The Harley-Davidson XR1200X, an Aesthetic Attraction


The Harley-Davidson XR1200X, it looks genuinely attractive, sounds very nice with an unrestricted exhaust. The XR1200X is big of a compromise to be your only motorcycle, but it's also too expensive to be a second motorcycle – unless you're just won the lottery.

You'll be assuming that the Harley-Davidson XR1200X is a bit of a lost cause, then. But Harley's XR is far from being a completely inadequate motorcycle, even it is a somewhat inexplicable one.

Considering that most buyers will be choosing this for its style above most other buying considerations, it's a resounding hit. The matt paint scheme looks brilliant in its dullness, and there's no need to debate the attractions of the flat tracker styling – assuming that's what tickles you...
The XR1200X engine feels pokey on the hoof, even if it's a bit an illusion caused by there being nothing to hold on to, and the handling is as reasonable, and relevant, as you'd expect for something of this distinctly individual machine. If every road you ride is best attacked at 80 to 90 km/h, with few moments that require more than 10 degrees of lean – it's distinctly decent fun.

But you'd be right to think that this is damming it with faint praise. In might be all sorts of okay, but it's not great at anything. Accept the looks that is. After 80 kilometers in the saddle you have no more clarity about its purpose, or any reason to buy it beyond aesthetic attraction. But Harley-Davidson built a empire on shared parts and styling exercises, and the Harley-Davidson XR1200X is just that. It's hard to dislike, but even harder to find a reason to like it.
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