Harley-Davidson unveils 2021 Sportster S

The Motor Company made the claim that it is “Putting the Sport back in Sportster,” this morning as it officially launched the 2021 Sportster S during a global digital reveal featuring the likes of Ewan McGregor and Bill Davidson. We were teased with a concept three years ago and have heard scattered rumblings ever since, but this is the first time that the model has officially seen the light of day.

Marked by a high mounted two-into-one-into two exhaust reminiscent of a flat tracker or scrambler, the S features stretched out forward controls, LED lighting, and large, fat tires. At the heart of the new motorcycle is a 1250T liquid-cooled V-Twin engine. The 1,252 cc powerplant is said to make 121 hp and 94 lb-ft of torque – double that of the existing Iron 1200. An all-new motorcycle built on the Revolution Max platform, its powertrain is a structural member of the chassis to reduce weight. Loaded up with fuel and fluids, it tips the scales at 228 kg (503 lb).

As is the case with the Pan America, the Sportster’s DOHC engine features variable valve timing and adjustable riding modes – Sport, Road, and Rain. The pre-programmed settings adjust throttle response as well as the level of interference from the Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS) and Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS). It also features Showa adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, and cruise control.

A 109 mm (4-inch TFT LCD display is Bluetooth equipped and features digital gauges, indicators, and turn-by-turn navigation with the Harley-Davidson app. Functions are accessed via handlebar mounted buttons.

The Sportster S will be available this fall at a starting MSRP of $17,999 for Vivid Black. Other colour options such as Midnight Crimson and Stone Washed White Pearl are available at a cost of $450.


  1. I’m glad H-D revamped the Sportster, even though its decried by Harley purists as a “lesser H-D”. I’ve always liked the simpler, more elemental lines of the Sportster despite its disadvantages (weak brakes, soggy suspension and dubious comfort/range of models like the ’48). Agree that the pricing will be a big problem compared to the old Sportster, which was essentially a platform for customization. While I acknowledge all the significant updates come at a cost (tho’ that stock seat on the Sporty S looks none too comfortable), the new Sportster S now competes with several of the lower end Softail models. Triggering cognitive dissonance in your customers’ minds is never a good marketing strategy.

  2. Assuming this is the same engine as in the Pan adventure bike, why is the motor dumbed down to 121 hp from the Pan’s 150? Seems a no brainer to run the same hp numbers to attract buyers.

  3. Well well here we are again. Lets see $17.999 + 799.99 shipping +$500.00 pdi plus 15% tax $2897.40 and you MIGHT be out the door for $22195.40.. FUCK NO! Harley fail again. Who is going to buy /ride these things?We want a sporty middleweight around 10 large.I will keep my Buell Ulysses and SV650 for a long time I guess.What a shit show.

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