Originally Posted by markjenn
The Honda is considerably more powerful and lighter, so it will be quicker. But I don't think the performance differences are going to be significant compared to the dramatically different feel of the two bikes. The Honda is going to be relatively smooth, refined, upright, etc. and a great all-arounder you could use for virtually anything - commuting, touring, two-up riding, sport riding, etc. whereas Sportsters are elemental, crude, rough, nasty SOBs of bikes that are designed to for short-distances, cruising and looking cool.
You need to get out and try a modern Sporty if that is your impression of one. Seriously they are great riding bikes and will do anything asked of them. Both of mine have seen heavy solo touring, two-up touring, sporty riding in the mountains,lots of dirt, etc and both serve as my daily transportation. Sportsters are the epitome of a do everything kind of bike.
With a weight in the mid 500lb range and 87hp I don't see a huge advantage over the Sportster in the power to weight department. Honestly though I wouldn't purchase either of these bikes for raw performance. They make other bikes for that.
As an aside ,if Honda or Kawasaki would have imported the CB or the W 2 years ago I would probably only have one Sportster in the garage. Hopefully it's still in production when the time comes for a new bike. This bike is a gorgeous modern interpretation of the classic UJM. Kudos to Honda of America for bringing this bike to us and for keeping the price reasonable.
Anyone have any info on mpg estimates? I am curious what the range will be with only 3.9 gal of fuel capacity.