Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson restarts Sportster series, with the 2022 Sportster S

Harley-Davidson restarts Sport...
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be available in three colors; black, crimson and white
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be available in three colors; black, crimson and white
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Harley-Davidson has introduced the powerful and highly evolved 2022 Sportster S
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Harley-Davidson has introduced the powerful and highly evolved 2022 Sportster S
The flat-track styled exhausts of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S look nice, hopefully they won't bake the rider's right leg
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The flat-track styled exhausts of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S look nice, hopefully they won't bake the rider's right leg
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be available in three colors; black, crimson and white
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The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be available in three colors; black, crimson and white
The four-inch TFT display of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S hosts the bike's typical instrumentation, plus a Bluetooth infotainment system
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The four-inch TFT display of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S hosts the bike's typical instrumentation, plus a Bluetooth infotainment system
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is stronger and sportier than ever before
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The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is stronger and sportier than ever before
The TFT screen of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is controlled via buttons on both sides of the handlebars
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The TFT screen of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is controlled via buttons on both sides of the handlebars
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It's time to meet the reborn Sportster. The longest-running model in Harley-Davidson’s lineup has taken a sharp turn towards sports performance, fuelled by a 121-hp version of the liquid-cooled Revolution Max V-Twin and a host of modern electronics.

The Sportster family has been around since 1957, long enough to spawn dozens of variants and, crucially, offer a gateway to Harley-Davidson’s world as the most affordable series of the lot. The Street 500 and 750 models took over the lower end of the company’s price range for a few years. These were recently discontinued, and the 2022 Sportster S hardly fits the bill as an affordable entry-level bike.

Harley-Davidson decided to effectively reinvent the Sportster by transforming it into a far sportier and more powerful motorcycle, starting with fresh aggressive looks. In this process, the new Sportster S became the second model to employ the services of the Revolution Max 1250T motor after the Pan America adventurer.

Turning to a liquid-cooled power unit is unavoidable for any manufacturer who seeks sporty performance, especially in the constrictive Euro-5 environment that spelled the end of the previous generation’s Evolution 883 and 1200 motors in Europe. If Harley-Davidson wants to bring back the Sport to the Sportster, a high-revving motor such as the Revolution Max with its 9,500-rpm ceiling is essential.

The flat-track styled exhausts of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S look nice, hopefully they won't bake the rider's right leg
The flat-track styled exhausts of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S look nice, hopefully they won't bake the rider's right leg

Compared to the Pan America application, the engine comes with several changes designed for more midrange torque. These include smaller valves and ports, a different combustion chamber shape and matching new pistons, new velocity stacks, different camshaft profiles and appropriate tuning of the Variable Valve Timing system.

According to Harley-Davidson, this adaptation produces 121 hp at 7,500 rpm. This is considerably lower than the Pan America’s 150 hp, yet is powerful enough to label the new model as the most potent Sportster ever – and is certainly more than sufficient for any naked bike.

As for the torque output, its peak value stands at 127 Nm (94 lb-ft) at just 6,000 rpm, gaining up to 10 percent between 3,000 and 6,000 rpm over Pan America’s tuning.

The Sportster S is literally built around its V-Twin, as the motor acts as the central pillar for three frame elements that are bolted on its cases – a design selected mainly for weight reduction.

Tipping the scales at 228 kg (502 lb) in running order, the new Sportster displays a considerable advantage over previous 1,200 cc models that would usually weigh around 250 kg (551 lb). In fact, the 2022 model comes up lighter despite carrying a lot more electronic equipment, the liquid cooling system, bigger brakes and a heftier front suspension.

The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is stronger and sportier than ever before
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is stronger and sportier than ever before

It’s all about the sporty disposition that Harley-Davidson claims for the new Sportster S ... or, as Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design Brad Richards puts it, "This is a wolf in wolf’s clothing."

The new engine has all the necessary power to support such claims, supported by vastly upgraded suspensions and brakes. Up front there’s a pair of Showa inverted forks and at the rear a Showa piggyback monoshock, with both kits offering full adjustability.

Brembo handles the braking part, with a single 320-mm-wide disk and a four-piston radial monoblock caliper at the front. This setup does seem a bit unexpected though, given that a 228-kg, 121-hp bike can carry enough momentum to put the front braking system under serious stress. Brembo can certainly build a caliper with enough muscle to stop just about anything, but it would probably lack the linear, progressive smoothness we’d expect from a twin disc setup.

Another first for the new Sportster S is the electronic safety equipment that it carries, stemming from the Pan America model. It includes pretty much everything a contemporary sportbike would feature, directed by an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that endows the electronics’ suite with cornering precision.

The TFT screen of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is controlled via buttons on both sides of the handlebars
The TFT screen of the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is controlled via buttons on both sides of the handlebars

The Cornering Rider Safety Enhancement kit includes the C-ABS system, traction control (C-TCS) and drag-torque slip control system (C-DSCS); the latter supports the C-TCS in avoiding rear-wheel lock during deceleration caused by downshifts or by closing the throttle on a slippery surface.

The performance characteristics of the Sportster S can be adjusted via five ride modes, each of which tunes accordingly the engine’s power delivery and throttle response, as well as engine braking, C-TCS and C-ABS. Apart from the typical Road, Sport and Rain preset modes, the Sportster S features two Custom modes that the rider can cook up to their personal taste, save and engage at will.

The modernization process is complemented with a round TFT color screen that can somehow fit the bike’s full instrumentation and a Bluetooth infotainment system within its 4-inch diameter.

The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is expected to hit showrooms around the world this autumn (Northern Hemisphere), with pricing in the US starting at $14,999.

Source: Harley-Davidson

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13 comments
13 comments
guzmanchinky
Seems perfect. I'm really impressed where HD is going with these new models. Twin discs up front is a must, though...
Imran Sheikh
HD seriously need to redesign the exhaust. Its looking really ugly and fake(toy like).
P.S - Solution - either you slim the pipes down or flatten it, but it should not take that much area when you see it from the right view.
David V
I have the Panam. Same engine basically so I guess you could get more hp out of this one.
I love this bike though. Great styling. You mention possible leg burns. Well the Panam runs very hot. On the right side the exhaust is really close to the leg and wearing just jeans, you really fell the heat. Curiously I have more trouble on the left side from the rear cylinder. So hot in hot weather and just jeans that my left leg had red heat marks on it. Maybe it's not the same on this Sportster. The engine on the Panam is fantastic though and I can imagine for this bike it will be perfect. Hope the sound is meatier. Same discs up front as the Panam. Boy, they stop you.
Looking forward to trying one next year ! And totally praising the way forward for HD.
Tom Jahn
15k for a sportster? That will be a tough pill to swallow. Everyone knows how judgemental HD owners are as a e looks like it
ChairmanLMAO
Show me a bike with no rear fender and I'll show you a designer that never rides in the rain.
Worzel
Over weight, over priced, and over the top!
TomWatson
I agree the exhaust looks like a freakin dirt bike. Sissy looking and not Bad Ass like a Harley is supposed to look. Not Me!!! Shame, love the Sporster size as a lighter alternative.
jrhanek
Imran- No kidding! My Thought exactly!
Bill S.
Never giving up my 2000 Deuce.
Carbs and no burnt legs.
Grunchy
I ride a Harly Davinson, myself.
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