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Old 08-02-2014, 03:07 AM   #1
lipsee OP
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Uncustomising a HD seventy two

I am looking to buy a 1000cc Vee(or there abouts)..I kind of liked the Suzuki DL1000 I tested ,but like alot of sickles these days it has too much plastic around the front end..Plus I thought the price abit too heavy at £9999.Then I noticed HD sportser,a superlow T 1200 is priced at £9300..comes with screen and some small panniers..Big plus for me,it looks kind of retro( not much plastic hanging of the thing)Other bikes I like are the Aprilla Capnord and maybe KTM but they are out my price range.................The thing about the Super low is well its abit errrr LOW... and the wheels look like castoff from Wagon train...SSSSSSSSo I,m thinking about the Seventy two custom model,which comes with nice spoked wheels .So question is How about if I uncustomise it and turn it in to a tourer..I think I could spend a lot less then the price of the Suzy and have a something unique.Hit me with your views!!!
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:46 AM   #2
131unlimited
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A good thing about HD's is that you can mix and match parts from between the different models within a given line. Plus there are tons of used parts and aftermarket sources to build them into what you want.

Unless you have to have a new sporty, I'd look for a used one with low miles and build it exactly how you want within your budget.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:07 AM   #3
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+1 on the above. If you're OK with used, you can even get one of the older Sportsters from the time before the 1" of ground clearance look was popular.

I've been eyeing older "Roadster" versions (I think they're called XL1200R) which have a more normal amount of suspension travel, and two whole disc brakes on the front wheel. Plus, you can get a lightly used one for less than $5,000 if you're patient.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #4
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16,000 USD for a Sportster how much do they tax them over there?
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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You'll forgive me for suggesting that you seem a bit confused over what you want. Looks and plastic are surely only part of the issue. There's going to be an enormous difference between the way a V-Strom rides and the way any Harley rides. I think you could throw pretty much an unlimited sum of money at any Harley and it still wouldn't be as capable a motorcycle as even the V-Strom....
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:05 PM   #6
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Yep, buy a used one. They are pretty bulletproof and often have stuff all miles on them used. Mine was 5 years old and had done 8000km and I picked it up for less than half the cost of a new one. The low rear can be fixed easily by bolting on the standard length shocks (13 1/4" from memory). Ebay will probably turn up a set from a Dyna or similar that are new but have been swapped out. I put Road Glide air shocks on my 883XL for $100, replaced the forward controls with the stockers for $30, put on the Sundowner touring seat, the QD rear rack and a Givi topbox, QD windscreen and the stock Western bars from the Roadster model. All from eBay and the total outlay was around $1000. The rubber mounted engines are very smooth at cruising speeds, have a lot of torque and are surprisingly zippy, and the only pain for touring is the small tank capacity. I put about 16,000km on mine in 6 months or so touring and loved it. Very comfortable and averaged 60mpg Imperial out on the highway too.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schtum View Post
You'll forgive me for suggesting that you seem a bit confused over what you want. Looks and plastic are surely only part of the issue. There's going to be an enormous difference between the way a V-Strom rides and the way any Harley rides. I think you could throw pretty much an unlimited sum of money at any Harley and it still wouldn't be as capable a motorcycle as even the V-Strom....
+1.

And if you really want a Sportster, see the above post about the Roadster, especially the later years with 4.5 gal. tank. Throw some suspension mods at it and you'll probably be pretty happy.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:13 PM   #8
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72 sporster

I don't post much maybe this will help. I own a 2014 ,72 and will give you my take on it.
bought in May new, now have 3370 miles on it.Factory susp. sucked so I took off 11.5 shocks and went with progressive 13 inch ones,
MAJOR improvement. also did the fork springs to match the rear. that has made all the difference . I also went with a mustang seat.
the solo factory seat was from Hell . there is a lot of smart folks on here with good advice, Used is a great way to go .
There is a lot of 2012 and 2013 72s out there .and YES I love my bike and been ridin since 1968. Hope you lots of luck. Millions of aftermarket parts and Harley stuff too.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:31 AM   #9
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I've been in your shoes before, trying to make a bike into something it's not designed for originally. The Sportster is a bar hopper (essentially). If you're looking to tour, buy a bike designed for it. I've spent thousands of dollars making bikes into more tour-worthy bikes only to wind up selling them for a loss and buying something closer to a touring bike. Case in point, I finally bought a Vision.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattbastard View Post
I've been in your shoes before, trying to make a bike into something it's not designed for originally. The Sportster is a bar hopper (essentially). If you're looking to tour, buy a bike designed for it. I've spent thousands of dollars making bikes into more tour-worthy bikes only to wind up selling them for a loss and buying something closer to a touring bike. Case in point, I finally bought a Vision.
I typically agree with this thinking on most bikes, except when it comes to the Sportster. One of the advantages of constant production for nearly 60 years - the Sportster is the true Chamelion, meaning it can be anything from a dirt bike to dragster to tourer. Parts are all over the place, plentiful, and take-offs are cheap. The powertrain is the most reliable one Harley builds, and on par with anything else in that respect.

I've had 3 Sportsters in my past. Stock suspensions and seats are pretty terrible. Beyond that they are great bikes.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:47 AM   #11
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Let me start with this...Only in America would a bike like the Sportster be considered too small for touring!! I'm 5'10" with nearly a 33" inseam and long ass orangutan arms and once I put on a proper seat and ditched the forwards (which oddly feel far more cramped to me than the mids) my Sporty is on par with my CB750 ergonomically.

I own two of these bikes. an 09' XL1200c and a n 01' XL1200H and , having been and HD basher for most of my life, I have discovered that Sportsters are fantastic bikes. They are every bit as capable as a Strom (which is a fantastic bike in it's own right)and get similar mpg. 70 ft-lbs of torque and still better than 50mpg when out touring. Add to that the fact that it won't ever be burdened with the looks of the Vstrom.


That said, I wouldn't start with the 72 if you are planning a touring build. Suspension is cheaper than a new fuel tank. It's also much easier to plug a tire than to change a tube. Opinions vary on the SuperLow's wheels but I dig them. They look similar to the ones on the Bonneville to me. The low suspension is an easy fix that can be done in just a couple of hours once you have the parts in hand. Good shocks in a proper length, fork springs and the damper rod from the 72, older C , R or S and you are all set.

My 09' from a recent trip.



My 01' doing it's own style of touring during a recent day trip.

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Old 08-03-2014, 08:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattbastard View Post
I've been in your shoes before, trying to make a bike into something it's not designed for originally. The Sportster is a bar hopper (essentially). If you're looking to tour, buy a bike designed for it.
Noooo...., you mean Bronson was touring on a bar hopper in 1968. I was just getting into motorcycles then and watching that show twisted my brain. I knew I wanted to travel on a motorcycle. My 1974 XLH was my first bike I started traveling on in 1975. My butt was a lot narrower back then so the Bates solos seat and P Pad were fine. I don't remember ever running out of gas with the 2.25 gal. tank but I did several times on my Panhead chopper that had a king Sportster tank that was mounted Frisco style so it could not be filled all the way up.

I love the 72, especially in the black denim paint. I'm not much on the big flake Liberache paint. But it is '60's and '70's style. I would love to have one. The seat would have fit my butt 30 years ago so I would need a wider one. Did my butt really get that big? The 72 just fits me so well and it looks cool.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:31 PM   #13
Jamming
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Noooo...., you mean Bronson was touring on a bar hopper in 1968. I was just getting into motorcycles then and watching that show twisted my brain..
TCB...big fan myself....went to the Bronson reunion here in Phoenix this year.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:47 PM   #14
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:33 PM   #15
bdonley
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My "roll your own" '05 Sportster. Stage one tune, Road King shocks, Mustang seat, locking hard bags, etc. A very satisfying motorcycle.....
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