At Harley-Davidson’s West Coast unveiling of two mid 2012 models, at well-known biker hangout Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon, California, Paul James, Director of Consumer Influence and Product Communications, was the bearer of good news. Sales and profits were up, Harley’s 110th anniversary was on the horizon (to be celebrated over Labor Day weekend 2013) and the Motor Company’s Facebook page had surpassed 3 million fans, more than that of all other motorcycle manufacturers combined.
Nearly as important as the total number of fans was the fact that nearly half of them were in the critical 18-35 age group—the up-and-coming generation of prospective customers. For young folks to become actual customers, Harley-Davidson must offer motorcycles that are cool, affordable and easy to ride. Motorcycles like the 2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two, a Sportster influenced by Southern California’s ‘70s-era custom culture, and the 2012 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim, a stripped-down bobber.
With its 2.1-gallon peanut tank and bobbed fenders slathered in rich Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint and pinstripes, chrome spoked wheels shod with whitewall tires and a mini apehanger handlebar, the 2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two is dripping with cool. Named after Route 72, also known as Whittier Boulevard, a legendary cruising street in East Los Angeles, the latest edition to the Sportster line is powered by a rubber-mounted, air-cooled 1,200cc Evolution V-twin, finished in gray powdercoat with a 5-speed transmission and belt final drive. With its narrow 21-inch front wheel, 26.6-inch solo seat, side-mount license plate and loads of chrome, including staggered, shorty exhausts with slash-cut mufflers, the Seventy-Two looks like it rolled out of a back alley shop, the pride and joy of an old-school customizer. Available now for $10,499 in Black Denim or Big Blue Pearl, or $11,199 in Hard Candy Big Red Flake.
Steering the Wayback Machine even further into the past, the 2012 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim evokes the strictly-the-basics customs of the 1940s and ‘50s. With its gloss black headlight nacelle, air cleaner cover, oil tank, wheels and cross-braced Hollywood handlebar, the Slim is cool but not flashy. Even the powertrain is powdercoated black. Chopped fenders, 23.8-inch solo seat, half-moon floorboards with retro foot control pads, side-mount license plate and narrow 16-inch blackwall tires round out the package. The throbbing heart of the Slim is a rigid-mounted, air-cooled Twin Cam 103B V-twin with a 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission and belt final drive. Spent gasses exit through chrome over-under shotgun exhausts with slash-cut mufflers. Available now for $15,499 in Vivid Black, or $15,884 in Black Denim or Ember Red Sunglo.
For more information, visit www.harley-davidson.com.