Perhaps no other manufacturer harnesses the power of its history better than Harley-Davidson. But more than being able to tap into the company history, Harley is equally in tune with the custom scene and unique builds its loyal fan base has pumped out over the years. The 2022 Low Rider and Low Rider ST are perfect examples of Harley blending its heritage with the custom scene, all while adding modern twists.
Both motorcycles share the same Softail platform, meaning you get hidden rear suspension and a more comfortable ride. That better ride is further bolstered by Harley (finally) adding a shock with a respectable amount of travel (for a cruiser anyway) – 4.4 inches! It’s the same one found on the Heritage Classic 114 and Fat Bob 114.
Style-wise, you get flashbacks of Harleys from the ’80s when looking at either of these bikes. The black and gold combination reminds us of a time when long, curly perms were all the rage. Fortunately for us, only one of those trends is making a comeback for 2022 (hint: not the hair). Then feast your gaze down to the wheels and the gold color adds a nice pop and contrast to the black features found mostly everywhere else. The round headlight on the S model, flanked by the minimal but obvious nacelle is a clear throwback, but look at the gas tank and you’ll see the font – including the drooped H in the name – is directly from the ’80s, too.
All of those style elements give way to the Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin living down below. The most powerful M8 engine to be fitted from the production line short of the CVO models, the 117ci (1923cc) air/oil cooled V-Twin boasts a healthy 125 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm for instant thrust the moment you twist the throttle. Horsepower numbers are actually down a little compared to the CVO and other ST models (more on those in a separate post), 103 hp at 4,750 rpm, but really, in the V-Twin world torque is what really counts anyway. Nonetheless, since there’s no such thing as too much power, the Screamin’ Eagle catalog is already full of options to make the M8 117 flex its muscle even more, if that’s your thing.
In the eyes of Harley-Davidson, the Low Rider S could easily be the everyday cruiser you’d choose if you want to be able to do a little bit of everything. Except maybe touring. For that, Harley brings you…
Sport-Touring isn’t a category you normally associate with Harley-Davidson, but maybe you should? At least that’s what the Low Rider ST wants you to think. Here you have the same basic structure found with the Low Rider S, but with a frame-mounted, FXRT-inspired fairing straight from 30 years ago. It wraps tight around the headlight and fork, and comes complete with ducts on each side – a true throwback.
Like the Lowrider S, the 4.4-inch rear suspension travel means the back end sits high so you can actually take a corner at a moderate pace. A different shock than the one used on the other Softail models gets you that extra travel and also a little better damping. To account for the higher position, the saddlebags are also high but packed close to the fender to give it a clean look. The bars sit high and the foot controls are mid-mounted, giving the rider a commanding yet comfortable perch to see the road ahead.
Both the Low Rider S and Low Rider ST are also distinguished by their single seat – another expression of how, sometimes, motorcycles are best enjoyed alone.
Further details about both bikes can be found in the official Harley-Davidson press releases below. Stay tuned for a First Ride review on them in the coming month.
Begin press release:
MILWAUKEE, WI (January 26, 2022) – Harley-Davidson injects exciting performance and adds versatility to its 2022 Cruiser motorcycle line-up with the introduction of the new Low Rider ST and more powerful Low Rider S models. Both motorcycles offer the taut handling performance of the Harley-Davidson Softail chassis and the V-Twin muscle of a Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain. The Low Rider S 117 model is an aggressive performance kingpin designed for the rider seeking unapologetic power. The new Low Rider ST model offers the versatility of hard bags and a fixed fairing. Both of these new models have a lean, performance-comes-first posture that defines West Coast custom style.
The Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin engine with precision oil/air cooling is the pinnacle of torque and displacement from a factory-installed, regular-production Harley-Davidson powertrain. This engine delivers outstanding performance and instant bragging rights on the street.
This is how Harley-Davidson does sport-touring, with style rooted in the California “tall bike” movement. The saddlebags ride high and tight, the rear suspension is jacked up, the handlebar is high, and the FXRT-inspired fairing is frame-mounted. The Low Rider ST model puts the rider in a commanding position on top of the bike, and the riding sensation is direct and reflexive. When the road trip is over, simply pop off the saddlebags to convert the Low Rider ST model from cross-country mode to urban performance cruiser.
“A key element of this model is the frame-mounted fairing, which has a shape inspired by the classic FXRT Sport Glide model fairing favored by West Coast customizers,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Design. “With a dominant central headlamp flanked by side vents, the genetic connection to the original FXRT remains familiar. The sharper creases and revised proportions in the Low Rider ST fairing provide a look that is intended to be modern, athletic and aerodynamically superior to the FXRT fairing. The raised fitment of the saddlebags high above the exhaust reinforces the performance of the model – the message being that these bags will not limit lean angle when the bike is pushed to the limit.”
The shape of the new frame-mounted fairing was developed through CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis and real-world testing. Triple fixed splitstream vents help limit rider head buffeting at highway speeds. A six-inch high windshield has a Dark Smoke tint, and the fairing holds a single 5.75-inch LED headlamp.
The lockable, rigid saddlebags feature a sleek clam-shell design that makes them easy to load and unload. The bags can be opened with one hand by a seated rider, and a damping device allows the saddlebag lids to open smoothly. The bags can be removed in seconds with an internal quick-release mechanism. Combined saddlebag capacity is 1.9 cubic feet (53.8 liters).
A deep solo seat helps hold riders in place during aggressive acceleration and cornering. A one-inch moto handlebar is mounted on four-inch pull-back risers while a low-profile textured-black console tops the five-gallon fuel tank. Instrumentation is presented by a compact digital display inset in the handlebar riser for a custom, “no gauges” look.
Ride and handling are enhanced by the chassis, optimized to reduce weight without sacrificing rigidity. The Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain is rigid-mounted in the frame to further enhance chassis stiffness. A 43mm inverted fork stiffens the front end for a responsive ride, and its single-cartridge internal technology keeps the front wheel planted for improved braking and handling performance. Fork rake is 28-degrees.
The Low Rider ST is equipped with a taller rear monoshock than the standard Softail chassis monoshock (1/2-inch more stroke, 1-inch more rear wheel travel, ¾-inch higher at the seat) which raises the rear of the motorcycle. This provides improved ride comfort and increases lean angle by more than one degree, which improves dynamic performance for enhanced ground clearance and improved rider confidence during aggressive cornering. Under-seat hydraulic pre-load adjustment allows the rider to maintain optimal suspension performance for the prevailing load and road conditions. Dual front brakes with 300mm discs deliver the responsive braking demanded by aggressive riders. Standard ABS (antilock braking system) provides confident braking performance when conditions are less than ideal. Premium Michelin Scorcher 31 tires (Front 110/90B19, Rear 180/70B16) enhance ride and handling performance. Other features include a Signature LED headlamp, bright LED tail/brake lamps and a USB charging port.
Rugged, blacked-out styling includes Wrinkle Black finish on the powertrain, primary cover, triple clamps, top clamp, rear fender supports and tank console; the derby cover, intake, lower rocker covers, and handlebar riser are Gloss Black. The handlebar is Satin Black. The forks are anodized black. Mufflers and exhaust shields are Jet Black. Radiate cast-aluminum wheels (19-inch front and 16-inch rear diameter) are finished in Matte Dark Bronze for an intriguing contrast to the motorcycle’s dark components.
Available Paint Colors: Vivid Black, Gunship Gray
The Low Rider ST model will be available at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships globally beginning in late March 2022.
The Low Rider S model is a cruiser designed for riders seeking unapologetic power and willing to push their bike to the limit. The Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain produces five percent more torque than Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine that powers the 2021 Low Rider S model, and gives its owner instant bragging rights. Premium suspension enhances the riding experience. Straight from the factory this bike bundles the big attitude of West Coast style and unrelenting performance previously only attainable with significant investment in accessories.
The 2022 Low Rider S model is equipped with a new handlebar-mounted combination analog tachometer/digital speedometer, which replaces the tank console instruments as seen on previous Low Rider S models. The handlebar location places the gauge closer to the rider’s line of sight. A low-profile textured black tank console with FXLRS badge now tops the fuel tank. Outstanding lighting performance is provided by a signature LED headlamp and LED tail/brake lights.
The same taller rear monoshock featured on the Low Rider ST model raises the rear of the Low Rider S model for improved ride comfort and 1.3 degrees more lean angle than the previous Low Rider S model for enhanced ground clearance and improved rider confidence during aggressive cornering. Under-seat hydraulic pre-load adjustment allows the rider to maintain optimal suspension performance for the prevailing load and road conditions. A 43mm inverted fork with single-cartridge internal technology stiffens the front end for a responsive ride and improved braking and handling performance. Fork rake is 28-degrees. Dual front brakes with 300mm discs deliver the responsive braking demanded by aggressive riders, with standard ABS (antilock braking system) for confident braking performance when conditions are less than ideal. Michelin Scorcher 31 tires enhance ride and handling.
Other features include these key West Coast styling elements: A one-inch diameter moto bar on four-inch tall risers, a deep solo seat, mid-mount foot controls, and a color-matched mini speed screen fairing that frames the headlamp and blocks the wind when chasing down the freeway. The powertrain, front end and exhaust are totally blacked out, with Radiate cast-aluminum wheels (19-inch front and 16-inch rear diameter) finished in Matte Dark Bronze to contrast the motorcycle’s dark components.
Available Paint Colors: Vivid Black, Gunship Gray
The Low Rider S model is available now at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships globally.
|2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S and ST Specifications|
|MSRP||Low Rider S: Starts at $18,349 |
Low Rider ST: Starts at $21,749
|Valves||Pushrod-operated, overhead valves|
|Bore||4.075 in. (103.5 mm)|
|Stroke||4.5 in. (114.3 mm)|
|Displacement||117 cu in (1,923 cc)|
|Horsepower||103 hp at 4750 rpm (claimed)|
|Torque||125 lb-ft. at 3500 rpm (claimed)|
|Fuel System||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)|
|Air Cleaner||Heavy Breather intake with synthetic media, washable exposed element|
|Exhaust||2-into-2 offset shotgun; catalyst in muffler|
|Lubrication System||Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler|
|Primary Drive||Chain, 34/46 ratio|
|Final Drive||Belt, 32/66 ratio|
|Clutch||Mechanical, 10 plate wet, assist & conventional|
|Transmission||6-Speed Cruise Drive|
|Frame||Mild steel, tubular frame; rectangular section backbone; stamped, cast, and forged junctions; MIG welded; aluminum forged fender supports|
|Swingarm||Mild steel, tubular sections, stamped x-member, forged axle junctions; MIG welded; removable belt spacer|
|Front Fork||Single cartridge 43 mm inverted with aluminum fork triple clamps; triple rate spring. 5.1 inches of travel.|
|Rear Shocks||Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock; 56 mm stroke; hydraulic preload adjustment. 4.4 inches of travel.|
|Front Wheel||Dark bronze, Radiate cast aluminum wheel|
|Rear Wheel||Dark bronze, Radiate cast aluminum wheel|
|Front Tire||Michelin Scorcher “31”, 110/90B19,62H,BW|
|Rear Tire||Michelin Scorcher “31”, 180/70B16,77H,BW|
|Front Brake||4-piston fixed front caliper; 300 mm disc|
|Rear Brake||2-piston floating rear caliper; 292 mm disc|
|Lean Angle||31.3° left and right|
|Fuel Economy||47 mpg (5 l/100 km) (claimed)|
|Lights (as per country regulation), Headlamp||All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp|
|Lights (as per country regulation), Tail/Stop||LED Zeppelin tail lamp|
|Lights (as per country regulation), Front Signal Lights||Incandescent bullet turn signals|
|Lights, Rear Turn Signals||Incandescent bullet turn signals|
|Gauges||4-inch analog tachometer with digital speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip and range indication|
|Electric Power Outlet||USB A-type; output 5V at 2.4A|
|Length||93.1 in. (2,365 mm)|
|Overall Width||34.3 in. (870 mm)|
|Overall Height||Low Rider S: 47 in. (1,195 mm) |
Low Rider ST: 51.2 in. (1,300 mm)
|Seat Height||Low Rider S: 28 in. (710 mm) |
Low Rider ST: 28.3 in. (720 mm)
|Ground Clearance||Low Rider S: 5.7 in. (145 mm) |
Low Rider ST: 5.9 in. (150 mm)
|Trail||5.7 in. (145 mm)|
|Wheelbase||63.6 in. (1,615 mm)|
|Fuel Capacity||5 gallon (18.9 l), 1 gallon reserve|
|Oil Capacity (w/filter)||5 qt. (4.7 l)|
|Curb Weight (Claimed)||Low Rider S: 679 lb. (308 kg) |
Low Rider ST: 721 lb. (327 kg)
|Warranty||24 months (unlimited mileage)|
|Service Interval||First 1,000 miles (1,600 km), every 5,000 miles (8,000 km) thereafter|
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