As we reported last month, Honda is introducing a new bagger version of the Rebel 1100. The 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T adds a fork-mounted fairing and color-matched hard panniers. For the U.S., the bagger model will only be offered with DCT, while some markets may offer a manual transmission option.
Harley-Davidson unveiled the latest member of its Icons Collection with a devilish take on the Low Rider ST. Limited to a production run of just 1,500 models, the 2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider El Diablo introduces a custom red paint job and a factory-installed Rockford Fosgate audio system for a price of $27,999.
The Sportster hasn’t been all that sporty for some time now – that is aside from the 2021 Sportster S that the Nightster shares more than a handful of tricks with. It’s been 65 years since Harley-Davidson introduced the Sportster as America’s answer to the British invasion of bikes that had begun to increase in popularity Stateside around that time. Back then, folks used their motorcycles for everything – drags, trials, enduros, scrambles, hare and hounds, road runs, and Sunday cruising. You could do it all on a Harley according to the 1958 ad for the Sportster CH and C models below. The market wasn’t so segmented.
Perhaps what I love the most about the English language is its flexibility, how you can bump disparate words together and create something with an entirely new meaning. When it comes to motorcycles, the words sport and touring bring to mind two very different kinds of motorcycles. Sporting motorcycles place an emphasis on handling, acceleration, and braking, while touring bikes tend to focus on cargo capacity, rider comfort, and long-range capability. Butt those words together, as in sport-touring motorcycle, and you get a spectrum of bikes that ranges from sportbikes with bags to tourers that can corner better than you think they should. The reality of sport-touring motorcycles is that most favor the middle ground, compromising both sporting capability and touring chops, to create a supremely flexible motorcycle. What happens when you throw a third word into the mix? What would you expect from a sport-touring cruiser? Well, the folks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have done their level best to define this category of motorcycle with the 2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST.
After a brief teaser campaign, Harley-Davidson officially revealed the Nightster, a new Sportster model powered by a 975cc version of the liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine. Arriving in dealerships this month, the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster is priced at $13,499 for Vivid Black and $13,899 for the Gunship Grey or Redline Red color options.
What’s going on with the 2022 Indian Scout Rogues is this: blacked-out trim, a quarter fairing, mini ape-hanger handlebars, a “sport-style” seat, and a 19-inch front wheel. We were big fans of the Scout when it got here, enough so that we made it our 2015 Motorcycle of the Year. At the time, we liked the portent Indian had established with a few new bikes in as many years, as well as the Scout being a direct shot across the Sportster’s bow: No doubt the new Sportster competitor was one of the factors that motivated H-D to get off its, ah, laurels.
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.
Today, Harley-Davidson announced its first batch of 2022 motorcycles, with models already arriving at dealerships across the U.S. These models return mostly unchanged from 2021, save for updated colors and, for some, new wheel designs. If you’re looking for any new models, CVO models, or motorcycles getting more significant changes, you’ll have to wait until Jan. 26, for Harley-Davidson’s “Further, Faster” world premiere event.
How’s this for a no-pressure assignment? Completely redesign the Harley-Davidson Sportster, the best-selling Harley that’s been around since 1957. Start with a clean sheet. Make a motorcycle that appeals to people who’ve never considered a Sportster. Whatever you do, don’t offend the Base. On the other hand, it’s okay and even preferable that it offends some people – the ones who’d never consider a Harley under any circumstances.
I learned about a new-to-me thing this week in a fun Facebook discussion: Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This affects lots of kids who are so fed up and angry about being criticized for a thing, that they keep on doing that thing just to own the criticizer, even though they know the thing they’re doing is wrong and bad for them. Before psychology, ODD was probably best expressed as cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The new 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S that was unveiled this morning looks so much like the earlier prototype we dubbed Custom 1250 and already closely examined, most of the conjecture is already over except for the how much and when. And that’s $14,999 and this fall.