Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two | First Look

Bright Custom

**WORDS: Aaron Frank **

PHOTO: Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s popular Dark Custom line is defined by matte finishes, so it’s surprising to see the latest addition bring back the bling. Called the Seventy-Two, it’s a rolling homage to the choppers that cruised East L.A.’s Whittier Boulevard—a.k.a. Route 72—circa 1972. Deep candy metalflake paint, chrome-laced wheels, skinny Dunlop whitewalls and mini-apehanger handlebars all reference the Kustom Kulture that defined West Coast style 40 years ago.

The Seventy-Two’s stunning Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint is accented by Special pinstripe-style graphics. Four coats of hand-sanded clear result in a lustrous finish. Price is $11,199; conventional Black Denim and Blue Pearl finishes cost $10,499.

The air-cooled, 1200cc Evolution V-Twin, rated for 73 lb.-ft. of torque at 3500 rpm, is finished in gray powdercoat and topped with chrome rockerboxes and a matching chromed air cleaner. A low-profile solo saddle, forward foot controls and 10-inch mini-apes set on 2-inch risers create a proper chopper riding position, and the now-signature Dark Custom chopped fender with side-mount license plate and integrated turn signals/taillight clean up the rear view.

The Seventy-Two shows, once again, how adept Harley-Davidson is at keeping the Sportster platform—now in its 55th year of production—relevant. Dark Custom Sportsters were among Harley’s best-selling models in 2011, both overseas and especially to the young male demographic that until recently has eluded The Motor Company. The Seventy-Two should only continue this trend.