Harley-Davidson has announced a new member of the Sportster lineup simply called the Roadster. The design is inspired by the classic racing motorcycles from the 1950s and ’60s, and is also the latest member of Harley’s Dark Custom lineup.
The Roadster is all about styling. “Since its introduction in 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster has proved capable of constant reinvention, and the Roadster writes a new chapter in that story,” said Harley-Davidson Director of Styling Brad Richards. “We’ve watched our customers take the Sportster in so many different directions. The Roadster is a mash-up of styling genres, but the intent was to build a rider’s motorcycle, a Sportster that’s lean and powerful and connects the rider to the road.”
Elements that give the Roadster its unique look include the blacked-out engine with gray air cleaner, Shorty dual exhaust with chrome mufflers, slammed drag-style handlebar and gauges, blacked-out headlamp, 3.3-gallon “walnut” gas tank, bobbed rear fender, and side-mount license plate. But the wheels are also specific to this bike.
“The wheels were inspired by classic laced wheels, and are the most intricate cast wheel we’ve ever created,” said Harley-Davidson Industrial Designer Ben McGinley. “The interlacing spokes shoot outward toward opposite sides of the wheel, creating a dramatic visual effect. These wheels are also very light for their size, which contributes to the Roadster’s handling performance.”
Chassis features include an inverted 43mm cartridge fork, twin gas-charged emulsion coil-over shocks with preload adjustability. Key to the Roadster’s suspension is that it offers more travel than any other bike in the Sportster line: 4.5 inches up front and 3.2 in. out back. Braking is anchored by a pair of 11.8-in. discs clamped by twin piston calipers up front with ABS as an option. Wheel sizes measure 19 inches up front, and 18 in. out back.
The retro styling is backed up by the latest version of the rubber-mounted, air-cooled 1200cc V-twin Evolution engine with electronic sequential-port fuel injection.
Four different color options will be available: Vivid Black with a charcoal denim pinstripe; Black Denim with a red pinstripe; Velocity Red Sunglo with a red pinstripe; and two-tone Billet Silver/Vivid Black with a burgundy pinstripe.
For more than 30 years, Ray Price Harley-Davidson has served as the center of motorcycle culture in Raleigh, N.C., and among the Southeast’s top motorcycle dealerships. Home to Hall-of-Fame racing legend Ray Price, dealership staff have centuries of combined Harley riding experience to provide award-winning customer service and education programs for beginners-to-expert riders. Ray Price was again named a 2014 Dealernews Top 100 business, as well as a Powersports Business Power 50 Dealer. The team actively supports area charities through a wide range of philanthropy projects. Ray Price Racing won the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) Top Fuel Harley Championship in 2014 and 2015.