Harley-Davidson adds Roadster to Sportster line
Seeking to capitalize on the urban custom movement sweeping the street bike scene, Harley-Davidson has added a new Sportster-style motorcycle to its lineup.
The Roadster, a 1200-cc V-Twin, features new suspension, drag-style handlebars and a chopped rear fender. Harley says this new addition to its Dark Custom division is designed in a “garage-built custom style” meant to evoke a 1960s spirit.
“The Roadster is a mash-up of styling genres, but the intent was to build a rider’s motorcycle, a Sportster that’s lean and powerful and connects the rider to the road,” the company’s director of styling, Brad Richards, said in announcing the new bike,
Harley, which with around 50 percent of all heavyweight U.S. motorcycle sales is by far the industry leader, has made several new bike announcements recently. They are part of the massive motorcycle company’s stated plan to broaden its reach beyond its loyal but aging traditional customer, and to find new riders in women, Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans.
This more urban-looking bike is aimed right at them. Sitting relatively low at 30 inches, and at a relatively light 568 pounds, the Roadster’s lowered bars, blacked-out power train and cast aluminum wheels — 19-inch front and 18-inch rear — are meant to appeal to a city rider who wants to look good blasting to the local bar or cafe.
The bike will include custom graphics and will come in solid colors Vivid Black, Black Denim, Velocity Red Sunglow, and in a Billet Silver/Vivid Black two-tone with a Burgundy pinstripe. ABS is not stock, but can be had as an option.
The Roadsters will start at $11,199 — a little above the Sportster starting MSRP of $10,899, about the same as the Forty-Eight, and a little below the Superlow’s $11,799.
The Roadster is the company’s second big reveal in the last two months. In early March Harley unveiled its new Low Rider S, another urban street rocket aimed squarely at the non-traditional rider.
That “tall bike”-style machine has a starting retail price of $16,699.