The big news out of Harley-Davidson this week is definitely the Livewire. That’s the new electric Harley that Scarlett Johansson will be riding in Avengers 2, and which is expected to slot into the Harley range above the new Street models and just below the Sportsters. With all the attention going to Harley’s future, however, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Sportster … but this bike? This is a Harley Sportster you won’t forget.
It’s called the XR1200TT (Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200, plus the TT for “time trial”, as in “Isle of Man“), and it was built by Shaw Speed & Custom in the UK to show off the roadracing potential of the Sportster.
In a sense, the XR1200TT is little more than a Cal Rayborn-inspired bodykit for a Sportster that happens to feature some high-end suspension and braking bits. In a broader sense, though, it’s an inspiration for people who learned to ride on a Sportster, but whose talents and tastes have evolved to the point that they’d like something a little
less likely to be ridden by Scarlett Johansson more aggressive and track-oriented.
That said, the work on this Shaw Speed masterpiece is unlikely to be reproduced by a typical Sportster buyer. The details – so many of them! – are too good. The price, doubtless, way too high. Still, look at the way the Akrapovic exhaust tips peek out of the slippery, aerodynamic bodywork. Look at the VR1000-inspired bodywork. Look at all the sexy suspension and braking bits. Again.
Really, it’s the kind of vehicle you want to park in the garage under some warm lighting and drink away the afternoon picking out different details to obsess over. The fact that turning your Sportster into an XR1200TT-style crotch-rocket saves all the nasty carbon that goes into building an all-new bike and the fact that Harley’s Sportster gets better than 40 MPG without all the slick aero work should just be considered an ecologically responsible bonus.
While you compose your “Jo is really reaching for a green angle on this one …” comments, take a look at the studio photos, below, and ponder the sexiest Harley Sportster yet.