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Old 11-27-2012, 01:06 PM   #1936
hhkiwi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damasovi View Post
thanks and yes I am thinking 883 since it is cheaper and I don't have a problem with cc, I have a 650 and a 100 cc now, so 883 would be a bigger bike for me and the first 2 cylinder.

Also if the time comes, I think I can make it into a 1200 not to expensively.

So another question, how are the brakes? That would be something I could consider important. and can you put a 4.5 gallon tank on it?

Thanks for the info.

Damasovi
I would go for a 1200. While you can upgrade the 883, there will still be a gearing difference. Spend the extra money up front and get a 1200.

If brakes are a concern to you, get a Roadster (XL 1200R, also available as a XL 883R) with tiwn front discs.

You can always put a 4.5 gal tank on but to many it ruins the look of the Sportster - and used 4.5 gal tanks are expensive! Even dented ones regularly fetch in the order of $300 on Ebay.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:16 PM   #1937
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I commuted 150 miles a day on a Sportster for about 7 years and 120K. Probably the root of my back problems now. I tried a couple of different Harleys and a Buell but then a VStrom spoiled me and I eventually sold the Sportster. Now my daily commuter, play bike, tourer is an F800GS and it does it all well, but I found myself jonesing for that old Sportster again especially after RTWDoug did his ride last year.

Well I recently couldn't sell my old suburban so I traded it for a 96 Sportster. I forgot how much fun it is to ride such a primal motorcycle. Now I keep spending money trying to make it fit me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #1938
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Originally Posted by Jonesy72 View Post




just traded her in .
I like everything about that bike except the seat and the forward controls. The seat looks uncomfortable for actual riding and I would prefer mid controls. Sharp bike, nonetheless.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:58 PM   #1939
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Originally Posted by damasovi View Post
thanks and yes I am thinking 883 since it is cheaper and I don't have a problem with cc, I have a 650 and a 100 cc now, so 883 would be a bigger bike for me and the first 2 cylinder.

Also if the time comes, I think I can make it into a 1200 not to expensively.

So another question, how are the brakes? That would be something I could consider important. and can you put a 4.5 gallon tank on it?

Thanks for the info.

Damasovi

Braking is subjective. I have a 1200c and have never had a "Wish I had better brakes" moment even 2 up with luggage. It isn't a sport bike and if you ride it more like an old standard it will always do what is asked of it.

Power is also subjective. I have ridden an 883 and a Bonneville and they have similar power outputs (very different power delivery though). Neither felt under powered even at freeway speeds.

As hhkiwi said the 4.5 gal tank is relatively expensive as an add on. the good news is that they make a couple models with the 4.5 from the factory. It may be cheaper to buy one of those then swap other parts to give it what ever look/ function you want. It all depends on what you want. Also remember that an 883 with a 3.3 will have similar range to a 1200 with a 4.5. A friend of mine has an 883 and regularly sees between 55-62 mpg average. An 883 with a 4.5 gal tank will have a very good fuel range.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:55 PM   #1940
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Originally Posted by Sidecar Jockey View Post
Here are some shots of my mostly original 1969 XLCH. It has 19,000 miles and I'm the second owner. This is the second re-paint of its original 'sparkling gold' color.











Here is a picture of the 'business' end. Its the original Tillotson carb and Farbanks magneto:

Beautiful bike. I love the way that Sportsters used to be built to be more comfortable. Love the seat and I have thought about getting one at the swap meet to adapt to my 96.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:45 PM   #1941
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Originally Posted by Ginger Beard View Post
Braking is subjective. I have a 1200c and have never had a "Wish I had better brakes" moment even 2 up with luggage. It isn't a sport bike and if you ride it more like an old standard it will always do what is asked of it.

Power is also subjective. I have ridden an 883 and a Bonneville and they have similar power outputs (very different power delivery though). Neither felt under powered even at freeway speeds.
thanks amigo, this is helpful. I am not looking into sport bike performance from a cruiser, if I did I would be looking into something else. I have a KLR as my faster bike, so power is not a thing this bike came with. If you say you never had a moment that made you wish for more stopping power 2 up with luggage then it will be enough. I had a moment like that on the KLR so I change the front brake to a bigger rotor and caliper, and it work.

THe reason I would go with a stock tank and then change it, it is for the fact that it would be cheaper, if I buy the bike in the USA I have to pay import fees so it would be like $500-1000 to import it. The higher the cost of the bike the more I pay, if I just put on the tank it would cost just that, no additional fees, but I would buy the tank ONLY if I wanted to go on tour with the sporter, and maybe that would not be the case (at the begging), and I know that tanks are on the expensive side, but anything HD is on the expensive side...

Thanks Damasovi
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:46 AM   #1942
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...1982-1984: These use the same basic frame that continued through 2003. Personally, i dont like these, because the chassis looks just like Sportsters through 2003... so it doesnt feel like a classic. Stay FAR AWAY from 1984 models. They are the first year for the alternator (mounted on clutch basket) and the magnents tend to fall off and damage your primary drive or tranny...
While I agree that the '82-'85 Sportsters lack the good looks of the '78 and older ones, a little bit of backdating the looks of one goes a long way. The change to an alternator was made in mid-'84 and carried over to the '85 Ironhead, BTW, so some '84s have a generator. I bought mine in 1990 with about 9,000 miles on it. It was in reasonably good condition, but had been painted red, mildly customized, and left outside most of its life (rust). It's been a very dependable bike during the 22 years I've owned it. Here's a pic of my 1983 XLX returned to the stock black paint, with a few nostalgic styling touches...



Or, for a snazzier look, with a tank from an '88 XLH. That's one nice thing about the '82-'85 Sportster - a lot of body parts and suspension components from later-year Evos will fit them because of the shared frame design.


83XLX screwed with this post 11-28-2012 at 10:10 AM
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:33 PM   #1943
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^ I gotta say it again - it's impossible to take a bad picture of 83XLX's bike (no matter which look he transforms it to).
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:17 PM   #1944
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I've had two Sportsters. Bought a new 1984 XLX1000 that year, and recently had a 2008 XL883. I understand they have dropped the XR1200 now. Too bad. I worked at Destination HD in Tacoma, Wa. for five years, so am a bit out of touch now. I much prefer an XL with the longer "standard" length suspension. My two XLs didn't have much of a scraping of parts while cornering problem. A co-worker with a Nightster tried following me on the way to work one day on a nice curvy country road, and could not stay with me due to lack of cornering clearance. I was 58 at the time and he couldn't believe how far I leaned in the corners and the speeds I went.
All the Sportsters now have lowered suspension since the fine XR1200 and XL883R and XL1200R have all been dropped for the US market. These shortened models would have to have longer shocks and longer fork tubes installed. I think it's a dam shame, as a Sportster CAN be fun on a twisty road.
Some prefer the older ridgid mount models due to their lighter weight, which can be as much as 75-85 pounds difference. Yes, they vibrate more, but depending on the bike and how it runs, some don't find the vibes that bad. That's why many "cafe" bikes that are Sportsters use the pre-2004 models.
There should still be parts where you can convert your 883 to a 1200 using dished pistons available from HD. This way you can reuse the 883 heads. Your converted XL you will find, will be faster stop light to stop light than a factory 1200 as the gearing is lower on an 883. If I converted one I would stay with the 883 gearing, as my 2006 ran just fine at freeway speeds and got very good mpg.
If you don't mind the shortened XLs, you might take a look at the "Superlow". It comes with radial tires and some nice radial wheels, and a bigger 4.5 gallon tank.
I love the looks of the 48, Iron, Nightster, etc, but after riding the two that I owned, I don't know if I could live with a Sportster that shoots showers of sparks in the corners. I also don't like forward controls, as they can be another problem in the area of cornering clearance.
I think a good, used "R" model would be hard to beat, and they made them before they went to the rubber mounted Sportsters also. They have dual front disk brakes, nice flatter handlebars, and longer suspension.
The tank on the 48 is too small for me.

I really enjoyed the two Sportsters I owned and wish I would have kept my 2006 and paid to have it shipped to the Big Island.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:55 AM   #1945
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Originally Posted by Ratchdaddy View Post
Beautiful bike. I love the way that Sportsters used to be built to be more comfortable. Love the seat and I have thought about getting one at the swap meet to adapt to my 96.
18" rear, 19" front helps, that and not having the back of the bike dragging on the ground. A low seat height does not make for better handling.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:33 AM   #1946
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Originally Posted by Ginger Beard View Post
Braking is subjective. I have a 1200c and have never had a "Wish I had better brakes" moment even 2 up with luggage. It isn't a sport bike and if you ride it more like an old standard it will always do what is asked of it.
WTF? Braking can be measured and is not subjective but is objective. Even riding any bike (not Sportster hating here) as an "old standard" there will be times when good brakes are required.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:55 AM   #1947
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I would say that stopping distance from a given speed can be measured, but even then tires, road surface, and road conditions are all variables. Brakes can be grabbier than I like. Brakes can fade. Brakes can require more effort. Braking can be non-linear.

So while shortest stopping distance from a given speed is "objective", that is just the beginning. There are important "feel" considerations beyond that. As an example, brakes suitable for racing would probably not please me on the street even though they would be objectively "better".
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #1948
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WTF? Braking can be measured and is not subjective but is objective. Even riding any bike (not Sportster hating here) as an "old standard" there will be times when good brakes are required.

He asked "How are the brakes?". To me that meant comparatively in regards to whether or not the bike can be safely ridden without having the fear of death put into you. I wasn't trying to debate stopping distances. I was merely trying to point out that the brakes are fine if ridden with the mindset that these bikes are NOT abs equipped sport tourers but more reminiscent of older standards like the CB750,etc. (my Sportster stops way better than my CB) and if ridden as such the brakes work fine. "Good brakes" is subjective, it just depends on what your idea of "good" is , who is actually riding the bike, where it is being ridden and how. To be clear even two up with a loaded bike I have always felt in control when braking and have never needed better brakes even when running through the twisties or panic stopping. If we are going to compare them to the brakes on a bike like a new ABS equipped ZX14 it can be said that they are not good.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:08 AM   #1949
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^ I gotta say it again - it's impossible to take a bad picture of 83XLX's bike (no matter which look he transforms it to).

x2 ! Love that bike.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:39 AM   #1950
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Originally Posted by Birdmove View Post
If you don't mind the shortened XLs, you might take a look at the "Superlow". It comes with radial tires and some nice radial wheels, and a bigger 4.5 gallon tank.
I love the looks of the 48, Iron, Nightster, etc, but after riding the two that I owned, I don't know if I could live with a Sportster that shoots showers of sparks in the corners..

This makes no sense to me. You are saying "take a look at the "Superlow" that has 24.7 lean to the right and 24.4 to the left then in the next setence you state that the 48 (XL1200X) and the Nightster (XL1200N) throw sparks.

The XL1200X 48 has 27.8 right lean (deg) / 26.1 Left
The XL1200N Nightster has 29 degree right and 30 Left available lean.
kk

STAY away from the Super Low IMO. It is a bike that should not be marketed to new riders.

The XL883N has a seat that is only .5 inches taller and it actually turns!
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