Harley Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster
The Harley Davidson Iron 883 has for the longest time been a firm favourite in our books, mainly for its looks and affordability. Everything about the 883 seems perfect except for its engine displacement. Honestly speaking 883cc's will only do so much on the road, beyond which the playground is owned by bigger and more powerful bikes. Fortunately, HD came to the same realisation and responded by introducing the Iron 1200 Sportster - a reasonably priced motorcycle with a larger motor. What sets the two motorcycles apart, besides the larger capacity Evolution 1200cc engine on the bigger Iron, is aesthetics. The Iron 1200 comes with Mini Ape Hangers, which are a standout feature in the slim Harley. They add flair and street cred to the bike, which are important elements on almost any motorcycle but especially a cruiser.
As we've mentioned, looks do play a significant role in this segment, that alongside comfort. The Mini Ape Hangers get the thumbs up as well as the keyless start function. This feature is particularly important in the event your key fob is damaged or somehow gets misplaced - you can still find your way home. It works by inputting a 5 digit code into the tiny screen beneath the speedometer, and viola!
The engineered engine vibration can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re used to more “docile” versions of engines. Having said that, it is said that there are folk out there who have a fetish for that sort of thing. Each to their own.
On the road, the bigger motor on this Iron requires some stoking and coercing to get the most out of it, but the price for that is more frequent visits to the fuel pumps, which is equally as unpleasant,
Stopping power is a term that does not exist here, the front brake has a feeble bite and does a poor job of stopping the bike when carrying speed.
The Iron 1200 Sportster is a very simple bike but not the most reliable tool in the shed. During my tenure with the bike, I had a complete shutdown of all systems (engine included) during a spirited run on the highway. This occurred after taking a tight gap and accelerating hard to outrun the fast-approaching car from behind. This is a well-known issue which the brand knows about but hasn't done anything to remedy. It has something to do with the sudden surge of fuel from a fistful of throttle, overwhelming the bike's system and causing it to shut down.