After much conjecture and speculation, it’s finally come true. The last Evolution-powered Sportster model rolled off the production line on October 14, marking the end of an era for air-cooled Sportys, a platform ripe for customization and personalization by enthusiasts from around the world. 

Evo Sportster
We’ll miss the purity of lines and the classic stance of air-cooled Sportsters.

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The Evo Sportster debuted in 1986, with its aluminum heads replacing Ironhead motors, ranging from 883cc to 1203cc. Since then, 1.4 million Sportsters have been produced by the MoCo! The biggest change to Evo Sportsters occurred in 2004 when the engines were rubber-mounted to alleviate objectionable vibration but became heavier as a result.  

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Air-cooled Sportsters have been a mainstay of moto culture since their debut way back in 1957. With the end of Evo-powered Sportsters, the model will be carried into the future with the liquid-cooled Revolution Max engines seen in the recent Sportster S and Nightster variants.  

Evo Sportster
The Sportster platform began in 1957, back when Elvis existed in only black and white. It’s been awhile.

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It’s been a great run for the Evo Sportsters, but time – and emissions regulations and power demands – marches on. They’ll be missed.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Euro regulations and California regulations are ruining motorcycle design just as the EPA and OPEC did to muscle cars in the 70s. Just put batteries in everything and get it over with WTF

  2. Well, good riddance. Rode a friend’s beat up 95 883 way back when for a while and it shook so bad I thought something was wrong with it (Owning Hondas left me unprepared). Friend said a H-D mechanic just said “that’s how they are supposed to be” and once above idle, it was better but at idle I thought I was going to lose some fillings. Clearly I’m just not man enough (whatever). Rode a Nightster (the OLD 1200 version) years later with the rubber mounts and it was much better except for the lack of ground clearance in turns. Love that old air-cooled look to be sure but like you say, time’s up when it comes to power and emissions. Reviewed the new Nightster 1250 LC EFI and viva la difference. Fast and fun! Here’s hoping they eventually do a stylized tribute model of some sort as the old bikes are certainly better looking. I smell a custom project….

  3. I have owned several XL bikes over the last 50+ years. I still have a couple of them, an ’83 ironhead and an ’06 1200, and I will always have them. There are many “better” motorcycles but none that make me feel like these do. If I want more speed, I ride my old VMAX 1200, If I want to go cross country, I ride my Road King. Variety, as they say, makes a motorcyclist very happy.

  4. 1957 Sportster CH was the small Tank version with high exhaust Pipe………….best looking of all of them !

    $ 1,200 + Tax

    Should not have SOLD it.

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