We were tempted to be nervous when there was a teaser photo of a new Harley-Davidson about to be released. What would it be and would it answer many of the lingering questions. Don’t chase Indian and the FTR! That’s what we thought, it just wasn’t the way to go. Acknowledge the challenge but don’t be reactive. Lead don’t follow.
It was with a great sigh of relief that the new bike turned out to be a brand new Sportster. It has been a very long time coming but the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S pulls the iconic Harley-Davidson Sportster line firmly into the present from the vague no-man’s land of the past.
The Sportster S is unequivocably a modern bike. It has a slightly re-tuned version of the liquid cooled v-twin that finds a home on the Pan America.There are 120+ hp on tap, there is a substantial weight reduction over the old Sportsters (to go along with the huge boost in power) even though the Sportster S looks like a much larger bike due to the indomitable mass of the new engine, there are all sorts of electronic rider aids. These are all features that have come to be expected on a new bike – especially (although not limited) to those with over 100hp.
The styling is obviously on the flat track inspired side of things. The high pipes, the solo seat and there is even a mid mount kit for the foot controls to give the S an even sportier stance.
Yes it has been a long time coming but it is very good that it has finally arrived. The list price in Canada for the Sportster S is $17,999.
For a more in-depth story on the arrival of the new 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S and what it means see Canadian Biker Issue #355 on newsstands There will be a riding test in an upcoming issue.