Harley-Davidson XR1200 Quick Test

The Harley-Davidson XR1200 has finally been released to all markets worldwide, and HOT BIKE was given the chance to test the new motorcycle on the winding roads of Palomar Mountain in Southern California. The result: HOT BIKE approves!

The XR1200's dynamic suspension features a 43mm Showa inverted front fork with 5.12 inches of travel. The rear is accompanied by preload adjustable shocks bolted to a brand new cast aluminum swingarm. The Dunlop Qualifier D209 tires were specifically developed for the XR1200 for agile handling with low spin inertia, providing a stable steering response. And with the rear 180mm and front 120mm skins wrapped around the lightweight, three-spoke cast aluminum wheels (18-inch front, 17-inch rear), the Dunlop's aggressive tread pattern provided plenty of traction when cornering. With the pull the front brake lever, the dual Nissin four-piston stoppers grabbed both the 292mm patented uniform expansion discs, bringing the XR to a quick standstill.

The rubber-mounted Evolution XL1200cc motor sitting inside the tubular mild steel constructed frame was outfitted with precision-cooled cylinder heads, performance cams, large capacity oil cooling system, Downdraft Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection, and an electronically controlled active intake system. Exhaust fumes expel from the satin chrome 2-into-1-into-2 straight shot system with dual mufflers in an upswept design.

The aggressive riding position can be attributed to the XR's 29.2-inch seat height, rearset foot controls with a 39-degree lean angle for more cornering clearance, and wide black dirt track style handlebar. It's a forward riding position that metaphorically represents the company's forward thinking, combined with the styling of the tried and true results of the iconic XR-750. The MoCo turned to Harley-Davidson dirt track racing legends, Scotty Parker and Rich King, for feedback with the design.

The XR1200 is available in Vivid Black, Mirage Orange Pearl, and Pewter Denim, and the starting retail price is $10,799. For more information about the XR1200, contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer, or visit www.harley-davidson.com. For the entire XR1200 article, check out the Volume 41 Number 4 issue of HOT BIKE on newsstands February 10, 2009.