The ergonomics are roomier than you expect thanks to the roomy riding position provided by its high bars and forward, highway pegs. At the same time it drives and handles well enough, too. The combo of skinny 21-inch front hoop and low rear somehow isn’t too skitish – more light and manageable. The forks are basic, but don’t seem it and the shortened shocks give a crud-ish ride, but it’s nothing to complain about.
Small block 1200 is unchanged from other Harley-Davidson Sportsters and familiarly free-revving and friendly – easy to get on with, just about punchy enough and willing, too – just don’t expect ‘conventional 1200’ levels of performance…
Quality is up to Harley’s usual high standards with deep paint and chrome and rugged build oh, and by the way, that stunning ‘big flake’ metallic red paint is gorgeous in the flesh and set to be rolled out through Harley’s range. We can’t wait.
OK, the ‘72’s no long haul bike and it’s also, still, a tad ‘girly’. But overall the ’72 is fresh, sparklingly pretty, well-equipped and detailed as standard, has plenty of sweet touches and a decent ride at a tempting price that’ll appeal to a broader range of riders than expected.
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The specific inspiriation is choppers of the ‘60s and ‘70s. A key element is the ‘peanut’ 2.2 gallon tank (filched from the Sportster 48). After that is mostly predictable ingredients: a 21-inch, ‘skinny’ front tyre, lowered rear end, high bars and lots of chrome. But where Harley’s pulled it off for me is by going the extra yard with the details: the sexy white walls, the circular air filter cover (which reminds of Harley’s big twins of the ‘80s), the fab graphics and logos and, the masterstroke, the ‘big flake’ chunky metalflake paint.