It’s news we’ve been expecting for a couple of years now, but finally it looks like the end is nigh for Harley-Davidson’s long-lived Sportster Range.
Motorcycle News in the UK is reporting that the Sportster’s time is up in the EU with the Bar and Shield’s French distributor has confirming to the British magazine the withdrawal of the line along with that of the Street 750 due to the bikes not passing Euro5 emissions laws in the continent. With the air-cooled engines the oldest in the Harley lineup, it’s not surprising that the Sportster as we know if is about to come to an end.
While the bikes are quintessentially Harle-Davidson - and probably the most authentic machines in the American brand’s portfolio - updating the decades old engine would have been an enormous task without sacrificing the character that makes it so popular.
Currently there is no word on when the end will come for the Sportster in New Zealand, but if history is anything to go by - with models long gone from the Europram market currently still available here such as the Suzuki DR650 and Kawasaki KLR650 - we could be one of the last bastions of Sportsterdom due to our lack of any real emissions laws.
When it comes to a replacement, Harle-Davidson may have already shown us the future with its water-cooled Revolution Max powered cruiser concept. While new CEO Jochen Zeitz has already put the Bronx Streetfighter on the back burner, the custom concept could easily fill the gap in the lineup.
Time will tell, but for now, pour one out for one of Harley-Davidson’s most enduring model lineups.