The Sportster enters 2021 with ongoing rumours over its future in the Harley-Davidson lineup. Granted, these rumours have been circulating for years, but they gained new momentum ahead of the announcement of the 2021 range.
As the Sportster’s air-cooled Evolution engine doesn’t meet Euro 5 emissions standards, it was announced back in September that the model will not be offered in European markets from the start of 2021. Never a huge seller in Europe, its loss won't be felt there, but in other markets, it’s a different story.
The Sportster’s ongoing popularity in the US is the main reason behind its 64-year lifespan. That heritage that should see the Sportster survive for a few more years yet, even if the name is transferred onto a new platform, which may be the frame and ‘Revolution Max’ water-cooled engine used on the upcoming Pan America adventure tourer.
Future speculation aside, there’s no denying the Sportster lineup has been trimmed. From a total of seven variants available in Australia two years ago, there are now only three – Iron 883, Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight. Gone from last year’s local lineup are the Iron 1200 Custom, Forty-Eight Special and Superlow.
New Colours, New Pricing
For the 2021 Sportster, there seems to be no changes to the mechanical spec, cycle parts, electrics, ergonomics or other features, with a few fresh colour options being the only new additions.
Black Denim carries over for all three Sportster variants, with the new colour choices including options that have been shuffled around within the Sportster family.
On the Iron 883, the new colours are River Rock Grey Denim, Deadwood Green and Snake Venom. According to Harley’s MY21 launch video, Deadwood Green is a “desaturated” green that is also available on selected Softail and Touring models, while Snake Venom is an iridescent metalflake finish that shifts from an emerald green to purple in different light. That colour option also comes with a different tank decal that identifies its ‘Custom Paint’ status.
On the Iron 1200, the new options are Black Denim, Billiard Red and Stone Washed White Pearl, each with unique colouring on the tank graphics that are inspired by AMF-era Harleys.
For the Forty-Eight, Billiard Teal and Midnight Crimson are the new options.
The other change with the Sportster family is a price hike across the board. Where the MY20 Iron 883 listed for $15,995, that model now starts at $18,250 – a $2,255 increase for no obvious added value. The Iron 1200 has risen by $2,000 and the Forty-Eight by $1,000.