Classy and cool

Saturday, 21 July 2018

The Harley Davidson Iron 1200 makes a good upgrade from the Iron 883, offering a better performance and a few new features

The Iron 883 turned out to be a very popular motorcycle in India after it was launched. The new Iron 1200 follows in its footsteps, albeit offering better performance and a few other bits. So, to watch in flesh an Iron 883 with a 1200cc V-Twin engine is no less interesting. The change in bore to achieve the jump from 883cc to 1200cc is certain to have added a few kilograms. Harley Davidson, however, claims that the Iron 883 and the new Iron 1200 weigh the same. The reason could lie in the other bits that the company is certain to have worked upon. 

Comfortable long rides

In visual terms, the Iron 1200 comes with a different set of clothes to distinguish itself from the Iron 883. A big change is the head lamp fairing. It is claimed to have been inspired by the custom bike brigade. As compared to the Iron 883, the Iron 1200 gets a taller handle bar. It looks similar to the one found on the Forty-Eight, the difference being this one tapers towards the rider. The resulting riding position is fairing upright, and forward leaning. It is comfortable, and helps during longer rides. Unlike the Iron 883, the Iron 1200 gets a differently styled solo seat. While the engine is treated to a black finish, the fuel tank is attractively done with graphics that seem to be inspired by the ’70s custom efforts. Such graphics, not to forget, are also seen on the Forty-Eight Special.

Old school charm

If the comfortable — even laid-back — riding position of the Iron 1200 makes for a cruiser feel, the Forty Eight-like foot peg positioning makes for a bit of a confusion as to whether this one’s got sporting intentions or is a cruiser. The surge of torque, however, dilutes all this. While a mod would iron out any inconvenience caused by the positioning of the foot pegs, the Iron 1200 offers a riding experience of a sportster. The slim fuel tank feels skinny and this leads to the right knee resting on the air filter element. The strong flow of torque from earlier on ensures plenty of lugging ability. It does accompany an amount of vibrations, essentially of low frequency, but is engaging to ride with all that chugging and clatter. A certain old school charm shows through. The clutch feels heavy and the gears call for an amount of force to shift. All this makes for the pleasure of riding a motorcycle that feels rustic. The Iron 1200 carries a good deal of appeal for Harley followers and makes a good job of city as well as highway riding. 

Feels stable

It feels best in the range of 80 to 100kmph. That is where the sweet spot of this motorcycle lies. Push it and it will dig into the three-digit territory to achieve speeds in excess of 150kmph. The ride over a variety of surfaces is pliant. Handling is good as the motorcycle feels stable. It exerts a planted feel while manoeuvring past a variety of road conditions. Highway rides are however more rewarding as the Iron 1200 is not particularly a motorcycle that the rider would want to use to achieve a good lean into corners. The foot pegs tend to scrap no sooner into the corner limiting the motorcycle’s leaning ability. Brakes work well and get the Iron 1200 to shed speed quickly. ABS is standard. 


Slated for mid year release, it should make a good upgrade from the Iron 883 for Harley purists as well as those aspiring to have a bike that offers better performance. With the Iron 883 priced at Rs 8.75 lakhs approximately, the Iron 1200 should cost a shade under Rs 10 lakhs ex-showroom when launched.

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