Harley-Davidson hasn’t exactly held its cards close to the chest lately. Ever since the Motor Company played its hand by revealing the Pan America, Sportster S (Custom 1250), and LiveWire in 2018, we’ve been privy to the ace up the brand’s sleeve. So, when Harley officially released the 2021 Sportster S and teased the new variants to follow, we could see what was coming from a mile away.
Those sneak peeks only gave us a glimpse of a nacelle-wrapped round headlight and dual-shock rear setup, but it hinted at the new model’s direction. Unlike the Sportster S, which sports a pill-shaped headlamp and monoshock suspension, the upcoming Sportster variant would take a more conventional H-D route.
Most recently, Harley launched its Instruments of Expression campaign via Instagram along with the caption “The next chapter in the Sportster legacy begins 04.12.22.” In the video post, several insert shots give us a look at the upcoming model. However, a still photo posted on the Harley-Davidson website provides the most revealing view of the new Sportster.
In the image, we can see that the same dual-shock rear suspension and round headlight housed in a bikini fairing remains, but additional details also stand out. Up front, the USD fork that suspended the Sportster S is replaced with a conventional unit. On the other hand, the bar-end mirrors and front brake master cylinder carry over from the flagship Sportster.
In the rear, indicators mount to the bobbed fender, implying that the new Sporty won’t feature the same tire-hugging license plate hanger found on the Sportster S. The top-of-the-line Sportster also featured a high-mounted exhaust, but the new model’s outboard shock is mounted directly in the path of such a system. For that reason, a new side panel fills the void, but we can only speculate that Harley will equip the upcoming Sportster with different pipes.
While we can only draw so many details from the released images and videos, Harley will officially unveil the new Sportster in less than a week. By then, we should know whether the entry-level model earns the 1250 or 975 Revolution Max engine and just how much dough the MoCo will charge for it.