Just when you thought Harley-Davidson couldn't possibly do anything else with the Sportster line, the company announces two new models for 2011. OK, maybe that lead-in line was a little sensationalistic; there's still plenty the MoCo could do with its longest-running model line (the Sportster turns 54 in 2011). For 2011 H-D has taken the good ol' Sporty and stretched it from one end of the riding spectrum to the other with the introduction of the SuperLow and XR1200X. Geared (literally) more for the entry-level motorcycle rider, the SuperLow is low, but not the lowest (more on that later). At the other extreme, the XR1200X is for the rider who wants to do more than cruise in a straight line and look cool doing it. The XR1200X is all about carving canyons and maybe slipping onto the local track for some real downtime-getting down in the corners, that is. Actually it's not just the Sportster line that received some new siblings, the Touring lineup got a new addition too, with the introduction of the Road Glide Ultra. So if you're counting, that adds up to three new bikes for a total of 32 models for 2011.
Before we delve more into the details on these new models, Harley announced some other interesting news for 2011. For the first time in the company's history it will be offering a factory-installed engine upgrade option, called the PowerPak, on select production motorcycles. What this means is just like automobile manufacturers that basically offer the same vehicle with a larger displacement and more powerful engine, you can now "trim" out certain models with a 103ci engine, ABS brakes, and a Smart Security System. The PowerPak will only be available in the Touring line. Actually it will be standard on the Road King Classic, Electra Glide Ultra Limited, and Road Glide Ultra. To borrow a term from another corporate megalith, you'll have the option to supersize a Street Glide or Road Glide Custom from the factory with the PowerPak upgrade for $1,995. While the remaining OE Touring models-the Road King, Electra Glide Classic, and Ultra Classic Electra Glide-will only be available with the 96ci engine, you'll have the ability to opt for the new bundled Security Package, which includes ABS brakes and H-D's Smart Security System. The Security Package will be optional for Softail (except Cross Bones) and V-Rod models as well and will go for $1,195.
Other notable items include:
New hand controls for the Softails
Similar to the '11 CVO Softail Convertible, the trip switch has been relocated from the side of the odometer to the left-side hand control and, instead of pressing both turn signals to get the hazards to come on, there is now a single button on the right-hand control. The odometer is now outfitted with a larger display and provides additional info such as gear/rpm display.
New seats for the Touring models
The front of the seat is narrower to improve leg reach to the ground and the bucket is deeper to provide better back support.
The V-Rods will be outfitted with Michelin Scorcher tires
The Street Glide and Road Glide Custom get new/old exhaust
Due to customer and dealer feedback for the desire of the more balanced look of the 2-into-1-into-2 exhaust, the 2-into-1 setup found on the 2010s is gone, and in its place is the 2-into-1-into-2 like on the other Touring models.
The Power of Three
($7,999 vivid black)
Aptly named, the SuperLow is low with its 25.5-inch unladen seat height, but like we alluded to earlier, it's by far not the lowest of the H-D lineup. If my calculations and chart diagram is correct, several other models have a lower unladen seat height.
||Fat Boy Lo
||Rocker C, Night Rod
||Fat Boy, Deluxe
||SuperLow, Softail Classic, Street Bob, Wide Glide