2012 Harley-Davidson XL1200V Seventy-Two Review
Authentic ’70s chopper attitude meets modern power and premium H-D styling in this bare-bones, lowrider-inspired radical custom
The Harley-Davidson® Seventy-Two motorcycle is a metal flake dream machine, a Sportster® motorcycle on a trip back to the days when the cool kids rode Sting-Ray bikes and the big boys parked choppers in a row on the curb. Those motorcycles were long and lean; candy-apple colour and gleaming chrome shimmering in hazy summer sunlight. From its Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint and ape bars to its narrow whitewall tires, the Seventy-Two model is a respectful nod to that era, and to the influence of the custom culture that still percolates today along Whittier Boulevard, the legendary cruising street in East Los Angeles, also known as Route 72. A new generation of custom builder is tapping into that era and making a fresh statement, not just in California but in garages across the country, even around the world.
“In creating the Seventy-Two [motorcycle], we were also inspired by the vibe of the early chopper era,” says Frank Savage, Harley-Davidson Manager of Industrial Design. “Those bikes were colourful and chromed, but also narrow and stripped down to the essentials. You look at period examples and they are almost as simple as a bicycle. It’s a custom style that’s very particular to America and that California scene.”
Metal flake, an iconic design element of the 70s, appeared in everything from dune buggy gel coat to vinyl diner upholstery, and on custom motorcycles. Harley-Davidson Motor Company brings the sparkle back on the Seventy-Two motorcycle with Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint. This new finish is created by applying a black base coat, followed by a polyurethane system that carries hexagon-shaped flakes that are more than seven times the diameter of the metal flake that is used in typical production paint. Each flake is coated with a thin aluminium film and then tinted red. Four applications of clear coat, combined with hand-sanding, create a smooth finish over the flakes.
A solo seat shows off more of the paint exposed on the Seventy-Two motorcycle. The powertrain is finished in grey powdercoat with chrome covers and a new round air cleaner with a dished cover. A classic Sportster® 2.2-gallon “peanut” fuel tank adds a final period touch to the motorcycle.
Based on the Harley-Davidson Sportster platform, the Seventy-Two™ introduces Hard Candy Big Red Flake, a sparkling, metal flake color option applied to the fuel tank and fenders. A solo seat and side-mount license plate bracket leave much of the chopped rear fender – and more of that paint – exposed on the Seventy-Two. The Evolution® 1200 cc V-Twin powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with chrome covers and a new round air cleaner with a dished cover. A classic Sportster 2.1-gallon fuel tank, narrow white wall tires, Chrome Laced wheels, and high mini-ape handlebar complete a look that nods to chopper custom motorcycles of the 1970s.
2012 Harley-Davidson XL1200V Seventy-Two Model Highlights
• Paint color options: Hard Candy Big Red Flake with period pinstripe details on fenders and fuel tank, Black Denim, Big Blue Pearl
• Powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with chrome covers
• Chrome, eight-inch round air cleaner cover
• 2.1-gallon Peanut Tank with lightening hole mounting bracket
• Dunlop® white wall 21-inch (MH90-21) front and 16-inch (150/80B16) rear tires
• Chrome Laced wheels
• Stainless steel mini-ape handlebar, mounted on a two-inch high riser
• Chopped rear fender
• One-piece, Sportster® classic solo seat
• Side-mounted license plate
• Solo seat with black textured vinyl cover
• Handlebar-mounted speedometer with chrome cup
• Chrome rear fender struts
• Chrome coil-over pre-load adjustable rear shocks
• Forward foot controls
2012 Harley-Davidson XL1200V Seventy-Two Features and Benefits
The Seventy-Two motorcycle offers a classic Sportster® 2.1-gallon fuel tank, narrow whitewall tires, Chrome Laced wheels, and
high mini-ape handlebar that complete a look that nods to chopper custom motorcycles of the 1970s and to current trends in garage-built custom motorcycles.
• Air-cooled Evolution® 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 73 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3500 rpm
• Rubber-mounted powertrain to reduce vibration
• 5-Speed Transmission
• Chrome, staggered, shorty dual exhaust with slash-cut mufflers
• Disc Breaks
• Optional factory-installed Harley-Davidson® Smart Security System with hands-free, proximity-based security fob
RETRO AIR CLEANER COVER
This 8-inch, street legal, mirror-chrome air cleaner cover makes a powerful statement that recalls the glory days of old iron crossed with a clean, contemporary look.
WHITEWALL TIRES AND LACED WHEELS
Large (21-inch front) lace-spoked wheels with their bold brilliant white walls complete the old school low-rider look.
BIG FLAKE PAINT (OPTIONAL
MINI-APE HANGER HANDLEBAR
Grab ahold of the stainless steel mini-ape hanger handlebar and put your fists up into the wind–it’ll take you back to the glory days of chopper cruising. And to keep the look cool and clean, the wiring is routed inside the steel.
CLASSIC REAR—MODERN FUNCTIONALITY
The chopped rear fender with side-mounted plate completes the Seventy-Two model’s long, low chopper look and keeps things classically clean and raw. The chrome bullet taillights combine this old school retro-styling with new school technology, packing stop beams, turn signals and running lights into each lamp.
EVOLUTION ENGINE HERITAGE
The Evolution® engine—known in certain crowds as the Blockhead—was first bolted to the frame of a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle back in 1984. Born from legendary Shovelhead and Ironhead engines, the Evolution® engine broke new ground in displacement innovation while maintaining the hunger for power, durability and proven reliability that The Motor Company was built on.
EVOLUTION® ENGINE INNOVATION
Air-cooled and durable as hell, the 1200cc Evolution® engine is yet another nod to the unwavering work ethic that drives advancements in motor technology at Harley-Davidson. Aluminum heads and cylinders lighten the load of the bike and improve air-cooling efficiency. Electronic fuel injection says goodbye to carburetors and boasts increased reliability and less routine maintenance. Bottom line: the rubber-mounted Evolution® engine runs hard and rides smooth for thousands of miles so you can just worry about taking in the freedom of the open road.
PURE HARLEY-DAVIDSON STYLING
Feast your eyes on the 1200cc Evolution® engine and there’s no mistaking its roots. This is authentic Harley-Davidson style through and through with an attention to detail you won’t find from any other motorcycle company. Black powder-coated cylinders and cylinder heads are topped off with chrome rocker covers and an old school round air cleaner cover for a tough vintage Harley-Davidson attitude. It’s a jewel machined out of metal. Pure. Dripping with power. From the classic edge of the cooling fins to the clean lines of cases and covers—the 1200c Evolution® engine makes an ironclad statement to holding on to what’s right and staying true to what satisfies the rider.
ARTFULLY HIDDEN TECHNOLOGY
Harley-Davidson leverages the latest in technology without compromising style and function. That means we hide electronics. The whole wiring harness is skillfully routed behind the jewels of the bike—the tank, engine and all the other eye-popping features you want to see. It’s just another way The Motor Company goes the extra mile to give its bikes that premium, top-of-the-line fit and finish.
Hand controls on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle are incredibly intuitive. The turn signals are self-canceling and, based on the speed and angle of the motorcycle, they know how long to stay on. Engaging the controls quickly becomes second nature so you can focus less on turning off your signal and more on basking in the freedom of the ride.
H-D SMART SECURITY SYSTEM (OPTIONAL)
The factory installed next-generation security system features a hands-free fob that automatically arms and disarms the vehicle electronic security functions as you approach and walk away from the bike. Stick the fob on your ignition key ring and let it do all the work. It’s this attention to details and security that make Harley-Davidson® motorcycles unique.
TUNED TO BE RIDDEN
Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are different from any other bike out on the road. There’s a balance to them. The steering, the maneuverability—it’s all in concert. And each Harley-Davidson® model is tuned differently to create a unique riding experience for each individual no matter which bike they swing their leg over. Let’s face it, we didn’t get to where we are by being like everyone else.
FORWARD MOUNTED CONTROLS
With the custom forward-mounted controls, you can kick back a little and stretch your legs for the ultimate cruise through town or across the state line. It’s time to take in the open road the way you were meant to—on a two-wheeled machine that’s built to outdo the rest.
SEAT ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
The seat is home for Harley-Davidson® motorcycle riders. They want a seat that has unique style without sacrificing comfort. Because of that, Harley-Davidson invests a lot of time in researching, designing and testing seats so that every bike has just the right saddle.