The 1957 Harley Davidson sports bike The Sportster is a member of the Motor Company’s “junior” cruiser family, which has always emphasized being great urban cruisers and a gateway to the brand. 

However, in its most recent incarnation, what was once a simple cruiser to compete with the British twins and singles has developed into a beast. While older Sportsters have been known to win raves and be successful in car jumps, the latest Sportster S model is truly revolutionary. 

1. Even though the 2024 Harley-Davidson Sportster S lacks some of the original Harley character, it’s still a fantastic urban cruiser. In many ways, it lives up to its flagship status as the highest model in the Sportster lineup—yet.

Additionally, the S has plenty of competitors, much like all flagship Harleys. The Ducati Diavel V4, the Indian Scout Bobber, and the Indian FTR 1200—India’s version of a bike inspired by flat tracks—are a few of the notable models. Uncertain about which to choose? Check out this comparison between the Sportster S and the FTR after that.

2024 Harley-Davidson Sportster S

2. The Sportster S’s surprising lightweight caught us off guard. No, it’s not even close to being nude, but still, it’s light for what it is. This is made feasible by a lightweight engine that serves as the frame’s stressed member. 

Finite element analysis (FEA) and advanced design optimization techniques (whatever that means) were used in the engine’s design, according to Harley-Davidson, to minimize material mass in both cast and molded components. 

Although the bike is lightweight and easy to maneuver, the large front tire still hurts to walk on. At least this works well in practice.

The Sportster S

3. When it comes to the motorcycle’s appearance and riding experience, the Revolution Max 1250T V-twin engine is the standout feature. Situated at the core of the Sportster S, the V-twin engine is contemporary, generating exceptional torque at low RPM with a consistent torque curve across the rev range.

It might not have the same charm and buzz as previous Sportsters, but you won’t be dissatisfied with its performance when driving.

Revolution Max 1250T

Engine And Performance Specifications

Engine TypeRevolution Max 1250T V-twin, liquid-cooled
Compression Ratio12.0:1
Horsepower Output121 HP @ 7,500 RPM
Fuel Economy49 MPG (claimed)
Top Speed143 MPH

4. You won’t think the 2024 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is anything else after taking one look at it. This is due to the fact that it does not resemble the classic Sporsters from the past.

Because of its hunched over and heavily centralized design, this one represents a significant design change. Muscle and performance are the main focus of the aesthetics, particularly on the front end (with its beefy forks and fat tire).

5. A few high-end parts that modernize the package and strengthen its value proposition further improve the ride quality and handling. The motorcycle is equipped with Showa USD forks that can be fully adjusted at the front, and a piggyback reservoir at the back allows for quick adjustments.

Dunlop’s Harley-Davidson Series GT503 tires are shod on the lightweight cast-aluminum wheels that the Sportster S also has. Brembo radial monobloc calipers with four pistons up front and two pistons down the back are in charge of the braking.

6. The Harley Davidson sport bike Sportster S’s handling on the road adds to its appeal. The engine is used as a stressed member within a lightweight frame that is paired with a welded tubular steel trellis swingarm. The bike’s overall frame is stiff, but it is lighter than most Harley-Davidsons.

7. The Sportster S is an urban cruiser rather than a long-distance cruiser, so it has more ergonomics than your average Harley-Davidson. This in turn will allow you to push the bike harder in both outright acceleration and in cornering scenarios, resulting in what we call an exciting experience.

The foot controls are forward-set, the handlebar is low, and the seat height isn’t too high, so most riders won’t have to tip-toe around this bike. The levers are also adjustable. If you plan on riding for hours, don’t expect luxury bagger-like comfort.

8. The Sportster S is packed with useful features. For starters, there’s a 4.0-inch TFT screen that displays all of the important information at a glance, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for calls, music, and navigation.

Aside from that, the bike has two dedicated power points for heated riding gear, a USB-C port, an external ambient temperature sensor, cruise control, and a proximity-activated security system.

It also comes pre-wired for heated hand grips, and you can choose from a variety of Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories listed below.

9. This Harley-Davidson’s lighting system is entirely LED, with the Daymaker Signature LED headlamp serving as the centerpiece. It not only looks sleek (due to its distinct capsule shape), but it also has a lot of functionality. According to Harley-Davidson, the lighting setup produces a strong spread of light with no noticeable hot spots or gaps, so there should be plenty of lights for urban riding.

10. The Sportster S comes with a variety of electronic rider aids, which are essential given the amount of low-end torque this motorcycle produces. Even the handling characteristics encourage you to push the bike (sometimes above your skill level).

The bike has several rider aids, including cornering ABS, cornering traction control, a cornering drag-torque slip control system, and four rider modes (road, sport, rain, and customized). In addition, it includes a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), making it nearly a complete package.

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