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Harley Releases '11 1200 Custom, H-D1 Program

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
2011 Harley 1200 Custom
Harley-Davidson introduced a mid-year model today, the 2011 1200 Custom, a Sportster with chunky wheels, a pull-back handlebar and a new LED tail lamp.
A wide front end and chunky 16-inch tire give the new Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom a proud stance that’s strong and contemporary. Introduced as a mid-year addition to the 2011 Harley-Davidson model line-up, the 1200 Custom also features new wheels, a pull-back handlebar, and a reshaped LED tail lamp.

These elements combine to give the 1200 Custom an exciting new look, but that’s just a starting point for this Sportster model. The 1200 Custom will also debut H-D1 factory customization, a new opportunity that allows the customer to choose from seven option categories to optimize fit, function and style. By selecting from available factory-installed wheels, handlebars, seats, paint, foot control position, security system, and engine finish, the customer can create a 1200 Custom that is a truly personalized motorcycle. Factory customization and Bike Builder on Harley-Davidson.com are the newest elements of H-D1, Harley-Davidson’s comprehensive offering of customization tools, which also includes Genuine Motor Parts and Genuine Motor Accessory catalogs, the Genuine Motor Accessories Custom Seat and Custom Paint programs, the Chrome Consultant and Fit Shop advisors at Harley-Davidson dealerships, and much more.

A Sportster model with Fattitude
2011 1200 Custom with factory options.
The 2011 1200 Custom with options selected from the H-D1 Factory Customization program.
The 1200 Custom offers a new look but is Sportster to the core, offering a compelling combination of bold styling, nimble handling and the irresistible beat of American V-Twin performance.

Key features of the 2011 1200 Custom include:
• Air-cooled Evolution 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 79 ft. lbs. peak torque at 4000 rpm.
• Powertrain is finished in black powdercoat with chrome covers.
• NEW Chrome, Five-Spoke cast aluminum wheels front and rear. Front and rear wheels are 16 x 3.0 inches.
• NEW Michelin Scorcher 31 tires; 130/90B 16 front and 150/80B16 M/C 77H rear.
• NEW Wider fork spacing and polished triple clamps.
• Pull-back handlebar mounted on a curved riser that incorporates an LED warning light display.
• NEW reshaped classic Sportster “eyebrow” over the headlamp.
• NEW tail light is smaller and has a new shape with a bright, low maintenance LED element.
• NEW Front suspension rates are re-tuned to match the new tire/wheel combination. 39mm front fork with 30 degrees rake.
• Polished forward foot controls.
• Coil-over pre-load adjustable rear shocks.
• Two-up seat is standard. Laden seat height is 26.6 inches.
• The 4.5-gallon fuel tank offers long riding range.

Introducing H-D1 Factory Customization
H-D1 factory customization is the newest element of Harley-Davidson customization that allows customers to build the 1200 Custom from a selection of options that are installed as the motorcycle is assembled by Harley-Davidson Motor Company. H-D1 factory customization enables personalized fit, function and style. By selecting different wheels, seats, handlebars, paint, and engine finishes, the customer can dramatically alter the look of the motorcycle. Different combinations of foot-control location, seat and handlebars can be selected to adjust the fit of the motorcycle to a rider’s stature. With H-D1 factory customization the customer will have the opportunity to order a 1200 Custom in more than 2,600 combinations.

Harleys H-D 1 Factory Customization program lets customers choose from seven categories of options to customize fit  function and style of their Harley.
Harley's H-D 1 Factory Customization program lets customers choose from seven categories of options to customize fit, function and style of their motorcycle.
The H-D1 factory customization tool will be available on Harley-Davidson.com. The customer can view the bike they are creating as different options are selected. The customer can then print out a description of their bike and bring it to a Harley-Davidson dealer to review the motorcycle with trained staff, select additional accessories to be installed by the dealer to further customize the motorcycle, and then place an order. Customers can expect to be riding their new bike in as little as four weeks from the time an order is placed with an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer. Delivery timing may vary depending on demand, and will be communicated to customers at the time of order. H-D1 factory customization will be available only through Harley-Davidson dealers in the United States and Canada.

The 1200 Custom has a suggested retail price in the United States of $10,299, and comes equipped with Chrome Five-Spoke Cast Aluminum wheels, pull-back handlebars, forward polished foot controls, a two-up seat, black engine with chrome covers, and Vivid Black paint. Factory-installed options can be swapped out in any combination to this base configuration of the 1200 Custom, using these seven different categories:

• Wheels: Black Five-Spoke Cast Aluminum with machined highlights, Chrome Laced, or Black Laced.
• Handlebars: Drag Bars or Mini-Apes
• Foot Controls: Mid-mount polished
• Seat: Solo
• Paint/Graphics: (solid colors) Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver Pearl, Cool Blue Pearl, Chrome Yellow, Merlot Sunglo, Sedona Orange, Black Denim; (two-tones) Scarlet Red/Vivid Black, Merlot Sunglo/Vivid Black, Sedona Orange/Vivid Black, Birch White/Sedona Orange, Chrome Yellow/Vivid Black; (custom graphics) Cool Blue Pearl with Scalloped graphics, White Hot Pearl with Hot Pink Flame graphics.
• Engine: Black powder coat with black covers.
• Security: Add Harley-Davidson Smart Security System.

Options can be incorporated with the base configuration in any combination, except that the Mini-Ape handlebars cannot be combined with mid-mount foot controls.

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Mitch   February 4, 2011 04:38 PM
Love or hate the "Parts Bin" approach to engineering I do give credit at least to Harley for letting the customer now play a virtual Willy G on their website and allow them to customize their own base Sportster with an assortment of bolt on options. Based off of the Victory CORE Custom program for CrossRoads the HD-1 program allows you to create your own HD-1 online and gives you a much more extensive list of possibilities to choose from. This is a nice concept in theory but in my opinion it will only be successful in the long run if they can produce the custom ordered bikes in a fairly quick turnaround. I don't think many customers are going to want to put their money down and have to wait a month or more before they they can pick up a bike they could have just bought stock the same day and customized it quicker and cheaper. The CORE program on the other hand is much less robust with cosmetic options but most Victory dealers have the parts on site so there is little to no wait. Only time will tell how well either works but I like the idea overall of being given more options to choose from.
Threefive Seven   February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
JimmySawFinger, thanks. I stand corrected.
JimmySawFinger   February 4, 2011 06:52 AM
Just btw, it was MV AUGUSTA that was sold off not Aprilla.
Mike Lynch   February 4, 2011 06:51 AM
357, I responded to this and the other article in the other thread so I'll leave it at that.
Threefive Seven   February 3, 2011 10:04 PM
Mike, I just fail to see why you think anybody would care about your criticism. Who said they were trying to build an all-new-from-the-ground-up motorcycle? Harley has done very well by using the "Kaizen" approach, with iterative improvements, maintaining their style and tradition. Why would they want to throw that away to appease random internet mouth-foamers who aren't going to spend their money on that product anyway? They learned hard lessons from Buell, Aprilia... and even their VRSC line you're holding up as an example. Those don't sell for crap! I like Triumphs, and might own a few someday, especially if they keep building iteratively on their proven designs, like the Thruxton/Scrambler line and Thunderbird. It's no accident they achieve success by following Harley's business model. They improve what NEEDS to be improved, like belt final drive instead of chains, and fuel injection instead of carbs. Victory, too, uses time-tested designs like air-cooled V-twins and belt-drive final drives to achieve their successes. There's nothing wrong with that. So, this 1200 Custom isn't an all-new design. I didn't see anywhere in this article that that's what they were aiming for. Why should I care? I've owned a few Sporties in my time, and think the design improvements made here are sound. Mission accomplished, as far as I'm concerned. If you want them to keep repeating their mistakes with Buell and Aprilia and the VRSC over and over, then obviously you ARE just an "average guy" who doesn't know a thing about running a company.
Mike Lynch   February 3, 2011 08:23 PM
Forgive my typos as I am just an average guy lol
Mike in WV   February 3, 2011 08:22 PM
Well 357, maybe HD should hire you if you're a financial genious and have a far superior grasp of economics than I. I'm just your average guy who looks at a company for what they make and how they run their business. I would not call a business who put themselves (not the economy) in such a dire financial status that they required a loan of hundreds of millions of dollars from Warren Buffet at 15% interest. I wouldn't finance a bike or a house for that rate...so that doesn't sound like such a sweet deal to me...especially since that comes out to 90 million a year interest alone on a 600 million loan. Maybe in your infinite wisdom you can explain how HD has made such sound financial decisions. I also do understand how share values depreciate when companies have to get bailed out like this, so my point was that if my stock holdings were "x" 2 years ago and it is now "X - .60" That would be good cause for alarm and I would seriously consider "dumping" my shares. I never stated I was looking out for the investor...my point was that I'd be pissed off if a company that I invested in couldn't come up with a better product than what they have.

My second point is that I see no new foundation of a bike here. I see a few modifications to an existing bike. If the automotive industry can come up with new vehicles each year (at substantial cost difference as opposed to the motorcycle industry)then why is it so hard for HD to come up with a truly new bike? Bravo for the Rocker and V-Rod, but what new platforms have they really come up with since then? Triumph and Victory have come out with new bikes in the past few years...and by new I mean totally new...from the ground up. If they can do it as a smaller company, then why can't HD?

Here's an inside tip for you 357...battery technology is old and not earth friendly, look into ultra-capacitor technology if you want a good investment, but then again, what do I know? Your "laughing and pointing" may just be indications that ignorance is bliss. Revel in your happiness 357...
Threefive Seven   February 3, 2011 06:29 PM
Of course there's something wrong with bringing back Buell, even if it is a "different angle." I stated it in my first comment to this thread. I even put it in all-caps so you couldn't miss it. Reading is fundamental. Go do it.
Chris Dye   February 3, 2011 06:01 PM
I think you missed the point being made there .357. No one was bashing H-D but merely commenting on a bike that was being touted as a "new model" that has a LED tail light and fat front tire. I mean seriously, is that really a "new model"? H-D can obviously make changes AND new models FOR REAL... this bike... really? LAME IMO! Why not put a LED light on everyone of their bikes and claim to introduce 15 BRAND NEW MODELS!! That's all that was being said... As far as Buell, they should bring it back. Buell offered a different angle to loyal American brand customers who didn't want a retro look cruiser as their motorcycle. Is there anything wrong with that?
.357 Magnum   February 3, 2011 02:06 PM
The best part of any Harley-related story on M-USA is always the comments. Look at this series of comments for example: on one side Mike Lynch claims to be looking out for the investor; then Chris Dye comes along, believing himself to be agreeing with Mike, and says to "bring back Buell." Completely missing the point that "looking out for the investor" and "bringing back Buell" are mutually exclusive options. Remember, there's a darn good reason why Buell got shuttered and Aprilia got sold off for $1. THEY DIDN'T MAKE MONEY. Whinge, complain, and cry if you like about what an unjust world it is... those of us who understand a little about economics will be happy to laugh and point all the while.
Chris Dye   February 3, 2011 04:42 AM
Hey Mike... RIGHT ON BROTHER!! H-D has touted several "new releases" recently that appear to be identical to other models that they've now painted black... WOW! I would guess that the last round of "improvements" made was to their touring series of bikes (Road King, etc). That change incorporated a new frame, new brakes, new front tire and reformatted engine design (same look though). The last really "new bike" was the XR1200 model... You know the bike they released in Europe for several years prior to bringing it to the US... Gesh H-D give us break! BTW, pull your head out of your a$$ and bring back Buell!!
alan sharp   February 3, 2011 12:21 AM
Jim H   February 2, 2011 10:10 PM
What's with that front tire? As if Sportsters weren't heavy enough already! It's probably because they know 90% of people will want to change that wheel out for something usable, or as harley would say "custom" and they can charge an arm and a leg for it.
Mike Lynch   February 2, 2011 07:43 PM
Yet another parts bin bike they are "introducing" as "new". There's nothing "exciting" about this bike. Ooooooohhhh A new LED tail light!!! Fatter tires!!!! Wow! Give me a break! 2011 is shaping up to be a bad design year for HD. If I were an invester, I'd be seriously pissed off and would sell my stock. Why not take the Rocker andmake something useful out of it? At least it doesn't look as cliche as all the other HD's. I would buy a Triumph in a heartbeat before even thinking about these new HD's