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Old 03-04-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
fyr OP
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Thinking HD

I dont know enough about the models the motor company make. Ive tried a bunch (883, 1200, Dyna Low Bob and full dresser) I liked the 1200 but getting off of that bike and back onto my 77 BMWs was eye opening... The 34 yr old BMW was comfortable where as the 1200 would lay waste to my back in about an hour.

Wifey wants to ride pillion after some years off a bike. So comfort back there a must.
I need to comute and endure some pretty harsh dirt roads. Panniers a must.
I also like to ride the twisties (after 2-3 slab ride to get there)
So a small fairing would be cool.

I was thinking Sporty 1200 with a decent seat and panniers with mids. But would a bigger model already laid out with that kit be better (mainly for passenger)?
Suspension has to able to cope with shit roads as well..

Any tips...?
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyr View Post
I dont know enough about the models the motor company make. Ive tried a bunch (883, 1200, Dyna Low Bob and full dresser) I liked the 1200 but getting off of that bike and back onto my 77 BMWs was eye opening... The 34 yr old BMW was comfortable where as the 1200 would lay waste to my back in about an hour.

Wifey wants to ride pillion after some years off a bike. So comfort back there a must.
I need to comute and endure some pretty harsh dirt roads. Panniers a must.
I also like to ride the twisties (after 2-3 slab ride to get there)
So a small fairing would be cool.

I was thinking Sporty 1200 with a decent seat and panniers with mids. But would a bigger model already laid out with that kit be better (mainly for passenger)?
Suspension has to able to cope with shit roads as well..

Any tips...?

would suggest finding a sportster 1200 roadster, change the seat, and get a cafe/quarter fairing. i like taking my 1200r on fire roads and gravel roads, but do you mean harsh as in giant potholes and ruts all over the place or just a shitty surface?

i also know very little about the stuff harley makes, other than the sportster (which i own), since thats the only bike i like that they make :)
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyr View Post
I need to comute and endure some pretty harsh dirt roads. Panniers a must.
I also like to ride the twisties (after 2-3 slab ride to get there)

Neither of these are Harley strong points.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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Neither of these are Harley strong points.
I think a Harley handles twisty roads just fine as long as the rider remembers the limitations of the vehicle they are riding. But I do agree that harsh roads and dirt conditions are not ideal for the platforms they sell. Again, that's not to say they can't be ridden in that environment - they can. But there are better tools for the job.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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I think a Harley handles twisty roads just fine as long as the rider remembers the limitations of the vehicle they are riding. But I do agree that harsh roads and dirt conditions are not ideal for the platforms they sell. Again, that's not to say they can't be ridden in that environment - they can. But there are better tools for the job.
What he said. To bad the FXDXT is no longer available as Id say that would have been your best bet.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonny View Post
Neither of these are Harley strong points.
I agree. I'm thinking Triumph Tiger 800xc, Tiger 1200, Yamaha's 1200 Tenere or maybe a BMW GS would be better suited for the type of riding you have planned. I like the 1200 Sporster and really like the XR1200 but I can't imagine riding two up and loaded down with hard bags down harsh dirt roads. The bike just wasn't designed for that type of riding and really doesn't have the ground clearance for that type of riding.


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Old 03-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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So he wants a seat upgrade and some baggage added to a XR1200?
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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The wife and I found the 1200 sportster to be very small and uncomfortable, even after many upgrades.
The worst 2 up bike I ever had.
550 pounds plus people does not do dirt well, and the stock suspension could not handle 2 up on the street at all.

Better longer shocks, fork spring and oil upgrade, better seat, bars, backrest and it still sucked.

The bigger bikes will be better 2 up, not sure about on the dirt roads or carving curves...
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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Dyna Switchback and some mods?

Decent suspension stock and some other good traits.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:01 AM   #10
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Belts and rocks are a really bad combination. 3" of suspension travel and harsh dirt roads don't mix too well either. l llike harleys but not for your use.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
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I have to admit that riding my XR1200 on gravel roads is not a lot of fun. I think you might be thinking BMW.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:44 AM   #12
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Might want to check out the Buell Uly thread as that might meet your needs/wants.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:37 AM   #13
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At first I was thinking Harley Road Glide (I like the Custom better than the Ultra), but then you said dirt.

Gotta go with the others on this...BMW should be on your shopping list. I'd also take a look at the Moto Guzzi Norge...beautiful bike with great V-twin sound. Or the Guzzi Stelvio...more road oriented than the BMW R1200 GS, but makes up for it with style and that V-twin.

I may be biased towards the Guzzis though...I just put a deposit on a Stelvio.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:15 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies-

As for the HD choice, its basically an itch that id like to scratch.... Never owned one and was looking for something that suits my riding.

As for the bad road example- there is a strech of asphalt that leads to my folks cottage. Probably 30 miles long and is absolutely trashed. Its twisty but years of neglect (and tandem dump trucks, logging trucks, winter salt and frost heaves) have left their mark... Then its 10 miles of dirt roads.. Not much by any standard but those roads have determined some choices in my last couple of bikes...

Good choices ive had were Wee Strom and KLR's... They soaked the roads up... But were hard bikes to look at.
Bad choice were Hinckley Bonnie and Older Airhead. Great to look at but my back still cringes..

The other riding issues were commute and really any bike will do that, and an annual ADK ride.. More of a brisk, sporting ride... And two up comfort..

Ideally having a stable of bikes would be where id like to see myself but that is a financial reality best left to fantasy. So one bike it is..

I have looked at the others and my personal favorite would have to be a Tiger 800 with panniers.... Or older GS... But still.... theres that persistant itch (and that Switchback does look fatastic) So I guess it comes down to practicality over hearstrings.... Perhaps the answer is a nice long HD rental to feel this one out..
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:11 AM   #15
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Louie... Don't Do It!

"As for the HD choice, its basically an itch that id like to scratch.... Never owned one and was looking for something that suits my riding.

As for the bad road example- there is a strech of asphalt that leads to my folks cottage. Probably 30 miles long and is absolutely trashed. Its twisty but years of neglect (and tandem dump trucks, logging trucks, winter salt and frost heaves) have left their mark... Then its 10 miles of dirt roads.. Not much by any standard but those roads have determined some choices in my last couple of bikes...
I have looked at the others and my personal favorite would have to be a Tiger 800 with panniers.... Or older GS... But still.... theres that persistant itch (and that Switchback does look fatastic) So I guess it comes down to practicality over hearstrings.... Perhaps the answer is a nice long HD rental to feel this one out.."


You know what you're doing, so papa won't preach. Remember, some itches should be scratched... and others are leprosy. If you keep barking up that tree, the bear just might come back down. Then who is going to be sorry?

I was taking care of my winter storage and bolt-ons at the HD dealer last week. I thought a Switchback might be interesting, but the never ending HD parts bin bike building, this time they stuck a Fat Boy fork on a Dyna, gets old. The nasty, elongated , American Racing style black five spoke wheels on the Switchback should push you away. The full chrome cover "vintage" shocks aren't the quality they should be. Similar to the Fat Bob chrome covered... I think I would go with the Performance aftermarket shocks and consider playing with length and spring. I dunno.

The Softtail Slim was interesting... mostly because of the idea of wire wheels on a Fat Boy. But the two-tone fork cover isn't working for me. I like the blacked-out footboards.

I know they are trying to get younger riders on board and you can see it in the January, 2012 mini book. I see the Rocker is gone... no more super fat rear tires... AND they make a point of pushing a "narrow rear tire" on the Slim (page 24) and the new "72".

"he took one thick loaf" - Leviticus 8:26
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