Iron 1200, Forty-Eight Special join Harley-Davidson lineup

Harley-Davidson continues to tweak its lineup into new models with the introduction of the Iron 1200 and the Forty-Eight Special.

Both bikes are mutations of current machines in the Sportster lineup. The Iron 1200 is basically the Iron 883 – long considered one of Harley-Davidson’s entry-level models – with the larger-displacement engine.

There’s also a mini-ape handlebar, cafe-style solo saddle, graphics that hark back to the AMF era, a bikini fairing and fork gaiters. It has a bit of west-coast custom vibe, but obviously, it’s not designed around the Big Twin platform that usually powers the more expensive builds.

MSRP for the Iron 1200 is $11,999. For more details and specs on the Iron 1200, visit Harley-Davidson’s Canadian website.

As for the Forty-Eight Special (photo below), it has the same fat-tire look as the original Forty-Eight, meant to emulate the post-WWII bikes that are still romanticized to this day. However, while the original Forty-Eight was mostly blacked-out, the Special has a much flashier finish (chromed primary, inspection and derby covers, along with exhaust, lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet covers). There’s also a new Tallboy-style handlebar. Aside from that, there’s not a lot of change.

MSRP for the Forty-Eight Special is $12,999; find specs and other details at the Harley-Davidson website.

The Forty-Eight Special is basically the same as the Forty-Eight, but with more bling.

7 thoughts on “Iron 1200, Forty-Eight Special join Harley-Davidson lineup”

  1. I haven’t seen a Hardley-Ableson yet this year, but I saw a Ducati Monster out yesterday and a couple of small-displacement Japanese bikes today. I think one was a Suzuki 250 thumper and I didn’t get a good look at the other one.

    Doesn’t matter what you ride as long as you ride.

  2. Raise the bars an inch, slap on some different paint and….. NEW MODEL. Lower the bars two inches, different paint and….wow. Another NEW MODEL. Everything blacked out…..HOW DO THEY DO IT? They must have thousands of engineers on staff. Sadly it all boils down to lipstick on a pig (or hog). Like Matt says tho, if the owners like it – fine. What I find tiresome is when owners of said lipstick-adorned pigs spout about how great they are, and how everything else is crap. They have drunketh the overpriced, 45-year old Kool Aid and if it makes them happy, they can all meet at their two-wheeled equivalents of Jonestown and go nuts.

  3. I’d love to have a 1985 Shadow 750. 🙂

    Thing is, it doesn’t really matter what they do if they continue to do decent business doing it. I’m fine with people loving motorcycles that I consider far from ideal. First people out each year are on Harleys, and usually the last ones I see in the fall too. They like what they’ve got – so what?

    1. Matt

      If you’ll consider coming down a tad to a Shadow 700, there’s a guy in Millbrook, NY selling one for US $250.
      It’s advirtised as a parts/project bike, but what do you expect for 250 bucks. 🙂 🙂

  4. Hmmm, agree with TK4. What a rut Harley is in IMO. Seems they either have no guts to move from the norm, or they have no imagination. Wondering what makes this thing different or makes me run out and replace it with what I have right now?

    1. Its parts bin engineering at its most ludicrous, something The Motor Company has done famously for decades. Time for a new schtick, maybe 4 or 5 derivations on each motor/frame combination and leave the rest up to the customer. And while you’re at it, how about putting some pizzazz into the Street 500/750s ? Those things are as boring as a 1985 Honda VT750 Shadow…

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