Harley-Davidson’s Custom 1250 Concept Is Coming in 2021

While bikes like the Street Glide show that Harley-Davidson still builds good cruiser motorcycles, that’s no longer enough to sustain the brand. Other bike companies, such as BMW and Royal Enfield, have been making inroads on the segment. And while Indian still makes cruisers, it now offers flat-trackers, too. But following the announcement of a production adventure bike, the Pan America, Harley-Davidson has revealed it will be bringing another previous concept bike into production. Specifically, the Harley-Davidson Custom 1250.

The original Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 concept

Harley-Davidson Pan America prototype
Harley-Davidson Pan America prototype | Matthew Skwarczek

Back in 2018, Harley-Davidson revealed three prototype motorcycles meant to signal a new direction for the brand, Autoblog reports. Specifically, the Pan America adventure bike, the Bronx streetfighter, and an un-named ‘High-Performance Custom.’ Interestingly, Harley-Davidson never displayed the ‘Concept’ concept like it did the Pan America and the Bronx. At least, not to my knowledge.

That’s not to say the Harley-Davidson Custom concept wasn’t functional, because it was, Motorcyclist reports. But specific mechanical details have been fairly sparse.

The rear 3/4 view of the white 2018 Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 concept
2018 Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 concept rear 3/4 | Harley-Davidson

We know that Harley-Davidson planned to offer a line of Custom models, with liquid-cooled V-twins ranging from 500cc to 1250cc, Cycle World reports. And these bikes would ride on the same platform as the Pan America and the Bronx. Plus, based on the above footage, the motorcycles would feature foot-forward controls, Pirelli tires, and a tracker-style handlebar, Motorcyclist reports.

However, since Harley-Davidson announced the Custom, there’s been little to no word regarding a production version. And with the company’s financial woes and refocused strategy, we assumed Harley-Davidson canceled it.

But based on recent reports, it seems the Custom is back on.

Harley-Davidson is putting the Custom 1250 into production

The side view of the white Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 prototype
Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 prototype side | Harley-Davidson

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As of this writing, Harley-Davidson lists the Custom 1250 under its ‘Future Models’ webpage. Officially, its name is still ‘Future Concept Model,’ and the site only shows the prototype. But the page says the bike is “planned for 2021,” and that it will have a 1250cc engine.

Specifically, the same 1250cc V-twin that’s going to power the Pan America, RideApart reports. That likely means Harley-Davidson’s plan to build the Custom on the Pan America’s platform is still on, too.

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Unfortunately, while the Custom is moving ahead, the Bronx streetfighter isn’t, CarAndBike reports. The Bronx would have used the same 1250cc V-twin as well as a downsized 975cc version. Harley-Davidson hasn’t canceled the Bronx, technically, but rather “put [it] on hold,” VisorDown reports.

What we still don’t know

As of this writing, that’s all we know about the planned Harley-Davidson Custom 1250. We don’t know the exact horsepower figures, curb weight, or the planned price range. The exact release date is also unknown. Though hopefully, as we enter further into 2021, Harley-Davidson will release more information.

A black 2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster
2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster | Harley-Davidson

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It’s also unclear if the Harley-Davidson Custom will replace the Sportster. The Sportster line’s air-cooled engines don’t meet European emissions regulations, VisorDown reports. As a result, it’s being dropped from the market.

A black-tanked 2020 Indian Scout Sixty
2020 Indian Scout Sixty | Indian

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That’s concerning, given its popularity and the rise of competitors like the Honda Rebel 1100, RideApart reports. Plus, the Sportster’s key American rival, the Indian Scout, already has a liquid-cooled V-twin.

Regardless, it’s clear that 2021 is going to be a significant year for Harley-Davidson.

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