Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200X Forty-Eight - Owner's Manual > Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

Safety First / Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

If ABS lamp continues flashing at speeds greater than 3 mph (5 km/h) or remains on continuously, the ABS is not operating. The standard brake system is operational, but wheel lock up can occur. Contact a Harley-Davidson Dealer to have ABS repaired. A locked wheel will skid and can cause loss of vehicle control, which could result in death or serious injury.

ABS cannot prevent lockup of rear wheel due to engine braking. ABS will not aid in cornering or on loose/uneven surfaces. A locked wheel will skid and can cause loss of vehicle control, which could result in death or serious injury.

To operate motorcycles equipped with an anti-lock brake system, see Brake System.

Rules of the Road

  • Always sound your horn, use your turn signals and exercise caution when passing other vehicles going in the same direction. Never pass going in the same direction at street intersections, on curves or when going up or down a hill.
  • At street intersections, give the right-of-way. Do not presume you have the right-of-way, as the other driver may not know that it is your turn.
  • Always signal when preparing to stop, turn or pass.
  • Promptly obey all traffic signs, including those signs used for the control of traffic at intersections. Always obey traffic signs near schools and at railroad crossings.
  • When intending to turn, signal at least 100 ft 30.5 m before reaching the turning point. If turning across an intersection, move over to the centerline of the street (unless local rules require otherwise). Slow down when entering the intersection and turn carefully.
  • Never anticipate a traffic light. When a change is indicated from GO to STOP (or STOP to GO), slow down and wait for the light to change. Never run through a yellow or red traffic light.
  • While turning, watch for pedestrians, animals, as well as vehicles.
  • Do not leave the curb or parking area without signaling. Make sure that your way is clear to enter moving traffic. A moving line of traffic always has the right-of-way.
  • Make sure that your license plate is installed in the position specified by law. Make sure that your license plate is always clearly visible. Keep the license plate clean.
  • Ride at a safe speed that is consistent with the type of highway you are on. Pay strict attention to whether the road is dry, oily, icy or wet.
  • Watch for debris such as leaves or loose gravel.
  • Weather and traffic conditions on the highway dictate adjusting your speed and driving habits accordingly.

Accessories and Cargo

Harley-Davidson Motor Company cannot test and make specific recommendations concerning every accessory or combination of accessories sold.

Therefore, the rider must be responsible for safe operation when installing accessories or carrying extra weight.

See the Accessories and Cargo section in your owner's manual. Improper cargo loading or accessory installation can cause component failure and adversely affect stability, handling and performance, which could result in death or serious injury.

Do not exceed the motorcycle's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). Exceeding these weight ratings can lead to component failure and adversely affect stability, handling and performance, which could result in death or serious injury.

  • GVWR is the sum of the weight of the motorcycle, accessories and the maximum weight of the rider, passenger and cargo that can be safely carried.
  • GAWR is the maximum amount of weight that can be safely carried on each axle.
  • The GVWR and GAWR are shown on the information label which is on the frame downtube in some destinations. Refer to weight tables. See Specifications.

Do not pull a trailer with a motorcycle. Pulling a trailer can cause tire overload, damage and failure, reduced braking performance, and adversely affect stability and handling, which could result in death or serious injury.

Accessories and Cargo Guidelines

Follow the following guidelines when equipping a motorcycle, carrying passengers and/or cargo.

Travel at speeds appropriate for road and conditions and never travel faster than posted speed limit. Excessive speed can cause loss of vehicle control, which could result in death or serious injury.

  • Do not exceed the legal speed limit or drive too fast for existing conditions. Always reduce speed when poor driving conditions exist. High speed increases the influence of any other condition affecting stability and increases the possibility of loss of control.
  • Pay strict attention to road surfaces and wind conditions, and always keep both hands on the handlebar grips when riding. Two-wheeled vehicles are subject to upsetting forces such as wind blasts from passing trucks, holes in the pavement, rough road surfaces, rider control error. These forces may influence the handling characteristics of your motorcycle. If you experience these conditions, reduce speed and guide the motorcycle with a relaxed grip to a controlled condition. Do not brake abruptly or force the handlebar. This may aggravate an unstable condition.
  • Keep cargo weight concentrated close to the motorcycle and as low as possible. This position minimizes the change in the motorcycle's center of gravity.
  • Distribute weight evenly on both sides of the vehicle.
  • Do not load bulky items too far behind the rider or add weight to the handlebars or front forks.
  • If equipped, do not exceed maximum specified load in each saddlebag.
  • If equipped, do not overload luggage racks. Luggage racks are designed for lightweight items.
  • Make sure cargo is secure and will not shift while riding and recheck the cargo periodically. Accessories that change the operator's riding position may increase reaction time and affect handling.
  • Extra electrical equipment can overload the motorcycle's electrical system. This overload can result in electrical system and/or component failure.

Front and/or rear guard(s) can provide limited leg and cosmetic vehicle protection under unique circumstances. (Fall over while stopped, very slow speed slide.) It is not made or intended to provide protection from bodily injury in a collision with another vehicle or any other object.

  • Large surfaces such as fairings, windshields, backrests and luggage racks can have an adverse effect on stability and handling.
  • Install only Genuine Harley-Davidson accessories designed specifically for your motorcycle.
  • Pay particular attention to the weights of accessories, cargo, riding gear, passenger and rider. These weights affect the loading requirements of your motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson parts and accessories are designed for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Using non-Harley-Davidson parts or accessories can adversely affect performance, stability or handling, which could result in death or serious injury.

Do not add sidecar to this motorcycle. Operating motorcycle with sidecar can cause loss of vehicle control, which could result in death or serious injury.

Noise Control System


Removal or replacement of any noise control system component may be prohibited by law. This prohibition includes modifications made prior to vehicle sale or delivery to the ultimate purchaser. Use of a vehicle on which noise control system components have been removed or rendered inoperative may also be prohibited by law.


See Labels. The safety and maintenance labels on your motorcycle indicate compliance to market regulations. Refer to Labels.

NOTE: Some labels are available in different languages for destinations outside the United States.

If removed or damaged, replacement labels can be purchased. See a Harley-Davidson dealer for all available labels.

Labels Labels



    See also:

     Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200X Forty-Eight - Owner's Manual > Safe Operating Rules

    Motorcycles are different from other vehicles. They operate, steer, handle and brake differently. Unskilled or improper use could result in loss of control, death or serious injury. Take a rider training course. Read owner's manual before riding, adding accessories or servicing. Wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never tow a trailer.

     Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200X Forty-Eight - Owner's Manual > Identification, Specifications