Sportster Superlow 1200T. The New Very Light Tourer From Harley-Davidson

XL1200T-1Until now you had to customize one of the Sportsters of the line-up to make it a light tourer. And many did, buying aftermarket accessories…No surprisingly, when Harley asked their Sportster riders and also dealers what they wanted, the request many formulated was loud and clear. Give us a factory equipped touring version. The Sportster Superlow 1200 T (as Touring) was born.

XL1200T-2As a matter of fact it’s not the 1st time that Harley-Davidson manufactures such a version. The 1st one, named the XLT, was produced in 1977 with very little success, only about 1000 units being produced. But times have changed. You all know why the Sportster market – in parallel to the bagger market – has grown so fast during these last years. Offering a light tourer is to offer many, both men and women, the opportunity to travel a weekend, a few days or even for some long distance rides usually reserved to big baggers.

XL1200T-3The other name component of this new Sportster is Superlow. Because it is built on the same chassis than the 883 Superlow, offering letting short or average size bikers (5 ft to 5.8 ft) a chance to be seated comfortably with feet to the ground when stopped (Seat height is 26.1 inches) and easy reach to both hand and foot controls when riding. The rider foot position is three inches forward from the SuperLow® 883 model. Mini footboards provide added comfort for the rider and passenger. The Sportster Superlow 1200T weighs 118 pounds less than the lightest Harley-Davidson Big Twin touring motorcycle.

XL1200T-5The SuperLow® 1200T motorcycle combines the nimble Sportster chassis with the performance of an Evolution® 1200 V-Twin engine and essential touring features, including a detachable windshield, locking saddlebags with mounting hardware incorporating quick-detachable docking points to make it possible to easily add an accessory rack or backrest., Michelin® Scorcher® 11T touring tires and rear suspension with dial-adjustable pre-load were chosen to go the distance with luggage and a passenger on board. This suspension has a right-side twin tube and a left-side dial adjustable emulsion shock with an easy-to-reach dial that enables a broad range of pre-load adjustment without removing the saddlebags or using tools. Front suspension is also tuned to accommodate touring and passenger payloads while providing a comfortable ride.

XL1200T-4An electrical system update to all 2014 Sportster® models incorporates an analog speedometer with digital tachometer, restyled ergonomic hand controls, an updated wire harness and voltage regulator. The new hand controls include a left-hand trip switch to toggle through screen displays on the speedometer, including an odometer, tripmeter, gear indicator and RPM display. Additionally, new oil tank and side cover designs make it easier to access and service the battery and diagnostic terminal.

Other key features include • 4.5-gallon fuel tank for extended range • Dual staggered exhaust • Premium performance brakes:- Front: 300mm rotor, rigid caliper with dual 34mm pistons, and high-efficiency aluminum front master cylinder – Rear: 260.1mm rotor, dual 38mm pistons • Detachable 14-inch clear polycarbonate windshield can be adjusted on the forks to match rider height • Black and silver, split five-spoke aluminum wheels • Front turn signals are located on the lower triple tree to increase handlebar adjustment range • Lockable saddlebags are covered in durable black vinyl with chrome badges • Premium glass-filled chrome cloisonné tank badge • Chrome-plated headlamp visor, turn signal housings and instrument housing • Optional ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) • Optional keyless H-D® Smart Security System with a proximity-based, hands-free security fob • Color choices include: Vivid Black, Candy Orange, and two-tone Birch White/Midnight Pearl.

26 Responses to “Sportster Superlow 1200T. The New Very Light Tourer From Harley-Davidson”

  1. 1 Terence Tory Apr 10th, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Good concept, good package.

    Having contemporary tire sizes that don’t scoff “you have got to be joking” going into a corner hard at over 60mph is a bonus. The micro-apes will give easy steering and confidence at slow speeds for lightweights and noobs. I hope they stick with the mag wheels for highway safety and handling precision.

    A bike for this demographic should have ABS standard and not as an option. It should have front twin discs for open road use, considering it’s heavy weight.

    Maybe it should have been sold as a stylish single seat tourer,as I imagine the GVWR would be fairly low, and easily exceeded with a normal size passenger.

    It’s the closest thing in the current range to an old Evo FXRT, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

    It’s a pity so many will end up on big bagger behemoths and miss out on such a good riding bike.

    I though a baguette was French bread.

  2. 2 Rodent Apr 10th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    572 lbs. dry ain’t light!

  3. 3 Mike Apr 10th, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Looks like the same old $6,000 Sportster but with bags and a windshield to me. But if someone wants to give Harley $12,000 of their hard-earned money for this, then I say cheers.

  4. 4 Mr Dick Apr 10th, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    My wife’s 1200 Low has a quick detach windshield. I should put bags in it and squawk about her new tourer. Give me a hell-ya!!

  5. 5 BobS Apr 10th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Lipstick on a Hog comes to mind. The bags give the Sporty more utility, but it’s still a Sporty, not too many guys or gals I can think of that would want to tour on one. Harley selling this “new” model as a tour is every bit as stupid as Victory selling their “new” model as a Bobber. Why do these guys oversell so hard?

  6. 6 David Blaska Apr 10th, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Pretty sure it’s analog tach and digital speedo.

  7. 7 Rodent Apr 10th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve ridden rubber mounted Sporty’s on thousand mile road trips with absolutely not a problem, but then I consider myself a biker.

  8. 8 nicker Apr 10th, 2014 at 8:28 pm


    Yes, you’d think it’d be self-evident.
    That if ya gets off after your skoot after a trip and don’t feel like you’ve been on a bike…….
    Then what’s the point…..???


  9. 9 Terence Tory Apr 11th, 2014 at 2:13 am

    BobS,that’s because H-D wants to sell this model to guys who want to tour in a different way, that you don’t know. It’s called buyer choice and market coverage.

  10. 10 Sportster Mike Apr 11th, 2014 at 2:24 am

    I’ve currently got my 883R fitted with hard bags (saddlemen) – DIY for less and a lot higher off the ground AND twin front brakes….

    Only problem is the too small tank and with petrol here in England at £1.36 a litre finding a garage and one thats open is also a problem

    11000 miles on – the rubber mount engine is nicely loosened up
    Hammer Performance kit to come soon ….

  11. 11 James just another Crazy Kiwi Apr 11th, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Power to weight the Sporty motor is way better than the twin cam.
    And they get off the line just nicely.
    The twin cam is not a great motor, a mildly Hotted Evo is a way better Donk and can idle at less than aircraft propeller speeds,

    The modern rubber mount Sporty is a good bike. I have ridden them and they are much more fun than a twinky
    Just limited for my height so I need the bigger bike.

  12. 12 Matt W. Apr 11th, 2014 at 9:18 am

    “4.5-gallon fuel tank for extended range”

    Their marketing team is trying a little to hard 😉

  13. 13 Terence Tory Apr 11th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    The 12K recommended price of this bike is a hopeful H-D joke IMHO.

    For close to the same bucks you can get a far superior big-inch Victory.

    I can just see the po-faced customers being lead by the threat of the reality of big monthlies,by the salesman towards a new H-D 750 Street.

    I’m partial right now for a basic model Yamaha Star Bolt 950 with a plastic milk crate tied on the fender with duct tape. Sleep under bridges and see rest of the country before the revolution starts.

  14. 14 BobS Apr 11th, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Terence keep telling yourself that, I’m still not buying it. Back in my youth I did long rides on small uncomfortable poor handling bike so there, I guess I am a “real” biker. Except that was a 650 Nighthawk that I thought was cool at the time. Since those experiences I’ve had no desire to go back to a Honda. The reality is this is a parts bin model shuffle that may sell a few more Sportys in the short term but won’t do anything for Harley’s long term. If guys and gals try long distance riding on one if these H-D won’t earn any loyalty as soon as that same rider demo’s the competition. They should stick to selling the Sportster for what it is, small fun bike. Try and sell it as something it’s not that’s an over promise and under deliver sale. That only leaves people disappointed.

  15. 15 Terence Tory Apr 11th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    BobS, I know that the Harley universe is a strange little singularity and time and space get somewhat distorted in many ways and emotions. In many ways it curves back in on itself like a black hole or a moebius loop.

    Therefore, in no way is a near six hundred pound bike, gassed ready to roll, a “small fun bike”. I guess it is, if you are 6 foot 6 and 280 pounds.

    It could be argued by many people, including Harley’s own R&D guys and marketers, that your attitude towards platforms designed in the thirties is almost a demographic death knell for the brand. Hence the new Street and this bike.

    The Japs have learn a real lot about building great motorcycles in the last twenty-five years since they built you a 650 Nighthawk.

  16. 16 BCinSoCal Apr 11th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Nice package, should fit manys needs. Just about 2Gs high in the price. Maybe they can’t do it for less, which leaves the buyer with too many other options. They will sell though…

  17. 17 Zipper Apr 11th, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    The last good Sportster was built in 03. At 500 lbs. It was maxed out as a lightweight. It may have a Sportster engine but it’s not a Sprotster anymore. HD has finally succeeded in ruining a nice bike. ..Z

  18. 18 Doc Robinson Apr 11th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Ah, I wouldn’t miss the daily dose of sarcasm, criticism and downright wrong-headed ideas that this blog offers on a daily basis. But then, everyone is entitled to an opinion, however stupid it guess. I’ve had a Sportster 1200T in my driveway for a couple of weeks now in order to perform a magazine evaluation. As conceived, it does its job as a lightweight tourer very well indeed. In Australia we get ABS and the hands free security fob as standard. It rides very nicely and I’d be happy to jump on it and ride across country like I did on the first Superlow. Now it may not be as light as earlier Sporties, but it sure feels easier to roll around the driveway than my wife’s Switchback, a big twin with similar specs such as a screen and bags. The Superlow weighs in at 598.82 lbs in running order, whereas the Switchback is 718 lbs. I make that a difference of just over 119 lbs. If you don’t think that is a lot, head out to your garage and load a bar to that and begin swinging it around. As for the seat height there’s a bit of marketing-speak in that one. The Superlow seat height unladen is 27.65 inches, the Switchback 27.4 inches and for comparative purposes, the Heritage is 27.2 inches.

  19. 19 James just another Crazy Kiwi Apr 12th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Taking Doc’s message another step that means that the power to weight ratio of a Sporty is allot better than the Twin Cam.
    My Ex Wife’s sportster custom was put on the Dyno and gave 75 rear wheel HP with only slip ons and a SE air cleaner kit.
    A number of Twin Cams were there and had more money spent, albeit allot unwisely and were less HP and much heavier.
    The latest Cycle World has a comparative article with the Victory Jack Pot, HD break Out and the Star Raider.
    HD comes a poor third in the performance evaluations.
    They are already reacting short term with modifications, long terms who knows.

    I would like to know what Doc thinks.

  20. 20 Blackmax Apr 12th, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    What ever happen to the guys out in Sturgis with their “Baggster” custom Sporty
    Seems like for a few more bucks you would get a way nicer bike

  21. 21 Steve Carr Apr 13th, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I have no comment at this time…..

    Steve Carr

  22. 22 DOUGZ Custom Apr 14th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I can’t wait to get my meathooks into a naked 1200 SuperLow and do a “Generation 2” version of my Pro-Tour ‘S’ transformation…

  23. 23 Terence Tory Apr 14th, 2014 at 9:26 am

    DOUGZ Custom, great. What is a Pro-tour ‘S’ ? No mention of it on your webpage, that I could find.

  24. 24 DOUGZ Custom Apr 14th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Terence, Thanks for pointing that out! I didn’t realize the link to it on my opening page had disappeared. Its up now – just scroll down on the opening page and you’ll find it.

  25. 25 Terence Tory Apr 14th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    DOUGZ Custom, I had a look at the Pro-tour ‘S’. I like the rear section. The fairing is O.K.

    I think you should make a sons of idiots replica to go with the rear end, or maybe a smaller frame mounted Ness-like inspired FXRT one. Only ideas and MO.

  26. 26 DOUGZ Custom Apr 14th, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Terence, That just goes to show how much opinions differ from one person to the next. Most have said they like the fairing, and the rear storage clamshell area is a bit too futuristic for their liking. Its all good though. Based on your post I’m guessing you’ll really dig the “Generation 2” that I’ll get started on as soon as this one sells. Good feedback man!

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Cyril Huze