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-   -   Harley XR1200 (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=496160)

GS Bones 08-14-2009 06:42 PM

Harley XR1200
 
Can't seem to find any thoughts or reviews from ADVrider members on the XR1200, though there are plenty of HD owners among the ADVrider members. I did do a search, using multiple search key words, but came up dry on XR1200's. Anyone willing to share their thoughts on ownership of one of these?

Thanks, in advance.

Bones

wilshire5 08-14-2009 06:49 PM

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=443960

Chuckracer 08-14-2009 06:58 PM

http://www.advrider.com/forums/searc...archid=1416050

LoriKTM 08-14-2009 08:41 PM

What do you want to know?

There are a few ADV riders with the XR1200. I'm not into the habit of posting reviews on bikes, mostly because I don't think people really care about Harleys here, regardless of model. And, well, they don't want a review from some GIRL rider anyway. :1drink

I have almost 2500 miles on my bike, had it for about two months now. I take it commuting every chance I get, and I've also had it out on longer weekend rides, including one 400 mile day so far.

I'm very happy with the bike. I bought it without even test riding it, and don't regret it for a minute. It's a hoot to ride, and draws a lot of attention when it's out. Most people don't even know it's a Harley until they get up close.

Harley is one of the few manufacturers that allows test rides. Go visit your nearest dealer and take one out for a spin.

GS Bones 08-14-2009 08:52 PM

Lori,
Thanks. I consider reviews or comment from girls as valid as any... a rider is a rider, as far as I am concerned.

Thanks for the input. I pan on test riding one asap. I have loved my Nightster, but would like a more upright riding position. And the XR also has even more torque and power, so as a day rider, might be the ticket.



Bones

LoriKTM 08-14-2009 09:14 PM

If you like the Nightster, you'll probably love the XR1200. I did sit on the Nightster at the dealer, and it is very appealing-- especially for me since I am short. Rare for me to find a bike that I can flat foot both sides.

In the end, though, I wanted something "different". I find I really like the naked/streetfighter look these days. The Ducati Monster (and Hypermotard) was an option, but I was scared off by the service costs and the local dealer was too far away. The Harley has just the right combination of simple lines and easy serviceability to make it the winner for me. Form and function combined into a nice package with the XR1200.

Mattbastard 08-15-2009 04:54 AM

I also own an XR1200. Lemme tell ya, every time I swing a leg over it I just want to raise some hell. It feels like a big dirt bike with shitloads of torque. My only complaint is the seat makes me bum numb after about an hour.

Oh, and the best brakes HD has ever had.

Snapper 08-15-2009 05:42 AM

Would be worth reading up on xr1200ownersgroup.com, the dedicated forum for the bike. I'm coming from a R1100S and R1150GS and am really enjoying the bike... except the shocks, which suck.

GS Bones 08-15-2009 06:18 AM

Thanks, y'all. Heading out to test ride one today. Will offer up my thoughts, accordingly.

Bones

Mobiker 08-15-2009 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GS Bones
Lori,
Thanks. I consider reviews or comment from girls as valid as any... a rider is a rider, as far as I am concerned.

Bones

+1

GS Bones 08-15-2009 07:52 PM

So, I got a nice test ride today on a black XR1200. There is nothing I can say that would differ much from what a lot of magazine and online reviews have said, but here is what I found:

The engine is sublime. No, it is not a Hyabusa, but that is not what it is all about. If you like twins (which is my favorite engine format, be it flat twins, vertical twins or Vtwins), this engine is great. It has a ton of low end torque, but unlike most Vtwins, the torque does not flatten out 3/4 of the way to the top end. It likes to spin all the way up, much like the Buell Vtwins, which in my opinion, is a good thing. And my seat of the pants dyno reveals that it has a lot more low end grunt than the Buells. Even at 2K-2.5K, it pulls hard on the throttle and is very satisfying. The fuel mapping, unlike the Buells, is perfect. No hunting, no surging, no flat spots, no stumbling.

Drive line lash...none. Beautiful. This is something that most reviewers don't seem to mention, especially when they compare this bike to others that are supposedly in the "same category" which is something I will discuss below. The bike, thankfully, feels like it has a heavy enough flywheel, so there is absolutely no snatchiness to throttle response. Throttle response is brisk, but with NO snatch. That is a good thing. The belt drive is buttery smooth.

The transmission is perfect, for what I like in a transmission. Gear shifts are positive with just enough clunk but no excessive clunk. I don't like Japanese trannies, which have no clunk at all, but often leave you feeling like you are not sure if the shift has been completed to sastisfaction. The meshing of gears is perfect. It was very, very easy to find neutral when at a stop. No problems or challenges there, at all.

Ergonomics were great. Very upright riding position. The peg position is a very, very good compromise between sporty position and long time in the saddle position. I am sure that on very long rides, I would want more seat to peg distance, but to accomplish that on this bike, there would be other more significant compromises like less available lean angle or needing to have the bike too tall for what it is. The reach to the bars was just right for me. The bar angle and position was just right. I would need to make no adjustments at all.

Wind. The air was totally clean. It is a naked bike, so there is no point in commenting on wind protection, per se. But even at speeds of 75 (which I did get to test), the air flow was clean and smooth.

Seat. It is firm, which I like. If you scoot forward towards the tank, it is nice and thin, so you can hang off nicely, get weight over the front, etc. If you are cruising along, you can scoot back in the seat and it is much wider, so your buttocks in nicely supported. And the seat looks cool. It is not designed as a two up bike, though you can do that...but let's not get hung up that, as it is not designed as a two up touring bike.

Exhaust....well, c'mon...no current bike has a stock exhaust that is great. The only thing I really don't like about this bike is the look of the stock exhaust. It sounds as good as a stock exhaust will allow these days. That is why the aftermarket exists for these bikes, and there are some good choices out there. But I will say that when you get on the throttle, you do get some nice audible low end feedback.

Vibes. I like twins, and I like some vibration in a bike. This is why I don't love in line 4's. They buzz, but are too smooth overall. This bike shakes just enough at idle. But overall, while there is enough low frequency vibration at all rpms to remind you that you are on a twin, it really is buttery smooth as power is delivered to the rear wheel.

Suspension. It is a decent compromise, which is what stock suspensions are designed for. They have to design these to deal with "the average rider," by which I mean, average size. I guess the US market is mostly guys that are taller and fatter than me, so I did not find the bike to be undersprung. In fact, static sag should be more than it was with me sitting on it...but I only weigh 140 lbs. Again, aftermarket is there for those who want higher performance or whatever.

Fit and finish. Other than the styling of the stock exhaust, the fit and finish on this bike is sublime. HD gets that right, and if you disagree with this, then you just aren't looking closely. These bikes are not light, and they don't pretend to be. That does give the designers the latitude to make certain parts more beefy, which I like. The analog tach is beautiful. The digital speedo is, also. Design work on the guages is modern enough to be modern, and retro enough to remind me of some things I remember from the 70's to put a smile on my face. The black handle bars are just right in shape and spread. The wiring is as hidden as it can be. The engine is completely visible from all angles and the working parts are artful, in my opinion. The swingarm is stout but nice looking.

Can you make it a "trip bike?" By that, I mean, it is able to be used for 2-3 day trips and carry enough gear to get it done? Yes. Add a few HD aftermarket parts that are inexpensive and esthetically reasonable, and you can easily put a 30 liter waterproof tail pack on board and you are all set. A tank bag could work, easily, if you want one.

Handling. Outstanding, and frankly, much better than I was expecting, even given the favorable reviews. It turns in very, very nicely with very little effort. It tracks in turns with fantastic stability and does not stand up with trail braking or adding throttle. I was surprised at how good it felt in this regard. It feels very planted. I am sure this is, in part, due to the designers working in much lower unsprung weight than one would expect on a bike of this overall weight. There was ZERO wallowing.

Category. There is no other bike that fits the category that this one fits into these days. And I am not exactly sure what category that is, to be honest. It is much more sporty than a "Universal" style motorbike. It is much more powerful AND nimble than a pseudo dual sport street bike (think Triumph Scrambler), it has a healthy suspension travel at 5.4" than most might expect, so it can deal well with road surfaces that are questionable. I think it is going to turn out to be a very, very good "all arounder," whatever that means these days. Does that mean a good bike for gravel roads? Not really. But there are lots of folks who ride their more sport oriented street bikes that way. I am sure it would do fine under those circumstaces, though its weight might be an issue. But it doesn NOT feel as heavy as the spec sheet says, even at a standstill.


How much did I like it? Enough to have purchased one today after the test ride. I will be making some trades and using some left over cash from that to get two major and a few minor aftermarket purchases. I will change out the stock exhaust to a Remus 2:1 with black cannister and stainless steel headers that will allow for loss of about 16 lbs, I think. I will change the stock suspension to the fully adjustable Showa sport suspension (front and rear). And I will get the tail rack and bungee rails, which since the bike is black, should be pretty inconspicuous.


So there you have it.




Bones

camgregus 08-15-2009 08:05 PM

ok so now I want one.

mrbreeze 08-15-2009 08:16 PM

pictures please! I want one too!

Hair 08-15-2009 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoriKTM
What do you want to know?

There are a few ADV riders with the XR1200. I'm not into the habit of posting reviews on bikes, mostly because I don't think people really care about Harleys here, regardless of model. And, well, they don't want a review from some GIRL rider anyway. :1drink

I have almost 2500 miles on my bike, had it for about two months now. I take it commuting every chance I get, and I've also had it out on longer weekend rides, including one 400 mile day so far.

I'm very happy with the bike. I bought it without even test riding it, and don't regret it for a minute. It's a hoot to ride, and draws a lot of attention when it's out. Most people don't even know it's a Harley until they get up close.

Harley is one of the few manufacturers that allows test rides. Go visit your nearest dealer and take one out for a spin.


Lori,
Given your and Dave's history how did you guys end up on Harley's door step?
And from what I understand that Dave also has H-D powered bike.
I've stopped by the local shop a time or two. It is very different from when they first opened up in town. Back then one couldn't even talk to the guys. The last time that I stopped by they were very friendly. But then I fit the Harley rider profile. :lol3
I really like the XR. I almost bought one way back when.

GS Bones 08-15-2009 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrbreeze
pictures please! I want one too!

When I get it home, I will post pics. If all goes well, it will be within this week.

Bones


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