It’s no secret that Harley-Davidson has fallen on some hard times of late. Stock is down, and so are bike sales. I could dive into the same theories and numbers that I have read quite a few times over the past couple of years, but instead, I’ll just give my laymen’s armchair expert opinion, then move on. Harley’s are expensive. Are they worth the money? I’d argue, for the right buyer, yes. So where are those buyers? Well, Harley aren’t the only company asking that question, but other companies have a lot of dynamic lower dollar models to choose from. You can have a cheaper Harley in a Sportster, or a Street Rod 750, but then you start to compare them to some stiff competition. The Triumph Bonneville line is hard to beat, and then side step to a Honda CB1100, or better yet a Kawasaki Z900RS. I’d personally have a hard time leaving the dealership with a Harley. Please don’t get me wrong, I really like Harley-Davidsons, it’s just when the rubber meets the road, and it’s my money going down on the counter, I would rather have a Bonneville T120, or the Kawi. If, however you want a big cruiser, in my opinion, Harley-Davidson is the only choice, but you’re going to pay for it. Harley is set to release three new models, one being the Live Wire, and I’m excited to see them do well. This isn’t the first time Harley has re-written the rule book to capture a new market: one of those examples is the XR1200.
The Sportster XR1200 was released in 2008 and it was only available in Europe. This was the first time the company had ever made a move like this, in hopes to capture sales overseas. This was also the first time that Harley attempted to make a modern sports bike. It worked, too. When the production of the XR was confirmed, European dealerships had more than 600 pre-orders. The bike didn’t disappoint either. Power was up 18 hp over the most recent American-released Sportster. This was achieved with higher compression, performance Buell cams, performance exhaust, and improved EFI. All of this made for an impressive 4 second flat 0-60 time. Handling was also a big focus. Better suspension and lean angle made for a bike that Cycle World couldn’t say enough good things about. The only knock they seemed to have was, at the time of the review, there were no plans to bring the XR to the U.S. market, though that obviously changed soon after.
This 2009 XR is an example of the first model year it was available in the United States. It only has 3,400 miles on it, and the seller claims it has only been ridden twice a month for the entire time they have owned it. The bike is totally stock, which would be a big selling point to me. It comes with all factory manuals, both keys and a brand new battery. It’s an incredible example of a very impressive bike.
Find this Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200 in Tucson, Arizona for $6,600 here on Craigslist.