Harley-Davidson Iron 1200. He’s So Alone
The Sportster family, to which the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 belongs, is a phenomenon in the modern world. While most manufacturers are chasing fashion, updating models once every seven years, our subject has already celebrated a half-century anniversary, without losing any relevance
To say that Sportster has not changed at all since 1957 is impossible – the designers played with the shape of the wings and the tank, experimented with lighting and the shape of the steering wheel, and the engineers tried to refresh the design. Any Harley-Davidson fan will tell how in the early 2000s he mourned the rejection of carburetors and how he worried about the appearance of “rubber” frames.
Then, under the auspices of improving comfort, the engine was excluded from the power structure of the chassis, securing it to the car, through the pillows. But if the changes, in spite of critics, made the model only more perfect, then they were only able to say goodbye to the image of the weakest and most affordable family: the appearance of Street took away all offensive nicknames from Sportster – “a motorcycle for girls” and “an entrance ticket to the Harley-Davidson world”. All this is no longer about him!
Oh, that nostalgia …
The Sportster family is the oldest in the Harley-Davidson model range, so the Iron 1200 can be safely called the last joy of a retrograde. The motorcycle does not seek to hide its age – a round headlight, a tank in the form of half a peanut, a low single seat and not too deep wings: in the 1980s it could have been lost in the parking lot by the roadside bar. Complementing the image of the graph on the tank, as if inspired by the livery of Soviet civil aviation. And how is it done! This is not a vinyl film or stenciled paint – the varnish is absolutely even and smooth. Painting motorcycles from Milwaukee traditionally remains out of competition, and no one can do it either.
Exactly what the year is in the yard, except that the LED lights integrated in the turn signals, and the absence of chrome. All mirror parts are replaced by black, matte and glossy. The bold move worked out on other models refreshes the look of the Iron 1200 and gives it brutality.
But if modern notes slip outside, then in the saddle there are no deviations from historical truth. Iron 1200 does not hesitate to name his age to the owner: the ergonomics of the driver’s seat, or rather, its absence, an unprepared person introduces into a stupor. Squeeze the tank with your knees? Forget it! On the right, the foot rests on the “pan” of the air filter, on the left it rubs the crankcase of the engine.
The reason is the footboards located too close to the pilot. Move them further and the problem will disappear, but in Milwaukee they decided to bend the pilot’s legs in the knee almost at right angles. It is much more convenient to put them forward, throwing shoes on additional rubber footboards, which are prudently fixed on optional arches. Grasping the high steering wheel, straightening his back and straightening his shoulders, he is able to find a comfortable position.
When the soul sings
Our advice: on this motorcycle, choose the roads evenly – incredibly short-stroke suspensions, a tribute to the low landing and spectacular silhouette clearly illustrate the well-known phrase: “Beauty requires sacrifice.” Even the joints of the asphalt are felt, and on artificial bumps it is better to stick on the steps, even if the speed is low. The modest ground clearance also reminds of itself during maneuvers – do not tilt the Iron 1200 deep into a turn, the rattle of the footboards reminds: the limit is coming soon!
The same applies to brakes – for half a century, “drums” have given way to disk mechanisms, but they are not affected by efficiency either. The only “floating” Brembo two-piston bracket hardly upsets the 256-pound car, and the rear gear is enough up close. For effective deceleration, the lever and pedal have to be pressed hard, from time to time, feeling the chatter of the standard ABS.
It seems that unnecessarily grabbing brakes on a classic motorcycle is useless. But so far the green sector has not “flourished” at the traffic lights. Only 67 “horses”, but what thoroughbred! A juicy blow when you turn on the “first” – a characteristic feature of all “Harley”, a tight gearshift lever, vigorous pulsations of a long-stroke V-twin and a noble exhaust rumbling. Sportster can not be confused with anyone!
Yes, today they don’t do that anymore – a dry crankcase lubrication system, air cooling, a lower camshaft, pusher rods … All that distinguishes the 2019 Evolution 1202 cc engine from the 1989 model is a simple single-throttle injection that replaced the carburetor under environmental pressure. Moreover, if not for the “green”, he would not have appeared. Why change the perfect unit?
The dynamics are impressive. Thanks 96 Nm – 180 km / h on the analog dial of the speedometer do not keep you waiting. Air, ignoring the tiny fairing bikini, presses on the chest, the grassroots motor tears to the limit, trying to add a couple more points to the record …
Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 does not obey the laws of logic! Guided by them, he would have stood in a museum for a long time, and would not sparkle in the windows of dealers, remaining the object of desire of thousands of world motorcyclists. Without a doubt, today it is Sportster that occupies a place of honor of the most authentic unit