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2011 Harley-Davidson XR1200X First Look

Friday, June 4, 2010
Harley-Davidson is putting more sport in its Sportster line of motorcycles with the release of the 2011 XR1200X. Its progenitor, the 2010 XR1200, has been upgraded with fully-adjustable front and rear Showa suspension and improved front brakes that now feature full floating rotors. The
2011 H-D XR1200X
Adjustable Showa suspension front and back and improved Nissin brakes with full-floating rotors highlight the upgrades to Harley's performance-based Sportster, the 2011 XR1200X.
2011 Harley XR1200X
suspension upgrades will allow riders to dial in the XR1200X depending on their weight, riding style and road conditions. The Nissin dual front brakes with 292mm full-floating rotors and four-piston calipers will help pull the reins on the output of its high-compression, 1200cc Evolution V-Twin.

The Showa Big Piston fork has fewer components than a cartridge-style fork and is therefore lighter. The large diameter of the BPF internal piston is claimed to reduce damping pressure for ‘outstanding feedback and smooth action.’ Rebound and compression damping can be honed in via adjuster screws on the top of the fork bolts.

The rear suspension set-up features 36mm pistons with piggy-back nitrogen-charged reservoirs and compression damping can be adjusted by a knob on the top of the reservoir. Rebound can by dialed in by a thumb wheel on the lower clevis, and both front and back are adjustable for spring pre-load.

At the heart of the XR1200X is an isolation-mounted XL Evolution 1200cc V-Twin with high-performance camshafts, precision oil-cooled cylinder heads and large-capacity oil cooler. It boasts a 10:1 compression ratio and puts out a claimed 74 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Harley has blacked-out the engine to complement the aggressive nature of its performance-oriented Sportster.

The XR1200X’s tank and tail section will continue to carry styling traits inspired by Harley’s legendary flat-tracker, the XR750, with the tank sporting revised graphics. Wide flat-track style bars and rearset footpegs contribute to its racing stance. It also features lightweight three-spoke cast-aluminum wheels with a gloss black finish and a new orange pinstripe on the rim. It will be offered in either Black Denim or White Hot Denim and has an MSRP of $11,799.

The XR1200 initially was only offered overseas until public demand helped bring it here to the States. In conjunction with introduction of the XR1200 to the American market, a new race series to support the platform kicks off this weekend. The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series starts today at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Motorcycle USA’s resident speed demon, Steve Atlas, is in Wisconsin right now and is getting an opportunity to turn laps at Road America on the race-bred XR1200, so stay tuned for a full report in the coming weeks.

Key XR1200X Features -

Showa Big Piston Front fork (BPF) eliminates many of the internal components used in a cartridge-type fork, resulting in lighter overall fork weight. The large-diameter of the BPF internal piston allows a reduction in damping pressure for outstanding feedback and smooth action. Rebound and compression damping may be fine tuned with adjuster screws located on top of the fork bolts. The spring pre-load is adjusted with a M5 hex screw on the axle holders.

Showa rear shocks feature 36mm pistons with piggy-back nitrogen charged reservoirs. The compression damping may be adjusted with a knob on top of the reservoir. Rebound is adjusted with a thumb wheel on the lower clevis. Rear spring pre-load is also adjustable.

Nissin dual front brakes feature 292mm full-floating rotors and four-piston calipers.

Isolation-mounted XL Evolution 1200 cc V-Twin engine with black powdercoat finish features downdraft Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), high-performance camshafts, precision oil-cooled cylinder heads and a large-capacity oil cooler. Compression ratio is 10:1. The engine is rated at 74 ft. lbs. peak torque @ 4000 rpm (per SAE J1349).

Upswept, high-volume 2-1-2 straight-shot exhaust system with satin black finish offers extra cornering clearance.

Chassis features a high-performance designed tubular mild steel frame. The rigid, cast-aluminum swingarm is engineered to enhance handling.

Dunlop Qualifier D209 tires were designed specifically for the XR1200X.

Three-spoke lightweight cast-aluminum wheels, 18-inch front / 17-inch rear, are finished in gloss black with an orange pinstripe on the rim.

Wide, black dirt-track handlebar for enhanced steering leverage and comfort.

Rearset foot pegs for additional cornering clearance.

Compact instrument display with white-faced analog tachometer, digital speedometer, dual trip meter and clock.
3.5-gallon fuel tank with aircraft-style aluminum alloy fuel filler.

29.2-inch seat height with standard passenger pillion and foot pegs.

Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System.

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James -mr  December 27, 2010 06:14 AM
Well i like some of the logical comments on here. I bought a street bob 3 years ago and it was my first harley though my dad always had HD in the states. to be honest i was quite dissapointed by the quality of the lack of it. I live in the UK south coast and the weather is just not good for these bikes. it was constantly rusting, even on the frame welds etc. I spent a small fortune makeing it the way i want (powder coating all parts that rust etc) and it was great BUT i just struggled keeping my investment looking good as all the parts were pretty rubbish on it. I bought a MT01 and its beautifully built with real good quality..BUT the riding position just isnt right no matter how much i try to tweak it...so ive traded it in for an XR1200. Im a bit of a hypocrite as i couldnt wait to get rid of my street bob because of several issues..but the other bikes ive tried just didnt stir my senses at all. so im giving this a try as its a bit more on par with bikes with better build quality and its got a nice sportier feel. we'll see how i like it when i actually get it.. but ill be the first to admit there will be issues as with all HD's..BUT theres no riding experience like a harley for me.. its that basic mechanical feel that does it for me!
don -Buell rules !  December 16, 2010 09:18 AM
XR1200 is the replacement bike for Buell. You just killed an entire bike company and then come out with a cheap crappy version of a Buell and slap XR1200 on it. Can i out curve corners with with a XR1200 like with a Buell ,no !... Can me and a passenger with a"select seat",or "long sporting seat " go touring with Harley riders,NO !... The Buell had 103HP and 80 some ft/lbs of torque . The Xr1200 has 90HP and what 74 ft/lbs of torque. You kill the better bike and put out a peace of junk. Now you diehard Harley people can make up fantasy excuses for Harley Davidson actions. Sure you can claim it's a remake of an old school bike,sure it is ... It had nothing to do with Buell being destroyed,sure.
skeeter -Air Cooled Performance  November 27, 2010 04:01 PM
The XR1200 is a great bike with great handling. Will it outrun and inline 4 crotch rocket...no. That is not what people buy it for. It's fills a niche between a cruiser and a sportbike. For very little money, you can pick up another 12-15 hp, and if you drop a few more dollars, S&S makes a kit that will put 125-130 hp to the ground. I recently did a service on a Sportster that we had on the dyno at 146 hp & 153 ftlbs torque. I have seen Harleys come into the dealer that put out 170 hp with little more than a Jagg oil cooler to keep the motor cool. Water cooling allows for lower emissions as does fuel injection, but it doesn't mean that it's better. Porsche made high performance sports cars that were capable of near 200 mph speeds(959) up to 1997. They went to water cooling because the emissions regulations became more restictive. The 1982-83 911 Turbo remains the benchmark for their performance. As a Harley mechanic, I would have no problem with Harley going to all water cooled bikes. It's all good.
skeeter -Danny  November 23, 2010 05:31 PM
Just a little fyi, Harley will be producing stock replacement parts for all Buell models through the year 2019. They will continue to service Buells beyond that. I am a mechanic at Harley dealer in NJ, and have serviced several Buells recently. Most were out of warranty, and a few were over 10 years old. Besides all of that, this article is about the XR1200.
"(HD) self destruction" -Time for a cool change . The little river band is playing in my head .  November 15, 2010 02:23 PM
I thought ,what bike should i buy ?...... none on my list were (HD). Then i thought there is a dealer down the road........... I laughed out loud . I can think back over the years to friends and family and the lack of dealer support. Then i thought one dealer a hundred miles away that will help me. Much better then a dealer next door that won't . Then i thought i dislike German, Japanese and Italian products.......Of course ! ,Triumph Indian and Victory are around .I can buy one of them and get dealer support ....... Great i em cured !, of they (HD) curse . I can see birds flying and flowers blooming ....... ,But no over weight guy to tell me i em bad ass...... : ( Oh well , i can live with it : ).
Donny -HD is becoming a mental disorder / with diapers .  November 15, 2010 01:55 PM
Buell motorcycles with ,or with out the rotex or thunderstorm engine were great machines . My self i would have bought a( Fire Bolt) ,or a( XB12 SS) (Touring Sport ) jet black ,or kick ash translucent. That ship is sunk ,and now like so many other riders my hate of (HD) has reached a mind melting level . I like most Americans that dislike Japanese/German/Italian products . Will be purchasing Triumph , Victory , or Indian . The Buell is dead, for now. You can not ride a computer chip bike with out dealer support . (HD) when the warranty runs out will tell you to get that peace of junk out of there dealers ship rather then service it,HELL ! ,they do it with the warranty now. (HD) is dead , they are the crazy old man in the room throwing his own poop at every one. Then wonders the reason no one likes him .(PS) Good luck trying to find parts for a buell. Sorry ,but (HD) is evil ask Indian motorcycles ,or excelsior henderson and add Buell to that list , but Indian is back with revenge on it's mind. (HD) = HELL.
TORREZO -TSK TSK HATERS  September 3, 2010 08:36 PM
wow all of you are idiots. its super obviouse that since this motorcycle is going to be made by harley davidson that it obviously isnt going to be comparable to a crotch rocket. the xr1200 is basically still just a cruiser. the two things it has is a raise in power and better handling then your normal sportster cruiser. so i dont see why all of these people under me are hating this motorcycle so much. it wasnt meant to be put up against an r6 or a cbr or even a tl or an sv. i think this bike is nice and mine is being delivered tomorrow. i have been riding a sportster forever and i love it. now this bike will be even better. im not afraid of getting smoked by an inline four:) i dont care. this bike is for fun. not racing. all you haterz can get a life and get off this article if you hate harley so much
EGD -XR1200X Thoughts  September 1, 2010 07:09 PM
An iron block engine that is basically air cooled is a limit on performance. Putting out more horsepower requires more cooling via cylinder and or head coolant. Oil coolers on the XR help some. Handling performance is limited due to weight and center of gravity issues that the iron based engine shared with the HD engine based Buehl series. The logic of the marquee based race series has been repeated over the years with both motorcycles and cars. It is intended to spotlight the marquee and provide an event that makes driving skills the challenge. Other races combine the driver's ability with the overlay of engineering and pit crew talent. As others note, the HD market is not for the go fast riders. It is style based, motorcycle jewelery, that can be enjoyable transportation or just for show. The dealer personnel and mechanics I've experienced are capable, helpful, and friendly. Looking carefully at the XR1200, it consists of many special components that take it in the direction of a sports handling motorcycle pretty well. The marketing statements and actual design have 2 noticeable disconnects. One is that it has a belt drive that could not be useful in dirt riding unless the belt were fully enclosed. Marketed as a European themed and sports handling machine, it should have gotten narrow handle bars. Not many European riders ever see any thing that the wide handles would be any advantage. I don't do pirate look, bar hopping, or motorcycle religion. I wear helmets, boots, gloves and protective coats and they add to my riding comfort. Current rides are HD VRod Street, BMW 1200RS, BMW 100/7.
gary -who cares  August 7, 2010 01:38 PM
i own a 96 fatboy with some customizing done to it,but it the seating position is starting to hurt my back and was thinking of getting a xr1200 instead.i was reading all of the comments on here and it seems to be more of a harley bashing site! i have some hd tshirts and go to some bike nites at bars,to socialize with other bike owners.i don't understand why you are all concerned so much with what people ride or look like,isn't it about getting on a bike and enjoying the ride on two wheels,who gives a crap if you ride a hd all chromed out with tats and hd clothes or you ride a crotch rocket with a colorful full one piece leather suit.i don't judge all those crotch rocket guys that are at the tim hortons coffee shops standing around thinking there bike is the best.ride what you want WHO CARES!! what it is.do you go around knocking people that buy hyundi's cause you drive an escalade?? get out an ride what makes you happy and stop worrying about what others are riding or are doing.
Cheezy -I own 2 Buells  August 6, 2010 06:36 PM
I have a 1125r and a xb9s, the 1125r is awesome, I like the xb9 as well even though it does have a sportster motor. You are all right about the dealer experience, it pretty much sucked. Long live Buell
Steve -Supervisor  July 28, 2010 09:42 PM
I stumbled across this forum looking for th 2011 harly models. Most of you people bashing Harleys must be very jealous. How many motorcycle manufactures have been around for as long as Harley? They must be doing something right. I work on cycles as a side job and work on all types, have also owned all types, at this point I own four bikes. Kawasaki 1100 Yamaha 490 dirt bike 92 Harley and 2006 Big Dog. Sorry, for crusing Harley or Big Dog can't be beat. Big Dog 117" motor is a torque monster, Hit 6th gear at 75mph good to about 160mph.
Like I said i've rode many bikes, been riding since 1973 and raced dirt bikes, could buy anything I want, for cruising, get a Harley, Big Dog or Victory. Did you ever hear of American pride? If you like foreign things so much, pick you country, get you plane ticket, then you could walk to get your next cycle.
jorge arellano -xr1200x  July 10, 2010 12:32 AM
me parece que no podemos mirar a h-d como una moto,ni h-d mirar al resto.la xr1200x es una aventura que puedo o no compartir y creo que no pretende competir con otras marcas,sino cautivar al segmento indeciso,que luego la va a cambiar por una 100%h-d.
WILBK -XR to ZRX  June 26, 2010 12:03 AM
Well, I stopped in to my local Harley dealer to just look at the XR1200, because I always wanted a XR750 or at least ride one. I rode to the dealer on my Kawasaki ZRX1200, and since I have a license, they let me take the XR1200 for a spin around the block. Words can't express my dissapointment in the XR1200, Compared to my ZRX, it's slow, handles like a Buick, and my ZRX would "smoke" this XR any day of the week. The Dealer said he could make me a great deal on the XR because they are not selling very well. I politely declined his offer. I spent $4000 on my used ZRX with less than 7000 miles, why would anyone pay more than $10,000 for Less performance??
Lucid -XR1200....a repackaged turd on wheels!  June 17, 2010 08:59 AM
I grew up loving HD even with all there bulls**t issues but I have to say, after the release of this repackaged turd called the XR1200 and tie it to a relic by the name of Evil Knievel, talk about looking backwards while trying to drive forward - no wonder this company is about to crash and burn. Debt up the ass, allergic to innovation and change (i.e. Buell, and Rotax Engines) and pushing the same old s**t down the road...hell I don't give a s**t what HD riders say, I would sooner drive a rice burner or a Can-Am Spyder than be seen on this piece of crap! Yeah...go ahead and tout this thing as a sports bike - the world and just about every other Harley owner with an IQ over 50 knows that the XR1200 is a joke. And to those of you that want to jump my ass for saying so let me be the first to say....F-You! Later...
Sam444 -Think Twice Before Buying  June 14, 2010 01:32 PM
My long time riding buddy bought a new Harley Ultra this Spring and he has had nothing but problems with it from day one. He is most disappointed in the performance, or lack there of. He was used to his 08 Gold Wing as far as comfort and performance. I warned him in advance but he did not listen. His bike is nothing but a can of worms and the dealer gives him the run around and blames everything on HD. I think the real reason is the fact that he did not buy any of the Harley aftermarket crap that the dealer was trying to sell him. He just bought the bike and left and I could tell that the dealer was pissed. He is just sick and the local Honda dealer will not take it on trade for another Gold Wing and his newspaper ads go unanswered. There are at least another 20 Harley's also for sale in the local paper so that does not help him at all. Harley Davidson quality has gone down the drain and there prices have gone up. Personally, I think his bike is just plain ugly. It is way underpowered as he can not pass a car like he used to do with his Wing. Now he has to make sure there is plenty of road ahead so he can get a run at it. When he was buying his nightmare I asked a salesman about the XR1200 that was sitting on the showroom floor. He said "we don't sell many of those" and he did not know the price. He said they were imported from Europe where they are a "hot seller". The XR1200 does not fit into the standard Harley pirate look so I doubt it will sell here in the U.S. Who would pay $12,000 for a "Sport Bike" with an outdated heavy v-twin motor with no horsepower. A person would be crazy to buy one of these things. It is just a reworked out of date Sportster......
wade -get a victory  June 13, 2010 02:56 PM
i think when it comes to american made crusiers noone does it better than victory.
i have owned harley and suzuki but nothing is as good as my victory.
it amazes me what this company has been able to in 10years.
gb -Chris - HD vs Buell vs HDs image  June 13, 2010 09:22 AM
the world already knows about HD performance or lack there of....
Chris -HD vs Buell vs HDs image  June 11, 2010 12:12 PM
Think about this,the main complaint about Buell was the sportsters 1200 twin and its lack of performance and when Buell came out with 1125r it was finally a competitive machine and the only major change made was the rotax replacing the HD twin,what kind of message would that send the world about HD performance? not a very good one.So why not just axe buell to save from any other embarrasment that HD cant hang with the rest of the world when it comes to performance numbers? So maybe letting Buell go the way of the dinosaurs wasnt just about profits.Just my contribution the the world of conspiracy theories. I like HDs but even I cant admit that their performance is way way far from stellar and their quality could use a boost too.
Steve -XR1200 - LOL  June 11, 2010 08:27 AM
EAB hit the nail right on the head. Harley Davidson made a huge mistake by killing Buell and just when Buell was getting the Rotax engine to replace the dated and poor performing Harley v-twin. One of Buell's shortfalls was the Harley dealerships. Younger buyers did not want to put up with the Harley dealer garbage and Harley dealers did not want to sell Buell's because they could not load the buyer up with all the Harley lifestyle trash. Every Harley buyer suckers for the Harley crap like a t-shirt, belt buckle, do-rag and if they are a true sucker they will buy the screaming beagle kit. Buell should have had there own separate dealers and buildings. Buell riders did not want to play dress up like a pirate and go on poker runs from bar to bar like the Harley morons. Now Harley Davidson wants to pass off the piece of s**t XR1200 as a sport bike to replace the Buell line. Get serious HD this bike is a outdated joke. The Harley morons won't even buy this bike. It is just a re-bagged sportster. No horsepower or performance. Harley can only race these pathetic things against themselves because there is not a bike made that these stupid things can beat in a race.
Mcguire -sewer rat  June 11, 2010 02:48 AM
I have had Harleys in the past and they sound good and it feels like you are going fast with all the noise and shaking. I have a Aprilia 1000 milie and I cannot believe the amount of performance Rotax can squeeze out of a V twin. Harley could keep a v twin just change your engineers.
Chris -EAB  June 10, 2010 09:11 AM
Couldnt agree with you more,WELL SAID!
Mxster -total  June 10, 2010 07:44 AM
EAB -Buell bike...  June 10, 2010 06:32 AM
I forgot to mention. The one machine I would have wanted was what was going to be made in three years; a smaller, 600-800cc version of the 1125R. I would have snatched that up so damn quick it's insane. Buell could have built a whole line of bikes around that WONDERFUL Rotax twin, from smaller street bikes to large sport tourers. HD, I say it until people throw me outta here; your decision not to properly nurture Buell into a Ducati/BMW/Honda fighter utilizing it's own dealer network will go down as one of the biggest mistakes in auto/motorcycle history and may be the decision that seals your fate.
EAB -Just what I said  June 10, 2010 06:27 AM
I always said, Chris, I love Harleys, but the pirate/lemming/manhood between legs is not a p*nis but a v-twin" mentality is ridiculous to the extreme. You mention the 919. I have the 599, it's little brother; riding 25 years and it's by far the best bike I ever had. Fast, smooth, light, comfortable. It's better than any cruiser or sportbike I have ever ridden. No, it doesn't pull a wheelie in fourth at 80MPH or run 160. Hasn't bothered me yet. Cheers!!
Gable -Shawn  June 9, 2010 02:11 PM
MSRP NOT $10799 it is $11799 for the XR1200X
Chris -EAB  June 9, 2010 10:58 AM
I def agree with you on that,Buell should never have been closed down it was a huge mistake on HDs part and they will find that out the hard way in time.Buell should have had their own showrooms,salespeople,and better marketing,not to mention more freedom from HD,the 1125r and cr models were great bikes in my opinion and I too was thinking about a buell at one time,hell call me a fool but I still wish I could get my hands on a new Firebolt,love the way they look and ride even with the sportsters lo-tech engine.All im saying about HD is they offer some people what they want,a bike thats easy to customize,offers prestige and status for thoes looking for that in a motorcycle,and for the pirates their dream yacht.For me I wouldnt mind an XR1200X only because most of the jap offerings look like something out of star wars! I dont need to go 160mph and I like a traditional look in a naked bike and honda took the 919 away from us,every thing else the big four offer have quater farings and thats not a naked in my eyes.HD is good at what they do and yes its a very narrow focused and lo-tech product they sell to a narrow focused group of people and yes they feed a load of crap about freedom and that tough guy image youll get when one their bikes that you wont find anywhere else in the world but thats the business world for you and all im saying is their good at what they do.
EAB -@Chris  June 9, 2010 09:05 AM
HD could have made a go of it with Buell if it was in a separate building, separate dealer network, etc. HD's marketing is very specific, as is their dealers and salespeople. If it's not in support of HD and the pirate lemmings that ride them, it won't sell off of an HD lot. THAT'S why Buell and the V-Rod have ultimately failed. With all of the deserted auto dealerships via the GM/Chrysler bankrupcy, there were many dealers ready to sell another line. One in our area, a former Chevy dealer, is now selling Vespa and Victory. I could easily see a "Buell" dealership there as well. I was and am the potential Buell owner, but I wouldn't step foot in an HD dealership, and I wouldn't trust Jethro, the pirate lemming air cooled mechanic, to understand or care how to maintain a liquid cooled twin with DOHC and adjust valves via shims. As a separate dealership, Buell would have crushed all comers. Do you not realize just how stout of a bike the 1125R was?
string -rock guitar god (in my own mind anyways)  June 9, 2010 08:42 AM
Black Rain came out in 89 and i have wanted that bike ever since,I like it and i wish i were a 150lb kid again.
Chris -To EAB  June 9, 2010 07:07 AM
I agree with you of the fact that the other companies have modern tech on their showroom floors and I agree 100% that HD were fools for closing down Buell,they were very cool machines in my opinon and as time went by they were becoming truly competitive machines,however I feel that the fact so many riders have such a large distaste for HD if HD were try to build a modern sports bike that could compete with the Big four,ducati,and such,many riders would look the other way just because of the HD badge and what represents to them.HD tried it with the VROD which has a modern watercooled hi reving engine(for a crusier)with impresive hp and performance numbers for the class it competes in and although it was pricey at first the pricing has come down and yet it never really was a hit,even most HD riders felt like HD sold out on that bike.So why should HD spend the money for R&D to build something that may not sell in the market it would compete in based on the hi risk of poor sales due to their rep in that market? It would be great for the riders who would want that product from HD but lets face it the number of us is to low to justify that risk and all motorcycle companies are first and foremost just that companies who are in the business of making money. Honda wont give us the CB1000R,Yamaha wont give us the XJR1300 or the MT-01,all cool machines the would never sell in america because a large number of americans dont like standars so they wont spend the money to send them here when the know they wont break even.So yes I agree HD should bring better tech and perf #s to the table but its not going to happen anytime soon and you all know this so just let it be and ride what makes you happy because thats what lifes about making youself happy so dont sweat the small stuff and just ride. Sorry to be so long winded.

EAB -To Chris  June 9, 2010 06:08 AM
Chris, your answer is that in the case of Triumph, Honda, and other manufacturers, they have modern technology demonstrated on other models in the same showroom. Harley had that with the Buell/Rotax sportbike but scuttled it. They made a choice to pick one road; retro, instead of doing what companies like Honda and Triumph do which is all roads. In Honda's case, if it has two wheels and a motor, Big Red will give it a go; mopeds, dirt bikes, touring rigs, and scooters. If Honda can do this, then Harley can afford to keep their retro stuff while exploring modern tech on other models. The reality is that the shutdown of Buell instead of forming an independent dealer network will go down in history as the "jump the shark" moment for Harley. Marketing and selling Buell out of the HD showrooms and finally shutting Buell down was a HUGE mistake, and HD will suffer from it for many years to come. Long term it may drive the company to bankruptcy; yes, it was that bad of a decision. You can't set up a dealer network on a large scale unless you sell mainstream product, and in the motorcycle world, mainstream means feeding EVERY rider, not just the pirates. HD, you screwed up.
Tim -Pictures  June 9, 2010 05:39 AM
Are those the best pictures you could come up with? They suck! I guess they really don't want you to get a good look at it. Sounds like all the features added are all jap.
MaduraMi -Low-tech Buell  June 9, 2010 04:07 AM
I agree with EAB. This looks like a BUELL without all the innovative features. Kinda fits Harley's M.O. of building retro bikes. I'm sure the Harley salesmen will look at you like you're from Mars if you show interest in this bike in their dealerships just like BUELL. Great step backward HD!
Shawn -MSRP 10,799  June 8, 2010 09:29 PM
Nah, it has the price, MSRP 10,799. Make it an even 10k? Sold! I like a ten thousand dollar bike, myself. I've owned Brit, Japanese, and Harley, so I'm not in that age-old argument. Ride on, no matter what you ride. Start Seeing Motorcycles, right? Since we got nearly f*ckin' killed by a van last year while riding our bike ('09 Ultra with only 5,000 miles on it--had it only two months), I paid cash up front for a good price on a bargain do-anything bike, does 90 on the highway and you can cut through a field, over a parking curb, and through a creek on it! ('09 red KLR 650) Also, I don't need to give anyone a ride this year.
Bigsky -Arrrrgh  June 8, 2010 05:03 PM
The pirate analogy is so spot on, "we are badazz, we are harley dudes", ha. I ride sportbikes and I like the look of this "brand new model", but it would be good for nothing more than running around town, which would be way more fun on even a five year old 600 Jap bike.
Chris -?  June 8, 2010 02:02 PM
I just think its strange that so many of you dislike HD because of their marketing stategies,if you going to do something do it the best you can and thats what they do.Why is it so bad that they stick to a proven idea that works for them? Triumph has a retro line,as does Ducati,and Motoguzi,and even in europe the jap companies have reto themed bikes,Honda wants to release the CB1100 which is a retro themed bike with an air cooled inline 4 that makes about 90hp at the crank,with a heavy steel frame and lo line suspension,but theyre cool and edgy for doing it!? Look I agree that their tech is way out of date and most but not all HD rides think they are some bad ass 1%ers that shouldnt be toyed with,but who cares let them live in their fantasy world and just ignore them,hell if you all are true riders than you should even worry because most HD riders are at the local watering hole telling B.S. stories about the time they went up against an onslaught of who knows what? and not out there on their bikes. HD does what they do and do it well,I ride a 07 Star Warrior but there are a few Harlys that I like,not many but some and I think lo tech or not their bike arent all that bad,and they have a great support network and allow you to customize you machine to your personal liking,But to each his own.Peace out and be safe out there.
gb -chris  June 8, 2010 12:37 PM
i don't dislike HDs at all. i think they do a great job of giving their people what they want. what i dislike is the HD rider who treats it like a fanatical religon and says you're not a real man or a real rider if you don't ride HD. i've never seen a HD thrashed at a bike ralley but have seen metrics thrashed and set on fire. now to me it seems with the goverment trying to curtail our rights and little old ladies driving a caddy who can't see over the steering wheel, teeny boppers talking and texting while they drive and the just plain stupid drivers out there that we as riders don't need our own to divide us cus we don't ride a "mans bike". unlike milwaukee mike i don't really care what you ride just that you do ride and ride safely. just my $.02
wilderness -Chris and Frank L  June 8, 2010 12:04 PM
Good point! How can you call the XR1200 a “retro themed machine” when all of the current sportsters have the same or less technology? It’s not like the other sportsters are modern and have been modern for 10 yrs. and Harley decided to build a retro bike in tribute to it’s past.
Ron Wall -Well Put Rider Mag.  June 8, 2010 10:39 AM
Rider Magazine put put is well when they said "This is a bike for for looking cool parked, or short rides on the boulevard, maybe to work and back or perhaps on display in your living room. I can not imagine a person spending $12,000 for something like this but they say there is a sucker born every minute. Harley dealers like people who would be stupid enough to buy one of these because they are also likely to sucker for all the other Harley crap like a screaming beagle kit or a new pirate outfit. Total waste of money when there are real motorcycles for sale.
Frank L. -Chris  June 8, 2010 10:36 AM
“lets all condemn HD to hell for being marketing gurus!” That’s the whole point HD is a motor company not a marketing firm but based on their products all they really have to offer is an image/lifestyle that was built up and maintained by its marketing gurus. HD is just a candy wrapper because when you did deeper you find nothing except more marketing gimmicks like “nostalgia” “tradition” “classic” and so on. True classic bikes have value because they are not being produced anymore. Harleys are NOT classics they’re just outdated because they are still being built. Harley’s bikes are not retro themed because they never evolved out of the “retro” era.

“The XR1200 and XR1200X were marketed for a rider who wants a Harley with a little more sporting feel to it” If such riders existed Buell would still be in business.
Chris -Let it go!  June 8, 2010 07:04 AM
First of all HD never built this machine to compete with or even try to be a full on sports bike,to even compare this to a 600cc sports bike is just plain DUMB! Its a standard no fairing or clip-ons or hi output inlne 4 cylinder engine that revs to 17000 rpms!(talk about apples to oranges!) and why even compare it to a speed triple which is marketed as a modern day streetfighter! Harley bulids and markets classic designed motorcycles with the exception of the vrod and they do a pretty damn good job at it. The XR1200 and XR1200X were marketed for a rider who wants a Harley with a little more sporting feel to it and that is what this machine does.Lets be fair in our comparisons. XR1200 to a Thruxton,or maybe to the new Commando? All retro themed machines,and you can customize the HD to an extent the the other companys could only dream of.Take your HD anywhere you want because you will always find dealer support,not so with many of the other companies.Harleys arent perfect but they offer things other companies dont,and who cares if it has its own race series(brilliant marketing and promotional prowess! lets all condemn HD to hell for being marketing gurus!) SO LET IT GO! WE GET IT YOU DONT LIKE HARLEYS! So thank your lucky stars nobodys forcing you to buy one!
Wildpiguk -Twit  June 8, 2010 06:08 AM
I really don't get Harley - they have made enough money over the last 10 years (maybe not the LAST 2 years...) or so to have really become a 'true' broadbased motorcycle manufacturer - not a niche player (although a pretty big niche). The problem HD has is that it is wedded to it's idea of 'fashion sells' not 'engineering sells'. The trouble with fashion is that it always has a period. The XR1200X - well..... Lets just compare it to ONE similar-ish bike the Triumph Speed Triple - I'll leave you to find out the price difference. TST- 6 Speed /-477Lbs WET and ready/ 4.8 Gallon tank - range 170 miles/ 128HP / 76ft/lb Torque XR1200X - 5 Speed/- 573Lbs wet / 3.5 Gallon - range 120 miles / 90 HP / 74 ft/lb Torque
Buck -hobbit  June 7, 2010 07:43 PM
“but to just say its a bar hopper is plain wrong and to say its not a sports machine and wont corner again is plain wrong, they now race them over here” That’s swell but people also race lawn mowers in real racing series, so just because it is raced does not mean it is a “race” or “sporty” bike/machine.
hobbit -UK rider  June 7, 2010 02:42 PM
for those that say the X is no good you could not be further from the truth, yes the XR1200 was a little poor but the X which we have had now for a year is a much much better bike, is it a Buell nope not a hope, i know i owned a Buell, is the 1200X good in the twisties Yup but it would still get owned by a Buell, but to just say its a bar hopper is plain wrong and to say its not a sports machine and wont corner again is plain wrong, they now race them over here
Smoke -New Joke of the Year  June 7, 2010 02:05 PM
When in the hell is Harley Davidson going to wake up. I am tired of there "New Models". All we get is last years bike with a different paint scheme, new name and more or less chrome. This bike has to be the joke of the year. Why would I spend $12,000 on this bike? It is under powered and over weight. A person could get killed riding this thing on the twisty s. This is ok for going to the bar and back home again and that's about it. Every motorcycle manufacture builds a better bike than this for less money. Plus you do not have to put up with the Harley dealer bullshit either. I do not want to be associated in any way with the Harley pirate culture. I see enough of those morons riding by my house with there loud exhaust and 3 foot tall handle bars. Every bar in town has a bunch of Harley's beached out front all day every day. Why would I want to be part of that immature culture.
EAB -To wllrjstn  June 7, 2010 07:16 AM
Not to completely highjack this thread, but you hit the nail on the head. Hook me up to a lie detector, and you'll find I love Harleys. I really do. I love the XR1200, the Road King seems like a nice bike to tour on the back roads, and the looks of some of the newer models are sweet. I am not a big fan of the air cooling and some of the lower performance parts they use, but the bikes have merit. But like you said, you go to a bike night and all of these lawyers, doctors, machinists, waiters, cooks; all walks of life feel the need to spend thousands on accessories, jackets, T-shirts, hats, bandanas, and the list goes on; and for what? To belong to some sort of way of life. How can one ride to live/live to ride if all you are doing is parking and drinking? Finally, my mentality has me thinking that if you drink while you ride, go without a helmet and proper gear, attach stuff to your bike to make it weigh more without benefiting performance, comfort, or in some other way "the ride", your bike is an object of vanity and not enjoyment and transportation, or in some other way in insist on being part of the pirate Harley culture, you are, in my estimation, an idiot. Out of pure consideration, I won't say it to your face, but it's what I am thinking. It would be rude to tell someone that just dumped 25K on a bike and pirate gear that they are a moron and I consider myself a pretty nice person. But understand, if you see another motorcycle rider, and they are not of your ilk, they are also thinking it. And here's this XR1200, a wonderful bike. Enough power, looks good, reliable, basically maintenance free, but you buy it and you are a pirate moron by association. Now, Harley, your problem is how do you market these machines to me without offending the pirate lemmings? Guess if you had an answer to that, Buell would still be around.
wllrjstn -this metric riding trash interested but not enough to join a league of idiots  June 7, 2010 06:03 AM
for all those wondering what kind of rider this bike is designed for, I am interested. I've had two Kawi's (EX500 and KLR650) and I have two Triumphs (Sprint ST and Scrambler). This metric riding trash was lured into Harley dealerships because of my interest in Buell, like Milwaukee Moron, er, Milwaukee Mike so eloquently put it. However, this TRULY PATRIOTIC METRIC RIDING TRASH has been DEPLOYED TO IRAQ for the past several months and missed out on the opportunity to get a Buell. I really wanted to buy one at the end of the deployment. But, I've missed the chance to order one through the PX and missed the fire sale. I could still buy the XR1200. It has the features I like, namely simplicity and a nice, standard platform. It's like a larger, more powerful Scrambler, my favorite bike I've owned, to date. A practically maintenance free belt drive and simple air-cooled engine with hydraulic lifters means less time messing with stuff and more time riding. Too bad the badge on the tank would automatically seem to put me in a category with that freaking idiot Milwaukee Mike and his ilk. So, I guess maybe I should really be more interested in something from Victory or the new Triumph T-Bird. For all the open-minded Harley riders out there, not like Milwaukee Mike, sorry if I offend.
2boyz -XR1200  June 7, 2010 12:05 AM
I'm not really a fan of HD's but this bike has some merit. This is a HD that you can't ride off the dealer floor and not bin the brakes, forks & rear shocks for replacements straightaway. That's got to be good in my books, now they just have to drop the weight and up the Horsepower. The bike would have been ahead of it's time in 1985 :)
FAN98 -1940's Tech.  June 6, 2010 05:06 PM
Get real people - Harley dealers do not like to sell these bikes. They want to sell the big cruisers so they can load the sucker up on the HD aftermarket crap. A Harley rider would not look too cool riding one of these with the standard Harley pirate outfit. Also, it has been noted that the Harley morons consider this bike and the V-Rod to be girly bikes anyway. Why would a young bike rider buy one of these things? Everything on the street except maybe a moped can beat it. That would be real embarrassing when the guys on there 600cc Yamaha's and Kawasaki's blow this thing off the street. $12,000 for a 1940's motorcycle. LOL.....
Skipper -Keep Laughing......  June 6, 2010 04:58 PM
This has to be the biggest laugh of the year in motorcycling. Imagine someone with one of these things trying to actually race someone. My son has a 400cc Yamaha Majesty scooter that will blow this thing off the road. Get real people, this is not any type of performance motorcycle. It hardly has enough power to get out of its own way. Why do you think HD is only racing these things against themselves. Answer - There is not a motorcycle made that this piece of junk can beat in a race. Keep me laughing HD.......
No XR For Me..... -Girly Bike  June 6, 2010 04:50 PM
What a joke. The XR1200 a "Sport Bike"? The XR1200 is just an old outdated sportster with a new paint job and different shocks. This is typical Harley Davidson. They don't have the balls or money to design a real sport bike so they haul the old sportster out and rename it. No wonder Harley Davidson is in so much trouble. Trying to sell something like this as a sport bike is bound to get more laughs than sales. Even the Harley riding morons think the sportster is a girly bike.
milwaukee mike -XR1200  June 6, 2010 04:14 PM
I'm glad that Buell is gone. It only brought metric riding trash into HD dealerships.
Now I'm not gonna run out and buy an XR1200, but now real HD riders have a real sportbike they can be proud to ride.
Tom B -Sport Bike????  June 6, 2010 07:41 AM
If the morons at Harley Davidson wanted a sport bike they should have kept Buell going. Buell just got rid of the stupid Harley motor for the far superior Rotax. Who in the hell wants a sport bike with an out of date heavy Harley v twin. This has to be the best motorcycle joke of the year. How can Harley Davidson call this thing a "sport bike"? What a laugh.......
Laugh out loud -Harley Racers????  June 5, 2010 04:12 PM
Thats cool - Harley Davidson has motorcycle races and they are the only bikes in the race. Maybe it is because there ancient motorcycles can only be competitive against themselves. That would be a lot of fun - watching a bunch of slow overweight Harleys racing each other. LOL Do the riders have to ware official HD belt buckles and do-rags to enter the race?
Skipper -Not a Sucker  June 5, 2010 04:08 PM
Good God - You have to be kidding. $12,000 for a sportster with a new paint job? This is typical Harley Davidson. Same old same old. Still has the boat anchor outdated motor. Why doesn't HD just design a new motorcycle instead of re bagging there old out dated crap? A new paint job and different shocks will not make this thing any better.
Procyon96 -Rode one & liked it  June 4, 2010 04:09 PM
I test rode an XR1200 at my local H-D dealership and liked it. I told the dealer salesperson that I thought the bike would have to have a 6 speed tranny, an adjustable suspension, a blacked out engine and exhaust system before I would consider buying one. Looks like H-D was listening. Maybe for 2012, The Motor Co will add another cog to the transmission. I'll have no excuse not to buy one then.
irksome -That's nice, dear  June 4, 2010 03:08 PM
Why does an under-powered, air-cooled archaic dinosaur NEED a good suspension. "But golly! It LOOKS like an XR750!" That's nice, dear. Now put on your pirate costume and go outside to play. Harley Davidson=> Pretend To Ride, Ride To Pretend.
?WTF? -Curious  June 4, 2010 01:20 PM
Is it just me, or is it really freakin funny that HD is using Japanese based parts on their bikes? If this isn't so much of a rice burner, is it Sushi or a CA roll? lmao Where's Milwaukee Mike to wave the HD flag and say it's still American made...yeah...well so were the Goldwings. lol Just more foreign parts in this latest customer trap.
cw -needs to be lighter  June 4, 2010 12:41 PM
good start HD...next step lighten the swing arm, the wheels, the controls, the everything. the bike is too heavy.
GB -74 hp from 1200 cc  June 4, 2010 12:37 PM
but yet the 96 ci engines only put out 68. why can't harley put that tech into their crusiers so they could actually get out of thier own way?
TG -XR Cup?  June 4, 2010 11:06 AM
This bike couldn't have anything to do with the AMA Cup race that has been mentioned, could it? I actually like it, like a ZRX made my HD (so I can scoff at those rice burners). However, I am fairly certain the only reason I like it in this first look is because there is absolutely no mention of price....ouch.
EAB -Brilliant  June 4, 2010 10:27 AM
That is one sweet bike. I do think the audience for this bike are not going to go to the HD dealership as they are the same folks that liked Buell. Furthermore, I am not so sure the dealers are going to want to sell this machine when they can move a Wide Glide with a couple thousand dollars worth of accessories and clothing. Nice bike, wish HD would have had the foresight to make Buell independent and have them sell stuff like this. But the bike itself, no complaints whatsoever.