Friday, January 7, 2011

Harley-Davidson XR1200X

All of this is to remind you that you aren't getting a serious V-twin sport bike - you're Rake is out at a leisurely 29 degrees (four degrees more than a Tuono) and the wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than said Tuono. Creaking the scales at a claimed 573 pounds wet (about 150 pounds more than an Aprilia Tuono, another V-twin upright naked sport bike), the XR1200X is a big, heavy motorcycle. Having said that, the 2011 XR 1200 X is certainly an enjoyable motorcycle, if you're willing to live and ride within its means.

It straddles the old and the new, with wide flattrack-style bars and a 1200cc pushrod air-cooled Evolution motor to match Showa Big Piston Forks and downdraft Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), making the XR1200X undeniably an anachronism. However, don't get the idea that the Sportster XR1200X is a modern upright sportbike. With Buell gone, Harley has turned to the XR1200X to fill the gap, and promotes the nine-round AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines XR1200 Series with a $45,000 contingency fund. Enter the 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X, an up-rated XR1200 that now features adjustable suspension, along with a blacked-out powertrain and exhaust, revised tank graphics, and black wheels with an orange rim pinstripe.

Buell Motorcycle tried to leverage the Harley-Davidson sporting heritage, but the innovative sport bikes never grabbed the public's imagination the way Harley-Davidson might have envisioned. While Harley-Davidson has had factory race teams from 1914 to the present, the number of truly sporting Harley-Davidson motorcycles has been very limited in recent decades.


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