News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

On Trend and High Performance: 2017 H-D Roadster

Posted by Jess Bettencourt on Mar 4, 2017 8:00:00 AM
Picture of Jess Bettencourt

The H-D Roadster™ model is a Dark Custom™ Sportster® with a minimalist design inspired by classic racing motorcycles and current trends in stripped-down, naked custom bikes. Its agility and garage-built custom style captures the 60s spirit in an authentic way that will appeal to an aggressive rider.


Evolution Drive Train

The V-Twin engine design in a motorcycle offers a narrow profile for excellent rider legroom and creates the distinctive look, sound and feel we all look for from a HarleyDavidson® motorcycle.

You’ll notice a lot of extra styling detail in the Roadster™ motorcycle powertrain – the cases and cylinders are gray with contrasting black covers and polished details on the rocker boxes. The air cleaner is gray to match the engine, while the new cast ribbed timing cover is an exclusive Roadster™ motorcycle detail.


Intake and Exhaust

Slots in the chrome muffler shields let the black finish show through, and you have a contrast in finishes on the dual exhaust that draw your eyes to the engine.

The oval Sportster® air cleaner represents a flat track, and its style is updated here with a gray finish and Roadster™ motorcycle insert. This air cleaner hugs the engine to give you plenty of leg room.

Transmission and Final Drive

The reinforced final drive belt is lighter and quieter than a chain, never needs messy cleaning or lubrication and rarely requires maintenance, so you can ride more and tinker less.

With ratios selected for to match the engine performance, the Sportster® five-speed transmission delivers strong acceleration to help you pull away from traffic and maneuver the urban landscape


Wheels and Tires

The Roadster™ motorcycle rolls on its specific Offset Split 5-Spoke cast aluminum wheels, a complex design with interlacing spokes that create a dramatic visual effect, and are also lightweight, which you’ll notice as improved suspension performance and handling. The Roadster™ motorcycle has a 19-inch front and an 18-inch rear wheel to give the bike a balanced, level stance.

Designed specifically for and tuned to work in conjunction with the Roadster™ motorcycle suspension and chassis geometry, you’ll feel the precise handling and smooth confident ride provided by these Harley®- branded Dunlop® radial tires.

Front and Rear Brakes

The powerful dual front disc brakes offer outstanding braking performance that matches the sporty intentions of this model and gives you confidence in any riding situation.

The Harley®-Davidson Street® ABS prevents wheel lock-up in less-than-optimal conditions, so in any situation you’ll have more control with optimized braking performance.



Forks and Suspension

The Roadster™ motorcycle has inverted forks gripped by robust triple clamps that really stiffen up the front end. Suspension is provided by single-cartridge technology and tri-rate springs. You’ll feel the difference in very precise handling and an exceptional ride. The Roadster™ motorcycle has more clearance and lean angle than any other Sportster® model, and is tuned for aggressive riding.

The rear shocks feature an emulsion technology design for enhanced compression and rebound performance and a comfortable ride. Use the spanner stashed under the seat to quickly adjust pre-load for a passenger or road conditions.


Frame and Swing Arm

The Roadster™ motorcycle has specific steering geometry optimized to work well with its suspension and wheel sizes to give you outstanding handling control.

You’ll feel the solid, rigid structure of the Sportster® mild steel, tubular frame joined by stamped, cast and forged junctions and forged fender support on every ride…the design resists flexing and twisting under acceleration and in turns.


Painted Parts

Like the racing Harley® motorcycles of the 50s and 60s, the Roadster™ motorcycle fenders have been trimmed to the max to give you that classic look, exposing the tires and to shave off a little weight. The front fender is a new lightweight composite material.

The shape of the Sportster® fuel tank is a classic, and its 3.3-gallon capacity gives you enough range to chase your favorite backroads.

Inspired by racing motorcycles, the Roadster™ motorcycle has a decal tank logo and a pair of thin pinstripes that run the length of the tank and rear fender for a lean, minimal design you’ll appreciate with every ride.


To keep the rear fender clean and custom, the Roadster™ motorcycle has combination stop/ tail/brake lighting that utilizes bright LED bulbs that will help you get noticed in traffic.


Seat and Riding Position

The Roadster™ motorcycle seat has a passenger pillion that sweeps back to the rear fender - called the Fastback profile - and an ergonomically designed rider position to hold you in place in comfort. The ribbed cover matches the minimalist styling theme of this motorcycle.

The seat and mid-mount controls place you directly over the pegs in a sporty posture for excellent control. Of course if you want to your riding position to be even more aggressive, Rear Set Foot Controls are available as well.

The low-profile handlebar puts you an aggressive position leaning into the wind and the controls. You might also consider the new Clip-On Handlebar Kit sold for a different feel.


Instruments and Controls

You can monitor road speed and engine speed with this dual speedometer/tachometer that’s mounted low on the handlebar clamp, where it’s in clear view and keeps the Roadster™ motorcycle profile clean. The two gauges and info screen in a single 4-inch instrument present critical information with a sport-influence.

The factory-installed H-D Smart Security System is controlled by a pocket-size fob that automatically disarms and arms the system as you approach or walk away from the bike – you’ll never have to worry about whether you armed the security system, or if you’ll set if off accidentally.

Each button has a dished shape that fits the thumb or finger. These ergonomic hand controls are designed with optimal fit, texture and function you’ll find they are easy to use and have a feeling of solid quality.



If you have been shopping around and looking at the Honda Shadow, Kawasaki Vulcan, BMW R nineT, Victory Octane, Triumph Thruxton, Motor Guzzi Bobber or Indian Scout... give the Roadster a look. Better yet, take it out for a test ride. The only way you are going to feel the difference is mid-turn or pulling away from the stop. Take one for a test ride today at Oakland Harley-Davidson.

Schedule a Test Ride


Topics: Motorcycles

News from Oakland H-D

Keeping the Bay Area motorcyclists up to date

Our team of experts at Oakland Harley-Davidson strives to keep you up-to-date on:

  • New motorcycles, parts and gear
  • Customization ideas and trends
  • What is going on locally in the industry
  • Event information
  • Ideas on where to go riding
We understand that the modern motorcyclist is doing the majority of their shopping and research online and we will strive to be your go-to place for information. 

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts