New Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom to quickly follow Pan America confirmed

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Just weeks after the surprise revelation that was the Pan America, Harley-Davidson have confirmed that the 1250 Custom will be arriving "very soon" and that it will have similar power and torque to the PanAm.

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When Harley-Davidson first announced the Pan America as part of their ‘More Roads’ programme, they said the intention was for the engine platform to be modular, allowing multiple bikes to be made with different displacements.

At the time they unveiled a 975 Streetfighter, which appears to have been shelved for the time being, and the 1250 Custom. Little has been said about the Custom until now, when as part of the Pan America reveal, Harley confirmed we won’t have long to wait.

"This is the start," said Jochen Zeitz, CEO of Harley. "We have great plans to expand on the Pan America. Lots of innovation waiting. This is just a launch into a whole new dimension."

Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom side

As Zeitz said this, new images were unveiled of a black 1250 Custom, which has advanced considerably since the first white model was shown nearly three years ago. It has a brand-new dash and switchgear direct from the Pan America, suggesting the unit will have many of the same functions such as smartphone connectivity, mapping and advanced electronics.

There’s a new radiator, mirrors, indictators, lights, footpegs and a frame sticker on the headstock, suggesting what we see here is pretty much the final form.

As well as the electronics the Custom sports the same stressed member engine as the Pan America, so we should expect lower weights than we’re used to with cruisers (nearer 200kg than 300kg) along with an extra serving of power. Top notch suspension from Showa and brakes from Brembo will complete the package.

"We plan to build on [the Pan America] platform going forward with a product that’s coming out very soon: the 1250 custom cruiser," said Alex Bozmoski, Chief Engineer for the PanAm. "It’s got a fistful of torque and power, just like the Pan America."

Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom rear

So how much power and torque can we expect? Well unless Harley want to challenge the Ducati Diavel, which is possible, we imagine they’ll change the tune on the 1250 Revolution Max engine to for less power and more torque.

Harley have chased big power on cruisers in the past with the V-Rod and we don’t foresee them retreading that path. Instead, we’d expect a power figure closer to 125bhp and a boost in torque from 94lb.ft to well over 100.

That would put the 1250 Custom in a good place to challenge bikes like the Indian Scout, or even the FTR1200 now that the Sportster platform is gone from the Harley range in Europe.

And what about the name? Well Harley recently reapplied for the Nightster name, which was previously used for the stripped back 1200 before they made the Iron. Sounds like a good fit to us.

Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom joins the Pan America in next year’s post-pandemic line up

First published on 9 December, 2020 by Jordan Gibbons

Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom

Harley-Davidson will release their new 1250 Custom model in 2021 – sharing a common engine platform with the upcoming Pan America adventure bike.

We’ve known the Pan America has been coming for some time but the 1250 Custom was missing presumed mothballed after the huge internal shake up at the Bar and Shield brand.

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When new CEO Jochen Zeits was installed earlier this year, just as the pandemic began to really bite, H-D quietly removed the Bronx streetfighter from their future models page.

The 1250 Custom was always planned to be the last of the three to be released and with no news about it until now, it was assumed it had gone the way of the Bronx.

The 1250 Custom couldn’t come at a better time for Harley. The company have struggled to attract newer riders for some time while competitors like the Indian Scout offer more modern and more powerful options, plus Honda’s 1100 Rebel is the new wolf at the door.

There has also been the looming threat of tightening emissions standards, which appear to have hammered the final nail into the Sportster coffin.

Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom rear

There’s very little info about the new model available but we do know it will be powered by Harley’s new water-cooled 1250cc 60-degree V-twin Revolution engine. Harley have already said the new engine produces ‘at least’ 145bhp and 90lb.ft of torque, although we imagine it will be retuned for less power and more torque in the Custom.

Harley have also said the new engine will be modular as the Bronx was originally slated to be 975cc, which could be perfect for an entry-level A2 compliant cruiser.

So when will we see it in UK dealers? The whispers are that Harley-Davidson are moving to a traditional ‘European style’ unveil cycle; expect the bike to be shown in full in November 2021, in dealers the following Spring.

The Pan America meanwhile is expected to get its full unveil soon, quite probably in the first few weeks of the New Year.

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.