Last week, Harley-Davidson announced its first batch of 2022 models, listing several models that are returning mostly unchanged, except for new paint and graphic options. A few models were conspicuously absent from the announcement; most of them, like the Iron 1200, were discontinued. The lone exception was the Low Rider S, which we reported would be announced on Jan. 26 with some updates.
Well, it didn’t take long for information to leak out, confirming that the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S will indeed return for 2022, with some changes including a larger 117ci (1923cc) engine. The news was first broken by Brazilian blogger Dan Morel, and further corroborated by German blog HarleySite.de, which published an official-looking spec sheet.
While we don’t know the source of these two leaks, Motorcycle.com has been able to verify that the Low Rider S is indeed coming back, and it will be offered for 2022 in the Vivid Black and Gunship Gray colors depicted on the two blog posts. We have also uncovered social media posts from a Harley-Davidson dealer in Thailand who claims to have already sold a 2022 Low Rider S.
Piecing all the evidence together, we believe the two reports to be accurate.
Harley-Davidson’s teasers for its Jan. 26 announcement show a fuel tank graphic that looks similar to the 2021 Low Rider S. Other details, such as the engine’s air-cooling fins and cast wheels, also appear to match the existing Low Rider S, as well as the leaked images.
We can confirm via Harley-Davidson’s Service Information Portal that the 2022 FXLRS (Low Rider S) exists and will be offered in the two color options shown in the leaks.
Harley-Davidson has been using the tagline “Further. Faster.” for the Jan. 26 teasers, which supports the premise of an engine upgrade from the previous 1870cc engine to the bigger 1,923cc displacement. The leaked spec sheet and images also indicate the 2022 Low Rider S receives a new Heavy Breather intake similar to the Screamin’ Eagle kit from Harley-Davidson’s parts catalog.
According to the leaked spec sheet, the 2022 Low Rider S claims 103 hp at 4,750, which is just about how much the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine on the 2021 CVO models claims. The spec sheet claims a peak output of 125 lb-ft. at 3500, an increase over the 2021 FXLRS’ claimed 119 lb-ft. at 3,000 rpm.
The frame, dual disc front brakes and single cartridge 43mm inverted fork all appear to be unchanged from the 2021 Low Rider S. The rear suspension, however, is a longer-stroke monoshock that increases the rear travel from 3.4 inches to 4.4 inches. The new suspension also increases the seat height to 28 inches (previously 27.2 inches) while the ground clearance from 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches. Based on these specs, it looks like the Low Rider S. This also results in the maximum lean angle increasing from 30.1° to 31.3°.
The 2022 Low Rider S also gets a handlebar-mounted new instrument cluster, replacing the previous tank-mounted gauges. The dual 4-inch analog speedometer and tachometer dials are replaced by a single four-inch dial with an analog tach and a digital speedometer.
The bigger, more powerful engine fulfills the “Faster” part, but what about the “Further” part of Harley-Davidson’s tagline? Well, another image circulating online allegedly shows a Touring Edition version of the Low Rider S with a fairing and saddlebags. The luggage appears similar to the now-discontinued Sport Glide, while the fairing’s shape resembles a modern interpretation of the ’80s FXRT Sport Glide. We haven’t been able to verify the origin of the leaked photo, but the repositioned gauges and intake appear to be a match for the 2022 Low Rider S.
If the Low Rider S does receive the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine, what does this mean for Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations lineup? The 117ci engine was previously reserved for the CVO line, with the larger displacement separating them from the rest of Harley-Davidson’s lineup. Harley-Davidson has confirmed the 2022 CVO lineup will be part of the Jan. 26 “Further. Faster.” launch event, and we suspect the range to also get a bump up to either the Screamin’ Eagle Stage III Kit’s 122ci or the Stage IV kit’s 131ci displacement.
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