The Brain Bucket

The New Harley Sportsters: Hit or Miss?

Feb 23, 2018 2:20:15 PM / by Cam

Will the 2018 Harley Sportsters Miss the Mark?

Well, as if Harley Davidson’s name hasn’t been frequenting the bike industry news enough with its electric bike release and motorcycle recall, there’s more coming out through the doors of Harley. Harley announced on Wednesday the launch of two new 2018 sportsters for significantly lower prices that a lot of other bikes in their family.


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There are two primary reasons that have both selections of people a little upset or unimpressed with the news. The current Harley fan base don’t know how to feel about these new bikes. There have been members of the Harley family saying that these two bikes don’t seem to meet the quality level that is expected of the old-fashioned Harley brand. Fans have verbalized the difficulties that could be involved in riding this bike, primarily if it’s aimed for millennials, as many express it’s not exactly the ideal ‘beginner’ bike that one would need.

But when it comes to the looks of these two bikes, original, classic Harley Davidson fans are not at all pleased. While some like that it adds a pop of color and character to both bikes, it seems that more riders think that it doesn’t look like a visual appearance decision Harley would make. The worst that’s been said about the tank? The tank makes it look like a ‘cheap, knock-off of the original Harley standard.’ The Harley branded logo across both bike tanks just doesn’t look like a Harley branding at all. To say that these two bikes haven’t made the best ‘first impressions’ might just be the understatement of the century.

The millennials' reaction to these two new additions? Similar to the reaction of current Harley lovers, but for different reasons. When it comes to why millennials aren’t riding a motorcycle, there’s a variety of reasons. But one of the main reasons behind their reluctance? Money. When it comes to the differences between what is within millennials means now, versus what was possible for their parents, it’s a huge difference. There are more millennials attending college when compared to the college attendance rate of the baby boomer generation, and that means more millennials have student loans under their belt.

Because of this, they have different financial limitations than what their parents have. Now, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the means to buy a bike. It just means that they have a different price threshold than the prior generation. And when it comes down to it, while $9,999 and $11,299 is a pretty solid price, the reality is that there’s still just as solid of bike options for cheaper. And that means the price drop Harley tried to achieve still doesn't have the effect they’re hoping for.

When it comes down to it, some bikes come from Royal Enfield that are much cheaper and can still compete. Sure, you’ll have to pay the price for having it shipped from overseas, but the prices combined to ship and buy are still cheaper than the lowest cost of these new additions. Millennials will ride, but they’re going to pick the brand they feel will provide them with the best bang for their buck. And because of the competition that exists out there, it makes it difficult for the millennials to justify the buy, especially when you can get a similar Indian or Honda that might function better, sticks with its brand roots, all while being $2,000 to $4,000 less.

We can appreciate what Harley is trying to accomplish here, and we love it when one of our favorite brands throws some new bike options at us. But we still want the brand to stay true to itself and its roots, and while there are some qualities of this bike that do that, it just doesn’t feel genuinely ‘Harley’ to a lot of people.

Here’s a look at the two new bikes Harley will be driving out your way:

The Iron 1200: 

This bike is the lower priced option at $9,999, which is a great deal less expensive than a majority of its Harley counterparts. When it comes to the rest of the Roadster models, it’s the least expensive option available. It has an increased torque output by 36 percent and is almost entirely blacked out, except for some occasional chrome accents. And, obviously, there’s the blue branded gas tank that has raised so many eyebrows. It sports a front 19-inch wheel and 16-inch rear wheel, so we’re hoping for that and the engine combination to ensure some smooth riding.


The Forty-Eight Special: 

This bike rings in at $11,299, which is still a solid price that most of us can get on board with. It has a nice, strong front head that kicks the visual appeal into gear. But when you compare it to the Iron 1200, this bike has a bigger appreciation for chrome, which is obvious with the lower half of the bike, and we’re a fan of the look. It has a solid fuel tank at 8.2 liters, which means you won’t have to be rushing to fill up and you can enjoy some longer drives, as long as the riding position ends up comfortable. But, yet again, the look of the tank isn’t getting a lot of love.

Even though it’s Harley, we get that these bikes might not have the function or visual appeal you’re looking for. Lucky for you, we have some awesome options. You might not be rushing out to purchase these two, but if you’re a Harley lover looking for the best place to sell a motorcycle or sell motorcycle for cash, we’re the answer. You can sell my motorcycle now for a great upgrade that catches your eye, or to put some extra cash in your wallet.


What do you think of these new bikes? Comment down below and let us know your thoughts!   


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Topics: Articles, Motorcycles, The Brain Bucket


Written by Cam

I'm new to riding, and I'm here to tell everyone about it! Follow my articles on advice for new motorcycle riders and overviews of some of the most popular motorcycles on the road.