Just as the American auto industry is wheezing out it’s death rattle, the American motorcycle industry is taking steps toward positive change. Maybe they saw how GM’s failure to adapt with the times caused their downfall, who knows, whatever the reason, they’ve finally decided to sell the XR1200 sportster here in the US.
The bike has been available in Europe for a while now and the rumor is that 750 XR1200s will be set aside for sale in the US. Of course, there’s no formal word from HD headquarters yet concerning the US launch, but a quick call around to some friends at a local NJ Harley dealership confirmed that they will have some XR1200’s in stock by February of 2009. Price should be $11,179, but other than that, all we have are rumors. Check them out:
Stylistically, motorcycles are re-living the 1970s right now. Naked cafe racer style bikes are huge, every manufacturer has some classic replica or naked bike. One of Ducati’s top selling lines is the SportClassic line. And Harley is following in those footsteps with the XR1200, which is the spiritual successor of the 1970s flat track XR750. The XR1200 is HD’s most performance-oriented bike this year, and it’s about as close to a true sportsbike that Harley has come in a very long time.
The XR1200 uses the air-cooled 1200cc Sportster engine, but the chassis is actually able to manuever like a real bike, somethine that younger riders in the States want. Modern riders want more agile bikes and Harley’s straight line cruisers of old just aren’t cutting it anymore. Hopefully this bike will rejuvenate Harley Davidson’s sales, capture a new niche of riders, and take the company in a new direction of profitability.