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Posted: 1/30/2006 6:14:00 AM EDT
I'm going to buy a Harley, but I want to buy a Sportster in the 1200 flavor. What can you tell me about it, the way it rides etc (since the people at my dealership are stingy and won't let you demo a motorcycle), and since I'm not 25, the shops around here won't let me rent one either

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:29:38 AM EDT
Don't own one, but I can tell you a few things about it.

1) Not quite as "cruiser-y" as the Softail and Dyna series bikes. It's still a cruiser seating position, but the pegs are further back, and the motorcycle actually has a decent amount of cornering clearance.

2) They'll outrun any other stock Harley-Davidson aside from the VRSC models in a straight line as well as in the corners. It's really a very nice bike.

3) Rubber-mounted engine for the win!

4) A few "Harley Guys" will give you crap for it. I've seen it before. Which, of course, you shouldn't give a crap about. Ride what you like, and to hell with everyone else.

Someone with more first-person experience will be around shortly to give their take on it, I'm sure.

Oh, and if you do get one... post pics!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:31:54 AM EDT
Come on, there must be some girls on this forum!



Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:36:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
<SNIP>



Turd

My stepdad has a Dyna Wide Glide, it's nice don't get me wrong, but I like nible machines, and that thing is a behemoth for me. My only bitch is that the sportsters aren't fuel injected.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:37:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By w4klr:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
<SNIP>



Turd

My stepdad has a Dyna Wide Glide, it's nice don't get me wrong, but I like nible machines, and that thing is a behemoth for me. My only bitch is that the sportsters aren't fuel injected.



or have larger tanks and you have to stop every 42 miles to gas up.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:38:42 AM EDT
Depends on where you are planning to ride. If in town type situation, no problem. However, if you plan on doing some interstate riding, DON'T DO IT!!! Go with any of the larger bodied cruisers. The sportsters are too light for extended riding or interstate riding. A simple van will blow you all over the place. I do not own one myself, but a friend did and got rid of it really quick. I also, don't recommend that engine in FL. Too hot and prone to overheating without having an auxillary cooling system. I know you see Harleys all over the place, but they have to pull over and cool down quite often. For the same money, you could buy something like the Honda Shadow ACE and be much happier with the same size engine, a heavier body (less crosswind/traffic blow) and a water cooled engine for increased reliability. Also, find another dealership. If some one will not let me test ride, then they don't want to sell me a bike. Anyway, All the rice burners have V twin bikes that are less expensive, more reliable and look just as good. (Except for the yamaha Virago, I don't like the valve train on those.)
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:42:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Come on, there must be some girls on this forum!








...!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:57:52 AM EDT
[cough]skirtster[/cough]



Link Posted: 1/30/2006 7:03:28 AM EDT
I think they're cool, but you're going to get ALOT of shit for it. Everyone is going to say things like "That's not a hog, that's a piglet" and "Why did you buy a skirtster" and "Wow, nice chick bike". Some guys don't mind, and some do. Make sure you don't give a rat's ass before you buy it.

That said, here's a pic of my "piglet" in a softail frame, dyno'd at 103 hp, 98 lb/ft torque:


Link Posted: 1/30/2006 7:09:59 AM EDT
The sporty is a good starter bike but it rides more like an old style norton than any bike of today. It is a bit too upright for me. My wife likes the sportster if that tells you anything. (without being rude)

I like it for the power and agility but that is the same vain as a dirt bike. On the street I much perfer a bike that is soft in the seat and low. If I wanted to sit perfectly straight up in the seat I would by a dresser.

All that said. I would buy one if it was the only American bike I could afford.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 7:18:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 7:18:26 AM EDT by Repeater]

Originally Posted By Federalist14:
The sporty is a good starter bike but it rides more like an old style norton than any bike of today. It is a bit too upright for me. My wife likes the sportster if that tells you anything. (without being rude)

I like it for the power and agility but that is the same vain as a dirt bike. On the street I much perfer a bike that is soft in the seat and low. If I wanted to sit perfectly straight up in the seat I would by a dresser.

All that said. I would buy one if it was the only American bike I could afford.



I like the more upright position of a Sporty much better than the larger cruisers. But then again, that's what These are made for if you don't want a cruiser...
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 7:22:45 AM EDT
I have an 04 1200C.

04 was the first year of the rubber mount engines, plus they have Buell heads larger fins on the jugs, and extra oil jets to keep it cooler.

The tank was expanded to 4.2gal also, so no stopping every 120miles. I can get a good 200 mi per tank on the highway.

The bike rides great and is plenty fast enough for me after doing a stage 1 upgrade.

As far as highway touring, if you get a good seat (unfrotunatley the comfortable ones are ugly), windsheild, highway pegs, and a set of bars that fit you, you can ride as long as anyone on the larger bikes.

I have made several 300mile rides with no windsheild and my only complaint was my stock seat truning my butt to mush.

Oh, and real bikers including the metric and crotch-rocket fellas don't make fun of what you ride. Anyone else is a wanabe or does not ride at all. Evel Kenievl drove the sportsters.

Have fun in what you choose, but try really hard to get a test ride from somewhere.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:53:58 AM EDT
I've got a Sportster 1200 from US Robotics. Man could that thing throw down the bits and bites in it's day.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:25:23 PM EDT

I have an '05. After high school I had a typical teen age rice burner sport bike that I enjoyed the heck out of. I wanted something more along the lines of a cruiser that had a similar feel. I found the 1200R Sportster a nice fit.

I left the name calling / worring about being called names back in jr. high. Don't know why people feel they wanna get down on the Sportsters, but that's their hang up. I compared HD to most of the metric brands before I made my choice to buy one. I almost went with the Suzuki offering, but when it came down to it I felt the Sportster just "looked" better. Just a matter of personal opinion.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:35:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 3:40:58 PM EDT by CajunMojo]
I had an '03 1200 Sport a while back. ( the one with the bigger cam, high ccompression, high flow heads, dual plugs etc.) I thing the Roadster is the equivalent of the sport now. Its a nice little bike. They handle great. Good bike for cruising around town. Fairly quick (as far as stock harleys go)They get a bit tiring on long trips (anything over 8 hours a day) If you're a fairly big guy, I wouldn't reccomend it. And they don't hold up very well if you smash them against a car door at anything over 50 mph, so try to avoid that at any cost.


Very Nice bike Subnet.

ETA: 03's were not rubber mounted. The newer rubber mounted sporsters are most likely much better on a long haul, though I haven't ridden one of them yet. Plus with rubber mountings, your rear view mirrors aren't just for decoration any more
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:46:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 8:46:13 PM EDT by flatfender]
An old biker explained it to me when I asked about Sportsters back in the early 90's:

900 Sportster = Girls bike
1200 Sportster = Fat girls bike

Needless to say, I didn't buy a Sportster. I got the FXR Super Glide instead.
I ride a '04 FLHTC Electra Glide now a days.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:56:40 PM EDT
They're cool-looking, but for grown folks, you might want something bigger.

I liked the Sporty I rode, but I need more room to stretch out, so I went to a bigger and more comfortable, but slower bike.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:20:13 PM EDT
freind of a freind is selling one. IM me.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:44:46 PM EDT
I have nothing to do with HD's, but I really don't understand calling a sporty a "girl's bike". Like Chida66 said, a real rider who appreciates bikes won't make fun of what you're riding. Sportbike riders with the same attitude would probably knock on somebody that rides an EX500 Ninja or a Suzuki SV650. People who "know", would call a good rider on either bike a threat, because even though they are underpowered and undersprung compared to bigger bikes, they are still more than capable of whipping your ass up and down every road in the county, no matter what bike you're on.

Buy what YOU want to ride, and not what other people want you to ride. They aren't risking their life on your bike, they don't pay the bills, they don't wrench on it, they don't clean it, etc.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 12:23:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 12:29:44 AM EDT by rdnkbkr]
I've got a 93 Sportster 1200.

Mine was purchased used. It had sat for 4 years without being started. I got it running with some minor maintenance that I performed myself. Since then, it has been 100% trouble-free.

Sporty 1200's are fun bikes to ride. They are great for riding around town or for short trips. Mine still has the original 2.2 gallon tank so I don't have as much of a range as I would with a bigger tank. For long trips, I would get a better seat, highway pegs and a larger gas tank.

I'm quite sure that most "crotch-rocket" bikes will out-run and out-corner me, but I didn't get a Sporty to race on the street. I bought it becuause I have always liked Sportsters and wanted one. It works for me.

Many people think of the Sportster as a ladies bike. I don't. But to each their own opinion. Buy the bike that YOU like, as you are the one who has to live with it.

Link Posted: 1/31/2006 12:33:39 AM EDT
When I was looking at bike I was thinking about the Sportster. Then one of the guys at the shop talked me into looking at the Superglide. I ended up getting one of those instead... I'm glad I did, cause now I want more power. Oh, and if you do end up getting a sportster, fuck those fat Harley dude that flip you shit. Ride what you ride man... most of those guys are posers anyway.

~Dg84
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 12:59:19 AM EDT
When I decided I was going to get a Harley, money was tight and I looked at the Sportsters. Their price is their appeal. A couple of Harley riders at work advised me not to get a Sportster. They said I'd regret it. I talked to the bank and got a better loan (and also sold some guns, because I wanted a Harley that badly) and bought the entry level Twin Cam: the Dyna Glide Super Glide. Payments were higher but I was happy, and I was glad once I was in the saddle that I hadn't gotten a Sportster. But that's me, maybe not you. By the end of the first year I wanted a Wide Glide. I traded in my Super Glide, took the hit on the economic loss, bought one of their rental bikes with almost the exact same mileage as the bike I traded in, and I absolutely love it. If you haven't owned a Harley yet, you may not know how having one will affect you. Beware. Be ready, also, to spend more once you get it. I changed the pipes, the seat and the back rest, the air filter and cover, and bought some saddle bags. Over $1000 beyond the cost of the bike.

GL
my bike
another shot

Link Posted: 1/31/2006 1:03:31 AM EDT
Nice bike GunLogic. Sounds like you and I share the same story. Although I can bring myself to trade in my Anniversary '03. I like my FXD but I wish I would have gotten a Lowrider.

~Dg84
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 1:41:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 1:42:49 AM EDT by Colt_SBR]
I see you live in Florida.

Daytona Beach Bike Week is in March. March 4th thru the 12th. Harley Davidson has demo rides on all their bikes during Bike Week.

Ride all of em and get what you want.

All the motorcycle companies have demo rides.


___________________________


Link Posted: 1/31/2006 1:47:42 AM EDT
The Skirtster is one of the few HD I do like. The rest are kinda boring.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 1:56:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLogic:

another shot




You need to clean that carb cover, I can barely tell what kind of camera you are using there.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 4:50:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 4:54:59 AM EDT by patsue]


I have had several over the years. Here is my latest one- an 05 1200 Custom. I have had other makes of bikes ranging from a Suzuki Savage 650 to a Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan Classic but none are as fun to me as the Sportster. I took my former 04 1200 Roadster on a 2200 mile round trip to Sturgis last year and had a blast! The only reason I have this Custom now is that I found a good deal on a trade and I wanted the bigger gas tank.

patsue
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 5:03:32 AM EDT
You need to figure out how fast you will outgrow it.

I got my wife an 883 and we both rode for a year. I outgrew it quickly and have now bought a Heritage Softtail.

883 and 1200 are the same size physically, with the obvious engine difference.
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