December 15, 2021

Harley-Davidson Sportster S | First Look

Harley-Davidson Sportster S | First Look

The Sportster S is the second bike from Harley-Davidson to feature the Revolution Max Engine. A 1250cc, 90-degree V-twin, Water-cooled and fully electrically controlled engine with Variable Valve Timing, and a stack of other cool stuff.
The first bike this engine featured on was H-D's first foray into the world of Adventure/Touring, the Pan America, and it impressed us, so we cant wait to see what H-D has in store for the Sportster S.

Firstly, they have kind of "retuned" the engine with a number of different parts, including smaller intake and exhaust valves, with the aim of bringing the power further down the rev range. The result is that the RevMax 1250T as they have named it, reaches peak power 700rpm earlier or lower in the rev range than the Pan America. There is a water-cooled oil cooler, allowing to maintain engine oil temp in cold or hot climates.
The new Rev Max 1250T engine has the same bore and stroke as the old V-Rod, but this one has a 30 degree offset crankpin, allowing a 90-degree firing order. making the power delivery smoother in higher revs. The engine is also quite smart, equipped with knock sensors to sense if there is lower grade fuel and adjust accordingly. H-D recommends the bike be run on 98 NZ pump gas.

The Gearbox is a 6-speed unit with slip assist clutch. Exhaust is a high-mount flat track style 2 into 1 into 2. The service intervals look to be reasonable, with the first service at 1600k, then every 8000k after that.

Sitting on a 17-inch front rim, 160mm wide and 16 inch rear, 118mm wide, You notice the fat tyres and it works to give the Sportster S a low, muscly, aggressive look. Though we are assured with 34 degrees of lean angle, the bike is still reasonably nimble.

Everything on the bike has been designed with lightweight in mind, the engine is a stressed member of the frame, meaning there are some good weight savings. The pegs are still in the forward position, staying true to the Sportster's heritage and the whole thing is sucked in and tight, very compact and thin, with loads of legroom. It's like they have put the old bike in a vacuum packer and sucked out all the air and space.
The seat is 750mm off the ground. suspension is by Showa, with 92mm travel upfront from the inverted forks, and 37mm travel down back. The bike is hauled up by a single 4 Pot 32mm Brembo caliper up front and a single pot  Brembo down back. OEM rubber is by Dunlop, the Sportster S comes with GT503 tyres on lightweight cast alloy wheels.

As with the Pan America, the Sportster S is high tech with 5 Rider modes, Road, Sport, Rain, and 2x Custom modes, but as you might expect, no off-road modes. Also included in the electronics package are cornering ABS and TC, cornering enhanced drag slip control, and a Tire pressure monitoring system.
Everything is controllable using the switchgear, and displayed on a round TFT non-touch sensitive display. You can invert the colours scheme for bright days or night mode.
As you would expect, you can pair your smartphone to the bike and use the controls to switch music, take calls, etc, as well as turn by turn navigation through the H-D app

The Harley-Davidson Sportster S is looking like one hell of a bike, and we can't wait to ride it!