Motorcycle Classics Blogs > Black Side Down

Harley decides – Finally! – to sell new XR1200 in the U.S.

by Richard Backus

Tags: Harley-Davidson, XR1200, XR750,

Harley-Davidson XR1200, right side
H-D's new XR1200 will finally be available in the U.S. 


Stymieing U.S. buyers, earlier this year Harley-Davidson introduced the flat-tracker inspired XR1200, whose styling draws heavily from Harley history, mimicking H-D’s iconic and race winning XR750 of 1970-1980. The hitch? It was a Euro-only offering.

Fortunately, Harley has finally put things right, announcing it will sell the XR1200 in the U.S. – but there’s yet another hitch: Only 750 of the new model will be available for “pre-sale” when the XR1200 officially goes on sale Dec. 1, 2008. Harley plans to give the bike its first public showing in the U.S. at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 5.

This has been without doubt the oddest model rollout in Harley history, with potential U.S. buyers pressuring H-D to sell the XR1200 here since it was first shown in prototype form in 2006, and understandably frustrated by The Motor Company’s apparent lack of interest in making the XR1200 available to U.S. buyers -- and this despite the fact the bike is actually built at Harley’s Kansas City factory. Talk about homegrown.


Harley-Davidson XR1200, left side 


One element said to have held up any introduction was the odd fact that until June of this year, Harley didn’t have U.S. rights to the XR1200 name, which was registered to Storz Performance, a Harley hop-up shop in Ventura, Calif., that, among other things, offers a KR-styled performance and appearance kit for contemporary Sportsters. Once word got out that Harley had purchased rights to the name the rumor mill went wild with speculation on a U.S. introduction, but H-D kept refusing to commit.

Price for the new model is $11,179, but with only 750 available there’s ample speculation that dealers will be bumping that up considerably to cash in on one of the most talked about Harleys ever. – Richard Backus