It’ll only be a few more hours before Harley-Davidson makes the next-generation Sportster a part of the lineup. The brand has been fielding teaser after teaser without much detail, save for a few photos, but new evidence confirms that there will be a “Revolution” in the lineup’s powertrain.
It was previously speculated that Harley-Davidson could use a smaller-displacement version of the Sportster S’ Revolution Max 1250T engine. Signs pointed to a bike with a less performance-oriented focus, since teasers showed a single front disc brake, a telescopic front fork, and twin rear shocks. Expect the new sportster model to unveil by April 12, 2022, until then, all we have are photos and quotes dreamed up by the marketing minds at H-D.
Now, however, there is evidence to back up the claim. Motorcycle.com managed to unearth some pretty compelling evidence that suggests that Harley-Davidson downsized a Revolution Max engine to 975ccs which is highlighted in an official product listing, not for the bike itself but for billet aluminum mirrors. To top it off, the product page for these mirrors is published on Harley-Davidson’s site under the name “Wild One Mirrors.” Did Harley-Davidson slip up prior to the launch?
The product page details that the new mirrors will “[fit] ‘21-later Revolution Max engine-equipped models (RH975 and RH1250S models” and “require separate purchase of Handlebar End Cap,” now my first question is why didn’t Harley just bundle the kit together in the first place? Kidding aside, the evidence unearthed is pretty conclusive about the engine thanks to the “RH975” product code.
“S” for Harley-Davidson stands for a model that has a bigger focus on performance, so this new 975 version is something that’s a little less serious indicating that the model will fill in a gap between the sub-liter Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the rest of the bigger bikes in the lineup. Models like the Iron 883 have already been discontinued in Europe, leaving H-D without an entry-level bike. Perhaps the new RH975 is the solution to that.
Harley-Davidson also trademarked some names over the last few years, according to Motorcycle.com, like “Nightster,” and “48X,” and of the two the Harley-Davidson Nightster seems like a pretty viable candidate for the official model name.
We just have to wait one more day before the new Nightster/48X Sportster will break cover. Pricing is still unknown at this point but given the Sportster S’s $15,499 USD tag, we certainly hope that H-D will make its 975cc version a good chunk of change cheaper than the top-spec model.