Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 1st March 2018

As part of their commitment to launch 100 new models over the next decade, Harley-Davidson has quietly unveiled a pair of new 1200cc Sportsters, the Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special.

The Iron 883 is the American giant’s entry level Sportster and, as the name suggests, the Iron 1200 provides a healthy boost in torque and power thanks to the adoption of the 1202cc Evolution motor, which pumps out 66bhp to the 883’s 51bhp – with torque up from 68Nm on the smaller bike to 96Nm on the 1200. Otherwise, it’s more of the same with the Iron 1200, which is about as stripped back as a cruiser can be these days. That said, Harley’s increasing modernisation ensures that there’s a decent amount of modern equipment hidden beneath the traditional design, including a comprehensive instrumentation pack and LED indicators. At £9395, the 1200 costs just £500 more than the 883, making it appear good value for riders who love the minimalistic nature of the Iron but want a little more punch. Buyers of the 1200 also get a neat little bikini styled nose cone for the extra monkey, as well as cool 1970s inspired paintjob that harks back to the less than halcyon days of the AMF era Motor Company.

harley davidson iron 1200 & 48 special

Dubbing the Forty-Eight Special as a new model is probably stretching the point a bit, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy.

The Special is more of a different flavour than an all new motorcycle. The Evolution 1200 motor is the same as that used in the new Iron 1200, as well as the standard Forty-Eight, indeed the Special is more or less the same bike as the classic cruiser upon which it is based. Key changes are higher, semi-apehanger, handlebars, chrome detailing on the classic V-Twin engine and more of those 1970s style graphics on the tiny peanut fuel tank.

The Forty-Eight special costs £9995, the same as the model upon which it is based, and along with the Iron 1200 will go on sale in the UK in May 2018.