I was back at then dealer this morning and sat on both the 1200 custom and the 883. Gotta say I like the Iron better. Coming off sport bikes, and this being my first Harley/cruiserish (I think I just made up a new word) bike, the mids fell better, and more natural to me. Throw some highway pegs on to stretch out on long trips and I'll be good.
Ya, I have not heard one good thing about the Sporty suspension, or lack of. But I figure that's a pretty easy, fairly inexpensive fix.
Originally Posted by Randy
I don't know that it'll help since I haven't ridden a Custom, but I did ride an Iron, back to back with a 48. As you mentioned, there was a power difference. At urban speeds it didn't feel like as much of a difference as I would have thought though. I believe the Iron is geared lower so around town it was fine, but I got the impression that it would run out of oomph sooner than the larger 1200 and would probably be more noticeable at highway speeds.
Ride quality wise, I didn't detect a difference but the seat on the Iron felt better. Then again, the Iron had mid controls and the 48 had forwards (that's why I rode them both actually) so that may have contributed to the difference I felt in the seat comfort. I felt more natural and comfortable and really enjoyed the ride on the Iron more. I have since changed out the controls on my 48 to mids and all is well.
With that said, the ride quality on both absolutely SUCKS! As soon as I can afford it I'm planning to upgrade my suspension to Ohlins in the rear and Rico Intiminators and new springs in the forks.
Not sure about the dealers in Canada, but here it's pretty easy to get a test ride. All I needed was my motorcycle endorsement on my license and proof of motorcycle insurance. If possible I'd recommend you just do as I did and take a spin on both, back to back and see which you like for yourself.