the line, so be it, it needs to happen or the Name Harley Davidson will become a post note in the History books of Motorcycling.......
    Last edited by tzienlee; 06-25-2021 at 4:56 AM.

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    The Harley legacy is a blessing and a curse..

    On the blessing side, HD is one of the most recognized brands in the world. They have brand loyalty like no other company I have ever seen. Slavish devotion. It's uncanny. And in spite of offering what is (on the merits) an inferior product at a premium price.

    OTOH, they've got a name to protect and when Suzuki offers up a new bike, millions of people don't start screaming at the top of their lungs that they destroyed the "New Intruder" or weren't faithful to its heritage, or whatever.. People just judge the bike on its merits and they either like it or they do not.

    So, it's simpler for the competition.. But they don't have the fan base Harley has. I dunno that anyone ever purchased a $50 dollar t shirt because it said "Suzuki" on it?

    Their demo is aging out. Harley needs to change things up. But, I think the balancing act for them is not to change things up to the point they become so much like the competition, that there's no longer anything special about the Harley. So, why buy one?

    It's easy for me to talk shit from the pages of this forum. But their job is a difficult one. It's almost like writing sequels for "James Bond" "Star Wars" "Star Trek" or "Bat Man" You have a famous franchise to protect and if you make the right decisions it can run forever, and well ahead of its peers. All you have to do is not fuck up and crash it. Easier said than done, I'm sure.

    Toss in the regulatory environment on multiple continents. The economy at any given time. (Because Harleys are vanity purchases. Not basic transportation.) and the fanbois from every demographic and what they want, and what they SAY they want, but really don't... And that's a pretty tall order.

    I couldn't do it. I'm glad someone can.

    It would probably be easier to write the next "Bat Man" movie than navigate the minefield HD finds itself in, daily.
    Last edited by confab; 06-25-2021 at 9:33 AM.

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    PS: Maybe this will gin up interest in the older sportsters.

    I love the Ironhead and see people giving them away. I fully expect to walk into the Dollar Store some day and find a bargain bin filled with hem.

    I was just looking at that chopper from NY with the pentagram wheel last night, thinking what a great platform they are. And cheap.

    Maybe this will put a floor under sportster prices and prop them up a little?

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    Propping them up just makes buying them more hassle than otherwise.

    Ironheads sell low because of reasons we all know and the Evos sold well because they fixed those problems. Since overhauls cost big twin money but don't result in a big twin, the cheaper they sell for the better.

    They're like vintage British bikes in that they suck enough as functional motorcycles to keep off the casuals. Their cheap acquisition cost is their only positive so if that goes away no one wins. An Evo is still usually a better deal financially because most of those don't need a top end job, new electrical system, new chain and sprockets and often much, much more.

    Ironheads get kicked from owner to owner most of whom should not have bought one in the first place but did because it was a Harley. They're fun third or fourth HDs and make interesting projects though.

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    one big downside is what are now an affordable to all Sportster I fear will become a Hipster Must have at any cost & real bikers who want one will again be priced out of the market by those with big wallets & no idea, just like old Brit Bikes, gone are the days of getting a Triumph, BSA, Panther AJS or Norton etc for a few Hundred, I'd say buy good running Sportsters & sit on them if ya wanna have a valuable Pension plan....
    Last edited by tzienlee; 06-25-2021 at 12:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tzienlee View Post
    one big downside is what are now an affordable to all Sportster I fear will become a Hipster Must have at any cost & real bikers who want one will again be priced out of the market by those with big wallets & no idea, just like old Brit Bikes, gone are the days of getting a Triumph, BSA, Panther AS or Norton etc for a few Hundred, I'd say but good running Sportsters & sit on them if ya wanna have a valuable Pension plan....
    Fuck hipsters , watched them ruin the hotrod scene.

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    Hipsters kept the brand afloat the past decade. I haven't heard dick about the pan america being USA made, to me that says HD doesn't care about the core customer anymore--and I'll just run to Japan. On the flip side, at least they're finally designing what people want and seems to be working out great for them.

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    HDs core customers won't be riding in twenty years, we'll be dead our pissing our nappies in nursing homes wishing we were.

    There doesn't need to be a future for what future people do not want. The dedicated will ride and the rest don't matter. Young people won't give a fuck about Easy Rider any more than they do about brass era T Model Fords (which used to be much more expensive until the generations who grew up with them as vehicles died).

    For performance this is great. Less so for maintaining a vanishing social experience of a dead age when one needed to wrench to ride and that particular filter built biker culture. I'm no sad because it's ending, I'm glad I was there to enjoy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Less so for maintaining a vanishing social experience of a dead age when one needed to wrench to ride and that particular filter built biker culture. I'm no sad because it's ending, I'm glad I was there to enjoy it.
    I'll drink to that, well said.

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