By Marissa Baecker
When I began dreaming about riding, I dreamt about owning a Harley-Davidson. The ever-so-common dream shared by many included buying my first bike and then proceeding to customize it with all the bells and whistles that the Harley-Davidson catalogue offered. For some, this is a life-long project but for those new riders just getting on the road, Harley-Davidson has shaved years off the custom path by offering an entry-level custom styled Harley, straight off the showroom floor with the new 2013 Seventy-Two.
Part of the Sportster line of Harleys, the Seventy-Two is also known as the XL1200V and definitely boasts that custom look with its stock mini-ape handle bars mounted on a two-inch riser, a 2.1 gallon peanut-shaped fuel tank (offers 4.9l/100 km (48mpg) of combined city and highway riding), a leather solo seat, chopped rear fender, side mounted licence plate (rear mount on press unit shown), chrome steel laced wheels with white wall tires and forward foot controls. A cool looking ride.
If you choose, you can take that customization one step further by selecting the all-new, 60s and 70s inspired, Hard Candy Custom flake paint in Big Red, Coloma Gold or Lucky Green. Flake paint not your style? No problem, you can also choose solid Big Blue Pearl, Chrome Yellow Pearl or Black Denim.
I find mini-ape handlebars perfect for my frame size. They are comfortable, the bike is easy to handle and there is no wrist fatigue as the wrists are straight on to the bars instead of angled down. Most riders will probably add a windshield for those long days of exploring but it isn’t a necessity. A handle-bar mounted single-gauge offers electronic speedometer with odometer, time, dual trip meter, low fuel warning light, and other basics.
The bike is definitely suited more to the smaller rider. At my height of 5’11”, my legs were stretched out forward from the 710mm (26.6”) seat when stopped at traffic lights and paired with a (119mm) 4.4” ground clearance, the bike sits pretty low. The forward controls were not forward for me but rather directly perpendicular to my knee and I could have used an extra few inches to sit back from the bars.
There is plenty of torque as you transition between the five-speed transmission. So much so, in fact, that when I aggressively opened the throttle to test the bike, my bottom slide off the back of the solo seat – not entirely – but enough to be surprised. It could have something to do with a freshly polished bike but I wasn’t expecting that type of reaction.
A new security system is being utilized in the motorcycle world including Harley-Davidson. We spend our hard earned dollars on adult toys, we should protect our investments. The hands-free proximity based security fob will disable the motorcycle if the fob moves too far from the bike. You cannot start the bike without it. The rider leaves the fob in their pocket and if they walk away from the bike, the engine becomes disabled and won’t start.
Whether you want to cruise or ride a little on the aggressive side, the bike weighs in at around 251.7kg (573 pounds), all fluids in, and paired with its size, is nimble and easy to handle in the corners making the bike well suited to a newer rider dreaming about owning a Harley.
The price is even affordable with an MSRP of $12,200 for solid colours and $13,000 for Hard Candy Custom colours.