Harley-Davidson 48 vs Iron 1200: Comparing Two Iconic Motorcycles

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Harley Davidson 48 Vs Iron 1200

Are you trying to decide between two of the most iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles? Then you’ve come to the right place! We’ll be comparing the Harley-Davidson 48 and Iron 1200, two incredible machines that have been turning heads and inspiring riders for years. With so much to consider, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.

We’ll take a look at the features and specs of each bike so that you can make an informed decision about which one is the perfect fit for your style of riding. Keep reading to find out which of these two iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles is best for you!

Harley-Davidson 48 vs Iron 1200: Overview and history

Harley-Davidson is arguably the most iconic motorcycle brands in the world, known for its classy designs, powerful engines, and comfortable long rides. Over the years, the motorcycle company has released a long list of exciting models that have garnered a lot of success. Harley-Davidson has become a global brand with users in every corner of the world. The company produces a wide range of motorcycle models, including cruisers, touring bikes, and Sportsters. Two popular Sportster models for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts are the Harley-Davidson 48 and the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200.

The Harley-Davidson 48 or also known as the Sportster 48 was introduced first in 2010 as a part of the Sportster line. This bike was designed to appeal to younger riders who were looking for a smaller and more nimble motorcycle that was still powerful and stylish. The Harley-Davidson 48 was named after the year that the company first introduced the “peanut” fuel tank design, which has been used on the 48’s tank.

It also comes with a 1200cc V-twin engine capable of producing 60 HP and 73 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a low seat height of 28 inches and a weight of 562 pounds while also featuring a minimalist design, with a solo seat, a small headlight, and short fenders. The bike is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, including silver, black, and custom paint schemes.

Harley Davidson 48 Vs Iron 1200 - Two Sportsters
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The Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 is also a part of the Sportster line, and it was introduced in 2018. This bike was designed as a modern interpretation of the classic Harley-Davidson Sportster model, with a nod to the company’s rich history and heritage.

The Iron 1200 comes powered by a 1200cc V-twin engine that produces 65 HP and 73 lb-ft of torque. Weighting just 564 pounds and having a low seat height of 28 inches, the Iron 1200 features a stripped down, blacked-out design, with a café racer-style seat, a classic round headlight, and mini-ape handlebars. The bike is available in a wide range of colors, including black, white, and silver.

Harley-Davidson 48 vs Iron 1200: Key features

The Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 are two exceptional motorcycles from the Sportster line. Although they are great in terms of excellence and have many things in common, they do differ in terms of key features. Here is an overview of the features of the Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200.

Harley-Davidson 48

  • A 1200cc Evolution V-Twin engine that produces 60 horsepower and 73 lb-ft of torque
  • Lightweight and nimble design with a low seat height of 28 inches and a weight of 562 pounds
  • There is a “Peanut” fuel tank design that was first introduced by Harley-Davidson in 1948, giving it a retro look
  • A minimalist design with a solo seat, short fenders, and a small headlight
  • The bike is available in a range of colors and finishes, including black, silver, and custom paint schemes

Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

  • Similar to the Harley-Davidson 48, even the Iron 1200 model features a 1200cc Evolution V-Twin engine that produces 65 horsepower and 73 lb-ft of torque
  • There is a low seat height of 28 inches and a weight of 564 pounds
  • Features a stripped-down, blacked-out design with a café racer-style seat, mini-ape handlebars, and a classic round headlight
  • Comes with a retro-inspired design with a nod to the brand’s heritage
  • The bike is available in a range of colors, including black, white, and silver

Both the Harley-Davidson 48 and the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 have been designed for bikers who want a powerful and stylish bike with a minimalist, stripped-down look. Both the bikes feature the same 1200cc Evolution V-Twin engine, although the Iron 1200 has a more retro-inspired design with a café racer-style seat and classic round headlight. Meanwhile, the Harley-Davidson 48 has a more modern look alongside a “peanut” fuel tank and minimalist design. Both of these models offer bikers a comfortable, low seat height, and a powerful engine that delivers a thrilling riding experience.

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Harley-Davidson 48 vs Iron 1200: Design elements and style elements

Both Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 offer bikers a unique blend of style, performance, and comfort. However, there are a few key visual differences between the two models that might make one of them more suitable for certain riders. Here are some of those design and stylistic differences between Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 – 

Design elements

The Harley-Davidson 48 is essentially a stripped-down, old-school bobber with a classic look. This motorcycle features a peanut-shaped fuel tank that holds 2.1 gallons of fuel, a small solo seat, and a low-slung chassis. This motorcycle has a minimalistic design that puts the focus on the engine and the rider. Moreover, the bike also features fat front tires, a chopped rear fender, and a side-mounted license plate holder.

Meanwhile, the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 is a retro-inspired motorcycle with a muscular look. The bike features a teardrop-shaped fuel tank capable of holding 3.3 gallons of fuel, a high-rise handlebar, and a comfortable two-up seat. This motorcycle has a more substantial appearance compared to the Harley-Davidson 48. Further, there is also a narrow front tire, a mid-mounted licensed plate holder, and a blacked-out exhaust.

Harley Davidson 48 Vs Iron 1200 - Harley 48 In Red
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Style elements

The Harley-Davidson 48 has a classic minimalist style with retro touches. This motorcycle is available in a wide range of paint schemes, including Billet Silver, Vivid Black, and Orange Fury. The motorcycle also features a classic peanut tank badge and a solo seat with a tuck-and-roll design. Moreover, there’s also a raw, old-school look that appeals to bikers who appreciate vintage design elements.

The Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 has a modern-retro style with a bold look. The motorcycle is available in a wide variety of paint schemes, including Billiard White, Twisted Cherry, and Vivid Black. It also features a modern tank badge and a comfortable two-up seat with a diamond-stitched design. The bike has a contemporary style that appeals to riders who appreciate a mix of classic and modern design elements.

Harley-Davidson 48 vs Iron 1200: Engine and performance

Harley-Davidson is an iconic name that needs no introduction in the world of motorcycles. The iconic motorcycle brand has been producing high-quality motorcycles for over a century and its bikes are known for their classic styling, powerful engines, and unmatched performance. Two of the most popular models in the Harley-Davidson Sportster line are the Harley-Davidson 48 and the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200.

One of the most significant differences between the Harley-Davidson 48 and the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 is the engine size. The former comes with a 1200cc Evolution engine, whereas the latter features a 1200cc V-Twin Evolution engine. Both of these engines offer tremendous power, but the Iron 1200s larger engine produces much more torque, which translates to better low-end performance.

When it comes to power and performance, the Harley-Davidson 1200 has an edge over the Harley-Davidson 48. The Iron 1200s bigger engine produces 65 HP and 73 lb-ft or torque, while the Harley-Davidson 48’s engine produces 60 HP and 73 lb-ft or torque. This means that the Iron 1200 has better acceleration and can reach higher speeds more easily than the 48.

Fuel Efficiency The fuel efficiency of the two models is similar, with both offering around 47 MPG. However, the larger engine of the Iron 1200 means that it consumes slightly more fuel than the 48.

Harley-Davidson 48 vs Iron 1200: Price and features

The Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 are two popular models that share some similarities, but they also have some differences, especially when it comes to pricing and accessories.

One of the most significant differences between the Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 is their pricing. The Harley-Davidson 48 comes with a starting price of around $10,999 whereas the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 has a starting price of around $9,999. This price difference is because of the engine size and other features that come with the two models.

Both the Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 come with a wide variety of accessories that will help you customize and enhance the rider’s experience. However, there are a few differences in the types of accessories available for each model.

For instance, the Harley-Davidson 48 has a wide range of accessories designed specifically for the model, such as the solo rack and a bobber seat, whereas the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 has accessories designed for a more classic look, such as leather saddlebags, a windshield, and more.

Further, the Harley-Davidson 48 also has a bigger range of color options, with a total of 9 colors available in comparison to the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200s 6 color options.

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Both the Harley-Davidson 48 and Iron 1200 come with special editions with unique design and features. For instance, the Harley-Davidson 48 Special Edition comes with a taller handlebar, a custom paint scheme, and other styling elements. Meanwhile, the Iron 1200 Special edition features a custom paint scheme, blacked-out engine, and other unique styling elements.

What to consider when buying a Harley-Davidson 48 or Iron 1200

Since Harley-Davidson is a legendary brand, it is always in demand. Many bikers all over the world turn to Harley-Davidson as it is one of the top names in the motorcycle industry. The Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 are two names that many bikers turn to, as these two bikes come with their own unique features and characteristics. If you’re considering buying between these two models, there are a few key factors to consider, ensuring you make the right decision.

#1. Design and style

One of the first things that bikers often look for is the design and style of the motorcycle. The Harley-Davidson 48 has a classic bobber-style design with a low-slung seat, tall handlebars, and a minimalistic aesthetic. Meanwhile, the Harley-Davison Iron 1200 features a more traditional cruiser-style design with a larger gas tank, comfortable seating position, and classic styling cues like wire-spoke wheels and round headlights. Depending on your personal preference and riding style, you may prefer one design over the other.

#2. Riding style

Both the Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 come with their own distinct riding styles. The former is known for its more classic, stripped-down bobber look, while the latter has a more modern, sleeker design. You need to consider your own riding style and preferences when deciding which motorcycle will suit you best.

#3. Performance

The Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 has a more powerful engine and offers higher performance capabilities than the Harley-Davidson 48. If you are looking for a bike capable of handling longer rides and faster speeds, then the Iron 1200 might be the better choice. Meanwhile, if you prefer a more laid-back, comfortable ride, the Harley-Davidson 48 might be more suitable.

#4. Maintenance and fuel efficiency

It is also important that you consider maintenance and fuel efficiency when you’re choosing between the Harley-Davidson 48 and Harley-Davidson Iron 1200. Both of these models will require regular maintenance, but the Harley-Davidson 48 will have a smaller gas tank and will need more frequent refueling. Meanwhile, the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 has a larger gas tank, but this might be heavier and less fuel-efficient overall.

#5. Price and accessories

When you’re considering buying a new bike, the price and cost of accessories are important to consider. When it comes to pricing, the Harley-Davidson 48 has a higher starting price than the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200. However, the difference isn’t that huge and might not be a significant factor for some people. Both of these models come with a wide variety of accessories available to customize and enhance the riding experience, such as windshields, saddlebags, and performance upgrades. If you have specific accessory needs or preferences, it’s important to research the available options for each model.

#6. Brand loyalty

If you are already a huge fan of Harley-Davidson bikes and the brand’s heritage, this might be an important factor in your decision. You should consider your loyalty to the brand and whether you wish to stick with a classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle or try something new. This could be an important decision when you are thinking of buying a new bike.

Harley Davidson 48 Vs Iron 1200 - On The Road
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Pros and cons of Harley-Davidson 48

The Harley-Davidson 48 is a great motorcycle that falls under the Sportster line and it has gained a loyal following among the bikers. As with any motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson 48 has its own set of pros and cons. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of the Harley-Davidson 48.

The pros of a Harley-Davidson 48 are –

#1. Styling

The Harley-Davidson 48 has a classic, stripped-down bobber look that is both stylish and timeless. The motorcycle’s retro design has long been a major selling point for many riders.

#2. Maneuverability

This is an extremely lightweight motorcycle that is easy to handle and maneuver. This makes it a great choice for riders of all experience levels. The bike’s compact size also makes it easy to park and store.

#3. Customization

The Harley-Davidson 48 offers a wide variety of customization options, allowing the bikers to personalize their bike to their liking. From custom paint jobs to different handlebars and seats, the Harley-Davidson 48 can be tailored to suit individual tastes.

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#4. Performance

The Harley-Davidson 48 still offers tremendous performance for its size. It might not be as powerful as some other Harley-Davidson models, but it still a wonderful ride. The bike is great for a laid-back, comfortable ride around the city.

The cons of a Harley-Davidson 48 are –

#1. Not ideal for long-distance riding

The Harley-Davidson 48’s stripped-down design can make this bike a less comfortable ride, especially on longer journeys. It isn’t the most comfortable bike. The bike’s small gas tank also means that bikers will have to make frequent stops for refueling.

#2. Suspension

Some bikers have noted that the Harley-Davidson 48’s suspension can be still, which can make for a less comfortable ride over bumpy roads.

#3. Passenger comfort

Due to the compact size and single-seat design, the Harley-Davidson 48 is not the most comfortable option for passengers. People who intend to take a passenger on longer rides might want to consider a different motorcycle.

#4. Not the most affordable option

In comparison to other Harley-Davidson bikes, the Harley-Davison 48 is somewhat expensive, which means not everyone can have access to this bike. However, the bike still offers a great value for people who want to high-quality motorcycle, although you might have to pay a decent sum.

Pros and cons of Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

The Harley-Davidson 1200 is another exceptional, in-demand motorcycle offered by Harley-Davidson, and it has gained a glowing reputation for its style and performance. Like any motorcycle, even the Iron 1200 comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are some of the major pros and cons of the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200.

The pros of a Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 are –

#1. Styling

The Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 features a sleek, modern design that appeals to many bikers. The motorcycle’s blacked-out finish and minimalist styling give it a cool and edgy look.

#2. Power

Equipped with a compelling engine, the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 delivers a powerful performance. This makes it a great choice for riders who want a motorcycle that can handle high-speed cruising and long-distance trips.

#3. Handling

The Iron 1200 is a well-balanced bike that handles smoothly and efficiently. This makes it an exceptional choice for riders looking for a bike that is easy to control and maneuver.

#4. Customization

Like the Harley-Davidson 48, the Iron 1200 also offers a wide range of customization options, which allow the bikers to personalize the bike to their liking.

The cons of a Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 are –

#1. Uncomfortable ride

The Harley-Davidson Iron 1200s low-slung design can make this bike for a less comfortable ride, especially on longer journeys. The motorcycle’s forward foot controls can be quite uncomfortable for some bikers.

#2. Price

Although the Harley-Davidson 1200 costs less than the Harley-Davidson 48, it is still an expensive bike in general. This makes it less accessible for riders. Moreover, it is also expensive to maintain and repair.

#3. Fuel economy

The Harley-Davidson Iron 1200s incredibly powerful engine can be fuel-hungry, which means bikers might have to make more frequent stops for refueling.

#4. Wind protection

The bike’s minimalist design means it lacks the wind protection of other motorcycles, which can make it less comfortable to ride in adverse weather conditions.

FAQs

What is the difference between the Harley-Davidson 48 and the Iron 1200?

The Harley-Davidson 48 is a classic style cruiser with a traditional V-twin engine and a low-slung profile. It has a 48-cubic inch, air-cooled engine with an electronic fuel injection system that produces up to 60 horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque. The Iron 1200 is an updated version of the 48 that features a higher-performance engine. It has a larger, 1200 cubic inch, air-cooled engine with an electronic fuel injection system that produces up to 73 horsepower and 78 pound-feet of torque.

What are the benefits of the Harley-Davidson 48?

The Harley-Davidson 48 has a classic style and offers a comfortable ride. It has a low seat height, making it easy to get on and off the bike, and a low center of gravity, making it easy to handle. The 48 is also relatively lightweight, which makes it easy to maneuver and great for long-distance rides.

What are the benefits of the Iron 1200?

The Iron 1200 offers a higher-performance engine than the 48, making it great for more experienced riders who want a more powerful ride. It has more horsepower and torque than the 48, making it better suited.

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White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.