Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two | Preview

2012 Harley-Davidson 72

Think 1970s. Think metal flake. Think long, lean chrome-enhanced motorcycles.

This is the image Harley-Davidson wants to evoke with one looks at its newest creation, the Seventy-Two.

Although the Harley Seventy-Two taps into that custom-motorcycle market of the 1970s, don’t confuse the name with the era; The Seventy-Two name arrives from the legendary Route 72, or Whittier Boulevard, a well-known cruising street in Los Angeles.

The Motor Company’s new creation was directly influenced by the chopper era, when minimal, low bikes were the coolest things on two wheels. And don’t forget those diner-vinyl upholstered gel seats.

Frank Savage (Harley-Davidson Manager of Industrial Design) says: "In creating the Seventy-Two, we were also inspired by the vibe of the early chopper era. Those bikes were colorful 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."

First thing noticed on the top model is the Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint (the bike is also offered in Black Denim and Big Blue Pearl). It’s sparkly affect is created after a long process. First there’s a black base coat, followed by a polyurethane system that carries hexagon-shaped flakes that are more than seven times the diameter of metal flake used in typical production paint. Each flake is coated with a thin aluminum film and then tinted red. Four applications of clear coat, combined with hand sanding, create a smooth finish over the flakes, Harley says.

Frank Savage says: "The final touch to the Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint is a logo on the tank top and pinstripe scallop details on both fenders. Each was originally created by hand, and we recreated that art in a decal for production, so they still have the appearance of hand-applied graphics in that they are not exactly perfect. The graphics are then covered with a final clear coat application."

Other enhancements on the XL1200V, arrive from the use of a classic, 2.1-gallon peanut gas tank, chromed lace wheels, ten-inch ape hangers, a round air cleaner with a dished cover, and a solo seat decked out in 70s-era upholstery.

Following are highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two.

2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Features:

  • Air-cooled Evolution 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 73 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3500 rpm.
  • Powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with Chrome covers.
  • Paint color choices include Hard Candy Big Red Flake with period pinstripe details on fenders and fuel tank, Black Denim, and Big Blue Pearl.
  • Classic 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank.
  • Dunlop white side wall 21-inch (MH90-21) front and 16-inch (150/80B16) rear tires.
  • Chrome Laced wheels.
  • Ten-inch mini-ape handlebar mounted on a two-inch high riser.
  • Chrome, eight-inch round air cleaner cover with center screw mount.
  • Chopped rear fender exposes rear tire.
  • Side-mounted license plate bracket.
  • Chrome, staggered, shorty dual exhaust with slash-cut mufflers.
  • 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 Seventy-Two Specs:


  • Length (in./mm): 894/2270
  • Seat Height (laden) (in./mm): 26.6/675
  • Wheelbase (in./mm): 60/1524
  • Tire Front: Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series narrow whitewall / D402F MH90-2154H
  • Tire Rear: Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series narrow whitewall / D401 150/80B1671H
  • Wheel Front: Chrome Steel Laced 21 in. x 2.15 in. (533 mm. x 76 mm.)
  • Wheel Rear: Chrome Steel Laced 16 in. x 3 in. (406.4 mm x 76.2 mm)
  • Fuel Capacity (U.S. gals/liters): 2.1/7.9
  • Weight as Shipped (lbs./kg): 545/247.2


  • Air-cooled, Evolution
  • Displacement (in./cc): 73.3/1200
  • Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Miles Per Gallon: 48 MPG combined City/Hwy
  • Horsepower: 73 ft. lbs. torque @ 3500 rpm

2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Color Options/MSRP:

  • Hard Candy Big Red Flake with period pinstripe details on fenders and fuel tank / $11,199
  • Black Denim / $10,499
  • Big Blue Pearl / $10,499