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Wed, 09 May 2018

Riding the new Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special & Iron 1200 – what the press say

Plans are firmly in place for the eagerly awaited Sportster Weekend here at Bowker Harley-Davidson. Over the weekend of 12-13th May, we will be celebrating the reveal of two new Sportsters, the Forty-Eight Special® and Iron 1200™. Test rides of these two additions to the 2018 Sportster line up will be only part of this special event – all of our demonstrator Sportster motorcycles and more will be fuelled and warmed up ready for free test rides. From Street to Sportster to the new nine-model Softail range and the much admired Harley-Davidson® Touring motorcycles, there will be a Harley available to suit everyone.

Once again, Harley-Davidson has turned up the wick to produce two stunning new Sportsters that deliver performance in a chassis topped with authentic Harley styling reminiscent of the seventies. These classically styled motorcycles represent Freedom to Ride and deliver the care-free ride most folks can only dream about. Packed with modern technology and legendary Harley-Davidson Sportster easy-to-ride quality, is it no wonder so many Harley-Davidson owners started their Harley ownership journey with a Sportster.

You could take our word for it on how brilliant Sportsters are, or you could ask the thousands of today’s Sportster owners. You could also find out why the new Forty-Eight and Iron 1200 are going to be just as well received as Harley’s existing Sportsters by reading what the motorcycle media have to say about them…

Recently, over a two week period in the mountain regions of Croatia, motorcycle journalists from across the globe were riding the two new Sportsters in order to deliver their verdict on these magnificent rolling representatives of Harley heritage. First up for his words on the new Forty-Eight Special is Visordown’s Alan Dowds, who said about his ride:

“Then it’s back out towards the Adriatic and north to our hotel. We’ve calmed down a little, and are cruising along, as nature intends you should do on a Harley. There are some great tunes on my phone, playing through my Ultimate earphones, the sun is blazing down, and the breeze is just the right side of ‘too hot’. It’s time to sit back, enjoy the trademark Harley sound and watch Croatia passing by. Bliss.”

And after a similar riding experience on the Iron 1200, Mr Dowds topped it off with: “…if you’re a fan of the Milwaukee lifestyle, and are thinking about getting in on the deal, either of these new Sportsters will do a great job, for just under £10k.”

John Milbank of BikeSocial arrived in Croatia with a very open mind on riding the new Sportsters – by his own admission he hasn’t had big experience of our beloved American motorcycles. All the same, we get the impression he liked what he saw and rode.

“Okay, they all have a very similar style, but what do you expect of a machine powered by such an iconic V-twin motor. It’s all about the engine, and that goes a long way to setting the look.” Words of wisdom there from Mr Milbank, and there are more:

“Have you noticed how many people moan about all the electronics on bikes these days? Yet many of the same bunch hate Harleys. It’s hard to think of a more pure and unadulterated premium modern motorcycle than a Harley-Davidson; ABS is a legal requirement, but you won’t have to faff about with riding modes, traction control or any of that nonsense here. Fuel injection, yes, but it’s totally unobtrusive. A Harley is all about the ride, and there are no computers to dull that experience.”

You could read these next words from BikeSocial’s first ride experience and be happy with what you see. But there is a whole heap more of similarly balanced views in the review that could make you smile even more: “Personally, it’s the Forty Eight Special that does it for me. I’ve long been a fan of the ‘standard’ Forty Eight, but the higher bars just feel so much more, well, bad-ass. Cruising through the beautiful scenery of our Croatian launch, I couldn’t help thinking just how great all forms of biking are. When I get home I’ll enjoy going fast on my own KTM, but there’s definitely a Harley-Davidson-shaped space in my garage…”

MotorCycle News fired in its first ride report early in the day and its representative Jordan Gibbons covered most areas of the Forty-Eight Special, but went large on the Iron 1200: “The Iron 1200 has been ‘murdered out’, so everything that can be black is. In fact the only colour options are the tank, which is available in three different AMF-Harley-esque paint schemes that all look great (although the white is definitely the pick of the bunch). The Iron’s brooding looks are further enhanced by satin black mini-ape bars and a West Coast style ‘speed screen’. The fastback café single seat and nine-spoke wheels complete the look… If you’ve always fancied an Iron but wanted more go, then this is the bike you’ve been waiting for…”

To avoid the queues and not delay your chance to experience the new Forty-Eight Special and Iron 1200, or any of our fantastic Harley-Davidson motorcycles, please schedule ahead by visiting: test ride booking. Alternatively, call in to our Bowker Harley-Davidson dealership to arrange a test ride with our friendly staff. Remember: Sportster Weekend is 12-13th May. See you there.