The Sportster bikes have been in design from Harley-Davidson since 1957. Styling is extremely impressive. There are seven available Sportster models, which makes choosing a difficult task. The 1200 models feature a 1201-cc, V-Twin engine that produces 79 lb-ft of torque, which makes acceleration incredibly swift. The 883 models feature an 883-cc, V-Twin engine that produces 55 lb-ft of torque, which is still plenty to get it off the starting line in a hurry. All models are air-cooled, feature an electric ignition, and a five-speed manual transmission.
The Forty-Eight model features exclusive styling cues with the smallest available seat height and a solo seat. Unfortunately, the low position of the Forty-Eight means that bottoming out is possible. The large wheel in front causes some grief when turning, and the weight isn't as well distributed as models like the 883 SuperLow. The 883 SuperLow is the newest model, and it is introduced for the 2011 model year as a response to helping beginner riders find a comfortable bike. For 1200 models, the estimated fuel economy is around 42/57 mpg city/highway, which only increases by three mpg for the 883 models.
Overall, all of the Sportster bikes feature high amounts of torque, which is usual with Harley-Davidson's products. This means that they accelerate well and are ideal for long tours. The Sportster may be a bit bulky at around 550 pounds, but it is easy to manage at low speeds. Whether looking for the classic Sportster design or a beginner-friendly bike with enough power to be fun, the Sportster delivers.