Can the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S compete with the Rival Cruisers? | EngineBiscuit

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The 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S could endure a familiar name, but it is very different from its fellow Sportsters. However, it is also still a cruiser motorbike, although rather sporty. Harley is known for making great cruisers, from touring baggers to more urban bikes. So how does the Sportster S stack up against the competition?

Which cruising bikes directly compete with the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S?

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S | Harley davidson

Comparing the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S to other cruising motorcycles requires first determining its closest rivals. And that means figuring out which bikes it’s not competing with.

For example, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is a good entry-level cruiser. But as a $ 4,399 single-cylinder bike, it’s no contender for the $ 14,999 Sportster S V-twin. On the other hand, the 2021 Suzuki Boulevard M109R BOSS offers a larger and more powerful V-twin for just $ 300 more. However, it is inferior to the Harley and carries around 260 pounds. It is a heavyweight performance cruiser, WebBikeWorld said, more in line with Harley-Davidson’s CVO models.

The 2021 Honda rebel 1100 is also a solid cruiser bike. And with its starting price of $ 9,299, a pretty affordable price too. Plus, unlike the Harley, it offers an optional dual-clutch automatic transmission. However, in terms of performance and features, it’s not quite up to the Sportster S. More on that in a moment, though.

Go further, RevZilla thinks that some potential owners might buy the Sportster S with Indian FTR 2022. And to be fair, bikes have several similarities. Both are inspired by flat track race, for example. Their liquid-cooled V-twin engines also produce roughly the same amount of power, although the Harley is slightly more torquier. They also weigh roughly the same weight. Additionally, the 2022 Indian FTR 1200 S has the same starting price as the Harley-Davidson Sportster S. However, the FTR is technically a standard, not a cruiser.

The rear 3/4 view of a 2022 black Indian chief in a garage

2022 Indian Chief rear 3/4 | Indian

So which cruiser bikes are worthy rivals to the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S? Looking through the specs, features and prices, several bikes stand out:

How does the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S stack up against its cruising motorcycle competition?

A black BMW R 18 2021

2021 BMW R18 | Bmw

Specification 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S 2021 BMW R18 2022 Indian Chief 2022 Ducati Diavel 1260 2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster
Price $ 14,999 $ 17,495 $ 14,499 $ 20,295 $ 13,150
Motor 1252cc liquid cooled
V-twin
1802cc air / oil-cooled twin boxer 1811cc air cooled
V-twin
1262cc liquid cooled
L-twin
1200cc liquid cooled
parallel-twin
Power 121 hp 91 hp 76 hp (based on Bike world bench test) 157 hp 77 hp
Couple 94 lb-ft 116 lb-ft 108 lb-ft 95 lb-ft 78 lb-ft
Transmission Six-speed with slip clutch Six gears Six-speed with slip clutch Six gears Six-speed with assisted clutch
Unloaded weight 502 pounds 761 pounds 670 pounds 538 pounds 580 pounds
Fuel tank capacity 3.1 gallons 4.23 gallons 4 gallons 4.5 gallons 3.2 gallons
Front suspension travel 3.6 ″ 4.7 ″ 5.2 ″ 4.7 ″ 3.5 ″
Rear suspension travel 2 ″ 3.5 ″ 3 ″ 5.1 ″ 2.9 ″
Angle of inclination 34 ° 25 ° (Vicar) 28.5 ° 41 ° Unavailable
Front brake Brembo single disc with cornering ABS Double discs with ABS Single disc (optional ABS) Double disc brembos with cornering ABS Double Disc Brembos with ABS
Rear brake Brembo single disc with cornering ABS Single disc with ABS Single disc (optional ABS) Brembo single disc with cornering ABS Nissin single disc with ABS
Seat height 29.6 ″ 27.2 ″ 26 ″ 30.7 ″ 27.8 ″

Looking only at the specs, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is the lightest of these five cruising bikes. And while its torque is average, the Sportster S is the second most powerful bike listed here.

However, it also has the least rear suspension travel and the smallest fuel tank. In addition, it has the second highest seat. That being said, a 29.6 “high seat is” very low and accessible “, Roadshow Remarks. And with an inclination angle of 34 °, the Sportster S neatly divides the difference between more “traditional” cruisers and the sportbike type Diavel.

Additionally, the Harley is the second cheapest cruising motorcycle listed here. It’s important to remember where the features are concerned.

How do cruiser motorcycles compare in terms of technology and standard features?

Specification 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S 2021 BMW R18 2022 Indian Chief 2022 Ducati Diavel 1260 2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster
LED lighting Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Fuel gauge Standard Unavailable Standard Standard Standard
Keyless ignition Standard Standard Standard Standard Unavailable
Bluetooth Standard Unavailable Unavailable Optional Unavailable
USB plug Standard Not available (12V instead) Standard Unavailable Not available (12V optional)
Traction control Standard Standard (called “Stability control”) Unavailable Standard Standard
Rear wheel slip control Standard Standard Unavailable Standard Unavailable
Speed ​​regulator Standard Optional Standard Standard Standard
Engine braking control Standard Unavailable Unavailable Standard Unavailable
Stability control Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Standard Unavailable
Launch control Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Standard Unavailable
Freewheel control Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Standard Unavailable
Number of driving modes 5 3 3 3 2
Suspension adjustment Fully adjustable front and rear Rear preload adjustment Rear preload adjustment Fully adjustable front and rear Rear preload adjustment
Quickshifter Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Optional Unavailable
Reverse Unavailable Optional Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Tire pressure monitoring Standard Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

The additional performance characteristics of the Ducati Diavel compared to other cruising motorcycles are expected given its sportsbike-like design. However, although it offers three additional “power modes”, it still has fewer ride modes than the Harley-Davidson Sportster S. And the Sportster is the only one of the five to have standard TPMS.

It should be noted for potential buyers of BMW R 18 and Indian Chief that the top trims of these motorcycles have additional features. The Chief Bobber Dark Horse and Super Chief Limited, for example, have Bluetooth and USB sockets, CW Remarks. And the new R 18 Transcontinental has a fuel gauge, Bluetooth, an audio system and optional adaptive cruise control, RevZilla said. However, they are all more expensive than the Sportster S.

Which one is worth buying?

Riding a brown 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S on the Angeles Crest Freeway

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S Driving Side | Harley davidson

As with any motorcycle, try out the cruiser you are interested in before you think about buying it. The Harley-Davidson Sportster S and the Bonneville Speedmaster offer optional center controls for those who don’t want forward controls. And if that doesn’t make you comfortable on the bike, try a different one.

Ultimately, choosing between these five is a matter of preference and budget. The Indian Chief, the BMW R 18 and the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster come close to the “traditional” cruising formula. As previously stated, the Ducati Diavel looks a lot more like a sports bike. And the Sportster S is somewhere in the middle.

But whichever one you choose, it’s clear that the Sportster S is by no means an equally raced cruiser. He is a real competitor.

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