Think of the Sportster 1200 Custom as the maximum Sportster. Whereas the original Sportster displaced 883cc, the 2018 Sportster 1200 is 36 percent bigger—1,203cc or 73.4ci, to be exact. Put another way, if the Sportster 1200 Custom’s cylinders multiplied to become a V-8, it would be a solid 4.8 liters. Bottom line? Same basic premise of maximum performance and minimal trappings that Sportsters have always shared but amped up with more power.
Besides its beefier engine, Sportster 1200 Custom features include dual-piston brake calipers and available ABS for much improved stopping, fat 16-inch tires with a bigger contact patch and more load capacity, and most importantly for riders, the kind of effortless power needed to push back horizons. For example, battling a long uphill climb against a headwind? No problem on the Sportster 1200 Custom. Adding a big windshield and saddlebags? Bring ’em on. Unique touches on the Sportster 1200 Custom include a combo of chrome and blacked-out engine, body, and chassis components for a clean, exclusive look.
Likes: Maximum Sportster performance with minimum componentry, nicely finished.
Dislikes: Forty-five degrees is a narrow V-twin angle, and the bigger the cylinders, the buzzier.
Verdict: Rocky Marciano in a tuxedo.