Harley-Davidson introduced the Sportster, a V-twin cruiser built for long range street cruising, in 1957. The company continued to produce a V-twin Sportster in 1999, offering the 1200 cc models in base, Sport and 1200C, or Sportster Custom, configuration. This motorcycle featured a setback low seat, wide grip handlebars and chrome plated exhaust and engine fittings.
Harley equipped the 1200 Sportster line with an air-cooled 1200 cc four-stroke V-twin engine. The V-twin engine had two cylinders set at a 45-degree angle to one another. This engine used electronic fuel injection in an overhead valve configuration with two valves per cylinder and four valves total. It had a bore measurement of 3.5 inches and a stroke measuring 3.81 inches. It had a 9.7-to-1 compression ratio.
The 1999 Sportster Custom‘s engine produces 58 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 72 pound-feet of torque at 3,200 rpm. A dry sump oil system keeps the engine lubricated and the Sportster Custom relies on the air flow during riding to cool the engine. Riders can start the 1200 C with an electric starter; a CDI, or digital capacitor discharge ignition controls the firing in each cylinder.
The 1999 Sportster Custom transferred power to the rear wheel via a belt drive. Riders could shift through the gears of the Sportster’s five-speed manual transmission by using the hydraulic clutch.
Harley-Davidson’s 1200C Sportster could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. This motorcycle could hit a top speed of 96 mph.
The 1999 Sportster Custom spanned a length of 89.6 inches with a 59.8-inch wheelbase. This motorcycle stood 45.9 inches tall with a ground clearance of 4.41 inches. Riders could lower the variable height seat to a minimum setting of 26.5 inches. Without any fuel or oil, these motorcycles weighed 562.2 pounds. Harley equipped the Sportster Custom with a 4.49-gallon fuel tank.
Wheels & Suspension
Harley Davidson equipped the 1999 Sportster 1200C with a size 90/90 R21 54H front tire and a size 150/80 R16 71H rear tire. Both the front and rear wheels use a single disc braking system with an 11.5-inch diameter disc. The front featured a cartridge suspension with 5.55 inches of travel; the rear suspension was a swingarm with twin shocks and 2.4 inches of travel.