Harley Davidson first introduced the XR1200 in Europe, and after a hue and cry from the US, the company brought the flat track-inspired bike to the states in 2009. Keep in mind this was when the great recession was in full swing, and the company probably thought a Harley that sold for around $11,000 and had about 30% more power than the 1200 cc Sportster engine might help keep with overall sales. It didn’t – despite the fact it was named Best Standard by Cycle World in their Ten Best Bikes round up when the bike debuted in the U.S.
Weighing in at just over 580 lbs it was a heavy bike when compared to similar sized Japanese standards. But those bikes didn’t have the heritage Harley was going for when they modeled the bike after its iconic flat track racer the XR750 (the bike they should have mass produced earlier!).
If you could get past the oil cooler hanging out to the left, the bike had a design vibe that was decidedly not typical of anything in the Harley lineup. The aftermarket did its best to create parts that were mostly meant to improve sound and performance. The overall look of the bike had little wrong with it.
Unfortunately, sales were lackluster and Harley discontinued selling the XR1200 in 2012. A quick look online and these bikes are now going for anywhere south of $6000 up into the teens for heavily modified ones. Yes, they still sound like a Harley, but one look and a ride and you’ll think otherwise.