2008/13 Har­ley-david­son XR1200

Har­ley’s Euro­pean at­tack that fell flat

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

What we said then “The XR1200 per­forms and han­dles bet­ter than any Har­ley be­fore!” What hap­pened next In­spired in its looks by the leg­endary XR750 flat track racer, the XR1200 was a ma­chine de­manded and in­spired by the Euro­pean mar­ket. De­spite be­ing built to ap­peal to Euro­pean tastes, and hav­ing its own ac­com­pa­ny­ing race se­ries, the sporti­est ever Har­ley failed to make any im­pact in the sales charts. What’s hap­pen­ing now With the cur­rent retro-in­spired mar­ket the XR1200 is un­be­liev­ably in de­mand. In fact, find­ing a used one for sale is quite a chal­lenge and if you do lo­cate one, it’s go­ing to cost you a pretty penny. It ticks all the fash­ion­pleas­ing boxes – flat tracker styling, fa­mous brand name on the tank, air-cooled mo­tor – in fact all it is miss­ing is its own beard and sleeve of tat­toos! Those who snapped them up for £4000, which was their rock-bot­tom price, must be laugh­ing. How does it ride? The Sport­ster mo­tor cer­tainly isn’t the fastest lump out there, but with loud pipes al­low­ing it to ex­press it­self fully it is a thing of great joy. Even if the gear­box is hor­ri­bly agri­cul­tural. But on the XR it is the han­dling that re­ally makes you smile.

The 17in rear and 18in front wheel, in­verted forks and unique chas­sis, man­age to make this 250kg bike sur­pris­ingly good in bends. You can hus­tle the XR and en­joy its cor­ner­ing abil­ity while also be­ing able to

stop thanks to a good twin front disc set-up. The XR re­minds you of the MT-01 – also on this list. Ex­cept the Har­ley has more spirit and looks great thanks to its flat track styling and Har­ley rac­ing or­ange colour. What to look out for The XR1200 was joined in the model range by the XR1200X in 2010, which came with up­rated fully-ad­justable Showa Big Pis­ton Front forks, pig­gy­back shocks and black ex­hausts and was only sold in black. When it comes to buy­ing a used XR, a full ser­vice his­tory is al­ways a good sign, mainly so you can check it has never been near a race track! On any Har­ley con­di­tion is key.

SPECS

O Price From £5000 to £7500 O En­gine 1202cc air-cooled 4v V-twin O Power 90bhp @ 7000rpm O Torque 74ftlb @ 3700rpm O Weight 250kg

‘Hus­tle the XR and en­joy its cor­ner­ing’

abil­i­ty­good sur­pris­ingly in bends and a spir­ited per­former

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